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  • “Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”
    ~ Vincent Van Gogh

    As many of you may recall, when I began this so called spiritual journey 5 years ago, I noted the author and blogger Steve Pavlina as being one of my greatest on-line mentors. Steve's Blog - Personal Development for Smart People - is THE leading resource for individual growth.

    Steve states: "When I first started, I didn't earn any money from all this growth-related work, but I sure spent a lot of time on it! But, I regarded it as a side hobby. My computer games business covered all my expenses, so I could afford to continue writing articles, speaking, volunteering, and hosting discussion forums. To this day I remain a huge advocate of compersion. Compersion is the opposite of jealousy; it means taking pleasure in other people's successes. I love helping people experience those wonderful a-ha moments that precede positive changes. It lights me up inside."

    In mid-2004, Steve went to Hay House's I Can Do It! Conference in Las Vegas. He writes: "As I watched Dr. Wayne Dyer give a beautiful talk about the power of intention, I felt this huge swelling of emotion in the center of my chest. Tears began streaming down my cheeks. It wasn't so much what Dr. Dyer was saying, but the amazing energy of the place, and being surrounded by so many growth-oriented people inspired me tremendously. I had this undeniably powerful feeling of coming home and realizing where I truly belonged. By the time Dr. Dyer concluded his talk, I had a clear vision that I was supposed to be that guy on the stage, helping to motivate and inspire people."

    Following the conference, later that same year, Steve began his blog. And he has written more than 1200 articles. That's enough to fill 25-30 books!! In 2010 he came full circle when he relinquished his copyrights and donated all of his articles to the public domain, via a Creative Commons Copyright.

    Steve writes: "What this means is that you have as much right to all of this content as I do. This means you're free to translate it, republish it, or even repackage and sell it. My desire is to help spread conscious growth ideas far and wide, so I consider this a win-win arrangement, even when people make money off my content."

    I've spent years trying to understand what having "a purpose" in life means. And like Steve, I've read many, many books. And Steve's blog got me started.

    This is not to say that my past endeavors weren't meaningful. They certainly are. And my efforts have helped alot of people. Yet, I've not been able to find fulfillment in them.

    Just because I am capable, does not make it my life calling, my purpose. And as we grow older, we might have quite a bit of sorting out to do, to dismantle our capability from that which is essential and intrinsic.

    Likely for every author who's ever written about it, when you reach this stage of feeling "purposeful", the answer has always been obvious. It's like our calling has been disguised within ourselves all this time.

    You'll know you have unearthed your purpose when you feel that rush, that ah-ah. You'll know it when you would gladly give it away. Maybe even pay to get it into other's hands.

    And again, I'd like to offer that the pursuit for money and achievement are likely the greatest obstacles to our realization. Ever wonder why it's called "blind ambition"? Money and achievement often misguide us, and keep us blind to our inherent talents, that which we were placed on this earth to do.

    I'm tempted to blame our misguidance on a failed educational system, and a corporate culture and society which is steeped in greed. It's requiring me to deeply question our American Dream, and all the things which I've held sacred. It's no mystery that Buddha had to leave his palace in order to awaken.

    Osho writes: "Very few people are accepted as creative: A few painters, a few poets – one in a million. This is foolish! Every human being is a born creator. Watch children and you will see: All children are creative!! By and by, we destroy their creativity. By and by, we force wrong beliefs on them. By and by, we distract them. By and by, we make them more and more economical and political and ambitious."

    "When ambition enters, creativity disappears – because an ambitious man cannot be creative, because an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake. While he is painting he is looking ahead; he is thinking, 'When am I going to get a Nobel Prize?' When he is writing a novel, he is looking ahead. He is always in the future – and a creative person is always in the present."

    Thinking about this really shakes things up, even for me. What happens when we aren't willing to "give it away" is that we don't really give it our all. We compartmentalize.

    I'll use my food blog as a for-instance. A good friend called me back to the Yamas and Niyamas. She said, focus on your tapas, your intention. My intention is to provide resources and recipes for those who are new to a plant based lifestyle. People will only change if they themselves do the research and make the effort. When someone sincerely asks me about my lifestyle choice, I want to have as much ammunition available as I can. I created my blog out of my love for animals, to help save them from suffering by our human hands. Out of my love for mankind. Again, I'd gladly give all this information away for free. And I have.

    Yet, because I wish to eventually write a cookbook, to make money, I hold back. I place recipes on there from a "pick and choose" mentality, based on whom I believe my audience to be. And I often keep my best one's to my greedy ol' self. In doing so, it's missing MY essence.

    I get that rush when I am gladly compiling short cookbooks to GIVE AWAY to a friend.

    Who says that we can't give material away for free, and then later republish that same material in a collection, and see if others are willing to pay for it?

    I gladly doled out my $24.95 for Steve Pavlina's printed book. It serves as a reference on my bookshelf to this day, although much of the same material is available for free on his website. It's nice to have it neatly consolidated in a book. And I can highlight sections which hold special meaning to me.

    Osho writes further: "Our whole attitude about life is money-oriented. Money, power, prestige, are uncreative; not only uncreative, but destructive. Beware of them! And if you are wary of them, you can become creative very easily. I am not saying that your creativity is going to give you power, prestige, money. No, I cannot promise you any rose-gardens. It may give you trouble. It may force you to live a poor man's life. All that I can promise you is that deep inside you will be the richest man possible; deep inside you will be fulfilled; deep inside you will be full of joy and celebration. You will be continuously receiving more and more blessings from God. Your life will be a life of benediction."

    Is it any wonder last night, as I woke up from a nap on the couch, with some National Hot Rod show on, the broadcaster was saying:

    "People love free stuff. They'll go absolutely nuts !!!"

    As you go through your day today, think about your intention. Can you make creativity your aim, without fame and fortune being the goal?

    Do you have enough faith, to surrender, to give it all away, to become the richest person possible at heart?

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