Life's Deeper Meaning
by Debra Dadd Redalia
Life's deeper meaning...hmmmmm...I'm smiling to myself as I sit here
because I can see how far I've come from the days when all my
attention was on "life's shallower meaning"...which restaurant shall
I choose for dinner? what shall I wear today? how am I going to make
enough money to buy that shiny new car? All of those "material girl"
things used to be so important to me. But now my life does have a
deeper meaning that is so much more interesting and satisfying.
For me, life's deeper meaning is about becoming more and more aware
of myself as a spiritual being; participating--as a spirit--in the
natural order of life; and discovering, cultivating, and expressing
my own unique gifts in the world. Let me tell you more about each of
BEING A SPIRIT
It is widely known that we humans are made up of body, mind, and
spirit. But in our culture, the common viewpoint is that we are
bodies with minds and spirits. Spirit is "within" the body. I have a
different view. I experience myself as a spirit, with a mind, which
dwells in a body.
In this lifetime, I became aware that I am a spirit when my body was
six years old. I was asked to become aware of a thought. And then I
was asked "What is watching you think?" I was told that this
"observer" is the spirit, my true self.
Of course! This made perfect sense to me. I could look at the thought
and change it, so I must be something other than my mind. I could see
my arms and legs and move them at will, so I must be something other
than my body. I could change my body or change my mind, but it was
always me observing all these changes coming and going.
It wasn't until many years later that I learned that as a spirit I am
the animating entity which brings life to a physical body and has
characteristics and abilities that are not of the physical body, nor
the mind, but specific to spirit. I learned that it is the spirit
that loves, and creates, and heals, and brings beauty and order to
the physical world, and so much more!
I want to tell you a story. A few months ago I took a trip to San
Francisco, where I was born and raised and lived for most of my life.
While I was there, I remembered a necklace I had seen with a star
pendant made of diamonds. I really loved this necklace. At the time,
I couldn't afford such a necklace, but now I could, so I went to look
at it again. And, you know, I no longer wanted it. I noticed from
this that for much of my life my motivation to develop my
spirituality was to have more power to get physical things that I
wanted. Now I was more interested in being a sprit just to be all the
qualities I am as a spirit.
So for me, the deeper meaning of life is to gain more and more
awareness of what it means to be a spirit, and have spirit abilities,
and use them in the world.
So, if I'm a spirit, why am I here on Earth? What am I here to do?
Well, oddly enough, it seems to me like I'm here to create life. I
know this sounds like a paradox, but it looks that way to me. As
spirits, we are without shape or space or time. Yet, each one of us
as spirits has the ability to create the stuff of everyday life that
exist in space and time.
Now, I'm not talking about materializing objects from thin air
(although I believe it is possible for spirits to do this). For the
moment, I'm referring to the things we create everyday and don't even
think about--breakfast, clean laundry, a product at work...all these
things are creations of spirit. In essence--and I know this will
sound a bit industrial--we are "life production units."
The basic purpose of every life form is to produce the stuff of life.
A tree produces leaves and fruits that provide food and shade. A bee
produces honey. A forest produces habitat for many species. Life is a
constant production line of taking material and turning it into forms
and degrading forms back into raw materials from which new forms are
And so, it only stands to reason that the basic purpose of Homo
sapiens sapiens would be to produce the stuff of life, both
individually, in families, and in groups as businesses and nations.
Until the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s, most production of
the things of daily life was done at home or by individual artisans
serving small communities. The activity of everyday life was cooking,
cultivating gardens, tending animals, building furniture, weaving
hats, and the making of all the things we use. Now that production
has largely been shifted to industry and we have become a culture of
But still, by nature, human beings are life production units, both
individually and collectively. We are happy when we produce because
it is an act of creation, and creation is fundamental to spirit.
Now I can just hear some of you saying, "But man's production is
destroying the Earth!" Yes, that's true. But only because our current
production is missing the balancing factor of spirit, which--by
nature--heals, restores, balances, cooperates, and considers the
highest good for all life. Now, if the production of humans did all
that, wouldn't the world be a wonderful place?
Bringing our spiritual nature to daily life brings forth the deeper
aspects of ourselves to make our lives and the world a better place.
It's something we each have available to us, by our own choice.
GIVING MY GIFTS
It is clear to me from my own experience and observation that each
spirit has their own unique contribution to make to life, and we each
do things in our own unique way. This is built into the design of
life--no two snowflakes are alike, but neither are two human bodies
or two leaves or two fish or two butterflies.
And so part of my deeper meaning is to discover my own truth, my own
talents, my own skills, and my own way of doing things that are right
for me. But it's not just a "me, me" thing. As a spirit, I see beyond
my individual self to recognize that my individual body is vastly
interconnected to all of life on earth and even the sun, moon, and
stars, and beyond. My individualness is as much about what is good
for the whole as it is about what is good for my part. As a spirit I
can see that.
For a long time, I wondered, "How can I possibly ever consider all
the different interconnections on Earth? How can I look at all those
pieces and make the right decisions?"
And then one day I knew. I knew that as a spirit I can just know what
is true and right. I don't need to look at the physical world. I can
just know as a spirit. Just like I knew my husband was the perfect
life partner for me. I just knew he was the one, and I was right.
He's the one in ways I couldn't have even asked for and considered
twenty years ago. As spirits, we can know things our bodies and minds
can't even begin to measure or keep track of or calculate.
I know what is mine as a spirit by knowing. I just know. It's a
feeling of "Yes, this is it." It goes with me and my purpose as a
spirit. It brings me joy. It brings me fulfillment. It makes me jump
up and down and clap my hands. It's the things I'll fight for because
without them my life would be nothing. It's that which brings a smile
to my lips just by thinking about it.
True happiness in life comes, I've found, from living more deeply.
From living every day as the spirit I am.
© Copyright 2006 Debra Dadd Redalia.
All Rights Reserved.
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Debra Dadd Redalia has
been a leading consumer advocate in the field of health and
the environment since the early 1980s. She was the first to
comprehensively write about toxic chemicals in common
household products in language meant for consumers, which
created a demand for the many nontoxic products we find on
the market today.
Beginning with her first
self-published book in 1980, Debra's various books have been
continuously in print for twenty-five years. Her book Home
Safe Home is the definitive guide to toxic exposures in the
home and safe solutions. She also publishes Debra's List--a
free online directory of 100s of links to 1000s of products
with health and environmental benefits--and three free
online newsletters: Health, Home, and Habitat, a weekly
recipe using natural sweeteners, and Words of Wisdom--a
daily quotation on nature or spirit. She has been a regular
contributor to Natural Home & Garden magazine since it's
Hailed "The Queen of
Green" by the New York Times, Debra has appeared on
many radio and television shows including Geraldo and the
Today show. She was featured on the cover of East West
Journal (now Natural Health magazine) and Yoga Journal.