Is yours a meaningful life?

By Amy Crawford

I had the absolute pleasure last weekend to attend the Melbourne launch of Soul Sessions, an amazing initiative by Eloise King. An ex journalist of 15 years, Eloise had a desire to share inspiration and information by bringing people together for 'wine, dine and wisdom' events. Her events have now spanned New York, Sydney and Melbourne and are quickly (and not at all surprisingly) gathering momentum. Each event follows a specific theme for the night, typically encouraging meditation and inner awareness and are designed to create a conscious community. The theme for this particular night was 'A Meaningful Life,' putting into question whether we are indeed living a meaningful and authentic life, asking the tough questions and encouraging substantial self reflection. The night commenced beautifully with a Gong and Sound Meditation by Matt Omo and was followed by two hugely inspiring speakers Kate James (a Melbourne Coach, Mediation Teacher, speaker and writer) and Duncan Peak, founder of Power Living, one of Australia's most successful yoga networks. As much as I would love to provide commentary around both truly inspirational speakers time does not allow today so I am going to share with you Duncan's Ten Principles of Transformation. Bare with me here, I was tip tapping away these notes into my iPhone during his talk - you will be able to obtain the full explanation for his principles in his new book (soon to be released), Modern Yoga.

Duncan's words talked about the courage it takes to live a meaningful life. Personally I found much inspiration and resonance in his words. As difficult as it is to be faced with chronic illness that knows no limits or end, the upside of my journey was that I was forced to change course - the universe made it clear that I needed to move out of the corporate world and find what it was that makes me bounce out of bed each day. My transformation towards a more meaningful life commenced simply by carrying out those activities that felt right, that held meaning and inspiration, that motivated me to continue my learnings and share them in turn, such that are shared through this blog.  I now feel blessed to follow a path that (I believe) sees me living authentically, with utmost passion and meaning in everything I do. I am now on a journey that excites, challenges and stimulates in ways that I never thought were possible. I feel blessed to have been forced to make a move out of the corporate world because I know for some, living your authentic self and following your passion can be a daunting prospect that can be (or seem) totally out of reach.

I truly hope Duncan's principles provide you with the inspiration or motivation you need to reflect on your life and ask yourself if you are indeed on the pathway to a more meaningful life. Perhaps you may be inspired to make subtle changes to your life that will bring about increased meaning and in turn happiness.

  1. Be accountable for your own personal joy - only you can bring about happiness in your life.
  2. Respect yourself, yearn to find out your purpose and to follow your passion.
  3. Respect in others. Don't have such arrogance that what you believe is right. Offer your teachings but don't manipulate others to believe your way is right. Confrontation with expectation is manipulation. Confrontation without compassion is abuse. Be aware.
  4. Approach life with a sense of play have a detachment to that which is not important (i.e. the quest for looking perfect!).
  5. Maintain a positive attitude, trust and stop judging people.
  6. Be part of something bigger than yourself, have faith in something bigger than yourself, what ever that is. Your thoughts will always display a limited perspective.
  7. Understand humility. In Australia we have a bad case of "tall poppy syndrome" which cripples Australians. Humility is not about "dumbing down", it's about staying as powerful as you are but understanding that power is within others and every day trying to bring them up to your level. Feel joy for others, lift them up to be with you.
  8. Develop compassion and if it doesn't include yourself it is incomplete. Take better care of yourself.
  9. Mediation - observe your senses, just you and the observation until you fall into a meditation. This will teach you to live in the present, to be a witness to your mind.
  10. Be okay with nothingness. The ability to perceive what's happening without interpreting it, perceiving it, engaging the mind.