“If you are able to stay alert and present at that time (that the pain-body awakens) and watch whatever you feel within, rather than be taken over by it, it affords an opportunity for the most powerful spiritual practice, and a rapid transmutation of all past pain becomes possible.”
Eckhart Tolle — The Power of Now
As I was rereading Eckhart Tolle’s insightful book, The Power of Now, this week I came across the above quote, and knew I had to share it with this community of purposeful people. For me, it’s really at the crux of the work that transforms people’s lives. It’s also why in the Life On Purpose Process, one of the major steps that precedes clarifying your life purpose is to unmask or uncover your Inherited Purpose, which I believe is analogous to the ‘pain-body’ that Tolle is referring to.
Otherwise, it’s simply too hard to really get to the essence of who you are and why you came to planet earth – i.e. your life purpose. But, as Tolle also points out, this process of witnessing the pain-body/Inherited Purpose is often a major challenge.
Tolle goes on to write: “This is not to deny that you may encounter intense inner resistance to disidentifying from your pain. This will be the case particularly if you have lived closely identified with your emotional pain-body for most of your life and the whole or a large part of your sense of self is invested in it. What this means is that you have made an unhappy self out of your pain-body and believe that this mind-made fiction is who you are. In this case, unconscious fear of losing your identity will create strong resistance to any disidentification.”
Take a moment and consider this. Who do you know that you would say has misidentified themselves as their pain, or who has unconsciously created an image of who they consider themselves to be that’s based in fear, lack and struggle? I know as I look around the room the one person that I see who has done that is ME, and as far as I can tell in the over 16 years of working as a coach, so has everyone else. Now, granted some have invested more effort into creating this case of ‘mistaken identity’ than others, but we all have done it. It seems inherent in the nature of being human. But as Tolle points out in “The Power of Now” and I’m here to emphasize, none of us are stuck with that old, fear-based identity. And Tolle points to one very simple and effective step towards freedom from the ‘mind-made’ Inherited Purpose. Whenever you find yourself in some kind of emotional pain, step aside. Step into the witness position and observe the pain. Don’t try to avoid it, nor overcome it for ‘what you resist will only persist’ but step aside and watch it, and in the process you’ll begin to realize that while you have a mind and that mind at times will spin off thoughts which will lead your body to react with a painful emotion, you are not that mind nor that body.
And in that moment of realizing you have a mind and body, you will free yourself from being had by the mind and body. And that’s a major step towards living your life on purpose.
©2005 Brad Swift of Life On Purpose Institute, Inc.
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