What is your purpose, and how do you find it?
That's a loaded question for most of us. Our lives are full of 'to-do' lists, short-term goals and plans, and long-term objectives. Somewhere underneath the daily business of our lives lies our purpose.
You've aligned with your purpose when you feel it on a deep soul level. Connecting with your purpose feels like being set on fire from the inside, and that feeling radiates outward in all areas of your life. Ideas seem to come from nowhere and everywhere. Motivation is no longer an issue. You feel connected and driven by something unexplainable.
I just recently performed a short version of my "Song Series" at a Women's Gala in Hermitage, Newfoundland. They invited me to be their keynote speaker for their annual event, and I was absolutely honoured and humbled by the reception I received from 226 people in the room. It was the biggest validation I have felt thus far that I'm on the right path - I have aligned with my purpose. I felt it at a deep soul level as I spoke individually with attendees and they shared some of their experiences with me. I will never forget Hermitage and what I felt in that room and with those people. I'm forever grateful.
So how do you get there? How do you align with your purpose?
To get started, try these 5 things:
1. Bring awareness to your thoughts. Silence your mind so you can hear what your soul or your inner voice of wisdom wants to tell you. It is necessary to quiet the inner critic. The voice of judgement is fuelled by fear of failure and rejection.
2. Get in touch with what matters most to you. Take some time to reflect and perhaps journal about the following questions. Feel the answers rather than logically come up with them: What really matters in your life? What do you believe in wholeheartedly? What brings you the most joy? Don't dismiss what comes up even if it doesn't seem logical. Write down whatever you are feeling. You can come back to it at a later time to evaluate, but for now just write.
3. Overcome obstacles. Your mind will rapidly and automatically give you many reasons why you cannot do something. This is the voice of fear trying to protect you from failure. Recognize it and push pass it. Name the obstacles and brainstorm ways around them. Two of the most common obstacles are lack of money and/or skills. Try to think of small steps you can take towards your purpose that cost very little and that can help build confidence in your skills. What learning can you access for free online? List small ways you can bring what matters most for you into your life. Step by step, increase your activities in these areas.
4. Uncover dormant skills or interests. As a child there were certain things you enjoyed doing more than anything else. What were they? Why did they bring you so much joy? What emotions did they stir up for you? How can you bring some of that energy back into your life today? How does that childhood activity connect with your purpose?
5. Be open to shifting your perspective. Stir your emotional pot by looking at the picture below. As you read the wording, take notice of any emotions that come up for you, and journal about them. Why have they come up? Dig a little deeper under the feelings to see what is motivating your reactions. Have you attached a false story or emotion to a memory? Can you detach just enough to see the 'story' you have been telling yourself? You have to let go of what's comfortable in order to make change. Sometimes that involves re-writing the narrative you've attached to your life.
Working through this process can uncover false beliefs that have been holding you back from living your true purpose. These beliefs are connected to self-worth. They are things like: "I never succeed", "I don't know how to do it", "I don't have the skills", "What will people think of me", "I don't deserve it", and "I'm not good enough". ALL FALSE!!!
Ordinary people do extraordinary things with their lives. This is because they have connected with their life purpose. It is false to assume that only the super gifted or super passionate can align with their purpose. We all have the capacity to do so.
When it comes to connecting with purpose, most of us are at a loss. We may dabble with this, or dabble with that, and then lose interest all together. That's fine. It's good to explore and ignite curiosity. You never know where it could lead. Be aware of frustration. It takes mindfulness and exploration over time to uncover what you were born to do. Start by accepting and believing you have a unique contribution to offer the world.
A sense of purpose can also be found from meaningful connection with others.
Thanks to technology, we have a multitude of ways to connect with people. I'm doing it right now with this blog post. The odd thing is even with all this connectivity, people are feeling more disconnected than ever before.
This feeling of isolation has caused a crisis of purpose. People are overwhelmed. They are constantly comparing and judging their lives each time they scroll through the social media 'highlight reel' of family and friends. It's important to realize that the 'highlight reel' is just that - a collection of the good parts. We all have messy and complicated days that never show up on social media.
There are things we can do to re-establish connection with the wider community, but they involve stepping out of your comfort zone.
• Take a good look at your past experiences. What disadvantage, adversity or discrimination have you experienced? How have you worked through it? Is there a way you can share your learning with others? Can you volunteer with a support group? Maybe you could start a support group? A group begins with just one more than you.
• Get in touch with awe and wonderment. Is there something or someone that inspires you? Find a way to connect. Developing a mentor-type relationship, or contributing to an organization can help uncover your purpose.
• Share your life through your story. You don't necessarily have to write a book about it, or give speeches even though you certainly could. Sharing your life's journey can take many different forms. Simply talking to others in a mindful way, using your voice or behaviour in a creative purposeful way, or showing up and being fully present through your work are all ways of sharing your true self with the world. We all have unique gifts that are needed. Find your own special way to show empathy, compassion and kindness to others.
I believe when you connect the dots between your life experience and how it can help others, then you've found your purpose. The way to follow it and develop passion around it, will be totally and uniquely yours. First, you must believe in yourself. Next you must take small actions. Then the way will be shown to you and will unfold as it was meant to.
Always remember: You are worthy, you are valuable, and you have something special to share with the world.
"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."
~ Maya Angelou
If you'd like to read more blog posts like this, plus get the inside track on all activities at AMMO Artworks as well as special members benefits, then I invite you to join our growing community. Click over to my website and fill out the form: www.ammoartworks.com
Thanks for reading,