Finding Your North Star

Stars are often part of Christmas decorations and celebrations. Personally, I love stars all year round, so here are a few thoughts concerning one star that often dominates the sky. For thousands of years the North Star has been a bright guiding light that helped people on their journeys. Our life is also a journey, and we all have an individual North Star within us that guides us to live by our deeply held beliefs and guiding principles. It can be thought of as an internal compass that is unique to each of us, and represents who we are at our deepest level. It represents what is most important to us. It is the compass of the soul that determines the richness of our life.
This doesn’t mean we don’t ever get lost. Getting lost can be beneficial because, as we work our way through times that feel dark, when choices are difficult or grief is fresh, if we are willing, we will discover treasure. The treasure we carry from our struggles and hardships holds not only value to us, but value to others when we share them as a gift. As C. G. Jung wrote, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Everyone’s journey is different because our origin and destination are not the same. Because of its history as a navigational tool, the North Star has also become a symbol for personal growth. It’s the inner compass that keeps us on course because it knows our passions and purpose. Finding our North Star means we know where we’re headed, which creates confidence and resilience. As long as our North Star is wholesome and vital, we can trust the process. It will energize us to stay true to our destination.
There are some clues that tell us when we’re out of touch with our North Star. No matter how goal orientated we may appear, if we’re feeling a lack of purpose or meaning, we’re out of touch. If days feel more like drudgery and we lack enthusiasm, we’ve lost our connection. If we are living our lives according to other people’s expectations, we’ve lost our North Star. Feeling empty, disconnected from our emotions, and hollow inside, is another clue to being out of touch. So, how do we reconnect?
Here are a few suggestions for finding our North Star. It can begin with taking responsibility for our own development, which starts with an honest look inside our hearts for our deepest longings. It’s time to honor them. Then eliminate that inner judgmental voice that tells us we are not good enough – that’s not true. Quiet contemplative time helps bring clarity as we get in touch with our deepest longings. Asking for guidance and journaling afterward can be very effective. Spiritual practices help us find the sacredness in being part of something greater then ourself.
We know deep in our bones what is right for us, so we follow the inner nudges indicating needed change. Since we can’t give 100% of ourself to every area of our life, we can choose what is most important to do now with our present circumstances. As our life changes our priorities change. Playing is important because it helps our creativity and problem-solving abilities. Martha Beck, Ph.D. writes, “Putting joyful activities into every nook and cranny of your day is a great way to start toward your North Star.” Each morning, when we wake up, we can recommit to following our guiding light. Reaching out to people we trust is also important because we all need a strong support system.
Martha Beck wrote, “Identifying your North Star is a deep psychological and spiritual art.” It’s our guiding principles – something we aim to keep in line with every day. It’s what keeps us energized and enthusiastic, making us want to jump out of bed in the morning. It’s our direction to the destination of what is most important for our wellbeing. When we are truly authentic, we are living by our North star because it symbolizes the light we can always turn to. It will always be there – it will not let us down. It’s the guiding light for our soul’s journey. Once we’ve discovered our North Star, all the other constellations line up. These represent the values and creativity that are guiding our choices. Author David Whyte wrote, “Our genius is to understand, and stand beneath the set of stars present at our birth, and from that place to seek the hidden, single star, over the night horizon, we did not know we were following.”

Until Next Time – Sylvia


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