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Debra Lynn Dadd

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 these.


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 made.

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 consumers.

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.


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. 

Receive Debra's free email newsletters Signs of Spirit, amazing true stories about being a spirit, and Words of Wisdom, daily inspiring quotations on nature and spirit.

Debra Lynn Dadd
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 first issue.

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.


Visit Debra Dadd Redalia at:



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