"If you lose your purpose, it's like you're broken."
~Hugo Cabret

Over the holidays, I saw the movie Hugo. I went without great expectation, but I was delightfully surprised. It's a wonderful movie, full of fantasy, fun, and food for thought. I like movies with messages, and this one had many. The one that stuck, though, is the idea that, in a well-designed machine, there are "no spare parts."

I know that comparing existence to a machine is not currently in favor. That's okay. I agree with the reasons it isn't. The wonder of life is way beyond mechanistic thinking. That said, however, something resonated about the concept that the whole of creation makes sense in some way we don't necessarily understand; nor do we need to. That in this unknowable, chaotic, inspiring cosmos, all that exists fits. There are no spare parts. Everything has a purpose. And the trick is to figure out how our part fits the whole: our purpose. Why we are here.

Following Energy
We don't need to have a clue at first. We only need to follow our heart, mind, and energy. We might be frustrated more than we wish. We might want to give up. But we must have the courage and stamina to keep searching, knowing we are not a spare part, because there aren't any of those in this Universe.

When I begin something new--like a new project, a new creation, or a new year--I think about these things. What am I doing here? Why am I doing it? What impulse drives me forward? How will I find my way when (inevitably) I get lost, lose energy, or run up against a worthy obstacle?

Finding Purpose
I know what my immediate intention is, perhaps: to finish this article; to teach that course; to help this individual find her power. I don't always know, however, what the ultimate purpose is, may never know. Finding purpose, like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life" or like Hugo, is about following where my ki--my life force--leads, and trusting the Universal purpose behind it.
• How do you fit?
• In whom or what do you trust?
• Where is your heart, mind and energy leading you this new year?
• How will you turn your obstacles into teachers?

The answers will come if you:
• Take a moment to engage the questions.
• Notice where your life energy is strong and follow it.
• Stay curious when you encounter the obstacles.

It's a perfect time of year to reconnect with your purpose, and I look forward to hearing from you about this topic and any others you'd like to talk about. Thank you for your loyal readership of my blog and newsletter over the years--and for your ki!

Warm wishes for a happy, healthy 2012, filled with purpose and many ki moments.

"I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too."
~Hugo Cabret

Author's Bio: 

Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict (http://www.unlikelyteachersbook.com) and the award-winning e-zine, Ki Moments, containing stories and practices on turning life's challenges into life teachers. Judy is a black belt in aikido and nationally known presenter, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a positive work environment. She is the founder of Power & Presence Training and chief instructor of Portsmouth Aikido, Portsmouth, NH, USA. To sign up for more free tips and articles like these, visit http://www.JudyRinger.com