In this life-changing book, energy medicine expert Rhys Thomas shows you how to discover your life purpose and align your decisions with your deepest self, so your life is fulfilling, productive, and full of joy. Trying to meet everyone else’s expectations about the type of role you should play—whether in your job, your family, or society—can leave you constantly striving but ultimately dissatisfied. In this inspiring book, Thomas guides you in using the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System to identify your purpose and reconnect with your passions, so you can find true happiness and fulfillment.
This system of self-discovery encompasses five distinct soul-based profiles. Which one are you?
- Creative Idealists are highly imaginative thinkers who sometimes self-isolate, feeling safer staying in their inner mental world than engaging with others.
- Emotional Intelligence Specialists are empathic, sensitive, and compassionate but sometimes struggle with being overwhelmed and feeling unloved.
- Team Players are loyal supporters who selflessly put others’ needs before their own, but they can fail to recognize their own strengths and needs.
- Charismatic Leader-Charmers are energetic, dynamic, and capable, but they can become distrustful, self-centered, and even aggressive, in their relationships.
- Knowledgeable Achievers are driven, self-disciplined, and organized big-picture thinkers. They sometimes lose touch with their emotions and push themselves too hard, becoming overly critical and judgmental.
Once you identify your primary life-purpose profile, as well the other profiles you may inhabit, you can move toward your unique calling—embracing your strengths and rejecting unhealthy behaviors. Discover Your Purpose also helps you to better understand and relate to others through their profiles. Included in this book are resources and bio-energetic exercises designed for your individual profile to help you reach your fullest potential in mind, body, and soul.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Rhys Thomas is a visionary author, speaker, and teacher in the field of energy medicine. Creator of the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System and founder of the Rhys Thomas Institute in the Boston area, he employs energy medicine techniques to help people achieve personal and professional transformation. He is a certified Energy Medicine Practitioner, a Reiki Master, and a 2nd Degree Black Belt. Before entering the healing arts, he had a successful twenty-seven-year-long career as a professional tennis coach and speaker.
Read an Excerpt
JEREMY P. TARCHER/PENGUIN
An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
375 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014
Copyright © 2015 by Rhys Thomas
Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.
Most Tarcher/Penguin books are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchase for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, and educational needs. Special books or book excerpts also can be created to fit specific needs. For details, write: SpecialMarkets@penguinrandomhouse.com.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Thomas, Rhys (Alexander Rhys), 1960-
Discover your purpose : how to use the 5 life purpose profiles to unlock your hidden potential and live the life you were meant to live / Rhys Thomas.
1. Self actualization (Psychology) 2. Self-realization. 3. Personality assessment. 4. Conduct of life. 5. Success. I. Title.
Neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained in this book are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this book.
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Cover design by Lee Fukui
To my students, who have all become my teachers.
Part I: Getting Clear on Your Big Why
Chapter 1. The Missing Piece
Chapter 2. The Five Life Purpose Profiles
Chapter 3. Discover Your Profile
Part II: Having the Courage to See Your Defense
Chapter 4. Beliefs, Wounds, and Vows
Chapter 5. Shadow, Higher/Lower Self, and Defensive Mask
Chapter 6. Virtual Reality, Negative Pleasures, and Accepting Duality
Part III: Live Your Truth: The Life Purpose Profile Program
Orientation to the Program
Chapter 7. Profile #1: Creative Idealist/Thinker
Chapter 8. Profile #2: Emotional Intelligence Specialist/Poor Me
Chapter 9. Profile #3: Team Player/People Pleaser
Chapter 10. Profile #4: Charismatic Leader–Charmer/Enforcer-Seducer
Chapter 11. Profile #5: Knowledgeable Achiever/Rule Keeper
Part IV: The Profiles and Relationship Mastery
Chapter 12. Relationship Magnets: Soul Mates, Friends, and Co-workers
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For the past fifteen years, I’ve been helping people to find their life purpose, so they can figure out and attain what they really want in their life. As founder of the Rhys Thomas Institute, I’ve polled thousands of my clients and students, and found that what most people want comes down to three basic desires: financial freedom through a career they love and can be proud of, fulfilling relationships both personally and in business, and abundant energy and well-being for a lifetime of enjoying it all.
Is that something you want in your life? This book is about how you can have what you really want, whether it’s all three of those basic goals, or whether just one or two are really important to you. In the following chapters, you will be shown the concrete tools you can use to bring about your personal desires in those areas by learning about your unique life purpose and starting to live the life you know you deserve.
Getting what you really want in your life is easier than it might appear. The biggest barrier is not knowing your life purpose or how to discover, nurture, and express your special calling in life. Once you know who you are and what your unique purpose is in life, a door opens, and you step through it fearlessly to pursue your dreams and goals, fueled by an endless source of energy to do it.
Who you are is your life purpose. This truth is a discovery you make as you learn about yourself and others in the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System. Then, when you act in alignment with who you are, you not only give your greatest gift to the world, but you achieve success in your career, are fulfilled by your relationships, and get access to extraordinary well-being and energy.
Knowing your unique life purpose quality—as revealed through each of the five Life Purpose Profiles described in this book—and letting that quality inform your life—can transform you from a technician doing a job to a master with deep knowledge of your craft. Having a true calling in life can separate a Gandhi, a Martin Luther King Jr., or a Mother Teresa from someone who toils to tediously build a cathedral brick by brick, never seeing the magnificent cathedral that results from their efforts.
You discovering your spectacular, defining “core” quality is what the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System and this book are all about. It is that self-knowledge that students in my school acquire, because knowing who you are is the key to healing mastery. To heal others you must heal yourself first, and, in the broadest terms, healing means becoming whole.
The three basic steps I teach for anyone to have what they want in life are simple. First, get clear on what your life purpose is—not the one that others think you are supposed to live but the one that is yours by birth, your soul’s choice. Second, acquire the courage to step toward your life’s calling and not fall into old unconscious patterns that stop you. And third, tap into the energy available to act fearlessly in alignment with that calling every day, until you break your habits of procrastination and start living your life motivated by a deep sense of calling and mission.
How do you do this? You can use the Life Purpose Profiles as tools to attain inner direction, fearless courage, and limitless energy for yourself. The path of the Profiles is also about your ability to understand and relate to others, and to help them get what they want in life. As you cultivate your own unique abilities, you become someone who can motivate and inspire others, not just in your own language but in theirs, too. I am sure that if you are reading these pages, you would love to own the market in your business or be the spouse and parent of the year to your family. With my system, that is entirely possible.
I have worked with thousands of heart-centered and successful people who have already studied many systems and looked under many rocks to find their true calling but still feel that something is missing. Like they did, you may be wondering if there is more to life. I have been sharing the “more” with clients and students through my work and seminars, and in the Rhys Thomas Institute over the last fifteen years. The success and expansion of my school have been fueled directly by the use of the Life Purpose Profile System that you are about to learn in this book. The transformation that has happened for thousands can and will happen for you.
When people discover their deepest sense of purpose, they gain an extraordinary source of power. Success in marriage and business becomes totally attainable. And successful people innately know how to inspire, motivate, and influence other people, giving them more courage and more energy, and helping them to break limiting patterns and beliefs to live an extraordinary life. The Life Purpose Profile Program in this book gives you a highly effective transformational tool that will make you an indispensable resource in whatever field you are in.
In the bigger context of having a purpose and being a contribution, everything you want in a career and finances, in personal and business relationships, in vibrant health and abundant energy is within easy reach—all yours to have in lasting happiness and joy.
Knowing your life purpose is all you truly will ever need in order to stay motivated and be sustained in all your efforts. In this book, it is my honor to give you a program that makes all that possible.
Today, the array of self-discovery opportunities we look to is dazzling: meditation, martial arts, yoga, mainstream religions, life coaching, New Age spirituality, Eastern philosophy, and a vast variety of inner and outer disciplines. All of these are paths we hope will lead to self-knowledge and self-realization. While this is all well and good, too often the many paths and books miss the most important ingredient in self-development: the experience of touching your soul and being fully supported to live your life from it.
You may be attracted to a spiritual path or personal growth practice in the hopes of finding your true self, but often the focus is on loftier goals, such as personal enlightenment or spiritual attainment. While those may be worthy goals, they don’t easily translate into knowing your life purpose in practical areas, such as your career or relationships.
If you’ve been struggling with the question of your life purpose, then you need to figure out your Big Why—your deepest, truest purpose in life—in everything you do. You also need a structure—something practical yet wise—to hold and support you in being who you are as a unique individual, knowing what you are here to do and then doing it.
We live in a world where no one is holding our hand and affirming our unique true identity, pointing us consistently down the path that is ours and ours alone, the path where we make the choices for our freedom and empowerment at every turn. We travel through life with much less assurance and support, often in a random fashion even with the help we’ve sought out.
Regardless of which path you are on, it’s likely that you don’t have the structure and support you need. You may not have the tools you need to live with inner peace, joy, and success on every level.
But there is a path that can help you do exactly that.
The five Life Purpose Profiles you will be introduced to briefly in Chapter 2 and then in greater depth in Part III, provide a workspace, a laboratory in which you study yourself and discover your own truth. You don’t need to dissect or analyze who you are; rather, the Profiles connect you to the field of energy you are already embedded in, allowing you to feel your deeper purpose within it.
Having a clear path and structure—a context for living your unique and highly individual life purpose—changes all that. The Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System gives you that context and is the only tool you need to bring forth your life purpose and live a life of extraordinary power and success.
Getting Clear on Your Big Why
The Missing Piece
Is this all there is? That little voice in your head just won’t let up.
Your life is good. Your job brings in enough money to support you and your family. You may even be climbing the ladder in your career, on your way to becoming a business owner or a CEO.
But that little voice is still there: This can’t be it. . . . Isn’t there something more?
And it’s been getting louder.
No matter how much you achieve, no matter how many toys you accumulate, the voice doesn’t go away. You try to ignore it, but the empty feeling that accompanies it is hard to ignore. It hooks you every time, and there’s a good reason it just won’t go away: you haven’t discovered your Big Why yet.
What you have discovered is your little why—how to survive and get your bottom line covered. But even when you do that, there’s still a sense that something is missing. I call that missing piece your Big Why—and when you find out what that Big Why is for you, you’ll have found the answer to the question the little voice in your head has been asking.
The simple answer is, No, this isn’t all there is. There’s a lot more. And what that is will lead you to effortless fulfillment of all that you want in life.
The French call it the raison d’être, your “reason for being.” Buddhists call it dharma, your path in life. It goes by other names: your calling or mission in life; your destiny. But all of these references point to the same thing: you are here for a purpose, and knowing that purpose, that Big Why, is the key to all of your success and happiness in life.
That little voice and the emptiness inside you, that sense of life passing you by when you haven’t achieved real happiness yet—they are all calling you to your Big Why. In this book, you are guided back to your original state when as a child you knew the answer to this question: Who am I and why am I here? The Life Purpose Profile System contains the maps you need to reconnect with yourself, to bring that self forth into every aspect of your life. Only when you know the way, and are on track with your unique purpose that drives all your choices and actions in life, will success in life be yours, because your life purpose is authentically who you are.
Our Evolving Life Purpose
Our understanding of who we are and what our purpose is in the world has evolved throughout human history. In the beginning, as self-awareness was dawning in humanity, our purpose was defined by personal and tribal survival. It was enough to know yourself as a man, woman, mother, father, tribal member, hunter or gatherer, food preparer, tool maker, and so on. How well you responded to your environment and fit into your tribe or family was likely the deciding factor in your survival. To fulfill this purpose, individuals and tribes would kill other humans when they needed to secure natural resources such as water or food.
Inner peace wasn’t on the agenda.
Consciousness evolved, and individual survival and small tribes gave way to society, government, religion, and corporations. A person’s purpose then became associated with their contribution to the group; each person applied his or her skills to a job. People were divided by gender roles; men were leaders and workers, and women were nurturers and caretakers.
This is the understanding of “life purpose” most prevalent in our world today: Our life purpose is limited to our jobs and our roles in family and society. Our sense of self-worth depends on the amount of external influence we have and the money and resources we control. Within this system, we have the illusion of freedom, but when material success and recognition are the primary ways we define ourselves, our sense of life purpose and its expression are limited. Society supports a pattern of striving that does not bring us inner peace.
This way of thinking is evolving so that more people are learning to prioritize inner peace, personal freedom, and self-awareness. At this stage, we stop trying to fit into someone else’s notion of what makes us valuable. We no longer define ourselves by our lineage, country, religion, government, or any other external system that might want to use us to further its own agenda. Traditional gender roles fall away because men and women are equally capable of achieving deep inner knowing and transcendence.
Today, we are evolving into this new kind of humanity. Jung called this new human the individuated self, Maslow called it the self-actualized self, Wayne Dyer calls it the no-limit person. I call it the core soul self to underscore an identity that includes not only your accomplishments and your potential but also the spiritual and energetic dimension of your human experience. I will show you how that dimension comes in five types. Everyone falls into one of those five categories, which helps account for human differences and motivations.
The need to find our unique life purpose is now more important than ever, as we let go of old identities and roles based on gender and occupation, and have an unprecedented amount of leisure time and resources. We are less willing to spend a lifetime witnessing our goals and dreams vanish as circumstances dictate what we can and cannot do. This was the fate of the mythological king Sisyphus, who pushed a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down on him over and over again for eternity.
There may be times in your life when you feel like Sisyphus, endlessly pushing a rock up a hill. But with self-awareness, that rock is not just any rock; it is your rock that your soul has chosen for you and that refines you, strengthens you, and forms you into the person you were born to be. This is the rock of getting up every day and surrendering to your destiny—it never tires you but always inspires you because it is your deepest purpose in life. You want to know, must know, more than ever, what your unique path is during your time here on earth, so that life is not a futile, repetitive waste.
The question What should I do with my life? may no longer be the right question. Instead, you might start with the question Who am I? Knowing who you are, not what you should do, is the missing ingredient in your life purpose pursuit.
Your Core Soul Self
To understand what I mean by your core soul self, let’s look at the term soul, which Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines as “a person’s inner spiritual self.” It is your inner spirit, or self, that you will be getting to know in this book.
I use the term soul not in any religious context but rather to point to an ineffable quality that is within us all and forms an essential part of our being. Your soul has always been a part of you, even before your birth, and carries the qualities that make you unique as a human being. You can know your soul through your deepest feelings and emotions, often coming to you as a sense of energy that is not entirely physical. This “soul energy” is your life energy, the force that animates everything you do. It reaches through you in every moment, connecting you to the world and letting you contribute your unique flavor to all of life. It transcends the physical world, it is eternal, and it is your truest essence.
Barbara Brennan, the spiritual healer and former NASA physicist whose classic Hands of Light put energy medicine on the map, writes of the soul in her recent book, Light Emerging: “It has been there within us since before the beginning of time . . . it is beyond time, space and belief. It is the individual aspects of the divine . . . We recognize it easily as that which we have always known ourselves to be since birth. In this place, we are wise, loving, and full of courage.”
Your life purpose is not chosen by you but by your soul. Because it is your soul’s choice, it is nonnegotiable. It never changes. It is yours and yours alone for life, and only when you tap into the energy of your soul does your life become directed, purposeful, and even magical.
In the last forty years, I’ve worked as a sports coach, teacher, speaker, healer, and founder of an energy medicine school, interacting with thousands of people to help them reach their highest potential. I have never met a person who did not have an essential life purpose.
To truly know your soul is to free yourself of all illusions that limit your creative force. This freedom comes as you realize that your power to create—your life purpose—is a gift you have been given. You accept that gift when you stop chasing after someone else’s ideal life and rediscover the source of your own life—your unique core soul self.
It would seem that since your life purpose is your soul-derived birthright, living it should not be difficult. You were born doing it. You can’t help but know it and live from it. But because life inevitably inflicts wounds on us and we form beliefs in response to these wounds, the job becomes more complicated. You must first identify your life purpose, then align with it and allow it to become your source of motivation and energy to courageously act according to it. That is the life you were meant to live—and can live when you have the right tools.
You Are Your Big Why
You are your life purpose, and you always have been. If you are waiting for the right circumstances to show you your purpose in life, you are missing the point.
The reality is that you are already fully on your path; you just don’t recognize it. You don’t recognize it because you don’t know yourself well enough, in all of your many dimensions, to see how you fit into your own life. If you did, nothing would stop you.
Know thyself is great advice, but there is little backup support provided for the task. The media barrages you with infinite options for who you can be and what you can do, as if it’s simply a matter of choosing one over the other. So you try on different versions of who you might be and then get stuck worshipping status, money, and beauty. Or you let yourself be molded by the expectations of society or family, following in the footsteps of your parents, so you survive but are dead inside, an outer shell with no inner essence guiding and empowering you.
But the truth is, each of us has a specific purpose, and until we uncover it, no amount of striving for validation or fitting in will ever bring inner peace and true happiness.
One of my mentors, Wayne Dyer, tells a story about Mahatma Gandhi, India’s hero who not only led his own country to independence but also influenced political activists all over the world with his methods of nonviolent resistance. We know Gandhi’s method as civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated when he fought for and gained equality for blacks in this country.
During his campaign for independence, Gandhi was known to travel around India by train. At his frequent stops, he would share his inspired message by walking through the streets and speaking to groups of people. Once when he was pulling away from the train station in Calcutta, a young man clinging to the side of the train pressed a piece of paper and pencil into Gandhi’s hand and said, “Write your message down, so I can bring it back to my people.” Gandhi handed back the paper with nothing written on it, and with a gentle smile said simply, “I am my message.”
Why you are here, and what message you are here to share with the world, is revealed by your circumstances, not created by them. If he had wanted to, Gandhi could have lived a comfortable life as a lawyer, which was his profession before he sought to lead India to independence. Instead, he heeded his inner calling—his Big Why—to devote himself to prayer, fasting, and meditation in solidarity with the impoverished people of India who longed for their independence.
You, too, can discover your Big Why. Your life purpose is always yours, and once you identify it, you can pursue goals and desires from a place of alignment with who you are and what you’re here for, not from what others tell you or from what you think you should do.
MY BIG WHY
In 1998, I had a midlife crisis that turned my world upside down. For most of my adult life, I’d felt something big was missing. By the time I was thirty-eight, that sense had finally become too painful to ignore. I could no longer go on striving toward what was not making me happy or fulfilled.
You may think thirty-eight is young for a “midlife” crisis, but looking back, I see that mine was the kind of crisis that could happen to anyone at any age. In fact, what happened to me is now happening to people of all ages, young people in their twenties and thirties, as well as baby boomers and empty nesters. Everywhere there is a rising tide of people asking, as I did, What is missing in my life and how do I get it back?
Today I am on the other side of what turned out to be a profound transformation in which I found the missing piece in my life. But back then, I felt isolated and cut off, struggling to survive in my own private hell.
If you knew me then, you’d never guess I was so desperate and alone. I’d achieved success at a relatively young age, becoming one of the top tennis teaching and coaching professionals in the country, a spokesperson for the industry nationally. I had a highly coveted position as the director of a prestigious country club, making $150,000 a year while wearing a warm-up suit to work every day. Married for fifteen years, I had two wonderful boys, aged seven and eight, and a beautiful home outside of Boston.
In terms of my personal development, I’d been pursuing inner peace and happiness through self-help gurus like Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins for over ten years. Along the way, I’d studied psychology, Eastern philosophy, quantum physics, and the latest mind-body applications to health and performance. I’d earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and examined my life with a psychotherapist. If you’d asked me how it was all going, I would have told you I was living my dream, that I had it all.
But behind the pretense lay the stark truth of my life. I’d been struggling for years in my marriage over issues that never got resolved. I spent all my spare time working, leaving my two young sons growing up without the father they deserved. In spite of my long hours at work, I never felt secure in my position. I had chronic sinus, lower back, and digestive issues. To evade both the physical and psychological pain, I numbed myself with alcohol and a hefty dose of denial about how bad I was feeling in any given moment. I can look back now and see the toll of living a lie.
As I approached my late thirties, that world of unfulfilled striving was crumbling. For years, I’d been clinging to the illusion that success meant earning a lot of money. This meant I could never do what I really loved, for fear I’d get stuck in a second-rate, poorly paying job if I broke away. I smiled, but I wasn’t happy. I’d become completely numb to life. The only “feeling” I had was a sense that something was missing in my life, something that should have been there if I were ever to be truly happy. But I had no idea what it was. I knew it only by its painful absence.
In my desperation, I did something that seemed crazy at the time. I signed up for a three-year program at the Institute of Healing Arts and Sciences, a school in Connecticut that offered courses I hoped would help me to heal, so that my relationships, work, and overall success as a man would all fall into place. In my state of denial, I thought that solving all my problems would be simple. After all, how big could that missing something be? I’d done so much work on myself already—surely there wasn’t much new I would need to learn.
But I was wrong. In the program, I learned how to awaken the life force energy in me that I had shut down over the many years of denying my true nature. I could see that who I wanted to be and who I had become were actually two distinctly different people. I had been parading falsely as an “achiever” and businessman with just enough energy to pull it off, while lying to everyone about who I really was. People around me accepted the charade, and because I appeared so successful, no one tried to stop the train wreck my life had become.
During the three-year program, I came to see I’d been the Tin Man from Oz, searching for my heart but with no idea what it looked like, having armored myself against any real feelings. Through my training at the school, I found a deeper truth that was calling me to something greater than what I’d been striving so painfully to attain: my life purpose from my soul’s perspective.
As I did the inner work to awaken and embrace my own deeper purpose, I started to notice that, as I had been, many people were hiding their quiet desperation behind a smile, a drink, or distraction. Failed relationships, careers that were more like torture than work, responsibilities rather than passions, have tos not want tos, and dreams that were put on hold for too long seemed the common lot. The “something missing,” I learned, not just for me but for everyone, was joy, passion, enthusiasm, love, connection, and tapping into authentic meaning and purpose in life—all the things material success had never brought me.
Like everyone else, I was taught that the best way to conduct my life was to think first and then take action based on my ideas—to figure it all out to the best of my ability and then do the “right thing.” But I had it backward. Figuring it all out had kept me safe but stuck, never fulfilled and happy. The best way to run my life, it turned out, was to listen to my feelings and let them guide me. When I learned to feel my deepest feelings—those not generated by my thinking mind—I found that those feelings called me to my highest purpose in an infinite number of ways.
The more I worked on myself and encountered others who had similar experiences, the more I began to feel a part of a wave of people on course to discover their true purpose in life and inspire others to do the same. I also noticed that there were few avenues for people to take in awakening from their numbness and start living with purpose. There needed to be more support for this critical evolutionary movement, and I was having glimmerings that I was to be part of that growing community of support.
My Big Why—the answer to the question Why am I here?—was taking form and expressing itself uniquely in my life. I began to teach what I’d discovered to everyone I could. My feelings were calling me in every moment to act on the best that was in me, and I discovered that those qualities were the core drivers for what I am here to do on the planet—not only in my personal life but as part of my contribution to a greater good. This realization has led me to my Big Why, my unique mission in life, which is to teach all who wish to learn that our own truth is infinitely stronger and more intelligent than anything others tell us to do, or what we think we should do.
Today, after many hours spent listening to my subtle inner callings with the help of tools I developed for myself and eventually others, as well as working with thousands of workshop participants and individual clients, I have come to realize that my deepest feelings are actually the “words” my soul uses to talk to me. To know who I am, I had to feel my soul communicating with me, guiding me in every moment to be me.
My life today provides a sharp contrast to how I used to be. Knowing who I am and what my purpose is, I live every day with energy and passion, enthusiasm and creativity. I am in better shape physically in my fifties than I was in my twenties and thirties, I found the courage to leave an unhealthy marriage, and I regularly share my “crazy ideas” with my two sons, with whom I have a loving relationship.
I also quit that top job as director for the prestigious country club, and in 2005 I opened the Rhys Thomas Institute, located outside of Boston. I teach my students how to awaken to their truth through a method I learned and then developed further, so each one can stand fully in their life purpose every day, as I’ve come to do. Knowing and aligning with my life purpose fuels my high level of energy, and I no longer need alcohol or any kind of substance to “get me through” the day. I run on my own inspiration and excitement about life.
You may be suffering as I did. Perhaps you recognize from my story that you, too, have been denying your truth in life, not even aware of what it is. But just as I did, you can learn to release old patterns and defenses that are stopping you from living the life you want. Once you find your Big Why and take action to live it, you will get what you truly want in life.
Is what you want in life a career or job you can be proud of that supports you and your family? Or is it rich and fulfilling relationships, both in your personal life and in your business? Maybe what you want is the energy and well-being, the stamina and good health to enjoy your life. Or maybe it’s all three.
But one thing is for sure: It all starts when you find your life purpose.
What’s Next . . .
In the next chapter, you will be introduced to the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System, based on an understanding of the five different kinds of soul-driven people in the world. The system is designed to support your newly evolving self—your core soul self, not the persona you might try to project to others. The goal of the system is to empower you to make conscious choices and act courageously, based on inner knowing rather than on external circumstance and social norms.
The pleasure of knowing and being you is the first step to finding your individual life purpose and transforming your life. Then, as you share your truth with others, you will find that you have a larger life purpose that is destined to play an essential part in the transformation of all your relationships, your society, and the world.
The Five Life Purpose Profiles
You are about to take a look at the human race in a way you have never seen it before. This new perspective, with the freedom and power it makes possible, can radically change your life and all of your relationships for the better.
The extraordinary life you’ve always dreamed of is possible through the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System, which guides you toward understanding and mapping a path to human authenticity and potential. In this chapter you will learn about the system’s origin and uses, as well as the promise it holds for you to discover and live your own unique life purpose.
Origins of the Profile System
The Life Purpose Profile System has its roots in the work of Alexander Lowen, a physician and psychotherapist whose groundbreaking research was presented in his 1975 best seller, Bioenergetics. Lowen had been a student of Wilhelm Reich, the controversial psychiatrist who proposed that a person’s character depended on how emotional trauma had impacted his or her mental and physical health. By working with thousands of psychiatric patients in sanitariums as well as with private clients, Lowen and Reich came to the conclusion that both mind and body needed to be treated in order for a person to heal. Their work stood in opposition to Freudian analysis, the dominant approach of the day, which had patients examine their pasts in order to attain mental and emotional healing.
Lowen went on to develop a theory of five distinct types of character structures in people based on physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. He was looking mainly at energetic excess or deficiency as they showed up in a person’s physical body. The qualities of these five groups were so pronounced that Lowen could challenge any psychologist to bring him a patient, and within minutes hand back a detailed history of the patient’s behavioral patterns, life challenges, and reasons for any neurotic tendencies observed.
Lowen called his five types character structures and saw them as the underlying motivators in a person’s life. He spent many years developing a full-body approach to mental and physical health based on his understanding of how energy blockages limited a person’s ability to express feelings or needs. His main contribution was to bring attention to body armoring, a person’s unconscious, defensive responses that result in a decrease in physical function and eventually illness. He believed that until a person becomes conscious of negative patterns and is able to open up energetically to hold more life force, healthy functioning would not be possible. Lowen devised exercises that helped patients to release their body armor, and thus their defensive patterns, in what became a popular treatment modality in the ’70s.
While Lowen’s approach took a giant step forward in mental health treatment by emphasizing the importance of the physical body, the system I developed takes the next big step, which is to include the “core” aspects of a person’s makeup at the level of the soul. My system provides not only an awareness of a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup, but also offers guidance and tools that tap into the vast potential within each person to guide them to their unique purpose in life.
Development of the Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profiles
The Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profile System came about over the course of my training at the Institute of Healing Arts and Sciences, a school dedicated to training energy medicine healers and integrating energy medicine into hospitals. The institute used Lowen’s work as the basis for understanding the connection between physical and emotional illness.
As a student and later a teacher at the institute, I had the great privilege to work with master practitioners of an offshoot of bioenergetics called core energetics, developed by John C. Peirrakos. I was able to see both the physical manifestations of defense mechanisms and the emotional manifestations of blocked energy typical of Lowen’s five structures. Recognizing how and where energy is constricted in the body when people armor themselves against feeling was incredibly eye-opening to me.
Equally stunning was the realization that this healing dynamic was something I had glimpsed in my work with people over my entire professional life. As a tennis coach, I’d worked one-on-one with people and seen how they were able to release and use their energy, and how that related to their body type. This experience was my immediate frame of reference for understanding Lowen’s character structures, and as I learned the tendencies of each type, I could visualize students I’d coached who exemplified each type. Also, as a martial artist, I could see Lowen’s structures as they appeared in my training, and I was excited about how these body templates opened up a way for me to understand more about healing.
But I soon came up against a limitation in the bioenergetic system. As I studied both bioenergetics and core energetics, I found it difficult to accept their almost exclusive emphasis on defensive patterns people develop in response to early life trauma. Even the names used for the five character types—schizoid, oral, masochistic, rigid, and psychopathic—reflected a focus on pain and suffering rather than on capability and potential. I pored over Lowen’s books but found no description for what it might look like once a person became free of unconscious defenses. If people’s defensive armor no longer restricted them, I wondered, what kind of people would they be?
I began to create an expanded version of Lowen’s five structures, starting from a place of honoring a person’s unique gifts rather than focusing on how they are broken and aiming to fix them. Lowen’s work was a therapeutic model in which the character structures used to define a person resulted from specific traumas in life. In my view, any character flaws existed only in the shadow of a greater soul quality within the individual. “Schizoid” could never define the whole of a person. Creating an identity out of one’s defense, when that defense was the problem to begin with, seemed counterintuitive and counterproductive to everything I was learning about healing.
This understanding enabled me to reframe Lowen’s five structures and develop the five Life Purpose Profiles. My profiles include the defensive postures, but they focus on the soul qualities in defining the person. In defense, a person’s decisions in life are automatic and reactive rather than conscious, driven by an underlying fear and uncertainty in life. Free from defense, a person is able to meet and embrace life’s uncertainties as opportunities to choose the life he or she wants.
Your core soul self, the undefended you, is the source of all your energy, passion, joy, and inner peace. Your defense, on the other hand, is a master wall-builder whose job is to protect you from being vulnerable or hurt. It will never bring you lasting happiness or unity. No peace or joy is possible as long as your energy feeds your fear of losing what you have instead of feeding your ability to reach for what you are capable of.
Walls protect but simultaneously isolate. The breaking down of our psychological and spiritual walls is an essential part of the evolution of the consciousness of humanity toward universal acceptance and oneness. The catalyst for our universality is each person discovering his or her deepest purpose and linking it to the purpose of every other man, woman, and child on the planet. For that to happen, we must understand the deepest aspects of a person, those that exist at the level of our soul.
Introducing the Five Life Purpose Profiles
My Life Purpose Profiles use Lowen’s five character types as a frame of reference—both Lowen’s types and my Life Purpose Profiles focus on the same body structures and their defenses, which we will delve into more deeply in later chapters. But where my profiles diverge from Lowen’s types is in the inclusion of a person’s core soul qualities that help the person manifest his or her life purpose in the world.
Furthermore, I’ve observed that there are five distinct expressions of the soul’s purpose in human beings. We all fit into one or another of the following primary soul “flavors”: Thinkers, Feelers, Caretakers, Achievers, and Leaders.
Think of your own family members—especially your siblings or children. Weren’t they each unique as babies and children, even though they may have borne a physical resemblance to others in the family? Any parent knows that each child is like no other, that each one comes with his or her own personality.
You may understandably have a resistance to being labeled or judged. After all, people have used many repressive classification systems for generations that ultimately negate the integrity of other human beings. Slavery, the caste system of India, one religion claiming supremacy over others, prejudice or stereotyping, male and female gender roles, and racial profiling of terrorists have all failed humanity and stand as a warning, not as a model for understanding our fellow humans.
The Rhys Method® Life Purpose Profiles are not labels that limit and contain and negate. Rather, they are an acknowledgment of the unique greatness that is in each of us. Once we see our gifts, we can make the choices we must make to do our part in transforming our lives and those of others on this planet.
I offer you an opportunity to see yourself through a lens that is dynamic and empowering. My goal is to educate and ultimately liberate. My profile system is never imposed but simply offered as a structure to bring about personal fulfillment, higher consciousness, and unification with others in a more peaceful world. As each individual comes into alignment with his or her life purpose, the planet becomes balanced and whole.
John Gray, the author of several popular self-help books, proposed a similar idea when he wrote that men are from Mars and women from Venus. He showed how understanding gender difference can help men and women communicate better, and live in harmony and peace.
The profile system is based on an understanding that no one was born a blank slate, ready to be defined by the conditions and circumstances around them. Yes, we are influenced by our environments, but only after we bring our own unique “planet” to the party. Then, our unique core soul self responds to the events and circumstances in our life from a deeper set of principles. We are each a unique combination of our environment and our nature, grounded first in our original core soul self.
Each of us has one primary Life Purpose Profile that then blends with a secondary profile to give us our unique expression. The remaining three profiles also come into play, if only to a minor degree, making each person’s overall profile a composite of all five.
Each human being will express his or her unique quality based on the infinite number of factors that create a whole person, but one’s specific life purpose—as thinkers, feelers, caretakers, achievers, and leaders—never changes. The result is that no two people are exactly the same, even though everyone falls into the five major life purpose callings. How you express your life purpose—the job or career you choose or the role you play—is something you create according to your unique choices in life.
Below, I’ve listed the core soul qualities of each of the five Life Purpose Profiles:
Excerpted from "Discover Your Purpose"
Copyright © 2015 Rhys Thomas.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part I Getting Clear on Your Big Why
Chapter 1 The Missing Piece 3
Chapter 2 The Five Lire Purpose Profiles 15
Chapter 3 Discover Your Profile 35
Part II Having the Courage to See Your Defense
Chapter 4 Beliefs, Wounds, and Vows 65
Chapter 5 Shadow, Higher/Lower Self, and Defensive Mask 79
Chapter 6 Virtual Reality, Negative Pleasures, and Accepting Duality 93
Part III Live Your Truth: The Life Purpose Profile Program
Orientation to the Program 117
Chapter 7 Profile #1: Creative Idealist/Thinker 123
Chapter 8 Profile #2: Emotional Intelligence Specialist/Poor Me 165
Chapter 9 Profile #3: Team Player/People Pleaser 207
Chapter 10 Profile #4: Charismatic Leader-Charmer/Enforcer-Seducer 253
Chapter 11 Profile #5: Knowledgeable Achiever/Rule Keeper 301
Part IV The Profiles and Relationship Mastery
Chapter 12 Relationship Magnets: Soul Mates, Friends, and Co-workers 349