You know how Emilie always talks about finding the common thread that connects your multifarious interests? My question is: What if your common thread is something spiritual, not something practical?
The basic building blocks of the universe
Particle physics teaches that the basic physical building blocks of the universe are atoms, quarks, and so on. Sufism teaches that the basic spiritual building blocks of the universe are ninety-nine qualities called “The Divine Qualities.”
These qualities are things like Unconditional Love, Compassion, Strength, Patience, Appreciation, and so on. From a spiritual point of view, everything that’s really going on at a deep level can be expressed in terms of these qualities.
The precious jewel inside your heart
The cool thing about humans is that each human being has the innate ability to receive one of these ninety-nine Divine Qualities and reflect it out into the world.
Your spiritual center that reflects this quality is called your Jewel, because it reflects one Divine quality like a jewel reflecting a ray of light.
For example, my Jewel is Nourishment, so nourishment is a common spiritual thread that connects my interests:
- When I do my best writing, my readers feel nourished by reading it.
- When I’m doing my best coaching, my clients feel nourished, and this feeling of nourishment in their hearts gives them the fuel to do awesome things out in the world.
- When I do my best marketing, my potential customers feel nourished from reading my copy, even if they choose not to sign up. (And knowing this helps me feel wholehearted about sharing my marketing materials widely.)
An exercise you can use to discover your own jewel
Before you dive into the exercise, decide what you’d like to use for the Name of the Divine. You don’t have to believe any dogma or convert to any religion; just pick a name to experiment with that signifies something greater than yourself. If you’re already familiar with a Name of the Divine from your own spiritual path, use that. Otherwise, try any one of these that feels good to you: Source, Spirit, God, Universe, Divine, Oneness, Beloved.
Here’s the exercise:
Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Call the Name of the Divine into your heart, several times, and each time pause to notice how your heart responds. Remember a time when you did your best work and shared it with someone else. Visualize the event in detail. Bring all your senses into it.
Now ask to be shown which Divine quality was flowing through your heart and into the other person’s heart. Which Divine quality were you giving, and which Divine quality was the other person receiving?
Be willing to be surprised. It doesn’t have to make sense to your brain. Just notice what comes up, say yes to it, and ask to be shown even more clearly. When you feel complete, give thanks for anything you received, take one more deep breath, and open your eyes.
Now, repeat that same exercise, but remember a different time when you did a different kind of your best work. You’re a multipod, so you’ll need to do this multiple times.
Do you perceive the same quality every time you practice this meditation? If so, that’s your Jewel.
Is there a majority? A quality that comes up often? If so, that’s probably your Jewel.
If not, look for a common thread between the qualities you noticed. Is there a quality underneath the quality? For example, if your music transmits Compassion from your heart to your listeners’ hearts, maybe underneath Compassion is the quality of Love? Repeat the meditation above, but this time ask, “Is there a quality underneath this quality?”
If it’s still not clear to you, maybe that’s because we’ve only put together half of the puzzle. You see, your Jewel isn’t a lightbulb. It doesn’t generate light; it only reflects it.
Giving and receiving
Your Jewel is not only your greatest gift to the world; it’s also what your heart most needs to receive.
Here’s how that shows up in my own life:
- I need lots of self-care time so I can feel well-nourished.
- I practice Remembrance five times a day to keep my heart well-nourished.
- I eat vegan food and play DDR regularly to keep my body well-nourished.
- In my best friendships (especially my marriage), both of us feel nourished by the relationship and the nourishment flows both directions.
See? Your Jewel is about both giving and receiving.
This is the second half of the puzzle: noticing what quality your heart most needs to receive.
Here are some questions to explore to find that quality:
- What feeling do you go out of your way to get?
- What do you obsess over? Why?
- If your gifts ever dry up, what helps get the flow started again?
- Imagine your ideal vacation. How does your heart feel?
These questions will point at your Jewel from the opposite direction – the direction of receiving.
What if I’m too much of a multipotentialite?
You might be worrying that you’re such a multipotentialite that not even a Divine quality can contain all of the many parts of you.
Not all of your various interests have to be fueled by your Jewel. For example, when I do a public speaking gig, I feel radiant, but not nourished or nourishing. When I code, I feel masterful, but not nourished or nourishing. When I correctly guess the killer in an episode of Midsomer Murders, I feel like an ace detective, but it doesn’t feel nourishing.
But your Jewel is where your most precious gifts lie. When you tap into your Jewel’s flow of giving and receiving, you connect to something greater than yourself. You access that “channeling” state where your best work feels like it’s being done through you, not by you. Not only does this feel awesome, but it also gives you relief and ease, because it removes the struggle of trying to do it all yourself.
What are you waiting for? Find your jewel!
Finding your Jewel not only helps you understand yourself more clearly, but it also helps you take better care of yourself (since you know what quality your heart is thirsting for) and do your greatest work in a way that doesn’t even feel like work.
What’s a quality you give to others when you do your best work? What’s a quality your heart needs to receive so that you can do your best work?
Pace Smith (The Pathfinding Coach) helps sensitive spiritual nonconformists live wild crazy meaningful lives. She’s also a teacher, a speaker, a writer, a Sufi dervish, a bi poly trans gamer geek, an open-source Reiki healer, a tournament-level Dance Dance Revolution player, and a flaming multipotentialite (in case that wasn’t obvious). Download her free eBook, Find Your Path Now, to search for your Jewel nestled in amongst the various things you love.