Are You on a Vision Quest?
Are you on a Vision Quest? I believe we are all on a quest, whether we recognize it or not.
My vision quest had a sudden beginning when a retirement opportunity presented itself. I wrote a book detailing my journey. I didn’t know it would become a book; it started as my daily journal. My commitment to myself to write about my life transition and explain how I honestly felt about it blossomed.
As I look back on what I wrote, I see that my perspective grew out of my corporate experience.
One of the greatest blessings of a thirty-six year career in Human Resources was connecting with thousands of people at seminal moments in their life. When someone is being interviewed, hired, promoted, coached and even fired; you feel a soulful connection with them. As I reflect back, I see them all as one-of-a-kind souls. Each of us is an amalgamation of unique talents.
We all have something completely unique to offer to the world. We are all on a distinct path in life.
I can see in hindsight that understanding that truth helped my book, Vision Quest, come to life. I believe that the world needs what each of us are divinely created to share. We all have a completely distinctive life story. Everyone’s biography is highly individual. You are uniquely you. No one else has your exact perspective. Writing my story helped me appreciate that there is a larger story to everyone’s life.
Keeping my journal was a deeply instructive exercise. It helped me understand that I was embarking on an inner transformation process.
Every wisdom tradition says that the answers are within us. And meditation asks you to go deep to try to answer the question “Who am I?” Themes and insights are easier to see when you peer inside and write about it. And the daily recapitulation actually made joy and happiness linger because I began to notice things more carefully, which made me more mindful. And then, I could savor my memories because they were written.
In my vision quest, I was seeking meaning; answers to existential questions like; Why are we here? and What is the purpose of life? I wanted to find out how scholars and learned people found the answers to those questions.
A vision quest helps you find meaning.
Many teachers opine that the purpose of an individual life is something akin to ‘be all you can be’. As I have aged, I have also come to believe it is about finding your own path to happiness and contentment.
I also realize that the size of the stage for the production of your life is not what matters.
One person can have a huge impact and find joy and deep meaning by interacting with family, friends, neighbors and seeming strangers.
The urge to mine your inner world is universal. Ancient Vedic teachers encouraged their students to take nothing on faith and to question everything. Here is a quote from the Upanishads that I treasure:
Human beings cannot live without challenge.
We cannot live without meaning.
Everything ever achieved we owe to this inexplicable urge
to reach beyond our grasp, do the impossible, know the unknown.
The Upanishads say this urge is part of our evolutionary heritage, given to us for the ultimate adventure.
A vision quest helps us discover who we are and better understand the significance of the brief drama we experience in a lifespan.
In my book, I joked that my vision quest was less of a coming-of-age story than a coming-of-old-age story. One interviewer asked me “what advice would you give to those who feel they’re too old or too set in their ways to begin a quest?”
I answered by saying that I think everyone’s path is unique and new adventures unfold when the timing is right. One of my beloved teachers, Jean Houston, says that we are all works in progress and that most of us can become fairly dull. She exhorts us to get out of our own way, spice things up and “Stop boring God!”
As a late-bloomer, I felt like a rank beginner among more experienced, often younger people who recognized they were on a spiritual path for longer than I had.
But, I reminded myself to embrace my beginner status and even relish the process of discovery and learning. I am inspired to stop boring God. And, I love the feeling of being a student again; I really enjoy learning new ways of thinking.
If you feel a tug or inclination to seek, to learn, to go on this type of adventure; my advice is to listen to that call. It may be the universe saying, “wake up; there is more here for you to experience!”
I suggest you ask yourself daily ‘what have I done to nurture mind, body and spirit today?’
Progress can be made by taking simple steps. Small steps can have a ripple effect that is larger than we realize. His Holiness Dalai Lama asks, “How do you create peace? Smile at your neighbor.”
One of the most helpful tools for those of us on the path is meditation.
The most impactful part of my journey was going deeper in meditation. It seems that every class, every new course of study, every insight kept coming back to the idea that making spiritual progress is an inside job; it is necessary to go within, and meditation is the best vehicle for me.
As I reflect, I now understand that the harder we strive to make sense of things, the more clearly we begin to see ourselves. The more we seek to find divinity outside of ourselves, the more we are allowed to see that it has always been there within.
Meditation helps nurture mind, body and spirit.
The best way to access your own inner wisdom is to begin or strengthen a daily meditation or other contemplative practice. Techniques abound. Find one that resonates and stick with it.
Using one of the many meditation apps is a wonderful way to begin. You can enroll in my free meditation class by clicking the link.
Once you recognize that you are on a vision quest, information begins to show up for you.
Articles, books, you-tube videos and podcasts seem to show up in synchronicity just after you pose the next question in your journey.
For my path, teachers such as Deepak Chopra, Jean Houston and Alan Seale resonate strongly with me, but for someone else it may be another teacher.
Wisdom traditions proclaim; ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears.’
My belief is that we all have a wise inner teacher within us that we can access at any time. The more time you spend in meditation, the more you begin to trust that inner knowing.
I have two books I often refer to my students. The first is The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. Soul Mission, Life Vision by Alan Seale is the second. I often refer to these books in my classes and articles.
For me and my vision quest path, creativity was another amazing ally.
Creative activity can uplift us and help us transcend physical parameters. When we create, just like when we meditate, we can glimpse that place beyond space and time and realize that we are more than our thoughts, our mind, our body.
In addition, creativity helped me catalogue each new concept I was learning and absorbing. Depicting an abstract concept using paint and words helped me engage in insights from the new paradigm and interpret it in a way that was memorable for me.
My art journals from my vision quest are some of my most valued treasures.
Creativity helped me find my post-retirement dharma or purpose. There was something about creating certain shapes, colors and lightness that made me feel I was tapping into and capturing a specific, higher vibration level.
My belief is that if people can access their creativity, it is easier for them to find answers and learn how to become fulfilled.
If you would like to more fully explore your vision quest, I invite you to join with other like-minded people who are on similar journeys. Explore SoulArt Meditation to find out more.
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