I was watching a rerun of Oprah the other day and Diane Sawyer was talking to a fan of hers who is a newscaster on a local Illinois television station. In the conversation, Ms. Sawyer said (and I'm paraphrasing) 'As long as what you care about on the inside matches what you're doing on the outside, you'll have rocket fuel to power your life and your dreams'. Wow, isn't that a powerful statement?
I think sometimes we manage to demonstrate our values by behaving and living in a particular way, but it seems to me that we could all use a booster when it comes to actually matching what's inside us to what we're doing in the world. First, we have to know, and be able to articulate, what we care about and what really is inside us. The things we care about are probably fairly easy to identify, but what is really inside us? That seems to be a bit harder.
Now, perhaps Ms. Sawyer was just speaking about career choices and paths when she used the words 'what's inside us', but I want to challenge us all to take a broader meaning to those words. I want to challenge us to include all of our values, all of our hopes, and all of our dreams, for ourselves and for future generations. What's inside us also includes our life purpose, our destiny, our unique potential for greatness, in short, our soul's reason for coming into this life via this human body at this time in history.
In order to know what's inside us, we need to answer: Who am I and why am I here? Not an easy task, I know. It takes a journey inward, patience, sometimes courage, and a true desire to live a fabulous life being all you are meant to be. But first, we must be willing to enjoy some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of our daily routines. Set aside your To Do list for 10 minutes - don't worry, it won't disappear - and just close your eyes and breathe. Let your body relax for a change. Embrace the quiet and the stillness and let your worries drift away. Then, when you feel calm, ask yourself "What's inside me?" or "Why am I here?" I know it sounds silly to ask yourself such questions, but if you don't already know, how will you find out if you don't ask?
Now comes the tricky part. Just let the answers drift into your mind - don't judge or criticize them, don't censor them, don't push them away because you think they're silly - just let the answers come.
If you set aside time to be still and listen every couple of days, you'll soon begin to piece together a fairly good picture of who you are and why you're here. Then you can begin aligning what you're doing on the outside with what's really on the inside.
I call that Going Within and Living it Out. We journey inward to reacquaint ourselves with our spirit, then we take the wisdom and beauty we find there, bring it out, live it, and share it with the world. It's kind of like a caterpillar cocooning itself and then emerging as a beautiful butterfly.
So I challenge each of us to spend a little time cocooning, beginning a journey within, and listening to our hearts and souls. Then live it out and let's see how many wondrous changes we can create in our lives, in our families, and in our world.