Three Ps

I saw a quote the other day that broke down, quite simply, this idea of pursuing one’s purpose. Since the exact phrasing of the quote was a bit hazy, and I wanted to have it absolutely correct to share it, I turned to what one of my dear friends refers to as ‘the oracle’ (coincidentally, this is also the name she gives her very intelligent husband) — Google. 

In the search box, I entered the beginning of the quote, as best as I could remember:

“If you are searching for your purpose…”

Click on the magnifying glass.

What came up? 

“About 1,130,000,000 results”

OVER 1 BILLION RESULTS!? If we need anything to remind us that we are not much different from everyone else on this planet, well, that certainly sealed the deal. 

Ok, so let’s refine the search. “If you are searching for your purpose quote”

“About 199,000,000 results.” Holy shamoly.

Well, as one could only expect, the next best thing to Google provided me with the quote I was looking for: Oprah.com. 😉

Image

This led me to thinking about those two ‘P’ words — Purpose. Passion.

I felt there was a third P that should be lumped in with the others:

Perfection. Or maybe it should be “I” for Imperfection, which is not about being or doing ‘wrong,’ but the realization that being human is a stronger piece of what living a life of passion and purpose is about.

I recently started teaching two classes a week at a beautiful studio here in town. The class was passed my way by a wonderful, talented teacher & friend who I respect beyond words. It has taken me a while to get there, but I have now begun to understand that each stepping stone along my path is presented to me in order to show me exactly where I need to be in order to learn and grow. I knew this was happening for a reason. The other part of me — the part that, back in Bali, was asked to teach for 7 minutes and responded with paralytic fear — felt swarmed with butterflies. Since committing to these classes, some interesting things have come up: I wake up in the morning and have to get out of bed so I don’t lie there thinking about ‘What will I teach!?’ My dreams have been riddled with thoughts of what I can possibly share, or worse, being faced with a class who is too busy having coffee to listen…

I know where this comes from. There is a big part of me that wants to fall into this new place and be absolutely perfect in any way I possibly can be. To know everything, to have every detail nailed, to be liked by everyone, and be just as perfect as I see my dear teacher-friend to have been when she led these classes so fearlessly (even though she would say she is far from perfect herself!). But here’s the thing…

I don’t know everything. And I am light years away from perfect. Shocker, right? In fact, the more I teach, the less I feel I know, especially when it comes to the nitty gritty, the textbook stuff. I’m sure those of you who teach, or are just beginning teaching, have experienced this. You aspire to be the kind of teacher that you are inspired by. What you fail to recognize in that moment is that teacher had to start somewhere too, and has been provided with umpteen more opportunities to stretch their wings, to fall down on their faces, to be confused, to learn, to be challenged, to feel discouraged, to have to dig deep inside themselves to just get through that class alive, goshdarnit.

The other side of it, the side that doesn’t feel like “holy shit, who am I to do this!?”, feels like the phone is ringing — the big universal phone — and I am having to swallow down my fear and answer.

Ring ring.

Hello?

Oh hey, Allison. Remember me?

How could I ever forget.

Sooo… You know it’s time, right?

{swallows} Yup. Thanks for the call!

Ok, good. Have fun! Just share what you’ve got. You’ll be fine.

OK. Have a good day! [click]

What I’ve got. I’ve got my humanity. I’ve got passion for the practice that I share. I know, in my heart, that the pursuit of purpose is not really a pursuit, but a falling into the present moment. Moment, after moment, after moment, no matter what comes up. Whether we have labelled what our purpose is or not, we are living it

If over 1 billion people Googled that single phrase “If you are looking for your purpose,” doesn’t that say something? Doesn’t that say that we have a desire (dare I say, a passion) to discover who we truly are? To unravel the mystery of our existence on this planet? To explore what we are meant to do, and who we are meant to be, in order to make this world a better place? To turn to Google to ask one of the biggest questions we can ask as human beings, well, we’ve all done it in some form, haven’t we? It certainly proves we are not perfect, but rather perfect in our imperfection. It shows that we are willing to ask the questions, even if, at first, to our preferred search engine. The next step can only be to ask these questions of ourselves. 

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