PURPOSE: The War of Art + Kierkegaard



Look in your own heart.

Unless I’m crazy, right now a still, small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times before, the calling that is yours and yours alone.


You know it.


No one has to tell you.


And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow.


You think Resistance isn’t real?


Resistance will bury you.

- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art



Last week was my first week back at work; I had taken the previous week off. Stress leave.


(Ok, so that's an understatement. I just don't know what else to say without lifting the lid off of the Pandora's Box of shitty, slimy, underhanded behaviour my CPE - current place of employment - has demonstrated in the last 6 months)

I won't go into the details because that's not the point. The point is that work has been at an above average level of stress, and I needed to take time off because of it.

I'm responsible for making two trade shows happen this summer - one in Calgary in July, and one in Chicago in August (three weeks apart - oh you spoil me with your down time) and I felt quite certain that if I didn't take that week off to allow the ground to stop moving under my feet before the trade show planning went into full swing, I was going to have a nervous breakdown.

My patience bucket for the bullshit at my CPE was empty. There are now a few drops in there that should allow me to make it until the end of August, when the gong show I have been a part of will be over because the contract I am on will be done and then I will be free. FREE.

Before all the shit went down in Februarymy plan had been to stay at my CPE for another year or two. I wasn't enjoying my job, I was regularly frustrated and there was a feeling of discontentment that permeated my day-to-day, but on the other hand, I was comfortable in the discomfort. I think we all experience this at times, where things aren't good, but they're not bad enough to move us out of the situation, so we stay out of comfort with the familiar, complacency, and fear of the unknown. Because it's easy. We all do this.

The key is not to stay in that place. It's all well and good to sacrifice satisfaction on a temporary basis in order to achieve a truly pressing goal (often a financial one).

But the keyword here is "temporary." If we do that long-term, our souls - which are like plump juicy grapes - will shrivel into wizened little raisinettes.

Actual photograph of an unhappy soul.

I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you never would have moved.
- The Universe

Ding, ding, ding, ding! Yup. We need to remember that when certain areas of our lives turn into whirling cesspools of shit, it's not because life hates us or because we're horrible unworthy people who will never amount to anything. It's just the Universe's way of giving us a good swift kick in the ass to say "Wake up honeypants and move it on outta here."

On Monday when I got back to work, after having been off for a week of stress leave, I asked to meet with one of my managers in order to talk about my workload and priorities.

She declined, and did not make any attempt to follow-up with me, or even ask how I was. (My other manager did ask though.)

TANGENT / HILARIOUS OBSERVATION: We are a team of six people, and two of those people are managers. Too many Chiefs, not enough Indians...which is basically the core issue at my CPE. The Chiefs don't know what the Indians do - and of course they don't think to ASK because that would just be crazy - therefore they assign no importance to the Indians and keep "downsizing" them, so now my CPE is full of Chiefs who are running around throwing their hands in the air going "I don't understand why the work isn't getting done...?!"


On the day that I got back, there was a big management meeting which had a list of logistics attached to it that I was responsible for. I had already put all of those things in place before my stress leave.

One of those things was hiring movers to re-arrange the tables and chairs in the room because one of the executives doesn't feel that a U-shape is conducive to effective management meetings. (Every six weeks, $500 Canadian tax dollars are spent to move furniture on the whims one person.)

The movers always pull furniture out of other boardrooms because there aren't enough chairs in the main meeting room.

Another thing was hiring a caterer. (Because executives are too important to walk over to the kitchen and grab a glass of water or coffee for themselves and they cannot make it three hours without a snack.)

However the caterer forgot our order, and she ended up scrambling at the last minute to put it together.

When my manager came in (the one who had declined to meet with me), she started barking like an angry little dog.

"Why are all the chairs different?!"

"Why is there no hot water?! Is there any tea? I want tea!"

a) Maybe she was having a bad day.
b) Maybe she was being a demanding B-word.
c) Maybe we work in a place that is so toxic that perfectly nice people turn into monsters.
d) All of the above?

I don't know why she was being such a C-word, and frankly, I don't care.

All I know is that I felt very small, insignificant, and unimportant in that moment. And that made me really angry.

Listen, I'm not above gophering. I've done more than my fair share of grunt work, and I'm really glad I did. It will keep me humble forever and that is a gift. (There's nothing that will remove any trace of hubris that one might have like mopping up vomit and cleaning out urinals, both of which I did when I was waitressing to put myself through school from 2012-2014.)

I know I am capable of achieving big things. I feel a greatness inside of me that wants to get out. #purposecalling

So that moment last Monday, when I got barked at for bullshit by a manager who cannot see how much I am capable of, well, it was just the Universe's way of giving me a good swift kick in the ass to say "Wake up honeypants and move it on outta here."

When life gets difficult, it's usually for one of two reasons:
  1. We are meant to learn something. Things will get better as we lean into whatever the situation is trying to teach us. In cases like these, things do get better with time, so we need to wait out the storm.
  2. We are meant to leave. The situation doesn't change, can't change, won't change, and things stay at the same level of shittyness (or get worse) for a consistent period of time. This is the Universe kicking us in the ass and telling us to GET OUT. One shouldn't stay where one isn't wanted.
The question in ANY and EVERY difficult situation is always:
Is this a call to GROWTH or is it a call to ACTION? 
Do I need to LEARN from this, or do I need to LEAVE this?
By the time I leave, I will have been at my CPE for four years. I have never stayed at a job for this long, ever. But my first 1.5 years here were the best I've had in my entire working career thus far. I felt valued and purposeful, I had a manager who supported me and gave me lots of space and autonomy to get my job done, and I was working on really interesting and challenging projects.

Now the last 2.5 years have been the exact opposite of that. I've learned a lot through the challenges I've faced, all the while hoping that things would get better. They haven't. But instead of lamenting that fact, I am thanking the Universe for the clear sign it's giving me that my time here is over. When it's been more bad then good, it's time to go.

My other manager told me this week that they will be posting my position. Their intention was always to staff it permanently, and I think the thinking was that after I finished my contract, if things worked out, I would be the one to apply and get that position.

Things are not working out.

My manager asked me (after he told me about the job posting), how I felt it was going in my job because I'd been there now for almost four months (Really? You're asking me this question four months into a six month contract?)

I said: "I don't feel confident in my job. I don't like that feeling. Everybody is scrambling and I understand that this is the reality of the organization because so much corporate knowledge has gone out the door and so many people have changed positions. But this means that every task I do is a massive research project because no one knows what's going on or how to get anything done. I'm someone who, when I have a firm grasp of my job, I meet or exceed expectations, and I meet or beat deadlines. But everyday when I come into work here, I feel as though I don't really know what I'm doing. I don't feel as though I've been set-up to succeed."

He went into defense mode: "Well you know that's the nature of this job. We're really busy, and stuff comes up."

I said: "I have no issues with being busy. This is not about busy."

By the time we finished talking, the feeling I got was that he thought that my "complaints" were due to my inability to hack it, and not about the fact that there are no clearly defined priorities in our department, let alone in my current role. (Who's given a job without being given a job description? I was given a contract with no clearly defined list of duties. That doesn't even make sense. But there have been so many changes in such a short time that reporting structures and job duties change daily and HR can't even begin to keep up. GONG SHOW.)

He said to let him know if there was anything he could do to help. And while I appreciated the sentiment, there is nothing he or anyone can do. The whole organization is broken, and everyone is scrambling so hard to keep their own heads above water that the last thing they have time to do is to help keep anyone else from drowning. It's each man for himself.

In a few weeks, my CPE will be posting my position. And I will not be applying for it. I have to admit that even if I did, I suspect I wouldn't get it. I think my managers think the problem is me, but what they will find out once I'm gone is that it's them and the organization.

And to the unlucky bastard who gets my job: I wish you my most sincere condolences. May the frustrations, inefficiencies, and never ending mountain of red-tape induced paperwork teach you whatever it is you need in order to learn and grow.

Because the person who lands this job is either someone whose soul needs polishing (after a diamond is split, bruting is performed to make the separated rough stones round) or someone who needs to be taken down a notch and humbled by life.

My one piece of advice: leave before they break you.

It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.
- Soren Kierkegaard



"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance...

What does Resistance feel like?

First, unhappiness. We feel like hell. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We’re bored, we’re restless. We can’t get no satisfaction. There’s guilt but we can’t put our finger on the source. We want to go back to bed; we want to get up and party. We feel unloved and unlovable. We’re disgusted. We hate our lives. We hate ourselves.

Unalleviated, Resistance mounts to a pitch that becomes unendurable. At this point vices kick in. Dope, adultery, web surfing.

Beyond that, Resistance becomes clinical. Depression, aggression, dysfunction. Then actual crime and physical self-destruction.

Sounds like life, I know. It isn’t. It’s Resistance.

What makes it tricky is that we live in a consumer culture that’s acutely aware of this unhappiness and has massed all its profit-seeking artillery to exploit it. By selling us a product, a drug, a distraction...

If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius.

Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance?

Does Resistance have to cripple and disfigure our lives before we wake up to its existence?

How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to?

Resistance defeats us.
- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art



Saturday, March 24, 2018
E-mail from me to Mark Manson:

Hey Mark,

1 - You probably hear this all the time, but still, here goes: I'm a huge fan and regularly share your work with others. The year that The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck came out, it's what many of my nearest and dearest received for Christmas. (My brother and I are big fans of Disappointment Panda, he needs to make a comeback.)

2 - Why the I'm writing: I read (and ADORED) your latest post (Side Note: I actually shared it with my therapist who also loved it.) And I agree with you - humans kind of suck. So, how does one (read: me) produce art and write and put it out there in a world full of "shit-brained adolescents?"

I want to write about real stuff - about abuse that I went through, about pain, about life and overcoming the fucked-up baggage your parents saddle you with. But people/the internet scare me.

Hell, having my family potentially read this scares me. I want to hit the publish button on my site, but I'm kind of shitting my pants about it.

I KNOW you must have been through your fair share of trolls and naysayers (the swearing alone must have caused a lot of people to get their panties in a bunch), but you somehow dealt with - HOW THE FUCK DID YOU DO IT?

Thanks,
Jasmin

Sunday, March 25, 2018
E-mail from Mark Manson to me:

You get used to it. And you also have to remind yourself that reason you do this isn't for other people's reactions. It has to be for yourself first.

SPOILER ALERT: I guess the fact that you're here reading these words lets you know what I decided to do after I got that response.



Monday, June 17, 2019
Facebook conversation between myself and one of my friends:


4:40: This made me happy. I thought you'd like it too. A rare piece of good news.
Of course I haven't seen it headlined anywhere. 
5:24: That is lovely. I like that. (I wish I hadn’t read the comments but it is what it is).
Still awesome though.
5:26: Oh lol never read the comments on Twitter. That place is a toxic waste dump.
5:27: Is it an accurate reflection of the state of humanity?
5:28: It's the biggest open communication platform on the planet, and offers anonymity.
It reflects how little people care about others well being.
5:29: Well then I feel crazy for embarking on this project.
If no one gives a fuck, what’s the point?
5:30: To give people the tools, the hope, the ideas to make change in their own lives or others. If they possess the capability.
5:31: So I will do it. With the knowledge that I might get more followers twerking daily, but that’s not what I was put on this earth to do.
That was very well put by the way.
Thank you.
5:33: I can't speak for you, but I'm largely unsatisfied by the direction this world is turning.
I don't think you and/or I can fix it. But that's no reason to not even try.
Especially when we both feel satisfaction through reaching even one life at a time. Correct?
Also, it's stories like the one I just sent you which makes me feel like everyone has the capacity to be better. Most people just lack the tools and direction.
People may have inherently negative traits, but people also have the ability to feel and think abstractly. As well as communicate these things.
5:49: You know what I think?
I think we have a lot to learn from one another.
There’s a reason we met.
Your assessment is wise.
5:50: *a lot more to learn from each other.
5:50: And I want to believe it’s correct.
Because if you’re right then there’s hope.
And hope is everything.
5:50: Exactly.
It's interesting, because a lot of what I say is based off our interactions. Whether it be us talking in person, or me reading your writing, I've really shifted my thinking since we met in December.
Sometimes I feel like I force a bit of naivety as well though. But that's also my window to hope. And I'm really tired of feeling hopeless the way I have for the first 27.5 years of my life.
5:57: Hmm.
I like that.
The naïveté.
I’m like that too sometimes.
My Bambi moments.
But it’s good because it means we have hope!!
And I’m happy to know my words have changed your thinking in a positive way.
6:00: I wouldn't be so gung-ho about promoting your message if that message didn't have a positive effect on myself.
6:01: I’m trying to wrap my head around people believing in me and what I do. Working on it...!
6:01: I mentioned to you that my worst feeling is thinking that someone feels similar to me at my worst times. You've equipped me with some ways of thinking which help me rationalize how the world works around me.
Things that may or may not be in my control, and how to navigate.
Respect for myself and what I feel.
6:02: Absolutely. Always.
6:02: Is this not your intended message for people?
Or is it just a great by-product?
6:03: Haha.
I guess I don’t articulate it like that.
I just show up and say stuff. I’m not good at distilling what it is I do.
6:04: Which is another great part about it. You give people the tools to deal with their own lives. You don't do it for them.
6:05: Also this conversation is making me happy. My return to work left me feeling raw and I cried at the grocery store. This is better now. Thanks.
I can only give tools - "Here’s the toilet paper, wipe your own ass."
6:06: There's work to be done after you give the tools. And that work is the real value to getting in touch with yourself.
Exactly.
You're the toilet paper lady.
And that's ok that you don't "articulate" it like that.
Gives me something to do, right? Communicate.
And yeah, trust me I know that crying in the grocery store feeling. Exactly how I felt today.
6:12: Hahahahaha.
I’m not sure 'toilet paper lady' is what I want to be known as.
I’m sorry we both felt like crying.
I’m glad we’re talking now and feeling better. I’m assuming you’re better?
You know that as soon as I start making money, I’m hiring you right?
I mean officially.
Right now we’re both pro bono.
Working for hope.
6:16: And that's all the currency we need in order to search for our place. Away from the bullshit and into real meaning.



Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
- Søren Kierkegaard

I talked to Mr. Gold the week I was on stress leave. It was the longest phone conversation we've ever had; we spoke for over an hour and a half. (I'd like to think it's because it was the most authentic conversation we've ever had.) 

I was sitting outside in the sun on a bench after a workout at the gym. He was sitting in his office in New York.

He was asking me about my plans after leaving my CPE. I've been skirting the issue, and have been deliberately vague with him. I am reluctant to say to anyone:
I will dedicate myself to writing and speaking in order to lay down my weapons in my fight against Resistance, and finally step into my purpose fully so that I can heal myself from the pain of my past and in doing so, perhaps help others heal themselves as well.
It's kind of a mouthful ya know?

And right now my plan around my purpose is like a little baby chick that's just hatched out of its shell. It needs warmth and nurturing, and not the cold blast of air that most people deliver when they tell me to be "realistic." (Listen, the fact that I'm a visionary and you're not is not my problem.)

I actually said to him "I'm reluctant to tell you because I'm worried that you will judge me and I think so highly of you that I couldn't handle your disapproval."

He said: "I only listen, and I never offer advice."

And that's exactly what he did. That opened the door to an authentic conversation. Me being me allowed him to be him. (Ok, I know this is crazy, but stay with me here: I was completely honest about my feelings, and then we had a completely honest conversation. Like whoa right? That's just crazy!! I mean who would think that raw honesty would lead to authentic communication?! MIND = BLOWN.)

INSTRUCTIONAL TANGENT
When we are completely honest with someone, one of two important things happens:
  1. The doorway to a deeper and more authentic connection with that person is flung wide open. From a space where both people have the room to be fully themselves, grows the warmth and acceptance that solid bonds are made of.
  2. The doorway to a deeper and more authentic connection with that person is slammed shut - because THEY are not at a point in their lives where they are ready to accept and give that level of openness (It's not you, it's them.)
Authenticity is a litmus test.
Mr. Gold is fucking smart. I mean there's no other way to put it, he's brilliant. But he's also incredibly down to earth, and very funny. (I can't handle intellectual types who lack personality because of how cerebral they are.)

Him and I, we're actually a lot alike in that, despite our intellects, we don't take ourselves too seriously and we laugh at ourselves often. We both had humble beginnings, and difficult childhoods, and we both beat the odds that life had set against us. The conversation we had that day was one where we each revealed a deeper layer of ourselves, and it changed our friendship for the better. Funny eh, that whole being vulnerable thing? (Maybe that Brene Brown lady does know what she's talking about...)

During our conversation, Mr. Gold introduced me to the ideas of Kierkegaard, Sartre, and existentialism in general; I realized that he has a lot to teach me. We'd never talked about any of these things before because I had never felt comfortable sharing all of myself before. But in the past year, as I've come to accept myself fully, and have stepped into my own skin, I've found it easier and easier to share the real me with other people. And that "realness" is coming right back with more authentic connections in my life. Both in the way of new connections (Justus, Mr. New York), and old connections becoming deeper (Mr. Gold.)

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
- Søren Kierkegaard



Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask?

Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked?

Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this?

Or are you not terrified by it?

I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others that at last their true nature could not reveal itself...

In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself.

But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.

- Søren Kierkegaard



Thursday, June 13, 2019
E-mail from me to Mr. Gold:

I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion yesterday Mr. Gold. I looked up Kierkegaard and found this lovely list of quotes: Søren Kierkegaard.

The public library also has some of his books so I will be perusing his work in the very near future.

Thank you for pointing me in this direction.
Jasmin

What labels me, negates me.
- Søren Kierkegaard

Friday, June 14, 2019
E-mail from Mr. Gold to me:

Interesting don't you think?

Thank you so much for the quotes. A great thinker. He led a humble life as a pastor... quite poor and isolated. So you wonder how he came up with such thoughts. 

I knew you'd like him. 

Good weekend.
Mr. Gold

I stick my finger into existence and it smells of nothing.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Saturday, June 15, 2019
E-mail from me to Mr. Gold:

People who come up with such profound truths are born knowing them. The environment sometimes has absolutely nothing to do with the level of ideas that a person is capable of producing. It's the idea of causation versus correlation. Although an environment of poverty is related to lack of education, it does not cause stupidity.

Therefore Kierkegaard being a poor pastor has either nothing to do with the level of thoughts he created, or has everything to do with it because it is only in the presence of that which we are not that we can truly know that which we are.

His humble life might be the very reason he was able to articulate his ideas in such a way because a life of excess does not generally lead to introspection. The contrast of his thoughts to his environment would have been exactly the thing which allowed him to be who he was, and to produce the works he did.

Also, an intelligent mind finds ways to educate itself, regardless of circumstances.

My thoughts in regards to your comment that you"wonder how he came up with such thoughts" (because he was a poor pastor). I actually don't.

Have a lovely weekend.
Jasmin

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
- Søren Kierkegaard

Monday, June 17, 2019
E-mail from Mr. Gold to me:

Well Jasmin, that’s a lot to take in first thing in the morning.

You know a lot of philosophers have that view. The term is Innatism; it’s a doctrine that states that the mind is born with ideas and knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not the Tabula rasa or blank slate that some people like John Locke think.

Innatism states that not all knowledge is gained from experience and the senses. You’re in good company as both Plato and Descartes laid out the tenets of Innatism and developed the view that that the mind is already born with ideas, knowledge, and beliefs.

They said that although experiences are the key to unlocking this knowledge they are not the source of the knowledge itself. Essentially, no knowledge is derived exclusively from one's experiences.

So aren’t you the clever one to come up with thinking similar to the great Descartes?

You certainly don’t need me to be proud of you…but I am.

Cheers.
Mr. Gold

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
- Søren Kierkegaard

Monday, June 17, 2019
E-mail from me to Mr. Gold:

Perhaps I don't need you to be proud of me, but I like that you are. I value your opinion - and your mind - greatly, so this makes a difference to me.

Tabula rasa is lovely idea, and it's one many people want to believe because they need to. Because if it were true, it would mean that when a child is born, he has the potential to truly be anything, and that what shapes a person's mind and life is as simple as nature versus nurture. You simply need good clay (nature) and a good kiln (nurture) and you can create anything you want. It's a nice idea, it's a comfortable idea. It's an idea people like because it implies a certain degree of control and people like to think that they are in charge.

But what about where the clay came from? All the various aspects that make-up the recipe for that particular little ball of mud? The essence of the clay. All matter is energy, and therefore I believe that although matter can be duplicated, energy cannot. (I could be wrong about this, but it's my theory and I'm sticking to it until I find evidence to the contrary - I'm basing my theory on cloning by the way - we can clone a sheep but it won't behave the same way as it's source - why? The matter has been duplicated exactly, so what is the missing element?)

If this is true, then the degree to which nature and nurture can affect a human life is not as much as we would like to give it credit for. Think of all the perfectly ordinary families that some serial killers grew up in. That's not Tabula rasa, that's something else. (Now is that a psychic problem or a spiritual problem as in "There was something written on the chalkboard before it got here"? An interesting point to ponder, and I often do.)

Who we are is what we were - energetically speaking. And now we could head into a discussion about spirituality and what really happens to us when we die, but it is Monday. ;) Let's save that for another day.

Anyhow, all that to say, thanks. Let's have many more conversations like this, if you like that is. I shall quote you in an upcoming piece of writing re: Innatism and I will send it to you when I do.

I'm so glad we are friends Mr. Gold. One of the best things that has come from my time at my CPE is meeting you.

Jasmin

Only the noble of heart are called to difficulty.
- Søren Kierkegaard

Monday, June 17, 2019
E-mail from Mr. Gold to me:

Enjoyed your email. 

And yes Tabula rasa is a hollow notion. 

And yes we should have more conversations of this sort. But as you say it’s Monday…save for another day. Duty calls…

I value your friendship also.

Cheers.
Mr. Gold

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.
- Soren Kierkegaard



Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher...

Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North—meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing.


We can use this. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others.

Rule of thumb: the more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art



Your purpose is not something you find; it's something you uncover because it's already there inside of you right now.

The very idea of "finding our purpose" is a backwards notion because it implies that our purpose is lost. We think it's about going out there to find some thing, when really it's about peeling back the layers of garbage that the world has incited us to put over our purpose so that it can finally be free.

So that we can finally be free.



Something is happening to me.

Something has changed. I have shifted.

It's as though a lifetime of pain, struggle, confusion, and heartache all came to crescendo and suddenly there is silence.

Stillness.

Peace in my soul.

I hear the whispers: "It is time Jasmin. Now Jasmin. NOW."



We each see signs in our lives everyday. The only reasons we miss the signs that are all around ALL OF US every day, is:
  1. We are not ready to receive the messages they are trying to tell us.
  2. We dismiss them as coincidence.
I've been seeing many, many signs recently, pointing me in the direction of my purpose. So many in fact that I almost feel like saying "All right already! I'm going, I'm doing the thing." Almost. But the truth is that I like seeing the signs around me because they help keep me inspired and on the right path. (In this case, "right" being defined as the path to purpose.)

Recently, I've changed my Instagram feed. Followed those who were posting joy and inspiration, and unfollowed those who weren't.

Because of this (?), I regularly get ads about astrology and numerology readings. (If Instagram starts sending me advertisements for crystals, singing bowls, or chakra "cleanings" I will write a complaint letter. I don't understand why esoteric or generally inspirational thinking has to imply that I huff incense all day.)

After enough advertisements had popped up about Numerology, I decided to do a little Googling. I had had a reading done about 15 years ago and still had the full write-up handy, but wanted to see what the Interwebs had to add.

I'm a 22/4.

I know nothing about Numerology, but I remember when I had the reading done back then that the Numerologists seemed to think this was a big deal.

I thought it was neat, but I kind of dismissed it at the time. See points 1 & 2 above; I definitely wasn't ready to receive those messages. (Also, she was an incense-huffing hippie, which at the time I felt pretty weary about.)

I skimmed a few write-ups, and it made me feel as though I'd been hit by freight-train going 100-miles an hour. (So, like, really HARD.) What I read felt as though it had been written by my own soul. Only it hadn't. But it could have been.

SIGNS. Signs are everywhere.

Fifteen years ago, I couldn't hear the words that the numerologist spoke. I wasn't ready. The fact that I can hear the words now tells me that I am.

It's purpose time.

I have pasted excerpts below as evidence of the signs I've been receiving about following my purpose. (What are the signs you've been receiving? I promise you if you look up, you will see that you've been receiving signs too.)

Your Numerology Chart: Life Path 22 (Master Number) - The Manifester

If you were born into this numbers vibration, your life is a spiritual journey. Your mission is to be an inspirational presence in people’s lives and affect true and lasting change for the collective. Specifically, you’re here to change how people act and embody their purpose in the world.

The Number 22 holds a powerful and capable energy. You’re exceptionally practical and insightful when it comes to creating and improving the systems and structures that make up our human societies. Your skills, coupled with your communicative abilities mean that you have the power to make great shakes in the world.

This Life Path Number can (though not always) have a rocky start to life. Maybe family life was tough for you, or you were oppressed or treated without a great deal of love or understanding growing up. It’s important for all Master Numbers (11, 22 and 33) to understand that any hardship you go through is your training ground for mastery. Without these challenges, there’s no way to develop the dynamism and strength you need to become the human healing presence you are now. It’s what the world most needs.

With such a hands-on approach to life and such a personable insight, this number is often called “the Master Teacher.” Your lessons, Master Number 22, become lessons learned by us all because of the progress you are able – and destined – to make in this lifetime. Lead by example. And make your example worth following.

It’s normal for Master Numbers not to blossom into their higher expressions until the second half of life. For the Master 22, it’s likely that in the first stages of life, you learn to stay safe within the realms of the Number 4, in survival mode, earning money and building a safe foundation and a cozy home and career. This isn’t bad – your Numerology has laid out the blueprint for your expansion and illumination and first you must gather knowledge, experience, and self-trust. So don’t rush yourself through this time of duality. You will achieve your practical (and spiritual) goals when the time comes.

Many people desire to have Master Numbers in their charts, believing them to be special, but they are hard, hard work. Your challenges may feel like they’re going to break you. The internal conflict of the 22 and the 4 is not easy to live with, and the whole spectrum of emotional disorders may touch you, but you must carry on believing that you were born for this.

LEARNING TO BALANCE THE PRACTICAL WITH THE VISIONARY IS WHAT WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME YOUR GIFT TO OTHERS.

Many Master 22s do give up on their highest potential and settle for second best in their lives. Self-destruction and sabotage are a very real risk because unless Master 22s work hard on their time and energy management, they can easily fall down in life, and not get back up. Every experience holds meaning for your life, whether you push for the very top or not. But those Number 22s that do give up too soon are often the ones who feel most regret.

Master Numerology Number 22 – Traits and Life Purpose

Numerology number 22 is... the strongest of all the numerology numbers – kind of like if you took Superman and Wonder Woman and morphed them into one.

The billion dollar question for most of us is: Why am I here? What’s my purpose? For those with the numerology number 22, the answer is easy: 22’s are here to uplift humankind by spreading the Divine’s plan that love is the root of all.

It takes an old soul – a person with great character and some spiritual “experience” to be a 22. We’re talking about Dalai Lama’ish character (he’s a numerology number 22, BTW).

Why is the Number 22 so powerful?
Double 11— The Master number 22 is like Master number 11 times two (11 x 2 = 22). But unlike Master number 11, whose energy focuses on self as well as others, the life path of a 22 is ALL about serving others.

Life Path and Selflessness
Sometimes, you may even feel “homesick.” As a child, you may have felt out of place or wondered why things felt so strange to you. You may have felt like you didn’t fit in anywhere.

This is because, on the soul level, you deeply understand the Grand Design and are here to bring joy and success to others’ lives by demonstrating living a truly spiritual life.

You are here to better humanity by being an inspiration to others.

Working with the energy of the numerology number 22 isn’t for the faint-hearted. There’s a lot of negativity in this world, so what you have signed up to do takes a great deal of strength.

Old Souls
Most 22’s have “experience”. They have lived many lifetimes and developed a strong spiritual foundation and understanding. But it can still take a while for those with Master number 22 to settle into the earthly “vibe” and acclimate to being in a body. Coming into your full spiritual awareness and finding your way takes time. You don’t walk around as a little baby guru. You still have to go through potty training and the pimply-faced teenage years, unfortunately.

Wisdom
Let’s not mince words. You have a lot of wisdom and people are attracted to that. There’s just “something” about you. You have the ability to take complicated spiritual concepts and make them easy-peasy for others to understand. When you teach others how to apply love and spiritual principles into their daily lives, you are fulfilling your soul’s purpose.

Living Up to Your Potential
Numerology number 22 is the Master Builder—the builder of the bridge between the Divine and humankind.  Your life purpose is to assist mankind in spiritual transformation. You yourself are this bridge. You bring healing, peace and higher vibrations to the earth.

LIFE PATH #22

Anyone possessing this lifepath number has a date with destiny.

The Lesson:
The lifepath 22 must learn to live up to her potential... Learning to harness the great power to accomplish great things will not come to the 22 in her early years. After maturity will come better understanding and she will be a wonder to see in all her endeavors. Learning how to harness this great potential and use it constructively for the betterment of those around her or the world in general will be the lesson for this lifetime.

Challenges Learning this Lesson:
Occasionally a negative 22 will be overwhelmed by this powerful force and try to retreat from it which she must not do as the world needs her and it will result in another wasted life span.




If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin. Even though the result may gladden the whole world, that cannot help the hero; for he knows the result only when the whole thing is over, and that is not how he became a hero, but by virtue of the fact that he began.
- Søren Kierkegaard

As recently as a  few months ago, I wouldn't have been able to share these excerpts; to own them and to say "Yes, this is me. This is my purpose. This is why I am here. I know this for certain."

I've felt all of the above all of my life and the times I've felt the unhappiest, and most depressed, was when I didn't believe in my soul's calling. I believed it when others told me I was delusional, crazy, and so I wanted to die, tried to die.
When we deny our purpose, we deny our souls, because true purpose comes from the divine within us.
These words above are here to give me strength. They are my anchor. When the going gets tough, and I'm certain it will, I will come back here, to these words, this blog post, and to my commitment to my life's calling.

A few months ago, I wouldn't have been able to own these words or their weight and meaning because I would have felt as though it was conceit in its highest form.

But I ask you this: Is it conceit to step into the greatness of our being?

And are those who make us feel bad for doing so, are they simply cowering from their own greatness and therefore offended by our daring because it highlights their own cowardice?

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.
- Soren Kierkegaard

I do not know about those people; the timid souls who would throw rocks at those who dare to shine.

All I know is this: I chose to come here. I chose to come do this work.

To not step into my greatness, to dim my light for the comfort of others, well that is not an option. It would "result in another wasted lifespan."

There is no other path for me but this one.

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
- Søren Kierkegaard



Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. 

This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance.


This second, we can sit down and do our work.
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art



What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act. What matters is to find a purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I shall do; the crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.
- Soren Kierkegaard 

God, I believe I am ready now to step into the calling you have laid out for me. I don't know what it's supposed to look like. All I know for sure is that love, authenticity and words are the doorway.

My business: I will show up, and I will be heard.

Your business: everything else.

It is very important in life to know when your cue comes.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Now is the time. This is my cue. I am done RESISTING.

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