Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is Life Purpose Important in Challenging Economic Times?

The person credited with inventing Flower Essence Therapy, Dr. Edward Bach, believed that the deepest illness facing society in the 20th century was becoming disconnected from one's true calling and life purpose. With economic concerns looming so large now in the 21st century, such a thought might sound like a "lofty" ideal, a nice thought if we could afford it but... but nothing could be further from the truth.

The world is facing a number of crises that cry out to be healed and economics are a large part of the problem. But when people use monetary wealth as their prime motivation the whole world suffers the cost. Usually people talk about life purpose in terms of self-actualization, individual potential and becoming your fullest self... and we'll be talking about that in the next few blogs as well. But what if following one's life purpose meant more than that? What if our survival as a species depended on it?

In our work as spiritual counselors and healers we have come across people who have become so disheartened about being able to have their deepest hearts' desires that they no longer allow themselves to know what it is anymore. Other times we have met people who knew what they wanted with all their hearts but couldn't imagine allowing themselves to have it. "How could I possibly give up my hateful $65,000/year job that is making me sick to become... a farmer, a writer, an artist, an elementary school teacher? How could I possibly devote myself to these things I care so much about when my partner depends on me to do what I'm doing now? My kids couldn't go to private school anymore! I'd lose my retirement benefits. We'd have to move, everything would have to change!"

But in light of the recent economic crisis people are having to rethink these very things. Some people have already lost their retirement investments. Others are losing jobs and find themselves giving up the very things they couldn't face leaving before. We know firsthand how devastating these losses can be. But after the dust clears and you pick yourself back up you look at what's left and what really matters most. What are you going to do? What should we do as a greater community, a nation?

Individually, should we try to go back to "business as usual," try to find work with a high enough paycheck to maintain a lifestyle that has its perks but keeps us locked in an increasingly frustrating and stressful situation? On the grander scale, should we continue to let free market economics push the basic necessities of life -- healthcare, housing, heat, transportation and food -- sky rocketing out of sight while the worldwide population is becoming aged and needs more healthcare options, people are starving, our roads and bridges are falling apart, and global warming and environmental devastation is starting to wreak havoc across the globe? There's plenty of money to be made and jobs to go around if we redistribute our priorities but it will require change and the willingness to work diligently enough and long enough to work it all through.

Just before and during the biggest worldwide crisis of all time, the Great Depression, Dr. Edward Bach railed against societal conditioning that convinces people to accept soul deadening work being cogs in other people's money making machines instead of following the callings and dictates of their hearts. He saw the result in his medical practice every day in poor health, mental depression and addictions. He also saw that if he could adequately address the psycho / spiritual roots of a person's distress they got better quicker, and sometimes without any other medical intervention on his part.

Dr. Bach left his thriving London practice in 1930 to pursue his interest in creating all natural homeopathic flower remedies. The timing of this decision is significant. After the stock market crash of 1929, when most people would have given anything to keep whatever money-making opportunities they had, he quit his job, devoted himself to his higher mission, and offered his flower essence healing services for free in order to develop the case studies he needed to see if his theories worked. Then, when his research was sufficient enough, he advertised the results of his work as "home remedies" that could be used by anyone without necessarily requiring the assistance of a physician.

People might argue that this was insanity, how could he give all his success as a doctor away like that? But he lived what most people would think was a great life in the country with all the time he wanted to be outside, enjoying the peace and beauty of nature while researching what people consider to be his greatest contribution to the world of healing to this day.

It's scary to give up what the greater society thinks is required for living a good life. If we all follow our hearts a little more a lot more people will opt for jobs that create worth instead of riches. It takes a major change in attitude...and trust me, there's pain and adjustment required in that. But living here in the country Paul and I have seen and experienced wealth of other sorts. It's important to look at and I'm sure I will be in many other blogs to come.

I make a flower essence aromatherapy formula called Manifesting Life Purpose. It’s a favorite for both men and women. You check it out here.


Joy De Vivre Design said...

Great post!

Kala Pohl Studio said...

Sheryl, I love your blog and posts. Very thoughtful, insightful writing. Abundance actually means a lot more than money and so many people are still not aware of embracing their life's purpose. I left my high paying technology career to pursue my dream of painting. It has been 6 years and I cherish every day:):)

Anonymous said...

Leaping empty-handed into the void...
and see where it takes you!

Adventure time!!