What do your roots look like?
I've always been fascinated by plant roots. Some are white, some are brown; some are thin, some are thick; some grow down, some grow sideways...yet they're all aiming for 3 things: nourishment, stability, and growth.
The visible part of a plant, the part above the surface, usually gives a good indication of the condition and characteristics of its roots.
Our roots make us who we are. They also give us clues about our greatest potential in life. And what's really neat is that if you've had a difficult life, or your parents had difficult lives, or your grandparents had difficult lives, this means that you have the possibility of overcoming major hurdles to create a most magnificent life for yourself! I have a friend who once told me, "The greater the life challenges, the greater the potential for success." So true!
You need to examine your roots, especially your childhood, and the childhoods of your parents and grandparents, to get the clues you need in order to identify your precise life purpose. Who were these people? What were their challenges? What were their successes? What made them unique?
Use your understanding of your roots to create your dream life. When you're clear on where you come from, it's much easier to know where you need to go. Take a look back and get on the path to your purpose!
Living your purpose means living in peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
Rachel age 5, back row, 3rd from left
Your unique life purpose was revealed to you at a young age.
Think back in time...what were the significant events in your life? How were you different from others? What was your family like?
It's the things that have made you different from others that give you clues as to your ultimate purpose in life.
While we are really all very similar, there are aspects of us that are 100% unique to us. Look at your history and you'll see that there are so many things about you that no one else in the universe shares. That's the great thing...that means that no one else has the same exact life purpose as YOU!
Part of our purpose is to experience the abundance of life. There is enough of everything in the universe to go around to everyone: money, health, happiness....these aren't just reserved for a few special, lucky people. We live in an abundant universe, and the universe wants you to experience the best that life has to offer.
The challenge is that most people don't believe this! And what we believe becomes our reality. You may choose to believe in the potential for a rich life - "rich" meaning an abundance of good things - or you may choose to believe that having what you want is never going to be possible. The choice is yours.
But I'll tell you this: once you have thoroughly examined your set of life experiences, and once you have identified your life purpose and begin acting on it, you will understand why everything you need and want will always be provided for you if you stay on the right path.
It all begins with some travel through time, gently revisiting your past, understanding your roots, and seeing the truth of who you are and why you are here. And the more you live your purpose, the more you will find peace.
-- Rachel Naddor
Rachel Naddor age 11
When I was a kid, I was taught that what you do is who you are. Your grades, your school, your major, your degree, your employer, your profession...those were the things that defined you...those things were more important than anything else.
And that's what many people around the world have believed, too.
But holding that type of belief is no way to live. It can almost feel like being locked up in prison. To be who you are means to live freely, to follow your heart, to listen to your intuition. It is your intuition that truly knows what's best for you.
The way you think, the way you communicate, the way you behave, and things you do are all essential ingredients to living your ultimate purpose, which is your ultimate life. Knowing "how to be" so that you feel peaceful, and knowing "what to do" so that you feel peaceful, both have to be worked on at the same time.
What are the thoughts that are holding you back from living your ultimate life, which is your purpose?
"Free your mind, and the rest will follow...." These aren't just En Vogue song lyrics, this is the truth about getting onto the path to your purpose.
-- Rachel Naddor
Graduation day at Duke University 1988
A few weeks before I graduated with my civil engineering degree from Duke University, I admitted to one of my professors that what I really wanted to do was own a flower shop. I wanted to be a florist, not an engineer.
Professor Biswas responded to me, "Rachel, if that's what you really want to do, DO IT NOW!"
Did I listen to him? NO!
But thankfully I didn't wait too long. 2 years later, I quit my stable, lucrative job as an environmental engineer with Exxon, and immediately took a job that paid $5 an hour as a cashier at a local plant nursery as my next step. I ran the register, I swept the floors, and my boss was a girl who hadn't finished high school. I had some savings and I had a plan.
That is called being on the path to your purpose. Owning a flower shop wasn't my ultimate purpose, not even close to it, but working at that plant nursery was the next stepping stone. Boy, they even sold stepping stones there!
So how about you? Did you ever really want to be or do something but the world around you gave you a million reasons why it was a bad idea?
If there's something you really want to do, DO IT NOW! Don't let your life slip by. Find your courage and take that next step on the path to your purpose.
Abraham Lincoln in contemplation
I've learned something from everyone I've ever met. But here are a few of the historical figures whom I consider to be my heroes:
- Abraham Lincoln - The Dalai Lama
- Dale Carnegie - Henry David Thoreau
- Frédéric Bastiat - Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Martin Luther King - Mahatma Gandhi
What makes these men my heroes? Abraham Lincoln suffered from a nervous condition, yet he overcame the inner discomfort consistently to rise above his condition and serve as one of the greatest leaders of all time. Dale Carnegie, the self-improvement master, taught that to conquer fear we must do what we're afraid to do over and over again. Frédéric Bastiat, the French theorist and political economist, understood the cost of pursuing high ideals, and he spoke his mind with every breath in his lungs. Martin Luther King saw only the insides of people, and he wanted his followers to look deeper into those who surrounded them. The Dalai Lama spends hours a day in meditation and contemplation; without taking quiet time to still the mind and examine life, we cannot make real progress. Henry David Thoreau found immense pleasure in a simple life and in the small things, like savoring each morsel of food and just being alone. Ralph Waldo Emerson understood faith: when we trust our Creator, we can rest assured that all is well. And Mahatma Gandhi instilled that we must always "be the change" and lead by our own example. When we practice what we preach, others will see the value in our words.
These are all steps towards peace.
What have you learned from your top 8 heroes? How are you implementing those lessons? When we change our daily actions to reflect the greatest lessons we've learned, we grow into the person we want so desperately to become.
Spreading a message of peace
Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, stated: ''Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualization.''
What this means to me is that if I want to be at peace with myself, I have to "be all that I can be." I must be using all of my gifts...not just a few of them, and not just once in a while. I began developing my gifts as a child having to overcome obstacles, and these gifts include an ability to connect soul-to-soul with anyone, an intuitive understanding of the roots of people's challenges, an ability to help others find peace by improving their relationships with themselves and others, a willingness to adapt to new cultures and ways of thinking, an ability to learn languages quickly with minimal accent, as well as a knowledge of how to combine the worlds of science, psychology, spirituality, transcendentalism, metaphysics, and mysticism to create a better life. These are the gifts that make me the unique life purpose coach and speaker that I am.
The same is true for you: you must be aware of each one of your gifts and you must be applying each one of them to the best of your ability, working towards the biggest scale possible. That is what self-actualization is all about. Through a step-by-step process, you must get each of your needs met (financial, social, health, etc.), and at the same time you must take action towards being of service to the world in the way that only you can do. There are people who need you, they are waiting for you, because you are the only person who can help them in your own, special way, with your special gifts which you've accumulated your entire life.
So back to the question: What must you be?
I began searching for peace when I was 5 years old. Since then, I've spent the past 40 years overcoming obstacle after obstacle, one after the other, finding new tools to handle every situation that comes my way. My toolbox is extremely heavy today and I want to share what I've learned! Please share your thoughts and tools for creating inner peace, so that the whole world can learn from you as well as from me. There is so much to learn from each other!