The Great Work of Your Life
By Stephen Cope
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: Quotes from Book /// The Power of Mantra – As Described by Mohandas Gandhi’s Family Servant.
Book Overview: From the director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the famed Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health comes an incisive and inspiring meditation on living the life you were born to live.
In this fast-paced age, the often overwhelming realities of daily life may leave you feeling uncertain about how to realize your life’s true purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma. But yoga master Stephen Cope says that in order to have a fulfilling life you must, in fact, discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of your self. In The Great Work of Your Life, Cope describes the process of unlocking the unique possibility harbored within every human soul. The secret, he asserts, can be found in the pages of a two-thousand-year-old spiritual classic called the Bhagavad Gita—an ancient allegory about the path to dharma, told through a timeless dialogue between the fabled archer, Arjuna, and his divine mentor, Krishna.
Cope takes readers on a step-by-step tour of this revered tale, and in order to make it relevant to contemporary readers, he highlights well-known Western lives that embody its central principles—including such luminaries as Jane Goodall, whose life trajectory shows us the power of honoring The Gift; Walt Whitman, who listened for the call of the times; Susan B. Anthony, whose example demonstrates the power of focused energy; John Keats, who was able to let his desire give birth to aspiration; and Harriet Tubman, whose life was nothing if not a lesson in learning to walk by faith. This essential guide also includes everyday stories about following the path to dharma, which illustrate the astonishingly contemporary relevance and practicality of this classic yogic story.
If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may provide you with answers to the questions you most urgently need addressed—and may help you to find and to embrace your true calling.
“[Ludwig van] Beethoven came to see that complete surrender to his situation in life – to his deafness, to his various neuroses – was absolutely essential for his own spiritual development and for the development of his art. He accepted the apparent mystery that his art and his suffering were inextricably linked.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“Blessed is the man who, having subdued all his passions, performeth with his active faculties all the functions of life, unconcerned about the event… Be not one whose motive for action is the hope of reward. Perform thy duty, abandon all thought of the consequence, and make the event equal, whether it terminate in good or evil; for such an equality is called yoga.” ~ Bhagavad Gita
Birthing your dreams is like… giving birth. Conceiving the idea is the fun part (hopefully), then you go through insane amounts of fear and excitement and dreaming and planning and vomiting and growing and thinking you’re crazy and thinking you’re awesome and stretching and shape shifting until you’re practically unrecognizable to everyone, even your own self.
Along the way you clean up your puke and massage your aching back and apologize to all the people whose heads you ripped of in a hormonal killing spree, but you stay the course because you know this baby of yours is going to be the bomb.
Then, finally, just when you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, labor starts. your innards twist and strangle and force you to stumble around hunched over in the shape of the letter “C” while you breathe and pray and curse and just when you think it can’t get any more out-of-your-mind painful, a giant baby head squeezes out of a tiny hole in your body. Then. A full-blown miracle appears.
In order to change your life and start living a new one that you’ve never lived before, your faith in miracles, and yourself, must be greater than your fear. However easy or rough your birth process is, you have to be willing to fall down, get up, look stupid, cry, laugh, make a mess, clean it up and not stop until you get there. No matter what.
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Source: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
“When we share what we were brought here to give, we are in alignment with our highest, most powerful selves.” ~ Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass
“The direction we’re heading is more important than individual results.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“The professional does not wait for inspiration; he acts in anticipation of it.” ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
“The amateur has a long list of fears. Near the top are two: Solitude and silence. The amateur fears solitude and silence because she needs to avoid, at all costs, the voice inside her head that would point her toward her calling and her destiny. So she seeks distraction. The amateur prizes shallowness and shuns depth. The culture of Twitter and Facebook is paradise for the amateur.” ~ Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art