This question was asked at the recent Openhand Facilitator Conference for everyone to contemplate. However, it is not just a question for facilitators: to me, this is a question everyone would benefit from contemplating for their own life.
So what is your Orientation?
Let's start this inquiry with the question of what, exactly, is meant by "Orientation".
Orientation in life could also be described as your motivation. As the thing that drives you. It could be called your outlook on the bigger picture, or the place you're coming from. You could call it your "purpose" in life or your "mission".
Ultimately it can be boiled down to this: Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
Now, if you are anything like me, the first answer probably is something like, "Beause I have to go to work!"
Okay, let's take a step back here. Going to work is your decision. It is a choice.
Yes, that is triggering to a lot of people. I know, I can already hear the outcry of, "But how will I earn money? How will I pay the rent? And the food? And the gas for my car?"
Ultimately, all of these are choices as well. Who is forcing you to earn money? It's you yourself. Because you want a house to live in, you want to eat, and drive your car. Right?
Notice the important word here. Want. All these things are desires of the ego. Because the alternative is uncomfortable and scary, and the ego does not do uncomfortable or scary, and will do its level best to avoid these things at all cost.
But the ego is not the source of your Orientation. Far from it.
It's not about what you want, it's what you feel motivated or driven or called to do
So that is what is meant by Orientation. And it does not come from the ego, it emerges naturally from the soul. So let me ask that question again: Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
What is it you live your life for?
Sit with those questions for a while. Feel what arises. Contemplate the answers.
And be mindful of where the ego tries to sneak in and own the process.
How you can tell ego from soul?
Okay, let's look at a very common answer in spiritual circles: "I want to help people!"
Would that be your answer, too? Nothing wrong with it! Great! Now take a look at what is underlying that answer. Do you want to help people because it makes you feel good and important? A bit like a saviour? Or do you want to help people out of a genuine desire to be of service? Would you also want to help people if you never got any recognition for it or any thanks, because the act of helping is enough to fulfill you?
Sit and contemplate those questions, as well as your answer. Be honest with yourself.
The first option is a desire of the ego. Often a spiritual identity. The second one is an authentic expression of soul.
If you're feeling a little squirmy now and ashamed, because you recognise youself in the first option, relax. Take a breath. You have just learned an enormous amount about yourself. Be proud of that. Not everyone does that! Or can be as honest with themselves as you are being.
But if that's your answer ... then helping people is not your Orientation in life.
So take that step back again. And contemplate the question again.
What do you live your life for?
What would your answer be?
I have contemplated that question many times over the years. And yes, while I was still employed, a lot of the time the answer was: "Because I need to go to work! Because I signed a contract saying I'd do so!"
Yet even while that was my answer, in the background behind it lurked the knowing that I was chosing the experience. Signing the contract, going to work. That was my choice. And from taking ownership of my choice, I started contemplating the question a little differently. Why did I chose this experience? Or rather: What was I looking to gain from it? What was the soul wanting to learn?
And once I started asking those questions, I quickly came to realise that asking those questions were exactly the reson why I had chosen this experience. But not only that: I realised that "exploration of experience" is part of my own Orientation.
Of course, it's part of everyone's journey. Every soul incarnating on this planet, particularly at this time, has come here for the exploration of the experience. But acknowleding that is another thing.
So I did acknowledge the reason my soul came here. And on contemplating this, the realisation arose: My Orientation in Life is to figure out what, exactly, my soul's path looks like - and then walk it!
That's it. That is my answer. It is as simple as yet.
Of course, this takes many forms. Part of my soul's path is doing energy work, in the field and with people, yes! It is writing, creating videos, and so on. Exploring creativity, what works, what does not, but for the sake of creating, not to achieve some goal. It is selling almost everything I own and then moving to a country where I barely speak the language. It is packing up again and moving to a different place after a month. It is accepting destiny.
(Which sounds super great and glamorous, until you are actually confronted with it, and then realise that, nope, this is going to be hard, it's going to be uncomfortable and painful, it's going to overwhelm you at times and take everything that you have. And then doing it anyway. Because this is what you are here for. Your purpose. Your mission. And my Orientation is to accept that mission)