Author Gordon in his book “The Turn of The Tide” tells the story of a time when his life was stale and flat. He came to the decision that he needed medical attention, and so he went to see his doctor.
The doctor, after examining Gordon said there was nothing physically wrong with him. The doctor then asked if he would you be willing to follow his instructions for one day. Gordon agreed. The doctor said okay, I would like you to visit a place in which you were happiest as a child. You can bring food, but you’re not to talk to anyone, or read, or write, or listen to the radio, be on your cellphone. He then wrote four prescriptions for Gordon to open one at nine, one at twelve, one at three, and one at six. “Are you serious?” Gordon asked. “You won’t think that I’m joking when you receive my bill,” said the doctor.
The next morning Gordon went to the beach. He opened the first prescription and read, listen carefully. He thought the doctor might be insane. How could he listen for three hours. But since he had agreed to follow the doctor’s orders he decided to listen. As he listened for a while he could hear the familiar sounds in the environment, and then as he listened more deeply he began to remember the lessons the sea had taught him as a child; respect, patience, and an awareness of interconnectedness of things.
He began to really listen to the sounds, the silence, and began to feel a growing peace within himself.
At noon he opened the second prescription, and read Try reaching back. Reaching back to what? he thought. Perhaps to childhood, memories of happy times, his past, moments of joy. He tried to think about his memories in great detail, and in the remembering, he found a growing warmth inside.
At three o’clock he opened the third prescription. It instructed him to examine his motives. As he did, he realized that his motives were mainly focussed on himself, self gratification and personal gain. As he thought more about this he realized that when you’re more concerned with helping others, you perform better. He reconsidered his motives and his service. He decided to be/do different. He learnt that when you hook what you’re doing on serving others, your whole life expands.
The final prescription was easy. It instructed him to write his worries in the sand. He picked up a broken shell and wrote a few words in the sand, knowing that the tide will soon wash them away.
Regardless of how difficult your life is, or seem to be, the practice of giving of your time, talent, and material resources to others will change your perspective and your experience.
For everyone, there comes a time when life feels stale; and we begin to ask; “Is this all there is to my life?”
You may have acquired the material things that you desired.
You may have worked really hard, and ‘pulled yourself up by your boot straps.’ and achieved the financial freedom that many wish they could have.
You may have spent many years of your life building a successful career, yet you notice a feeling of discontent inside.
You have given significant service, that has improved the lives of many people.
You’ve raised a family, and your children are now creating their own lives. You are happy to see them moving out and doing well…yet within you there is a feeling of uneasiness, a diminishing joy, a desire for something more.
You may have followed the common societal rules for success:
Go to school and get a good education
Choose a career and work hard at it
Find a partner and establish a long term relationship
Be kind to others
Be a good person….
You have not gained the promised results, and it feels like life has been unfair. You know that you are capable of much more, and the feeling of discontent within you continues to build.
Life is seeking a fuller more expansive expression through you. Each of us on this planet is here for a purpose, and has a uniqueness to Be, Do, Have, and Give in our lifetime.
“What is that?” you ask. If you knew what it was, you would get on with it. Sometimes the answer emerges easily, and sometimes it takes crises in our lives to wake us up to the longing and discontent in our heart.
The prescription that Author Gordon describes, could give you a start to uncovering the desire that is deep within you, and is seeking expression by means of you.
Here I will summarize that prescription for you:
Spend a day in a place that you were happiest as a child… (if it’s not possible to go there physically, bring back vivid memories of the place, and hold that state of happiness). You may bring food and water along, but do not: speak to anyone, read, listen to or watch any media, entertainment or otherwise.
Spend a day alone and engage the sequence below:
Listen carefully for three hours – 9 a.m.
Try reaching back -12 p.m.
Examine your motives…your Why – 3 p.m.
Write your worries on the ground 6 p.m.
When Gordon got this instruction from the doctor it seemed trivial to him, but he had made a commitment, so he became curious and followed through.
Engage with an open mind, and see what emerges.
Feelings of longing and discontent are life’s whispers. Life is seeking to express itself through you in ever increasing, expanding, fulfilling ways and…
You have a beautiful dream.
My wish for you is that you uncover your dream, write your vision, and take inspired courageous action to live by design, the life that you truly love living.