I have been seeking all my life. I have always had this sense of looking for my home, my refuge. It has not been through a sense of lack or need, but through a sense of destiny. I have spent many years on this journey and then a few years ago I found what I was seeking. I love the story of Santiago, in ‘The Alchemist’, who travels to find a treasure he dreams about. On the way he learns to listen to his heart and that his Personal Legend, his heart’s desire, is part of the Soul of the Universe.
Santiago is a shepherd, living in Spain, who seeks his treasure in Africa. On a caravan to Egypt Santiago learns about the Soul of the World, to which all are connected, and of the necessity of following his Personal Legend. He falls in love and he discovers that love comes directly from the Soul of the World. At the Pyramids he is attacked by robbers. Santiago tells them that he had a dream of a treasure buried at the base of the Pyramids. One replies that he has had the same dream, but in his the treasure was buried in Spain. Santiago realises that the treasure was back in Spain the entire time. He returns and digs a hole at the base of the tree where he had had his first dream. He finds a trunk full of gold.
This taught me that what I was seeking was in me all the time. The spiritual heart that I sought was already there. This was not so much a re-assuring discovery as one that finally made sense. Like Santiago this discovery was not revealed to me until I was ready to understand and accept it. I needed to take my journey to be able to appreciate the power of what was in me.
I was at a Tony Robbins event, Life Mastery, when I met one of his trainers, Connie Schottky. She said something to me in passing about looking forward to seeing me at another future event, Leadership Academy. Later I asked her what she meant by that. Instead of replying she directed me to a quotation in my manual. It was the famous quotation from Marianne Willamson’s book ‘Return to Love’.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I did fear my light and I realised that it was time to let my own light shine.
At the time I was President of the International Association of Lighting Designers. I had to make a speech at a conference about my tenure and what it had meant for me. In it I talked about the effect on my career in light and I talked about the importance of my inner light as well. It was a powerful moment for me as I united all aspects of my life and revealed what was truly important to me.
My continued spiritual development proved to me that I had found my buried treasure back home. It also showed me that I had touched the Soul of the World.
What did I really mean by this?
The Soul of the World represents spiritual unity. It creates a Personal Legend for everyone. To accomplish mine I must tap into the Soul of the World. According to this view I am part of a single spirit and everyone is interconnected. In finding my buried treasure back home I had discovered that I was part of this spiritual unity and as such I was the source of everything. In touching the Soul of the World I had become one with it.
This can all seem a bit esoteric, as it did to me for a time. Once I saw that these concepts are simply metaphors for something intangible I was able to see a lot deeper.
For me the Soul of the World represents what Deepak Chopra calls ‘the field of infinite possibilities’ or ‘pure potential’. It is the source of energy that my own soul came from and will return to. I tend to call it the Source or the Universe.
In simple terms I came to understand that my soul, or spiritual nature, is an offshoot of a universal source of spiritual energy. When the time came for me to be born into my physical body I connected with what my purpose was in doing this, by choosing the time, place and family of my birth. At the time of my birth I lost awareness of this purpose so that I could fully grow and integrate as a man. Inside though is a lingering memory of what I am here for.
My journey here on earth is to re-connect with that purpose and carry it out. I believe, though, that it is not necessary for me to consciously articulate what that purpose is, because it will naturally be underneath all that I do. This means that what I have been doing all along is intimately connected with my reason for being here.
That reason is my Personal Legend, using the language of The Alchemist. In writing this I am fulfilling my Legend. In working as a lighting designer I was fulfilling my legend. My return to myself was simply my realisation that I was already fulfilling my Legend. I no longer needed to seek not because I discovered what I was seeking but because I was there already.
In looking at my spiritual heart I want to focus on the importance of this understanding of my journey here on earth.
In my years of seeking I had a feeling that my life was about more than just living in the period from birth to death. Yes, I wanted to feel that I was important. Yes, I wanted to feel that I was not just a biological accident. However, it was deeper than that. There was that hint of something already there, something that came with me.
To connect with that deeper sense I needed to read the signs that were put in my path by Source. My initial task was to become aware of these signs, to see what was in front of me daily. It was then important for me to accept their existence and what they meant. Finally I needed to develop a way of living that was an authentic representation of what the signs intended.
The book, The Alchemist, was a sign. My meeting with Connie Schottky was a sign. My writing is my way of setting up signs for others to follow. My journey continues.
Image Credit: Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Creative Commons)