True North

I love maps and I’m fascinated by Global Positioning Systems (GPS). It’s amazing to me that a tiny electronic device can pinpoint my exact location anywhere I am and guide me to my destination. When traveling in an unknown city, I often have both a map and a GPS in my lap, trying to find my way.

Maps differ from a GPS in that they offer possibilities, while a GPS, if programmed correctly, will lead you where you want to go and let you know when you’ve gone astray, loudly! “As soon as possible, make a u-turn and go….”. Over and over…ack! Turn that thing off!

I like the possibilities of maps, but when I have a destination and a deadline, a GPS is better. It takes me where I want to go without deviation.

Then there is the compass. Compasses point the way, but there are variations, because of the magnetic pull of the earth. If I want to find true north, a magnetic compass will not help. True north is different from magnetic north. Magnetic north varies from place to place because of local magnetic anomalies. To find true north from a magnetic compass I need to know the local magnetic variation. A good map will have magnetic deviations marked. Magnetic north differs from true north because of magnetic declination, a measure of the angle between true north and magnetic north. True north is a geographical direction, represented on maps by longitudinal lines. Each line of longitude begins and ends at the Earth’s polar and represents north and south travel. Finding your way north by following longitudinal lines may be tricky; you may encounter impassable terrain or other obstacles. A magnetic compass will lead to your destination, but you may wander and zigzag.

The simple way to find true north is to use a GPS, which tells you where you are. Be selecting true north on your GPS and entering your destination, the GPS will show you how to get there.

True North has become a metaphor for life. Everyone has a True North; it is something within that calls us. How we find it depends on our choices. Sometimes the choice is made because we hear the call clearly. Some people know from a very young age what is calling them and they don’t let anything stop them from heeding the call. Some people may know but they become deterred or distracted. And some people don’t hear or don’t trust themselves.
True North doesn’t pull you toward it or tell you how to get there. It does, however, point you in the direction, when you look and listen.

There is a True North for your life. It is uniquely you. No one else has the same True North. It is an internal compass that will guide you through life successfully, if you will consult it. Your True North is you at your deepest level – your passions, your values and what motivates you. It represents what gives you satisfaction. True North is your point of orientation and leads you forward.

Finding your True North is both easy and difficult. Easy, because all you have to do is pay attention and listen. Difficult because you have to listen and make the commitment. Most of us don’t want to take the time or make the commitment. We often don’t trust ourselves. We’re so busy following the compass, we zigzag when the quickest way might have been to go straight. How do you know what your True North is? It’s so simple we often ignore it. There is an inner knowing, a “gut feeling”. Is there something you love to do, just for the sheer joy of doing it? That’s your True North. Pay attention to how you feel and you’ll learn what your True North is – you’ll learn what satisfies you, what makes you happy.
If you’ll take the time to consult your internal compass, you’ll always be led in the right direction. Finding your True North is applicable to every area in your life: you’ll find true joy in your work, your play, your relationships. You’ll know who you are at a very deep level and that knowledge will guide you in every thing you do.

And when you are seduced and get off track ( and you will!) your internal compass will let you know. You’ll have an internal knowing, that “gut feeling”, that something is wrong and you need to make corrections.

What makes your heart sing? What, when you’re doing it, gives you such pleasure that time flies? Think about that.

Your True Self

Jason was an angry young man. There are many angry young men – and women – in the world today. Perhaps there always have been. The difference between Jason and most young men is that Jason was a rich, angry young man. With the financial ability to meet all his needs and his desires, we might wonder what it was that he was angry about?

Jason wasn’t rich because of his own efforts. He was born into a family that was rich because of one man – Jason’s grandfather, Red. Red was the true American dream fulfilled – he rose from a life of poverty to become one of the world’s wealthiest men. Through ideas that sprang from his imagination, Red built an empire that supported Jason, his parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and countless others.

When Red died, his children and grandchildren circled around like hungry vultures, waiting to hear what Red had left them. None of them received what they thought they deserved. Red knew his heirs well and bequeathed them accordingly.

Except for Jason. Red knew his grandson’s soul. He knew that beneath the angry, bad boy exterior there was a young man in deep emotional pain. He knew Jason mourned the death of his father, Red’s son, and knew he blamed Red for that death. His legacy for Jason was a way out of the grief, anger and pain, if Jason would accept the challenge.

Jason accepted his grandfather’s challenge, reluctantly, and mostly out of curiosity. Gradually, just as Red had hoped, as Jason met each new challenge, his anger began to abate and he discovered the truth of his father’s death. At the same time, he discovered something within himself…a strength and resolve he didn’t know was there. He also discovered a desire for humanitarianism he didn’t know he had.

With each step of his grandfather’s challenge, Jason’s soul expanded. His perpetual anger dissolved; he became the man his grandfather knew was hidden beneath the anger and self-centered exterior.

Superficially, Jason’s anger was the result of his father’s death. At a deeper level, it was a soul hunger. Jason was drifting, with no goal other than the next party. His soul hungered for more.

All of us have soul hunger. It is the driver of everything we do, but most of us aren’t able to satisfy that hunger because we don’t understand – or know – what it is. We’re restless and discontented and try to resolve that restlessness, that discontentment, with material things, with houses, cars, clothes, the latest “toy” – however you define toy – with food, drugs, or a person.

Our soul’s are trying to tell us the way to go, trying to point us to our true self, but either we don’t listen or we don’t pay attention. Most of us can’t hear our souls, because we’re too busy pursuing the things we think will make us happy and our inner voice is too quiet to be heard above the noisy din with which we surround ourselves. We can’t get still enough to hear the voice that wants to guide us. That’s all it takes – get still and listen.

Your soul is calling. It knows the direction you need to go to be happy. It wants to point you to your true self. One caveat…your true self is not a thing, a career, a job. It is not a person. It is not your “soul mate”. Your True Self is what some call God, or Spirit. Another caveat…your True Self is not “out there” somewhere. It is right where you are, every minute.

Your soul is calling. Are you listening?

Do You Live From Memory or Inspiration?

For many years I lived from memory. I was held captive by my past. Most of those memories were unhappy, but even the happy memories keep me chained in the past. When we live from memory, we give up our power. We can do nothing constructive if we live from memory.

Not all my past was unhappy. There were some good times. I have lived a long and interesting life; I’ve had two husbands and gave birth to four children. As with most people, my life has had its share of happiness and pain. But if I dwell on either for very long, I’m living in the past.

As much as I value my past and the experiences I’ve had, I choose to live from inspiration. I believe that every person can be inspired, if they’re willing to listen for it.

Recently I watched an interview with a well-known personality, who was talking about his latest book. He said he felt like he was inspired by God as he wrote.

Mozart was composing magnificent music at an age when most boys are still pulling pranks and playing in the little league. I’ve read that he said that he “saw” complete symphonies in his mind before he began to write them down.

Most people know that Einstein was thought to be intellectually retarded; some biographies say that he didn’t speak until he was three years old and that in his early years he spoke slowly. No one, in Einstein’s youth, considered him to be a genius.

A friend says that we all have the capacity for genius, we just don’t realize it. We all have the seeds for greatness, but only if we live by inspiration. We all have the inherent ability to live from inspiration. In truth, that’s the only way we can live. Einstein said we live in a spiritual universe. Taking the religious meaning out of the equation, spiritual also means non-physical and unsubstantial. Quantum physics shows us that what we call “reality” is unsubstantial…everyone is 99.9999 percent empty space.

The word inspiration comes from the root inspirare, which means to breathe into. We all are inspired by the Intelligence of the universe. It inspired us with the breath of life. Just being alive, we are inspired!

When we live from inspiration, we let the Intelligence of the universe breath through us, giving us new ideas, new ways of living our lives. When we live from inspiration, we are like Einstein, open to new ways of thinking. There is no limit to what we can do, have, or become, when we live by inspiration!