Living on Purpose

I can’t tell you how often I advise client to “get a life.”

When one of my clients wanted to get a job, almost everyone she asked told her “NO way. You’re in too much pain. Your body is a mess. You don’t have to work so DON’T do it.”

Mind you, this wasn’t just any job – this was her dream job, a chance to work at something she was absolutely passionate about. I understood what her friends were telling her – her body WAS a mess. But her body would be a mess whether she took this job or not.

What my client really wanted was not an excuse to avoid following her heart but permission to do so. I simply gave her that. She had nothing to lose and everything to gain so WHY NOT? If it proved too much she could always quit. But if she never took the risk, she’d never know what was possible.

Turns out she took the job. The decision to step outside herself proved to be the right one. Working at what she loved helped my client to not only rise above her aches and pains but to actually put many of them behind her. Working gave her a purpose. It also brought her joy. What more can any of us ask of life?

Moshe Feldenkrais often said that the purpose of his Method is to help people learn to live both their avowed and unavowed dreams. Having taken to heart the teachings of the master, I often advise clients to transcend their aches and pains and worries by finding a purpose that requires them to broaden their horizons and honor all that they are.

Now that advice has grown some teeth. According to the results of an in-depth study, people who have a purpose outside of themselves live more vitally and (and this is a big AND) are more likely to maintain their mental acuity even in the presence of the tradition plaques and other markers of dementia and Alzheimers.

Here’s the link to an article explaining the study and its results:

We all have something to offer the world. Ironically, when we offer ourselves freely it is we who benefit greatly. What will your gift be?

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