There’s this yearning in us: music of the far-off, barely audible most of the time, tugging at us, and in those fleeting times when we hear it clearly, our heart beats with Knowing: I came here from somewhere else.
We incarnate in this body, in this family, in this time and culture - for three reasons: 1) to unlearn patterns from past lives, 2) to learn something from the patterns of this existence. It took me 30 years of wrestling before I could accept those two ideas. I owe that confidence to a great Lady I met, who showed me that the universe is a river of jewels.
But there is a third reason we “dress up as being human for a while.” We come here in order to deliver a blessing to this world.
Focusing on past lives and on karma I am creating for my next life assumes that I came here for myself. But something shifts in me when I shift the question away from “what am I supposed to get from this life” - which, honestly, leads me to wander around complaining that I’m lost and blind in one eye, suspecting Spirit mischievously (or maniacally) hides truth from me.
When I ask “What blessing did I come here to deliver?” my focus moves from “me” to “we.” My focus also moves from the past or the future to the now.
Blessing, like nature, like human bodies and like Spirit itself, takes uncountable forms, and the vast majority of them are not dramatic in the sense that we usually think. A tree is not a dramatic being - there are billions of them. But each tree has an incredible power to bless. It shades the ground and the creatures that live therein, provides a safe home for microbes, bugs and birds, provides food for creatures, delivers oxygen, sings with the breeze, delights the eye and nose, calms the weary traveler, and facilitates the kiss between the earth mother the sky father. On and on the tree’s blessing goes, probably without worrying once what blessing it came here to deliver.
Worms don’t come to mind immediately when we think of “delivering the blessing,” yet they bring a mysterious power of transforming death into the next form of life.
Social media has convinced us that we don’t exist if our acts are not made public. But the vast majority of blessing is not very public, and we can look to the worms and trees for teaching on this.
Maybe the blessing you came here to deliver is less about “career” or “outward purpose” and more associated with what the ancients thought of as "character." My favorite definition of character: "the way you act when no one is watching."
So how do you discover (or remember) what the blessing is that you came here to deliver? First, be clear that a weekend workshop won’t answer it for you. This is why we incarnate for an entire lifetime, not only a weekend. Nothing against weekend workshops - sheesh, a guy has to make a living, and please sign up for my next weekend workshop.
To discover what blessing you came to deliver, begin with doing three things: 1) step out of fear 2) quash expectations and 3) detach from the lust for material wealth. These are energies placed on us by others that shrink us, and we cannot discover our blessing while shrink-wrapped. All decent spiritual training begins here. The mystics call this “conditioning the waters.” Intentions are like little carved boats placed in moving water. The water needs to not be a rushing whirlpool that swishes down to the devouring unconscious like a toilet. It needs to be a nice, strong, but gentle current that goes to the other world, so your boat is delivered to Spirit clearly. So, first: condition the waters.
Try this: Take three minutes, close your eyes and breathe in deeply and finding anywhere in your body that is tense or nervous or stressed. In the Celtic shamanic world, we might say: breathe the pure love of the stars into these areas of the body to release the tension. Visualize the pure love of the stars coming down to wash away fear and desire for wealth and expectations. Well, maybe this will take a little longer than three minutes!
Then take a memory journey to ages 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35. Ask yourself what it is that you loved the most at these ages. What filled you with joy, with giggle fits, with awe? Try to identify what you loved that, if spoken of, might raise other’s eyebrows - particularly your stern judges from childhood. We complain about those who judged us and held us back, but our judges are also our clearest guideposts to what we love. They are like motion detectors than snap on when our love starts to move.
See if you can detect a connection between what you loved at each age. Is there a through-line? Is there a mythic connection between all five ages? Try describing the connection in mythic terms: “I am the one who...” Or try telling a brief fairytale in which the "once upon a time" boy or girl loved these things and did these things with that love. Feeling embarrassed is nearly always a guide that you are on the right path to identifying the source of the blessing you are here to deliver, embedded in you before you incarnated. Embarrassment is the part of you that negotiates with the judges, the part that says publicly “You’re right, I should move away from this love” but has no real intention of abandoning it. (Shame is your attempt to actually abandon that love on upon the threatening orders of the judges.)
The blessing you came here to deliver is connected directly to the power of love, which is the core power of creation, which emerges from the core character of the creator. Creation doesn't care what anyone thinks of it, it doesn't make any money, it is not expecting any outcome and it is disconnected from fear.
This is why you incarnate for longer than a weekend.