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Episode Eleven – “Discovering Life Purpose” | Gregory Amundson

Show Notes – “The Greg Amundson Show / Episode Eleven”

Greg: Hello, friends, and welcome to Episode number 11 of The Greg Amundson Show. Today’s show is essentially a continuation of Episode 10, which was titled Encouragement on the Warrior’s Path. 

Episode 10 introduced us to the notion that every single one of us, my friends, is born into the world with a very special mission to accomplish during our life. The company commander, if you will, the person who has assigned with this unique mission that only you and I can fulfill is none other than our heavenly Father. We’ve been given specific talents, unique skills and very unique ways of delivering the skill sets that we have to the world. These skills are what are known as gifts from the Father, heavenly gifts, gifts from God. God gave us these very special gifts and these unique ways of expressing these gifts because in order to fulfill the purpose of our life we need our unique tools, gifts and abilities.

My friends, to begin our episode today, I want to share with you a very, very special story. Many years ago, a young man went to see the wise old man in his village. The young man said, “I don’t know what to do with my life. How in the world am I going to find my purpose?” “Follow me,” said the old man. Silently they trudged together to a faraway river where they found dozens of prospectors who were panning for gold.

“There are three types of prospectors here,” the old man said. “What do you mean?” the young man inquired.

“There are those who strike gold right away. Excited, they take their plunder, their bounty, their wealth and they cash it in and they live comfortably for the rest of their lives. Then there are those who pan for years and years. They just know there’s gold in there. They’ve seen others find gold. And so they persist until they too find the gold that they’ve been searching for.”

“What about the third type?” asked the young man.

“They are the individuals who get frustrated that they haven’t found what they are looking for. So after a day, a week or maybe even a year they give up. They walk away and they never find gold.”

Well, this slightly confused the young man and the young man said, “Yeah, but what’s this got to do with finding the purpose of my life?”

“Ah, yes, purpose to life, the age-old question.” The old man smiled and looked onto the young man with love and compassion in his eyes. Then he said, “There are those in life who look for their purpose and seem to find it almost immediately. From a young age they have a clear sense of purpose and pursue their dreams with energy and enthusiasm. Others have to look a bit harder, perhaps for many years, but they just know that if they persist and keep looking, they will find something to live for. Finally, there are those who want to know their purpose, yet they become frustrated by the search and they give up too soon, returning to a life of meaningless wandering.”

“Can everyone find their purpose?” asked the young man, full of renewed enthusiasm.

“Is there gold in the river?” the old man laughed as he replied.

“So how do I find my purpose?” inquired the young man, once again with boundless enthusiasm. “Keep looking,” replied the old man.

“But what if I want to find it now?” asked the young man. The old man replied, “Patience, patience. There are no guarantees that you will find it quickly. The only guarantee is that if you have the courage and the persistence to keep looking, then you will find it.”

[0:05:15]

And so, my friends, when you reflect on that story, where are you in your search? Did you know from a young age what God innately directed you to do during your life? Are you now in the process of searching for your life purpose, or have you become frustrated by the search? This question of life purpose is something that I have always been so passionate about. Undoubtedly, this enthusiasm was gifted to me by my mom and dad. They encouraged me from a young age to pursue my dreams and goals, and they were a constant source of encouragement in my life.

One of my dearest friends, she is a yoga teacher renowned around the world. She is the co-author along with Mark Divine of the fantastic book on yoga called Kokoro Yoga. She is the head yoga instructor for Kokoro Yoga. She is an author of a new book that will be released later this summer on meditation. Her name is Catherine Divine.

Catherine and I have been friends for many, many years. She’s someone I consider a dear mentor in my life on the path of yoga and meditation as well as breathwork. Catherine is equally enthusiastic about discovering and teaching the principles of life purpose. And what’s really exciting is we are going to drop in my friends on a conversation that was recorded between Catherine and I. This conversation took place at SEALFIT headquarters inside the Kokoro Yoga studio. This was filmed live for Unbeatable Mind and Kokoro Yoga Online, and we have a special opportunity today to drop in on this recorded conversation, which is all about the purpose of our life. Without further ado my friends, off we go to SEALFIT.

Catherine: Hello, welcome to Kokoro Yoga Online, I’m Catherine Divine and this is Greg Amundson. You hopefully have gotten a chance to practice with both of us at some point, whether it’s a breathing exercise or a movement exercise. And today, we’re going to do a little conversation around purpose, which in the Sanskrit it’s called dharma, dharma, your purpose, what you’re born in with. It’s something Greg and I have talked about quite a bit over the time we’ve known each other, and it’s evolved in our conversation. So I just want to start out with that question to you to talk about how you view purpose, how it’s evolved in your life as you’ve walked to your path. Yeah.

Greg: Yeah, it’s a great question. I think first and foremost, we are all born with an innate purpose in life. So the context for that for the warrior is we all have a mission that we have to accomplish. The means for the fulfillment of the accomplishment of the mission are many. We can take different routes to that instate. Sooner or later it will be fulfilled. Yet, the sooner that we can begin to contemplate and understand and ultimately move the direction of our life towards the purpose of our life, the better, because that’s when life really takes on a new flavor, and life gets exciting and meaningful because we’re moving towards our purpose.

Catherine: I’ve used the story that you share a lot about the plane setting trajectory to go to, say, Japan. And then if you change one degree, then it’s going to land maybe San Diego.

Greg: Yes, not Japan.

Catherine: Not Japan. So what you’re saying, I hear that in that, is that, okay, we’re going to get there, but there might be some detours that are unnecessary if we make choices that we either as we cultivate the warrior intuition, we know isn’t in alignment with our purpose, or we know that we need to do something different that what’s in alignment for service to, say, our families, or our path we’re already on, knowing that we are going to make another turn at some point.

[0:09:55]

Greg: Yeah, absolutely. Another metaphor, in addition to that plane being a degree off is GPS, because we all know the function of Garmin in our life. We get into our car and we program our desired destination. Put the car in gear and away we go. And we approach the first turn and Garmin says “Turn right” and we think what? No way, Garmin. I’m going left. And thankfully all is not lost because Garmin recalculates, and Garmin will continue to recalculate until we get back on course.

Therefore, if we can discipline ourselves to make the first right turn, we are going to be at our destination with so much less heartache and suffering. The good news is that if we’re a bit stubborn and we’re imposing our will on the direction we want to go, so be it. Sooner or later we will recalculate and we’ll recalibrate the system and we’ll get to our destination. Yet, you could see in that metaphor or with the plane metaphor if we can just set our course from the beginning and know what it is, that route is going to be way more fun, way more scenic.

Catherine: Right, way more scenic, right.

Greg: It’s getting more enjoyable.

Catherine: You could see the waves, the urchins, the dolphins jumping.

Greg: Yeah, absolutely.

Catherine: So I know for myself when I have gone down the route of my life around being in alignment with what I thought was my purpose and then started to spend more time in seated meditation and surrender to the higher calling that I heard messages about my purpose — and that’s one of the things that I’m getting a little meditation plug here of why it’s so important to sit in silence in that state of awareness that there is this innate wisdom that’s greater than ourselves that will provide for us answers if we’re willing to be open enough and still enough to hear them.

Greg: Yeah, beautifully said. We need to cultivate the space in our thinking because if we’re solely identifying with our conscious thought process, that means that we’re more likely identifying with our ego. The ego is very fearful of losing that identity. The ego is very fearful of a challenge that they’re not certain they can accomplish. Your life purpose is beyond the reach and the grasp of your ego. Your life purpose is, by design and by nature, afraid of no challenge. The life purpose knows that it will be fulfilled. It’s only a matter of time. The only way to begin to witness that is through space in our own thinking, and the only way to create that space back to the plug is this. Boom! Mediation, silence, stillness, meditation.

Catherine: And seeing the repetitive thoughts even whenever the distractions come in. And then another piece around this that you and I have talked about was that sometimes that fear of the ego says, “Who am I to do this?” We were talking about this a little earlier today and I had contemplated a lot on that conversation and thought, “Well, who am I not to?” Right? That’s where I’m starting to come to, and there’s a great poem about that. Our job is to be the bright light. I don’t know it exactly, but this idea of wait a second. Once I know what this is and it’s the warrior path and the fear is knocking at the door, that wolf of fear, and then there’s the courage wolf that says, “Hey, wait a second. No, I’m going to take a step forward towards this calling, towards what fires me in my belly and my heart and is in alignment with that peaceful state of mind.”

Greg: Yeah, it’s beautiful. The Bible talks about metaphorically a lamp that is covered, and you can’t cover a lamp. It needs to fulfill its purpose, which is light. So we have an innate calling in life, and to deny that, to suppress that is of no service to anyone, including ourselves. We were born to shine our light. We’re born to fulfill our purpose. And the good news is that when we step onto that path doors are opened for us. The universe conspires in the fulfillment of our own purpose because we’re part of the universe. And as we accomplish and as we move forward in the fulfillment of our mission, of our purpose we synch up with the mission of the universe, which is fulfillment and greater growth and expansion. So it’s part of our destiny.

Catherine: Right. There’s something beautiful about that, what you’re saying about those doors opening up because I think that’s a good sign for all of us if we’re in alignment with our higher truths or out of alignment, because the out of alignment I know for myself it will feel like I’m almost like that banging my head up against the wall. Well, this is the same story again. Or I feel like I’m having to, and you had said this earlier too, imply my will instead of like more of a surrendered state and I always describe it as like being in that flow state that people talk about or plugging in, like if you plugged the lamp into the universe, right, using that metaphor from the Bible too. It’s like, okay, I’m plugging in, so now it’s just going to flow.

[0:15:34]

So I’m going to happen to be standing in front of someone in line that has that piece of information that I really need to get me to call this one person. They have the phone number. And then I call that one person and they know exactly the next turn I need to make and it is that easy. It’s not. And of course, this is one question I had for you. Of course there’s times where that warriors need to focus and work comes in. I’ve been saying that to you as we were filming earlier. It’s like you can see that beauty of your [0:16:06] [Indiscernible], your heat, your discipline and focus. And if you get to just talk about that and like how that lines up with living purpose and how it’s inspired you.

Greg: Sure. We have an ability, an innate ability to utilize our free will. That’s a gift that God/the universe/spirit has bestowed upon all of us. When we are able to utilize our free will in the fulfillment of our purpose, that’s when our power takes on a new quality that we may not even be able to fathom. When we are imposing our will out of alignment with our innate purpose, granted, we still have an ability to impose the will, yet the level of potential for that fulfillment of will will be significantly less.

So a good metaphor would be imagine a muscle-up, very challenging CrossFit gymnastics skill. No amount of sheer strength will allow the fulfillment of that skill to take place. In order to fulfill that skill, it has to be the right application of the strength, the right production of the strength, the right alignment of the strength. That’s how our will can be utilized. When our will is imposed in alignment with our life purpose, that’s when we can have that laser focus. That’s why I think in the warrior tradition, we see the symbols of the spear and of the sword, because the warrior is able to use that sword to first cut out of the warrior’s life distraction, noise, and then to pierce into the heart of what their purpose is. That’s that single-pointed intention that allows it to come to fruition.

Catherine: Yeah, it’s interesting that you say that too. The more I study symbolism and different images from all different cultures across the times, there are those key ones that show up in almost every single culture, and it is something like the sword.

Greg: The sword. Well, in the warrior tradition, it’s the sword and the shield.

Catherine: Right.

Greg: So, again, we can look at the modern-day use of the shield. Symbolically, the shield is protecting us. It’s the helmet of salvation, as the Bible would say it. It protects us from negativity.

Catherine: Right.

Greg: So we use the shield in one hand to guard us against negativity, ego, self-doubt, and simultaneously as we block, we pierce into the heart of our intention. So for the warrior, like those symbols, they have relevance even today.

Catherine: Right. And look how beautiful you just worded that, in that peaceful way of alignment and purpose. It’s truly to have that focus. So in that, I think that one thing I’ll share and then maybe you can share a personal story. For me, was I had, and I think I’ve told you this, but I had arthritis in my hands in my early 20s and then I started to meditate and do yoga. I had a meditation where my hands told me like, “We’re going to keep hurting until you use us for wiring this body.” That’s to put on people and help move energy and heal and like a massage therapist does or other energetic modalities. The minute I started teaching full time and putting my hands on people, I had some pretty, and still do to this day, interesting experiences that people would speak back to me, my hands stopped hurting. That was a message that I received, taking it into action and still taking it into action slowly but surely, and seeing that transmission or the transition of my own physical pain dissolving because of the resistance that was going on. It’s pretty phenomenal.

Greg: Awesome. I love this testimonial.

Catherine: Yeah. So I’d love to hear one from you and then —

[0:19:55]

Greg: Yeah, sure. I think I was from a young age very aware of the power of the spoken word, and that was a gift that my dad gave me. So my earliest childhood memories, I’m in my dad’s car going to the YMCA to physically exercise, and on our way there we have a cassette tape of Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra. So my dad is integrating for me at a very young age the synchronicity between the capability of our body, which is fueled by the power of our mind, which is sparked by the words that we speak.

The nice thing about using our words in a self-affirming way is that that innately helps fulfill any life purpose that we have. So ultimately, in order to fulfill your life purpose you have to use words in a self-affirming way. You have to declare what your purpose is and in that declaration you state in the positive tense this is why I’m here. This is the purpose of my life. And I just love , again, going to the Bible to look for inspiration because one of the first recorded moments in the life of Christ is when he was in the synagogue and he said for the first time, “This is why I’ve come.” He publicly announced, “This is the purpose of my life. This is why I’m here.” And what was shocking is that many people who heard his purpose said, “No way, you can’t possibly fulfill that purpose.” And whether or not people in that moment actually said that or it was doubt in Christ’s mind, hmm, interesting way to consider the story, because the moment that we declare the purpose of our life there is simultaneously self-doubt, and oftentimes, we’re surrounded by people who are going to try to put out our fire.

So this is why to have a purpose in life requires the warrior spirit. Because as we declare the purpose of our life, we simultaneously ignite the opening of doors to assist us and we also spark opposition and resistance. Those two things are arising at the same time. So yes, doors are opening, and yes, there’s going to be a voice of self-doubt that says, “Don’t go through that door.” Isn’t that amazing? So that’s why the modern day warrior, that archetype is so valid because we can, in fact, engage on a very real field of battle every single day of our life and ultimately be victorious every single day of our life.

Catherine: Right, it’s our world-centric warrior image that Mark speaks so beautifully about and that we are all here in our Kokoro Yoga community working with, yeah.

Greg: Exactly.

Catherine: And so in that also I would state that that’s part of our purpose is to share the learning and the growth of our own practices, our own evolution, and that’s the calling to teach and something we’ve both been doing for a long time, and I feel so grateful to have gotten to spend this moment with you.

Greg: Oh, this is awesome.

Catherine: It’s awesome. Thank you all for being with us and being part of our community. Starlight, her purpose is obvious.

Greg: Yes, she has been great joy, great joy.

Catherine: Great joy to this planet.

Greg: One note too is my mom and dad have both passed away, huge source of inspiration in my life. In terms of a clue into everyone’s life purpose, my mom said something really interesting. Just before she passed away, she said, “Everybody can encourage somebody and be supported at the same time.” So I think there’s something about our life purpose that innately provides encouragement for other people.

Catherine: That’s beautiful.

Greg: Haven’t you noticed that? I mean, this is the sense of what you just said, like we’re here as a source of encouragement. And we really are, like as Catherine and I and as you, as we begin to move the direction of our life towards the fulfillment of our purpose, I’m certain that as part of the warrior archetype is in service of others.

Catherine: Absolutely.

Greg: That must mean that as we move towards the purpose of our life, we are serving others, which must, therefore, mean we’re an encouragement to others. So it’s like if you are in doubt, if you’re looking and contemplating “What’s my purpose?” where in your life are you finding yourself encouraging others? That’s likely a clue into what you were born to do.

Catherine: And that gave me goosebumps everywhere.

Greg: Oh, it’s all right too.

Catherine: Cool.

Greg: Yeah, love you.

Catherine: Love you.

Greg: Well, my friends, I sincerely hope you enjoyed that amazing conversation with my dear friend Catherine Divine.

[0:25:02]

My friends, I sincerely pray in this moment that wherever you are on the path of your life, whether you are certain that you are on fire with your purpose, or if you’re feeling like the flames of your purpose are being put out by opposition, or if you’re still searching for the purpose of your life wherever you are in this moment, my friends, I pray that your greatest source of encouragement and inspiration would be the presence of God in your life.

My friends, until we speak again here on The Greg Amundson Show, I pray that God would bless you and keep you safe. And we will speak again, my friends, right back here on the show. Take care.

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