I am pretty sure that for the best part of the last couple of decades, I have been keenly seeking and searching for not just my own purpose, but information to help others find theirs.
I have read close to a hundred books on the subject, read countless blogs, webinars, quizzes, conversations, coaching.
I’ve searched the terrain.
I am pretty sure my quest began after hearing Oprah talk about purpose when I was in my teens to be honest. About what it meant to live a purpose filled life. Hearing her talk about the fact that all of us, every one of us has a purpose.
When I was younger, I seriously felt like I might be the exception. That I might be the one who really didn’t have a purpose. I felt like I was interested in too many things, and unlike other people who just seemed to ‘know’ their purpose, me, I just felt like I was wafting along with the wind. Not really convinced I knew what it was.
I’ve always been pretty ‘good’ at things.
I can pick things up super fast, and often, if I receive awards, it’s usually for the most improved rookie.
But as far as deep practice, as far as the things that hold my attention long enough to keep doing the thing, over and over and over, THAT has been the biggest challenge for me.
The thing about purpose, is that for many of us, it feels like it has to be this one thing. This thing that you can write down on a sticky label and attach to our clothes. A label that defines our worth in the world.
One of my favourite writers Elizabeth Gilbert has known her purpose from as far back as she can remember. She knew from a very young age that she would be a writer. So much so, that she didn’t want for riches or prestige and was committed to work in whatever job she could, just so she could write.
A few years ago, Liz did a tour of the world, sharing her perspectives on purpose, and passion, and writing. She spoke about being unwavering in the pursuit of living a life aligned with our passions. Our purpose what to live in alignment with that.
One night, after a presentation in Sydney, Liz came back to her room to settle in for some chill time.
As she began to wind down, she perused some of the comments on facebook from her most recent presentation.
There was a crap load of glowing reviews from attendees and heart felt thanks for her inspirational presentation.
But one of those comments left Liz feeling like the basis for all her work, may not be built on solid ground.
A woman, who had gone along to see Liz was left devastated.
The woman, who was an educated and dedicated woman said that she came away from that presentation feeling more lost and more confused and further away from her purpose than she had ever felt.
She said that Liz spoke with deep clarity about her passion and her purpose, and about how she just ‘knew’ what her purpose was. And for this woman, she was heartbroken and felt broken because, unlike Liz, the clarity of her own purpose had not been as crystal.
“Not all of us knew from a young age what our purpose was Liz. What about those people?”
Instead of just glossing over the comment, instead of brushing it aside as someone complaining about her impeccably prepared and delivered presentation, Liz allowed it to hit her heart.
In a moment, she was transported to countless conversations along her path that she had encountered by people who didn’t know their purpose.
To friends she knew that, unlike her, didn’t find their purpose as a young child.
And it occurred to her in that moment, that she had potentially been so far up on her high horse and all knowingness, she hadn’t really been listening.
She went back home and began talking with people about their purposes. And quizzing friends and family.
And it became clear, that she was the exception…not the rule.
This to me, makes so much sense though. It makes sense to me, because as I have journeyed through the forest of the unknown, I have come to see, that there is not a single tree that is the same. And yet all of them have the same purpose – fully express its life force.
It makes sense to me because some people just know, and others don’t. It makes sense that some people like strawberries and some like rockmelon (not me).
It makes sense to me because some like to speak all the time (ah-hem) and others like to be quiet.
It makes sense to me that we all.have.different.likes.loves.des
It was Liz’s purpose to find her purpose young and get on with the business of that.
It is my purpose to pay attention to what lights me up, and get on with the business of creating opportunities to co-create with that.
And if you are like me, it can be SUPER challenging when lots of things are interesting to me. I mean, if you stand me in front of a smorgasbord of food, it is highly likely I will like 90% of what is on offer!
It’s a process though.
It’s like putting them all into a giant sieve and letting them fall through and let me feel into whether it’s a full body yes, or a kind ‘yeah’.
I have to pay attention if it is connected to my ‘social and competent’ self or my ‘essential and unwavering’ self.
It is your purpose to pay attention to what is most curious to you, which I have to say, unless you are trained in how to really experience that, can be REALLY challenging.
Many of us get to superficial level of understanding (in the head) but when we are encouraged to go beyond that, to dig deep, it gets uncomfortable and so many of us stop that adventure, and return to the safety of not really being clear.
But if we can stick with the discomfort, or find someone to help guide us through it, the results are definitely worth the effort.
We have to burn down the old belief systems we have built and rebuild ones that feel completely aligned with our essential selves. The selves that have always known.
I’ve created some great tools for excavating our passions and purpose. If you’d like some support in this area, please email me, and I’ll see how I can help.
If that isn’t your thing, I’d recommend Mastin Kipps “Claim Your Power” book, Elizabeth Gilberts “Big Magic”, and I am currently reading Oprah’s new book, “The Path Made Clear” and even though I am only a chapter in, I would recommend it…but I am a little biased!
If you don’t know your purpose, but are hungry for it to reveal, this is cause to celebrate. This means you are waking up from the sleepiness that is just living without real meaning.
This is your upward trajectory on the mountain of life. You are waking up to the fact that there is something more calling to you. More than what your mind has had you believe up until now.
You are so not alone in this adventure.
If you feel like you might have strayed from your true path, I’m more than happy to help shine the torch on the path for you. I’m a great torch holder and I ask some really good questions to help re-align you with your truest desires.
Until next we meet, keep being brave, keep showing up and keep sharing beautiful you.