One of the areas spiritual teachers and traditions seem to be in agreement on when it comes to the meaning of life, is that it’s not so much what you do but how you do it that counts. Many people who are in a journey toward purpose are looking to find the perfect job or role that fills them up.

Many people (myself included) have gone for the dream job or title or role only to realizing upon attaining it, that they are not necessarily closer to meaning or purpose. It’s a bit like chasing a mirage in the desert. The closer you get, the more you start to see through it and realize it’s just all an illusion.

That’s likely why most spiritual traditions turn this mentality on it’s head by asserting that it’s not what you do that is going to bring you purpose and meaning, but how you approach your life. You don’t have to find the perfect job or have a certain title or lots of degrees and certifications or money. Anything can bring meaning and purpose if you approach it with the right mindset.

The universe is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our sense to become sharper.

 

Eden Phillpotts, English author, poet and dramatist

That mindset generally includes looking at your life, all the situations and people in it, as a learning opportunity and a steppingstone to a broader journey of self-discovery and realization of a higher potential. Discovering who you truly are at your core and living in alignment with it imbues everything and everyone around you with meaning. 

If you look at every role you have and every moment in life and ask, “what is this trying to teach me and how is it supporting me in being in alignment with my higher self?”, everything around you becomes a special message meant just for you and your growth and development. That’s what starts to give life meaning and purpose.

Shakespeare said that all the world is a stage and all the people actors, but I think from a spiritual perspective it would be more appropriate to say all the world is a classroom and all the people students. Most spiritual traditions support that we are here having an earthly experience because it’s a place where we can co-create with the universe. Through bringing ideas into a more physical, material existence we can play with them, and through that experimentation we learn.

What are we learning? Well that depends on the individual, we each have our own thing we need to learn that in turn contributes positively in some way to everyone else. What we’re here to learn isn’t something that drives our ego, like making the most money or being famous. These aren’t bad per se unless they becomes the goal. Rather, what we’re here to learn is a quality that brings us closer to our highest potential.

The possibilities are limited only by our imagination and determination, and not by physics.

Mike Duke, fourth CEO of Walmart

What are we learning? Well that depends on the individual, we each have our own thing we need to learn that in turn contributes positively in some way to everyone else. What we’re here to learn isn’t something that drives our ego, like making the most money or being famous. These aren’t bad per se unless they becomes the goal. Rather, what we’re here to learn is a quality that brings us closer to our highest potential.

What is our highest potential? In Christianity it is said that people were made in God’s image, and this concept of having the spark of divinity in all of us is repeated across most spiritual traditions. We are all born with, and carry inside us throughout our life, this spark or seed of potential that could manifest into something beautiful in the world if nurtured in the right way. This potential is what makes all lives precious and worthy of saving, because we don’t know who will be the next Mother Theresa or Ghandi.

The light burning within you is a far more accurate reflection of who you are than the stories you’ve been telling yourself.

B Grace Bullock, psychologist, research scientist and yoga & mindfulness expert

I believe if there is a nexus where all spiritual tradition come together, it is around this point, expressed simply yet beautifully by Jordan B. Peterson, “The answer to our moral dilemma is to recognize and nurture the seed of our divinity.” Each tradition has their own recommended path, with their own rules and guideposts, but overall the end goal is the same: find that spark of divinity and stoke it until it becomes a full-fledged fire. This is the most truest and powerful form of self-love and self-care.

So how do you uncover your spark? We have many roles we play in our life and each of them shapes our identity, but the higher self is something beneath all of that. These roles we play and how we show up in them is very changeable, but the higher self is something that is not changeable and reflects our divine nature – having a pure and genuine heart that emanates light and love wherever we go so that we relieve suffering from all those we come into contact with.

This is the potential everyone holds within themselves. Getting back in touch with this aspect of ourselves and realizing it was never gone, just maybe covered up by layers of life experience, is what the journey is all about.  That’s why the journey is an internal journey of self-discovery and can’t be fulfilled by something outside ourselves.

Over the course of our life we become attached to the various roles we play, and they become the entirety of our identity. To get in touch with our higher selves we must sift through all the layers of identities we wear and have assumed over the course of our life. Meditation allows us to quiet the mind and enter the state of objective observer of our life.

Get to know who you really are, because as you search for the hero within, you inevitably become one.

Emma Tiebens, author and motivational speaker

Being an objective observer doesn’t mean you have no feelings, it just means that you can step back enough to be objective and don’t lose sight of the forest for all the trees. And my friend if you’ve lived then it’s going to be a jungle in there!

It is only this discerning mind that allows us to sift through the various layers of identity and extract the aspects of our higher self, because it allows us to come from a place of wisdom to understand the difference. This is why meditation is a very effective tool for connecting with your higher/divine self, and a central component of many traditions.

How will you know you’ve made contact with your higher self? It’s not something that can be adequately described in words or captured in a checklist. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy as saying if you’re experiencing these five things it’s a sure sign you’re in touch with your higher self. This is because it’s something you feel in your gut rather than something you know from a place of conscious awareness. Suffice to say you will know it when you feel it.

Where you experience the revelation of the real you; it’s an uplifting and positive experience that paradoxically feels foreign and completely familiar.

Mark Thurston, psychologist and personal spirituality and holistic living specialist

The more we come into contact with our higher self, even if it is just momentarily, the more we come to realize a profound truth, we are all more than we could possibly imagine and infinitely capable. Building an unshakable faith in yourself, how you were meant to show up and what you have to bring to the world is the foundation for meaning and purpose in life.

Meditation for Connecting with Our Higher Self

Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes to turn your attention inward. Take a few deep breathes in and out to relax and let go of any activity or thoughts that might be following you into your meditation. Allow your breath to become natural, and just notice it coming and going like the surf on the beach. Feel yourself release and a notice the relaxation coming into different areas of your body with every breath.

You may hear sounds, feel sensations against your skin or smell scents on the air. This is ok, they are part of your meditation. Just let them drift in and out of your awareness. You can name them if it is helpful, smell or sound or feeling, and once you’ve named them just release them and let them float away like a helium balloon. They take to the wind and just drift away.

If it is helpful or you’ve had a particularly stressful day, you can move your awareness to each area of your body, from your head to your toes, and just consciously release any tension and relax each area of the body in turn. You are releasing any energy that does not serve you. Finally, allow a wave of relaxation and release to flow through your whole body.

When you feel you have dropped into the present, put your hands over your heart to bring awareness into your heart space. Then begin to connect more deeply with your heart center. Notice the rhythm of the heart and the energy it gives off.

Now begin to bring forward feelings of love and compassion. Maybe it’s helpful to think of a person or people whom you are close to and allow those feelings to emerge. Once those feelings begin to emerge, see if you can hold that sensation while bringing your awareness back to your heart center. Notice the rhythm and energy at your heart center. Has it shifted by allowing the sensation of love and compassion to emerge?

Continue to allow your heart center to fill with the feelings of love until you begin to join with the sensation. Just allow yourself to merge with the sensation at your heart center, allowing the connection to become stronger. Notice a radiant energy coming from your heart center that begins to engulf you in white light.

You can allow your hands to be in your lap as your whole body drops into the sensation of the energy flowing from your heart out to your limbs, your fingertips and toes, out to your head. As the sensation floods your body, notice how powerful yet light you feel. Just allow yourself to be silently immersed in this sensation.

After several minutes, begin to take notice of the flow of energy in your body again the power and lightness of the sensation. Know this is a sacred space within you that you can come back to at any moment of the day by connecting to your heart center.

Holding this space at your heart center, begin to notice that this space is the seat of your soul. It is the space where your higher self resides. These feelings and sensations are the sparks of your divinity and embody your higher self. Begin to connect more deeply with these sensations know as you do that you’re connecting with your own divinity and yourself in the form of your highest potential. That this is the strongest form of who you are, and that it is at the core of your very being.

Now begin to imagine what form this higher self might take if it were to be in physical form. What might your higher self look like? It’s like looking in a mirror but not. It’s you but a brilliant version of you that is wise, loving and completely accepting with no judgement. Notice the glimmer in their eye, smile on their face or simply notice the sensations arising within you. Notice how connected you feel.

Know that this higher self accepts you as you are completely without judgement. She/he knows every part of you, because s/he is you, and loves all aspects of you. Even the parts you may not like or appreciate. Your higher self sees it all and loves it all unconditionally. Know that when you are in contact with your higher self, you are completely and unconditionally loved and accepted.

Now, look into the eyes of your higher self. See your higher self letting you know that there’s nothing to be afraid of, that this is a part of something you agreed to before you came into your life. That you can be free from fear and embrace this connection, and to feel guided from this moment going forward in a completely new way.

You may begin to feel an increasing your energy and increasing sensations in your heart center. As these sensation grow, you’re going to simply know that you are forever changed. Feel yourself, begin to lock in energy. Feel yourself begin to increase for fuel that sensation double throughout your body. Feel this connection, grow more and more.

Now ask your higher self if there is any guidance that they have for you. Ask if there’s anything in your life that you can do or be that is more aligned with your higher self. Just put the intention out. Don’t try to make anything happen, just sit with that intention and see what comes up. It might be words or it could just be feelings or sensations. Just sit with that intention, holding a space of silence, for as long as it is comfortable for you. When you are ready to move on, thank your higher self for this information or simply for the time together.

Now, see yourself merging with your higher self. Let your higher self know you will honor him/her by living more aligned with this version of yourself. Your higher self is completely merged with you and you feel like this is who you are. From this point going forward, you will begin to have new thoughts, new guidance.

You will feel more integrated than you ever have before and you will be able to observe things in your life from a neutral place and from this point going forward, you are forever changed. Notice how you feel. Feel the gratitude inside of your hearts. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to become more alert and present to the moment. It’s this sacred place in your heart. You can come back to anytime that you prefer.

Begin to draw your attention back to the space around. Tap into the sounds and sensations in your physical space. As you prepare to return, set one final intention for yourself before you begin to move forward in your day.

Set an intention that you will commit to doing your best, based on your capabilities right now, to to become more aware of this connection of who you really are. You’ll do this by observe your daily life from a totally new level and call out thoughts or actions that no longer serve you. You will do this knowing your higher self is there, and you’re going to feel more guided in your life than ever before. Your higher self is going to be there with you more consciously because your higher self is always there.

Now, begin to move around very slowly and with lots of love and care. You can start with your extremities, moving your feet and hands until you feel some awakeness beginning to stir. Then gently and slowly maybe stretch your body and roll into a fetal position.

Just keep moving slowly and gently. You may need to rest here for a while. When you’re ready, you can come to a seated/upright position, and slowly, when you are ready, you can open up your eyes. This can be a very intense meditation so take some time before re-entering into your day. Allow yourself some time to move slowly and quietly, and gently ease yourself back into your routine.