Going Deep

“It’s easier to ride a horse in the direction that it’s going. And if the horse is dead, get off.” When you can’t get the results you need, what do you do? When you wake up tired, again, because your work no longer brings you joy, what do you do?

When nothing is working, it’s time to go deep.

But going deep is not easy.

1. It takes time, and when everything is crumbling, your psyche insists loudly that you have to DO SOMETHING to GET RESULTS NOW! You DON’T HAVE TIME to go deep! Only when you can get beyond frantic, can you start accepting what is. Only then, can you start being open to other creative possibilities.

2. It takes courage and is painful, because you have to let go:

· Let go of the Bright Shiny Objects that seemed so attractive, but which no longer satisfy.

· Let go of the structure and the rhythm of your life, and be willing to live in chaos for a while.

· Let go of an identity – be willing to be seen as a person in transition.

· Even more difficult, let go of the dreams you have created. (But there will be others to take their place.)

Going deep requires asking the question “What is the purpose of my life?” Frederick Buechner says that your purpose in life is where your deepest gladness meets the world’s greatest need. And since the world has great needs is so many areas, your purpose is doing whatever brings you great joy. Doing what you instinctively default to doing. Many times, people can’t even see it because it is so much a part of them, they think everyone has that gift, that talent, that they have.

Here are 3 ways to start to clarify your purpose.

1. Ask your closest colleagues, friends and family who they see – what are your greatest strengths.

2. Go on a retreat – go to a quiet place, take nothing but a journal, turn off all connections to the outside word, and sit in silence and let your inner wisdom speak. A retreat master or spiritual director could help you with the process, or you can do it alone.

3. Use a Clearness Committee. This is a quiet, powerful process that provides questions which can help you discern where to go next. You can learn more about Clearness Committees at http://www.couragerenewal.org/clearnesscommittee/, or in chapter 8 of Parker Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak.

I have experienced each of these processes multiple times and would be honored to answer any questions you may have, to help you decide what to do next, if anything. Please feel free to call me / text me: 971-221-8155, or contact me via the feedback page on this website.

Gary Langenwalter

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