“What’s the point? Is there meaning behind what we are doing?”
My cousin Dena opens the eleventh chapter by asking direct questions. She brings me back to examine the theme of “Purpose” for the second time in the Living Chapters project and I am ready to dive back in.
What is my point in writing Living Chapters these past eleven months? What is my purpose with this project or in life? Is personal purpose found in my career or my relationships? Does it live in my actions, my words, in my doings or in my non-doings? Is purpose something that directs and guides my life or is it something I created myself to bring the meaning I sometimes hope and search for? Good questions eh?
Six months ago in Chapter 5, writer Emily Wheat and Wild Card Doug Sadler dug in deep and picked this theme apart in great detail. They gave me incredible guidance and initially engaged me with both provocative questions and action oriented steps. Emily tapped into my tendencies to create and connect with others while Doug asked me to look at the bigger picture and define my individual role in it. This month my cousin Dena challenges me to do the follow-up work that I just couldn’t finish in the mere four weeks last October.
I discovered a lot about myself that month and am happy to pick up on this much-needed exploration and try to learn from last year’s lessons. Revisiting this theme at this particular time in my life is fortunate. In between homes, relationships and career choices, I am on the precipice of making what could be some very exciting life changes. Where will I end up after I am finished helping my mother make her transition? What will I choose to do? And who might I choose to be with when making those decisions? How could I actually make these decisions if I do not hold a focused purpose or intent?
I feel happy and lucky to be guided this month by this particular family member who has not only acted as a caring and loving cousin, but also has been a great friend my entire life! Although Dena is only a few years younger than I am, she has always been someone who I have looked up to and admired for leading a purpose-driven and meaningful life. Dena plays the role in the family that keeps everyone in check – always sending supportive cards in hard times, inspirational quotes for random occasions and news on relatives that I didn’t even know I had. “Great Aunt Delores just turned 90! Drop her line!” … I didn’t even know I had a great Aunt Delores! She remembers everything about our childhood (even the things I’d rather forget!) and thinks about everyone, making sure they know they are in her thoughts. Growing up with Dena taught me to be thankful for the people in my life and also has reminded me consistently to keep up my correspondence and connection with others. In many ways I think Dena helped shape my idea of what purpose in my life means to me today. I am thrilled to have her support in this further exploration this May.
The month of April (Chapter 10) had me physically moving and grooving – taking action in addition to my intensive internal reflection times. I welcomed this awakening change from my winter contemplative reverie. Although Dena says this month’s work will “be a bit more on the reflective side than the actual get out there and go do side” I beg to differ. I need some action this month too! I think that along with sorting out what my purpose is internally, it’s also time to figure out how to put that purpose into external action and to form a plan of meaningful intent. These 12 chapters are nearing their close and I am determined to jump into action soon and write the next 12 myself with purpose and meaning in mind.
Thank you Dena for getting me started.