Recently I was in a seminar where the question was “What gives you your purpose?” We were to look at what calls us into life. I wanted to say all the things that have always in the past given me purpose: my work with the horses, connecting with spirit, bringing joy, dancing. However, we were asked to look at how much of that came from the past, from a place of survival, from too much thinking, or from some sort of solidified sense of accomplishment. As I stepped into this challenging question, I remembered a Buddhist saying that I’ve had with me since I was in my twenties:
An old man lives in his past saying “Look what I did when I was young.
A young man lives in his future saying, “Look what I will do when I succeed.”
Others say we must always be in the present moment right now.
Pursuing none of these ideas,
There is nothing to be attained in the Buddha way.
I have come back to that saying often over the years. It always gives me pause. On the one hand, it’s scary standing in nothing. Very. On the other hand, I sense a great freedom there. So as I grappled with what calls me forth now in my life, I looked from that place of nothing. Here is what I saw:
It happened on a trip I took to Uruguay that took place while the Purpose Seminar was coming to a close. I had to miss the last couple of sessions, but I was deep in the process of working with the seminar material nonetheless.
Standing in front of thirty horse professionals teaching equine guided coaching approaches, I looked out into the little room with the orange walls where everyone was sitting elbow to elbow. I was prepared with lots of material and had rich experience to share, all translated into Spanish. But that morning, none of that mattered. I was simply there standing in nothing. My heart burst open. What filled the room was love, mine and the participants’, but, more palpably, Love with a capital L. Like a magnet it drew me into it. Just Love. In that spacious moment I knew my purpose. All the work, the effort, the things that I’m passionate about—they all matter. But my purpose is Love.
Standing in nothing, what calls you forth?
© Lynn Baskfield 2014
Lynn Baskfield, owner of SpiritDance Coaching, www.equinecoaching.com, is a Minnesota based equine guided coach and educator doing individual coaching, retreats, and group workshops for spirited midlife women (and older) around the world. She is also conducting a yearlong apprenticeship program in Australia starting March, 2015 for coaches and horse professionals who want to become qualified Equine Guided Coaches.