Stephen Cope, MSW, is Director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living and author of the highly acclaimed Yoga and the Quest for the True Self and The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living. His new book on dharma is just out with Bantam, and is receiving wide acclaim. It is titled, The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling.
September 11, 2012
Each of us is born with a unique gift—and a sacred duty to fulfill its promise. Here is a question I’d like you to ponder: Do you have a clear sense of your purpose in life?
I’m asking all of my friends this question these days—over quiet dinners at my house, or on long walks together in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts.
I guess I’m preoccupied with this question because I’m going through a phase—at midlife—of wondering about my own life.
I pose the question in a variety of ways. Perhaps I’ll ask: “What is it you are Up To—capital U, capital T?” Or, “Do you feel like an accidental tourist in your own life?” Or “Is your life driven by some intentionality—some deep meaning and purpose?”
And then, of course, the all-important follow-up question: “Do you think this purpose is being fulfilled?”
You’d be surprised at the answers I get. Many of us, it seems, are a little vague about what it is we are Up To. Or even utterly confused.