a reflection on purpose

My husband and I watched two documentaries recently (Cowspiracy and What the Health). Have you seen them? Documentaries are one of our favorite genres to watch these days, especially those focusing on food and health. These two topics are one of our biggest interests – our passion for it having exploded in the last year. We just can’t get enough of it! It’s been a blessing to have such a connection on these issues.

After viewing these types of movies, I feel empowered by new information and eager to make changes. I also feel a little disheartened – in the grand scheme of things, are my choices even making a positive impact? Do they make a difference if there are so many other people out there who don’t have access to this same information or won’t make changes? Sometimes it feels like such a heavy burden to carry: I want to share information, to encourage others to learn more about themselves and the world in which they live, but its hard to know who will be receptive to it.

But then I look around and witness the effects of positive choices: in people who transition to plant-based diets, or choose to implement zero-waste practices, or stand up for what they believe and practice what they preach, or make sacrifices for a greater good, or simply choose to be kind and loving. There is so much hope in (and behind) these actions. It’s encouraging to know that others (though we may seem to differ or conflict) are really striving towards the same thing, but in their own way. Just as I am in mine.

I’ve had a couple of phrases bouncing around my mind since I heard them and I want to share them with you. Perhaps they will inspire you, too! They have given me a clearer vision of my purpose in life. They have called me to take more responsibility and ownership for my actions and choices. Because, in fact, my actions DO have an impact: in how I raise and teach my children, in how I respect others, and in how I treat this dear planet.

The first quote is from my priest. In his homily a few weeks ago, he said to never get in an argument with someone over religion; that if someone questions your faith or asks what you believe to simply say,

Watch what I say and watch what I do; then you will know what I believe.”

This quote pertains to more than just religion. It has had me analyzing my thoughts, my words, my choices, and my lifestyle. I think it’s a wonderful challenge that he presented. It definitely holds me accountable and guides me. It helps me to “lead by example” in the ways that I live and things that I share rather than force or pressure others to make changes. Ultimately, who am I to control others in that way anyway?

The second quote I came across while watching a trailer for a Pope Francis documentary:

No one can serve two masters. We either serve God or we serve money.”

Those are our only two options! Reflecting on the way I live my life has led me to hope, and pray, and desire to always live to humbly serve only God through the choices I make in regards to my health, raising children, and respecting the planet and all the inhabitants on it.

With these two phrases in mind, I am seeing myself in a different light — a light to use to walk a better, more purpose-filled path.

***

I did not expect it, but the more I was challenged, the more I discovered my true self, my passions, my gifts, my purpose. Of course, I believe the transformation is lifelong, which is why I am always eager to learn more and delve deeper. I hope that desire never fades.

Through sharing knowledge, it is my hope that I can be a beacon of light to others. I have come to realize that this is the purpose of sharing my stories with you on this blog: to simply challenge, empower, inform, and inspire you, just as I have been.

Because I believe that knowledge is power. And we all deserve to be our best selves. And we all deserve to know the truth, always. And when each of us takes action and makes changes, we help one another, benefitting all.

Humbly, Gently, Quietly, Warmly —

Ashley

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