I am a huge believer in the power of meditation. I have had a practice for several years now, and have, in the last two years taken my practice even deeper. When I was first starting out, my teacher told me that the best way to prepare to sit is to ask myself the three soul questions and then let the answers come. The three soul questions are: Who Am I? What Do I Want? What Is My Dharma (Purpose)? No small questions, are they? He cautioned me that sometimes the answers will not come right away but that, if I kept asking the questions, eventually the answers would manifest in my life in some way.
A big part of wanting to create a more authentic life is actually knowing the answers to these three questions. Just like using meditation as a tool to create the life that we want, writing can provide a place to explore not only the questions, but the answers. Let’s take a look at each one and see how we can use them in our writing practice:
- Who Am I? – This one asks us to go beyond the obvious. When we have gone through the usual everyday answers – spouse, parent, child, sibling, employee, senior, etc, what are we left with? How do we define ourselves without falling back on the titles we carry or the roles we play? This is the big one, the question that asks us to lay the foundation for what comes next.
- What Do I Want? – Again, we are asked to go beyond the physical or tangible. We’re not talking about possessions, titles, people, or wealth. We’re talking about what we require to thrive, to flourish and grow. Here we need to go deep into our feelings and discover what nourishes us, and, without which, we are not whole.
- What Is My Dharma (Purpose)? – What makes your heart sing? What makes you want to get out of bed (or what would make you want to get out of bed)? How can you use your unique gifts and talents to serve the world? We don’t have to let this one get us bogged down in ideas of accomplishing something huge. Donating your time volunteering, or baking a cake for someone who is housebound is also serving the world. Raising loving, responsible kids in these turbulent times is a huge gift to the world.
When we put these questions on paper, and then read what our hearts have guided our pens or keyboards to answer, we may surprise ourselves. We may even get our first clue as to what step we need to take next in the direction of our dream, but we need to know what that dream is first, and knowing who we are in a great place to start.
As you can probably guess, this week’s assignment, posted on the home page, is going to ask you to tackle these questions. If you are a meditator, I invite you to sit with these questions before you begin writing. If you are not a meditator, just give yourself a few minutes to sit somewhere quietly and clear your mind with a few deep, cleansing breaths before you begin. Then allow yourself to become acquainted with who you really are.
Blessings and peace.