The Sacredness of Life as purpose

I’ve been deeply feeling into my life purpose lately (well, we all are, to varying degrees of awareness). Its been a slippery topic for me, for the longest time and, for many years, felt like it had been taken out of my hands since my sole focus had to be on surviving…first in a financial sense and then because of my crashing health. Lately, there’s been a new strength burgeoning in me and that could be for a variety of practical reasons (yes, I could seek to explain it away) but I’ve also noticed how it relates to finding this thing…purpose.

One of the things that has really ignited me this year is a passion for speaking out about lifestyle choices that are not only life-affirming or at least benign (so many arn’t) when it comes to our health but for the life of others; choosing plant-based being one of them since it covers both bases. I’m sure you’ve noticed, as it keeps coming up in my topics here, that I’ve let this vegan theme out of the box lately; and no less in myself, where it has upgraded from being almost an accidental lifestyle choice as I sought better health to being a burning passion and even a rocket-launcher of new motivation.

It occurred to me this morning, just as I was starting to surface from sleep, that if I had to describe what underlies this passion in two or three words then it’s an unwavering belief in the Sacredness of Life.

This was always my purpose, really…hidden, before, beneath the thick layer of focus on my own survival through many trials as above. What kept me determined, and almost super-humanly so, through all those tough years, was an unwavering belief in the Sacredness of Life. If I hadn’t believed in that throughout every cell in my body, I would never have kept rising from the ashes of so many setbacks, or kept that determined smile on my face through all the reruns of symptoms that made no sense. Through it all, I just KNEW that life (my life, in this case) was far too sacred to give up on.

Now, I’ve expanded that focal point to include those who can’t speak up for themselves, in this case all the animals that get slaughtered (to the tune of 1 billion a week) in the name of what is merely a lifestyle preference for most of the world’s population. Yes, I concede there are exceptions; for those living in the artic circle or, say, parts of Africa where there is no other food option, I concede there has to be an exception made but, then, they do things differently, on a vastly smaller scale and so-much more respectfully too. But for most of us, the need to kill (or to get others to do it for us…) in order to stay alive is an untruth and I feel so impassioned to play my part in dispelling the misinformation.

Without getting onto that hobby-horse in this post, my curiosity is mostly about why that seems to have helped me to turn a corner in my own state of wellbeing. Ironically so, since my fear had long been that if I opened this particular box up, I would flounder beneath all the horror that my empathic soul would have to face up to, day-in-day-out (there is no avoiding the darker side of why you become a vegan activist, even if you choose to focus on sharing all the positivity around making a vegan choice). Rather than become mired in terrible darkness and trauma by diving into this passion, I seem to be having a new lease of life on the back of it, making it one of the most positive things I ever did. And I long to share that good news too; for all the sensitive types who are avoiding this much-more resonant lifestyle option for fear of being overwhelmed.

Well, an obvious reason this has turned me around is that, for one, I’ve set out to be a great example of what plant-based can do for your life so I have to be a fit and glowing example of that. So, at last, my body has a real-tangible purpose for getting better other than “just because”. A second reason is that its provided a purpose that is well-fitted to replace the original one…of personal survival…since it is built on the same core theme…The Sacredness of Life.

For me, I now see, no other life-purpose would ever have done; none of the others I tried on through all my many years of self-recovery would have been up to the job. Those I tried started with a burst of enthusiasm but never lasted for very long and left me feeling more depleted and confused. Some remain on the sideline of what I do but never feel enough to light my personal fire. This, in simplest terms, is because I came at them from the mind, not from the heart.

None of those other purposes that I tried on, such as being a Great Artist or a Life Coach or someone with a Consciousness Leadership role, fitted the inner job vacancy that my soul was advertising…because all of them were just a little too “human-oriented” in their perspective. All of them started from the basis of being, primarily, a human with a spiritual, mindful under-layer rather than a spiritual, mindful consciousness with a human outer shell. And for me, respecting that subtle difference in the balance is absolutely key to my success at being manifest as a human being. Yes, I know I’ve spent many years exploring this idea that we are all made up of two halves that need to come back together into wholeness for us to be healthy and manifest as our best human selves; and implicit in this was an idea that we should work to be in perfect balance, first. Its only lately that I’ve conceded that we tend to come at this equation with slighty different proportioned sections our ourselves and that we need to be accepting of these proportions, before we can come back into our own personal version of wholeness (we are, after all, individuised expressions of divinity and not carbon-copies of one another).

This tip in favour of the non-physical aspect, in my case, underlies everything that I am about and I see that now. And it can be a confusing balance to have when you are being an optimistic, outward-looking, agent of growth towards the manifestation of something distinctly “of this world”. This can mimic being far more manifest, to start with, than you really are since you can do a passingly-good impersonation of people that are much more “of this world” than you are, especially as you are often enthused by their projects. Yet to be enthused doesn’t necessarily mean you want to join in or do things their way and this has been a steep learning curve for me. Many of my friends share my interests but are much better at being humans when it comes to putting these preoccupations into action; whereas I am far better at staying with at least one foot in the abstract and to ignore this is to tip over, in my case. Importantly, it is not something I need to “cure” or “get over”, rather its something I’ve realised I need to learn to understand and work with yet this only confused me even more about my purpose, until recently. Because the loudest, most manifest humans with whom I relate (and I think this is true of the world right now…it may change) are people who are much more embodied than I tend, or even want, to be. That’s not because they are doing better than me (I bring important skills to the table); they are just better suited to cope with the world as it is currently set-up (again, that might change…and more of us may feel able to come out into the world as opportunities become more closely matched to our skillset, which is currently underappreciated and often despised).

When I go off this blueprint, everything seems to “go wrong for me” as I am a spiritual being first, a human second and that’s just the way I’m made. As soon as those spiritual aspects get too meshed up in matters of money and marketing and organisation and strategy and communication and…and…and…I lose the very inspiration that keeps them fuelled. I’ve watched it happen time and time again; so, why?

The answer came in the form of the moon right over my head on all my walks from Saturday until last night; a small crescent moon, very clear in the dusk…a waxing crescent not many days old. My moon!

In his “Book of the Moon”, revered astrologer Steven Forrest divides the waxing crescent into two portions. First is what he calls The Living Symbol (The Legend): “Charisma. Star quality. Presence. Nurturing Qualities. Leadership. Seductive vagueness. Innocence and Naiveté. Becoming symbolic to others, making others into symbols. Bringer of gifts”. The second portion he calls The Extremist, with key concepts “Drive to accomplish and experience. Hunger. Imbalance. success – and its costs. Presence. Natural authority. Radiant, infectious hope in the face of darkness”. He goes on “The emerging soul impulse is still suffused with a sense of recent emergence from the Holy of Holies, still on fire with something that is fundamentally untranslatable into human terms. Being a waxing phase, there is a mood of outrushing intensity, an urge towards manifestation”.

Yes, I can relate…you can feel chock full of energy and nowhere to go with it…since few want to receive what you have to share; and that feeling of repeated rebuff can cause all sorts of problems for the person born under the waxing crescent. Ours is not a currency that is popularly in circulation…yet.

I wrote about studying the moon phases earlier this year and it made fascinating stuff since I used my new-found information to work out the moon phase of pretty much everyone I know. I found this data so much more interesting than I’ve ever found sun-based astrology since it matched up so astonishingly closely with the personality traits of these people. More, it matched their particular relationship between spiritual and worldly aspects of themselves, you could say yin and yang, dark and light, in ways that correlated with their stories to date and near-enough everything that felt most intrinsic to them at the deeper levels of their humanness. I’ve made a party piece of guessing people’s moon phase and then working it out for them to check the correlation (I was doing this again, just recently, for new friends I made on our trip to Italy and had an avid audience) and the outcome has generally been quite astonishing. Above all, this knowledge has imparted so much insight into my own often fragile humanness and that of my husband, who shares almost the same moon phase as I.

So, if I was to anticipate how a person born under a waxing moon would operate in a world dominated by more material concerns, what would I guess? Well, for starters, that person would be more spiritual than human, more abstract than manifest…and yet….they would always be growing towards manifestation, like a shoot pushing out of the dark soil of potential. Yet this irresistible urge to grow “out there” into the human domain is likely to have frustrated and even hurt them many times over as the already-manifest world is an abrasive place and not one that has been designed or influenced by many waxing moon types; well, not in recent history. In fact, most of them have become so wounded by now that they often prefer to stay in the dark, their heads buried deep under the ground and turned away from typical human behaviours (which can be unsightly). It’s not been an easy ride for waxing moon types over the last long period of history!

Yet, like any seedling long nestled under the ground, even in a dessert, those of us born to this moon phase have lately started to detect that the time to grow to where we would be more visible again might be upon us. We’ve sensed a few more nutrients coming our way in the soil of life plus a few more hints of the sun’s warmth, a few drops of moisture, to encourage and beckon us forwards. Newly encourage, many of us have tried again…some to get “burned” all over again…but the point is to keep trying, to keep seeking that thing that drives and supports you; which comes from your inherent purpose.

Which brings me back, once again, to that life purpose of mine…a deep, compelling understanding of the Sacredness of Life. I’ve reestablished this many times over in this lifetime (plus all the others) and, feeling newly nourished and encourage, I’m now ready to break that soil, it seems; or to at least do the ground work so others can capitalise on my stirrings, though (like many of us) I sense I’m wanting more of an active part, now, than to keep fertilising the soil with my own breakdowns. As long as I keep to that purpose, every project I take on will have my deepest understanding of All That I Am, stored like rocket fuel, ready for my engine. It’s why I’ve been feeling so manifest lately; so strong, so improved, so much more robust, so full of energy.

Which means that as long as I stick to this underlying purpose…not getting taken off track again by the heavy load of trauma or conflict (being a leader in the plant-based revolution brings you very close to these things; my task being to keep to what feels light-filled and life-affirming) I will be right on track, with my energy easily replenished. You could say I will have the wind behind my sails or, to keep to the running metaphor, the earth’s most potent nutrients coursing through my xylem and phloem, allowing me to grow strong enough to withstand any extremes in the weather or the occasional boot that would like to stamp on my head. When we are fuelled by our life purpose, it takes so much more than that external stuff to take us off purpose.

To double-check this theory, I see the very same trends running through my husband’s career highs and low, as measured from the personal-satisfaction and wellbeing perspective, which has become ever more important to him lately. When he tries to be too manifest in terms of “good” business strategy, number crunching and all that stuff, or even to gets drawn into money markets and all that material focus, he flounders, his energy runs dry and he literally has to take time out to withdraw “back to earth” to recuperate. But when he uses his intrinsic belief in the Sacredness of Life to fuel his reason for getting up in the morning, in his case to assist and mentor people to rediscover all that feels most sacred to themselves and then prioritise this vision over financial stage-fright or life’s long list of “should-dos” (he is a life planner and yogi, and helps people to realise their heart-passions) then he is full of vim and vigour and can keep going with astonishing amounts of energy, whether at work or at play. In fact, his work no longer feels like work on those occasions and seems to give him back his own intrinsic energy ten fold each time he makes a difference to another person’s path.

For me, my focus doesn’t have to be plant-based diet as such (no such limitation) but any project fuelled by a desire to convey and to remind others of the Sacredness of Life seems to be “my thing”, which gives me plenty of scope – since sacredness is everywhere!

And if, for the moment, I happen to see it more so than others then my task is not to make others wrong or to patronise them but, rather, to facilitate them seeing what they might be overlooking or, if they see it, hardly dare to believe is so. Life is so sacred to me that I can’t bear to have others not see it for themselves and my gift is to share what I know.

So, really, this piece is directed at others with a waxing moon phase; if you happened upon this post, having often wondered what it was that made life so hard and even purposeless in your case when others seem to thrive, then know that it shouldn’t be the case…and that you are probably not that far off from flipping everything in your favour. The point is, first off, to realise that you are not “made” like everyone else and to recognise and honour those differences as the unused gifts that they probably are. You have a purpose but it may not look like anyone else’s purpose (though it is beneath the surface…yours is just wrapped up in slightly different priorities). Yours may sound a lot more abstract than theirs when you find it…but that’s not to say it can’t be put to practical use. The point is to identify that purpose (what has been the one thing that seems most important to you and which has driven you along, throughout all the various “projects” of your life, even “accidental” ones such as claiming your health back…) and then use that to fuel your own chosen trajectory. Yes, you can and will grow out of the dark places that may have become your home or your hide-y-hole for so long; but you need the right scaffolding to assist you to do that and, like all the best scaffolding, this needs to be supportive from within. Then, you can become manifest in this world.

Of course, I can already hear people declaring “how can sacredness be a purpose…you need to be an (insert job title) or an (insert career opportunity/project/enterprise)”. Well yes, as long as they are a vehicle for expressing the Sacredness of Life then I’m there and I think its true to type.

Because sacredness is probably everything to you if you are a waxing crescent, whether or not you have even started to realise this yet…since you remember, more so than many others, where you come from and where you go back to when the human merry-go-round stops this particular ride. Without this conscious awareness of your own divinity and, then, a desire to operate from this focal point, even in a world that often denies or brushes off our collective sacred source, you will probably be like the bean stalk that falls over in a wind…because it is like denying who you really are. Once found, this deep-inner knowing of whatever your sacred theme is…and which you long to make more manifest in the world…will be all you ever need to support, replenish and sustain you; I feel quite confident of this.

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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