Wednesday Wisdom: Die on Purpose

Today’s post requires a bit of imagination….

There are certain times in my life that I choose to “smash the mold”. By smash the mold, I mean to take a perceived notion, an expectation, anything that I think I know about the experience that I am processing…then I Smash It! I remove *my* self from the entire situation, from life, almost as a third party looking in.  I am there, but not there.  Can you imagine with me???

I am not referring to pain filled moments where I just want to disconnect because I think my body, mind, Spirit cannot physically live through it.  I am referring to beauty, peace, love filled moments where I allow my heart to be so completely open, that I then am the air, the sky, the ground, the Energy…all that I seek, *I am*.  Time stands still even as it races ahead.  I am grounded even as I soar.  I allow my heart to be open–regardless of external circumstances…I stand in Faith–regardless of external circumstances… I choose to fully embrace the moment, let it wash over me– regardless of external circumstances. Sometimes it’s only a few moments together, sometimes it’s an entire day of such moments–such a delight, such a treasure.   It is always disengaging my mind, living only with my senses; fully alive, fully aware, fully focused on *this very moment* exactly as it is.  A fellow blogger, David, wrote about it a while back in an essay which I will share with you in a bit.  An essay titled “Die on Purpose”– he gave me persmission to share it with you today.

The very title invokes fear in some.  The idea of death can be scary.  In my own life, I choose to die on purpose; each time I remove *my* self–Ego–*I* then die a bit.  As I said above, I frequently use a technique I call “smash the mold”; I take expectation, doubt, worry, hurt…whatever emotion or thought I think I know that is holding me back, I place it in a mold in my mind, then I “Smash it!!!”  Release it all.  And walk away from it.   I let my Spirit soar in my newfound space.  I stretch in many ways; I revel in the new space.   I let the space stay empty.  Some are afraid of empty; I embrace empty…nothing is absolutely the best something.

In theory then, my goal is to become nothing, which I believe is the highest form of something. To aspire to nothingness requires that I acknowledge my Energy, stay mindfully present, disengage my mind allowing my senses to lead, and trust that the Universe/God will guide me to unfolding exactly as it should be.  Much like nature that I love to play in, be in, there are cycles in a day, in a week, in my life that will naturally occur.  Cycles I used to resist out of fear…but now am learning to embrace. When I resist, I alter my path even the slightest bit; when I remain open, I grow and allow for room for magnificent blossoming.  I love to blossom.  Effortless when approached in this manner.  In your own life, have you ever experienced your blossoming self?  *You* in your purest form.  Yet, not you at all; just beautiful, pure Energy.  

Some people are so afraid of death–even those that will tell you they love me–that they cling tightly to my old self, they stand in the way of such a choice of death, they fear for themselves so they fear for me too.  I don’t ask anyone to embrace this concept, but I do ask you to allow me to be healthy, whole, free to embrace the moment as it is meant to be embraced.  With my senses, not my mind.  You may be afraid if I “die” it will alter our interactions somehow… In fact, to die on purpose allows me to embrace life more enthusiastically, more exuberantly; so it affects you in only that way–in our interactions then you will feel more peace, more joy, more love. 

The following comment that I left on David’s blog sums it up quite well:  

“The biggest barrier in my life is fear. Fear exists when I believe *I* matter. To diminish that fear, I remove myself from a day–turn off my phone, open the hatches on the boat to let air flow through, string up my hammock or sit in the v-berth so I may see the sky, and just exist in the moment/s. Pure bliss. Peace. As it is. Nothing else. I used to want to capture those moments with words or photos, but they truly just “are”.
When my children or close friends ask me about a particular challenge in their life, they are usually afraid of failure. My question is always will you die “if”? I mean will your Spirit die a bit if you don’t at least try, or if you do, or will your physical body die? If the answer is I won’t suffer…then at least *try*….
And if you do die..what then? What if you no longer exist as you know yourself to be…is that pure freedom to then be who are are meant to be in whatever form that is to be for you? Isn’t that to be celebrated? In life I’ve been recreated several times, I am no longer who I was last year, or many years ago…shouldn’t I celebrate each “death” because I am more of myself, or should I fear such a change?”

So, I’d like to introduce you to David.  He absolutely rocks Raptitude.  His writing style is fantastic, and all that he presents fascinates me because he thinks differently than I …I’m so ethereal to his intellectual self.  He often performs detailed experiments within his own life to examine a habit, to change something.  He is traveling and working as he travels.  He is outspoken.  Reading his blog makes me rethink my own ideas, think about new ideas, opens my mind to new and different.  He is not preachy, he is not *in your face*, he just is.  And a few months back he wrote the following essay Die On Purpose, that I sent to my friends as soon as I read it, and then have referred back to it during this past month’s personal transformation.  He writes exactly what I tried to describe to you above.   Please take the time to click the link to read it, because what he expresses so adequately may be life changing.

Fear is only powerful if there is a lack of Faith; may we stand shoulder to shoulder in Faith…and may we “die, often”…..

Much peace..


  1. #1 by Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord on June 9, 2010 - 1:46 pm

    Joy, this is beautiful and reminds me of the sweetest of times I had last April & May when I died to my former self in a way that felt so big and complete, I wasn’t sure what I’d be left with. I recognize now that it was simply pure awareness shining through — past the cracks and crevices of the clay walls that ego has built in and around me over the years. For the first time in perhaps my entire earthly life I could see beyond ego so completely that it lost its grip on me. My heart — my purest existing energy — was all I could sense. And I felt very free and very alive, if not a bit confounded by the uncertainty of whatever might be next.

    I died to myself and I loved every minute of it.

    And now, as happens in this human body, ego has rebuilt some of those walls and once again I feel the familiar clinging that is characteristic of ego.

    But it’s okay. Awareness and I came face-to-face, and I believe we fell in-love with each other this spring, which only means there will be more beautifully freeing moments to come.

    For now, I just am, whatever that means. (smile)

    Love & light to you always!

    • #2 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 12:10 pm

      Your experience of April/May was brilliant to watch. You allowed this process to unfold layer upon layer, never sure of the end result, but you put aside fear and allowed it to happen. Unfolding at it’s best! “My heart — my purest existing energy”…is so beautiful to listen as you explain, for truly *that* is ‘dying” allowing your heart to be free, with the end result pure energy that you share so generously. And if as you say walls are rebuilt, then you know exactly how to tear them down this time….
      Falling in love with awareness…is such an incredibly beautiful phrase…thank you for sharing that!

  2. #3 by Peggy on June 9, 2010 - 2:42 pm

    Dearest Joy,

    I have been unfolding in my own path (just so you know I haven’t disappeared into the ether!) and creatively preparing for my August workshop. In this morning’s Wise Advice segment ( I talked about the things that we fear and I spoke of my own fears and how I fell awake one day, realizing that the sun still rises and the earth is still in orbit around the sun, and that having lived my fears and came away in one piece (a little scarred, but in one piece!) so what did I have to fear anyways? I came face to face with my own possible untimely death – my own “coming to Jesus” meeting and that’s when I decided to banish all fears and to boldly go where I’ve never been before.

    Much love,

    • #4 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 12:07 pm

      Hi Peggy,
      Glad to see you!!!!
      Such a heartfelt comment–you express in a most beautiful way this concept of “die on purpose”. You are right to use the natural cycles as examples…cycles persent within our own lives that many people resist. You choose faith, to stand in faith, and conquer fear…ultimate freedom indeed. Which is why *your* Spirit truly soars! A pleasure to watch as you blossom:)

  3. #5 by Sulwyn on June 9, 2010 - 3:06 pm

    Is this what we call it when I suddenly feel like I have “woken up” and found myself so intensely focused on what is going on around me that I didn’t even realize *I* was there? I have always had moments like that, moments that sometimes stretch into hours of *not being* somewhere where I am and coming away knowing it more intimately than if I had *been* there. Of course, I am using some of these words a little differently than most, but there is no real word to describe it fully – once you try to assign a definition to that feeling you go back and put yourself back into that moment. I’ve never talked about it because it makes people uncomfortable, or they start to treat me like some special spiritual guru and put me on a spiritual pedestal, and all I am is myself. Thank you for making a place to talk about all of this!

    • #6 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 12:05 pm

      I’m glad to see you are back:)
      I love this…”all I am is myself”….you are absolutely precious!!!
      You are right, it is difficult to describe the sensation of taking the “I’ out of a moment. It is mindfully aware, choosing purposefully, sloughing off physical for a bit and allowing Energy to soar. It is turning off your mind and living through your senses. Most alive indeed! Many people around you may not understand because they are afraid. If you take the ‘I” out of it, then who are you??? Without a label some people feel most lost.
      You are choosing to embrace your Energy….marvelous things will happen….

  4. #7 by Sara on June 9, 2010 - 7:47 pm


    I will visit David’s site. I love that you introduce us to such interesting bloggers! I like term “die on purpose.”

    If I understand what you’re saying I do this best in the presence of nature or animals. I always try to sit outside every day and just watch the birds and other animals in my yard go about their business. When I do this I forget about me and it is a very comforting feeling. I feel “not there” yet also aware.

    During these time, I’m not thinking and I’m not considering the past or the future, I’m just there now. This seems different than NOT being there at all because it’s more like I’m so absorbed in the things happenings around me that I don’t exist anymore. Does this make any sense? It sounds a bit dodgy to me, but it is the way I feel:~)

    • #8 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 12:01 pm

      To me what I learn from fellow bloggers is often new and different, and can be life changing when I apply it. I also love when someone “gets” an idea, such as this one, that is central to my life.
      Oh yes, Sara…nature and animals invoke peace, reverence, even praise…and are amazing teachers to us when we remain open and observe, as you do….You are reveling in moments of being mindfully present…and those moments are then incorporated into other areas of your life. Quite exciting!

  5. #9 by David Cain on June 10, 2010 - 1:04 am

    Hey thanks for the mention Joy. Die on Purpose is one of my favorite posts, because the idea is so simple and powerful. I like the way you’ve framed it: “Fear exists when *I* matter.” I am convinced all instances of suffering arise from our habit of identifying with our bodies and our minds. We often get the *I* wrong, and think it is only our bodies or our minds.

    • #10 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 11:59 am

      Hi David,
      Thank you for allowing me to use your essay here. There is amazing Energy around the concept. This concept is completely relevant in my life; just yesterday I spent a day of quiet and praise, I took the ‘I” out for the entire day. Then, last night a friend spent a long time ranting about trying to put the “I” in. My life is not about ‘me’ at all; it is about energy, pure and golden, and sharing the most pure and good with those around me. Allowing Energy to roam free, play, and share…..

  6. #11 by Wilma Ham on June 10, 2010 - 1:23 am

    Dear Joy. John and I go camping and kayaking in the most remote areas. No mobile phone coverage, no people, just the sea, nature and us for a whole month.
    When I mention what we do people say; “No mobile phone, all alone in the wilderness? That is scary, are you not scared?”
    The first time I had no fear, had no idea what to expect, but over time I noticed that from all those fearful comments fear gradually set in.
    I had had frights, big waves, rocky seas, strong winds that swept me back, but that was no fear just a healthy reaction to what happened in the moment. But now I created fear without being in a frightening moment. Then one time I got sick on a remote hard to reach piece of coast. It was time we were leaving, no food left but I felt weak and became fearful of the rocky small entrance and the wild surf. However John kayaked away to find some helpers,eager boaties all enjoyed a rescue adventure and I got home safe. I realized fear is when you think of problems without trusting you are able to create solution, we fear death because we think that death is a problem and cannot see it as a great solution creating change.
    Fear for me now is based on my own lack of confidence and attachment to a certain outcome. Having more of these adventures and having to create a solution to an unexpected outcome sure is helping me to get more courageous. I still can feel a tinge of fear and a flicker of doubt in my own competence and when I forget that there is an enormous resource that can come to my rescue. However it does no longer stop me totally in my tracks. Yes, and sometimes it helps to say I have already died as I probably have anyway. xox Wilma

    • #12 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 11:55 am

      I completely understand your camping and kayaking with John. When I sail to the local islands, there are no signals for cell phones, computers, only the boat radio for emergencies. When I hike the local hills, there is no coverage either. I mimic these conditions while at home on the boat…I take an entire day to praise, and keep all technology off. I want my Energy to flow freely, but more than that I want to build pure, golden Energy so that what I share is pure and good. “Fear for me now is based on my own lack of confidence and attachment to a certain outcome.” I see how Fear can be a barrier, and I’m glad it no longer stops you in your tracks. I would also venture to say that this is incorporated into many areas of your life..once you ‘let go” in one area, even tentatively, you learn to “let go” in all areas. I’m watching as you become most confident, a most healthy whole basecamp, and a model for us all:)

  7. #13 by Patty - Why Not Start Now on June 10, 2010 - 4:21 am

    Hi Joy – Fascinating thoughts. I’ve enjoyed Raptitude for a long while, and I like how you build on David’s ideas. It seems to me that you are tapping into deep archetypal energies when you speak of this kind of death. Just as there is a cycle of life and death in nature – spring, summer, fall, winter – so is there a cycle of life in the emotional landscape of human beings. Each time we go through transition we die a little death. But it’s the necessary thing that brings life back into full bloom. We must face death and destruction (in ourselves) to be able to bring forth creativity and vision. This has been a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again, and I suspect I will keep on learning it. But I like the practices you and David have created around it, a way to disconnect from life in the now, allowing you to embrace the inevitable bigger emotional deaths that are sure to come in the future. Nice.

    • #14 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 10, 2010 - 11:51 am

      Hi Patty,
      David is an incredibly talented writer full of amazing thoughts that often challenge my own thinking. With this essay, he very adequately expressed a practice I’ve incorporated into my life, so I thought I would share it (LOL there is ‘safety’ in numbers). “Each time we go through transition we die a little death”…absolutely, and this is why many people resist transition and redirect their path. Humans are afraid of pain–any kind of pain–even if the reward for processing it is magnificent. I love to hike in the hills, play in and around the ocean and I observe that there are natural cycles, cycles my physical self follows, cycles my mental, emotional, spiritual cycle follows…if I allow my heart to remain open to natural unfolding, if I take ‘me’ out of the equation, then I am Energy, golden and pure…*That* Energy is what I like to reflect/share with those around me.

  8. #15 by The Exception on June 10, 2010 - 6:58 pm

    This is interesting Joy. I like the image of breaking the mold and agree with that fear is a factor – even if it is a motivating factor in that it can inspire me to go the other way… it is like a yield sign – there is something here you need to consider!
    It is wonderful to let go, to stretch, to grow. The idea of being Nothing is Buddhist, is it not, and yet it is a concept that I am discovering more and more often.
    We can break our own molds – and then there are those molds that are built by others and that we choose to make our own for an amount of time – everything in time. We have to break the molds of others and of ourselves to grow and stretch and fly!
    How do your kids embrace this idea? Do they do it too?

    • #16 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 12, 2010 - 3:28 pm

      The Exception,
      When you ask about my children, I needed to think about that. The practices I share here on this blog are practices I use within my own life. My children watch my actions, and I talk about each concept in words that are age appropriate for them. For them, though, it is how they are be grateful, to grow the good, to release negative, to clean and make space, to manifest…so it’s what they know, it’s a part of their life. As they age, they make their own choices and I allow for that. When my daughter is upset, she will look at me and say “I know I can turn it around, but in this moment I choose not to)–she has used that phrase since she was seven…LOL–as long as she knows she has a choice. I was raised not knowing I had a I love that the world is wide open for my children.
      The idea of being Nothing is so far removed from what society tells us–you have to be Something, and let that Something be bigger than your neighbor–that many people embrace the concept, but I know few that actually speak about it in mainstream life. We are taught to think rather than feel, and there is now a huge shift toward I am excited to watch as it grows….

  9. #17 by Season on June 11, 2010 - 7:22 am

    All I can think of to say is, “Wow.”

    • #18 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 12, 2010 - 3:20 pm

      Ah my friend. It means a lot to me that you chose to visit! Perhaps you may come back on a lighter day…Fridays are always fun:)

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