There’s another detail here that can get in the way of our seeing or living to purpose. That is obligation. For example, if you have a child or elderly parents, this creates certain obligations, beyond how you may feel. A role such as parenting is a form of purpose.
We could say we have a primary purpose, plus secondary ones that arise for periods of time as a result of past actions or obligations, what some call karma. That obligation may drive us away from our primary purpose for a time or simply conflict with it in some way. Perhaps you’re an artist but find no way to support yourself through your art. If you have a child, you cannot play the starving artist role and the parent role at the same time very effectively.
Some people have the blessing that their obligations and primary purpose align. But as a Vedic astrologer once said to me, that’s not as common.
As we have an obligation to support ourselves and contribute to the community, we may find we need to work in some area that is generally supportive, then pursue our purpose as a personal passion. Art would be a good example again. We may find the primary passion and functional obligations come together for periods of time, then move apart. Perhaps we have a financially successful art show and gain some commissions and support ourselves this way for a time. Then trends change and we find other or older obligations come up again.
Some people also have the experience of life in chapters or sections, where a series of obligations arise, are worked through, then end. Careers, relationships, and lifestyles ebb and flow. Time for the next chapter. While the primary purpose has remained and brings an underling theme to all adventures, each round has it’s own qualities and obligations. A sense of progression becomes apparent.
Obligation is one of the big reasons why people don’t see their purpose clearly. This is not covered much in most explorations of purpose. Napoleon Hill’s “Cosmic Habitforce” is one of the few that even touches it.
Obligations, as I mention, arise in the field of action. They are the mechanism of the past to complete what has been begun. What has been intended. We’ll explore this more shortly, but the key to remember is that the more we resist our obligations, the more they will persist.
The key to creating, intention, is expressed in the world of action. For something to happen, it has to be done. I talk about this in Self Effort. Some people have the sense that if you wish for it, it will be. But you need to move that wish from the local ‘me’ mind into the larger expression. Into the context of the whole. Outside of the ‘we’, it’s just a daydream.
Remember that the emotions energize, so the more feeling you’re giving it, the more energy it gets. This is why passion really helps. How can we expect results if we don’t care? This is the struggle if we’re not in our passion or have not found a way to flow our passion through our circumstances.
Bigger actions may require some preparation, such as in 10 steps to Achieving. But don’t use perpetually planning and preparing as an excuse to not act.
Time is another factor to account for. Things happen when time is best for the ‘we’. Sometimes, time is favorable now and an action will flow smoothly into expression. Sometimes time is less favorable and more work is required. Pay attention to how the environment responds to your actions. It may show our approach is right by “coincidence” or “synchronicity”. It may push back, meaning some tuning may be needed or that you have to persist a little longer. Perhaps shift attention more. Or even look at a new course of action. This is where the intuition can be very useful. How does it feel, under any surface feelings of anger or fear? Persist, but don’t bang your head against the wall too often. Experiment.
Another key detail in intention is allowing. If you intend and act, but hold too tightly to a vision of results, you may find the actions seem to just go in circles. Expectations have a bad habit of introducing boundaries where we may not actually want them. They freeze up intentions. Spiritual literature often calls this attachment. You have to allow it to play out as it wants for the whole and see where the journey takes you. Nature has a way of organizing things better than you could ever think of. Play it like a game and you may find it easier, with far more pleasant surprises.
Other things may come up as obstacles – the crap Richard talked about.
For one – you want to be Energizing Cooperation. You want to support that which is supporting you. If you are crapping on everything that happens, you are are basically dumping on those who are trying to work on your behalf. Think that helps? Remember, it’s all being intended. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. Are you co-creating or fighting it?
Another nasty form of expectation is Entitlement. An ego claim that ‘I deserve’. While you do, if it comes from ego, it’s a ‘me’ statement that squelches cooperation, creates unintended boundaries, and adds attachment, the anti-allower.
A big one that helps overcome all these forms of resistance is a practice of Gratitude.
Next, we’ll explore obligations of the past more closely.