I have always loved the question, and ask it a lot both of myself and of others: “Why Are You Here?” Recently I have come to a further understanding of how this is a potentially inspiring ‘better endings’ prompt as a journaling or contemplation seed.
“Why are you here?” carries the double entendre of referring either to the immediate moment or to the ultimate question of what your life purpose is, or your sense of mission.
Why are you here?
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Either side of this double-faceted query is worth pondering, and it can be illuminating to observe as well how they might converge!
Recently I have accepted a part-time job working at an academic publishing company in my local home community. It has been quite an adjustment to be working four days a week (plus continuing online teaching mainly in the evenings for now), around 24 hours per week, after having settled into a rather comfortable semi-retirement lifestyle with a lot of daily flexibility. So, I ask myself, “Why am I here? (at the new job), from both an immediate and a more ultimate spiritual perspective.
Okay, so I am certainly on a learning curve at the new job, learning about the inner workings of a publishing business. I find myself in a service role there, aiming to help not only by doing the cataloguing work I am assigned to but also helping implement ideas to help the business grow there despite the transition from print to ebooks in the publishing world. While I also am earning some additional income toward my later years savings goals, the work is fulfilling as a growth opportunity. It requires me to draw on inner creative resources as well as to engage in positive co-workership with the small team that runs the daily operations of the Press.
Knowing how an experience such as a job carries value and contributes to my ultimate spiritual and social goals helps me to frame how this experience can be best integrated into the rest of my life. I do not want to allow this part-time job to prevent me from continuing with teaching—which I find ultimately fulfilling in itself—or to limit my own writing, creative, and spiritual practice activities, or to limit my time with my pets and family and friends! So, I need to monitor how things are going. I do not want to fit myself to the new job but rather intend to integrate the job into my deeper life as a whole.
Better Endings Story Seed:
Why Are You Here?
Ask yourself this question at two different levels: Why are you Here? in your job, social life or location; and WHY ARE YOU HERE? in terms of your spiritual or whole-life goals? Contemplate and/or discuss and journal about this question. I suggest it will take several passes at contemplation and journaling to really sort this out, but as it is a question of defining your life purpose or mission and how your life relates to those, it may be quite worth your while!