Friday, July 19, 2024

Meaning and purpose in our lives

In this fast-paced modern time of ‘living in the now’ where we are traveling many mental and possibly physical distances in a day, are we living in that flow of ‘now’ or on autopilot? 

We are being kept busy and when we are busy, we don’t have to think about anything. This can range from concerning ourselves about our futures and our pasts to what we are going to have to eat later—maybe we’ll get takeout to have while we sip our glass of wine and relax. 

At the workplace, we feel connected to something other than our home life—a work project where we do what we do autonomously while being socially connected and part of a team, providing us with purpose—this is what I do! 

If we have a family and a job, then we have more purpose and a fuller busier life. We assume we are fulfilling our purpose in life as it’s happening automatically for us.

Changing how we think

According to many spiritual texts and the enlightened, our main purpose in life—the reason why we are here is to know ourselves through self-enquiry—who am I? 

Added to this enquiry are self-improvement; self-fulfillment; self-love and self-care; mindful awareness and self-awareness, as there are now more new concepts, practices, and things available for us to be kept busy. Living in the ‘now’ is about living in awareness—conscious awareness. 

You can still get away with not having to think, which subconsciously, was what we were possibly looking for all along—once you master the art of ‘non-doing.’ This ‘non-doing’—is like throwing a curve ball at the mind, which is constantly thinking of things we have to do. ‘I think therefore I am’, right? 


That’s also changed, as now—according to a modern enlightened take—it’s ‘I am therefore I think’! Non-dual presence is the outcome of positioning yourself in non-doing, as non-doing allows us to access our inner wisdom which can point out any obstacles in our path.

There were pros and cons


During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics on mental health have become a primary concern in our societies due to cities, regional areas and countries being in lockdown. 

People lost businesses, and for some this meant their identities as well as what they consider as their life’s purpose. Others lost their houses, jobs, and social connections. Marriages and relationships fell apart due to financial insecurity as well as a lack of personal space. 

But there were benefits in having to self-isolate—you could stay at home without any pressures of time constraints or a negative work environment. Staying at home meant you could relax and potentially reconnect with and get to know yourself again in your own time—with government support to cover food, rent etc. 

However, some people lost a sense of purpose and direction in their lives as their goals and plans were put on hold indefinitely. 

The outlets

As a result, some were now taking on gardening, home fitness, yoga and meditation, and online shopping took hold of us. 

Whilst we were still keeping busy, our time was now being used in entertaining ourselves through online streaming and social media, but also in becoming physically fit, growing our food, and/or meditating—eventually encouraging a more balanced outlook. 

Others were consuming more alcohol than before, and some were becoming overweight through consuming less nutritional foods. 

Visiting your GP to talk about any mental health issues could and still can result in free access to ten visits per year to talk with a mental health professional.

Personal Insights

The pandemic lockdown was for some, the opportunity of getting to know and understand themselves in a meaningful but different light. 

Meditation is a tool used to help us focus more and train the mind to become less monkey mind, by helping us to realise that we can be more consciously aware without the distraction of our mind’s constant narrative. 

We can then change our perspective to an internal one—rather than applying our interpretation of the outside world. We become aware of effortless effort—being motivated or driven instead, as we begin to reside in the here-and-now—presence. 

We are now in the flow, living in the present moment—with everything taken care of in this aware presence.

Benefits and Outcomes

The world has changed rapidly during and post-pandemic, and as part of our social and work life worlds, we are now free of the mental concepts of people as sexist, ageist, racist etc as these are no longer tolerated in our society. 

The pandemic forced us to learn to live with ourselves and encouraged us to cultivate a personal space within in which we can regularly take shelter—our little bubble—from the outside world and any unwelcomed distractions, which has also rolled over into the workplace as respecting personal space. 

We have our inner sanctuary to reside in, and as many individuals are now aware of their focus and responsibility to their welfare, they are choosing to establish more meaningful ways of being and doing—fulfilling their potential.
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Cecily Bayly

Cecily Bayly

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