I asked my yoga students that question tonight during Savasana (corpse pose), in which I encourage them to practice dying, or—in more acceptable terms in our death-phobic society—"releasing the physical self."
I sensed a silent "hrrrrr?" from many in the room (refer to photo).
I remember when I first got asked that question a few years ago. I did the same thing. My answer was something like, "Uh, because I was born?" Unfortunately, I was already 42 at the time. So according to my genes, I'm already almost halfway done (although I have a plan for that).
Talk about a sense of urgency! Besides, what's that great Jack Nicholson line in A Few Good Men? "You can't HANDLE the truth!" That was me. I so wasn't ready to hear what I was supposed to do, and I wouldn't have believed it then anyway.
So, in case you don't already know, I'd like to ask you the same question, because the clock's ticking on this lifetime:
Why are you here?
You came here to do something. What is it? Are you doing it? Are you awake?
Get really quiet and tune into your heart space. Then ask. Your heart is way smarter than your mind in these things, although they're meant to work together as twin, razor-sharp blades that cut away ignorance of all kinds.
Here's a hint: it's the thing that lights you up like frickin' Fourth of July. It's what makes you feel expansive, joyful, and powerful. It's what makes YOU bad-ass. (Yes, you.)
Still don't have it yet? Nothing in your life like that? Start paying closer attention. Every soul, including yours, has a mission. Depressed? Angry? You're soul's waiting on you to let it loose to work its magic.
Once you get the answer (and you'll know it's the truth because you'll feel happy and probably scared because you've dared, you rebel, to name your heart's desire), start taking a step everyday to make it your reality.
Here's a practical example. Say you're currently a fry chef at McStarPanera, Inc. But you realize the reason you're here on this glorious planet at this extremely auspicious time is because you have an incredible connection with our animal brethren. You can communicate with them and they with you. You cry and laugh when they tell you their stories. They listen when you tell yours. You know what animals need and can help their human guardians understand how to take good care of them. You're an inter-species translator!
So you continue to work at McStarPanera for right now—unless you're like me and you just quit everything you were doing and live down by the river until all the exploded pieces of your life fall back to earth in a new shape you like better. (Note: This approach is not recommended for its entertainment value.)
But the difference is, you're heart's now on fire with a mission! You start smiling at people, asking questions about their pets. Maybe you start up a few new friendships with fellow animal lovers and start a weekly meeting to discuss ways to make your special services available, because you know—deep down—that you're absolutely needed. One day a holistic vet comes in and you strike up a conversation....
Once you ask the question and allow yourself to hear it, your heart, assisted by your mind, will lead the way into a future that you could never have imagined was possible.
It all starts with a question: Why are you here?
"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." --Oscar Wilde
Much love to you.