By Shefa Ali
Ever heard the saying ‘Work is Worship?” One of my favourite spiritual teachers in India has another similar lovely, beautiful saying….”Your mind should always be with him and your hands should be doing his work.
A lot of people think that in order to be spiritual, or to ‘be with God,’ one must be sitting crossed legged in a lotus posture in the Himalayas or praying all day long. This is not the only way. There is a yogic concept known as Karma Yoga, its all about serving God by doing your duty.
If you’re an artist, you serve your community by creating beauty, if you’re a makeup artist, you serve others by making them feel good about their appearance. If you are a street sweeper you serve mother nature and the community you work in by giving them a clean environment to move about in.
The philosopher-poet Rumi said, “Each of us has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” Your aptitudes are the talents you were born with. They constitute your desire for a particular work and they shine a light on your purpose. Your ‘work’ could be paid or maybe unpaid. It’s just another word for purpose. Your work might involve raising your children and taking care of your household, maybe it’s corporate communications, or maybe it’s taking care of animals. Maybe it’s building websites or writing books. Maybe it’s taking care of a garden or understanding an ancient civilisation, or finding out if aliens exist, these are all valid purposes.
If any of these provide a service to others, call it a happy co-incidence. Wherever purpose goes, meaning wants to follow. Meaning answers the question, “Why do I do what I do?” It’s hard to answer that question without knowing what your ‘work’ is. Get clear on your purpose first. Even a purpose that seems selfish is valid if it’s based on your aptitudes. Get clear on your purpose first. Even a purpose that seems selfish is valid if it’s based on your aptitudes.
Don’t try to force purposeful work by insisting on a purpose that overtly serves others. What you’re here to do probably does serve others in some way and when the time is right you will figure it out, but in the mean time just get curious and try everything that excites you. One day when you least expect it, suddenly it will all fit into place.
* The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com
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