In Week two of my Thinkaholism workshop, we begin the process of transforming our stories by first examining our core values and trying to identify our purpose.
In previous blogs, I have spoken to the importance of living a meaningful and purposeful life. In this blog, I will clarify what I mean by defining your ultimate purpose.I personally struggled with this issue for years. When my dear mother fell ill and was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition more than 12 years ago, I began to reassess my entire life.
I knew that I was meant to be a mother, wife, and homemaker. But this new chapter with my dear mother forced me to look beyond those roles and get curious about what else I was meant to pursue. You see, all of a sudden I felt vulnerable to the fragility of life and began longing for something more: I felt driven to uncover my greater purpose.
On the table beside my bed, I have a decorative piece with a favorite saying on it, by Erma Bombeck, which reads:
When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”
I found myself looking deep within to explore and uncover my other gifts and talents so that I could begin to use them and live a more purposeful, balanced, and complete life.
And although my journey to seek my purpose began many years ago, my calling did not appear overnight—nor did my purpose unfold within a week or even a month. It took time—years—to surface.
But, what I did know and feel right from the start was that there was something deep within me begging to be created and birthed. I felt a yearning, a passion that I could not even articulate in words. And so I began to write—my poems began to flow. I acknowledged a beautiful gift within me and began to nurture it and set it free.
Soon after came my desire to coach followed by my yearning to speak in order to share my messages and expand my reach. Thus, two more beautiful gifts were acknowledged and nurtured.
What I tell my clients and workshop participants is this: All you need in order to define your purpose is to give yourself permission to be curious and interested. Change the questions you’re asking yourself. Ask not, “What is my purpose?” Ask instead, “What am I curious about?” and get curious. “What stirs me up?” and go examine it. Direct your energy. Manage your mind.
Then soon enough, as your heart and mind gradually begin to open, you will then discover what excites you—and maybe eventually even what ignites you. We all have our very own unique gifts, talents, priorities, and purpose to pursue. It all begins with curiosity and awareness. Once you realize that you would like to awaken to something more, you can then invite curiosity in. Only then, can you see what else is possible for you.
Your gifts lie deep within you; they have always been there, only they need permission to surface—an invitation to show up!
Every vision begins with a spark of interest, with a curious mind—with a deep concern or intense fascination in something.
I think that many people find it easier to just opt out and say, “I don’t know,” “I’m so confused,” or “I’m stuck.” The initial response to doing the work of defining purpose is oftentimes one of resistance—the task seems too daunting and/or overwhelming. The fact is that it is a process that can be simple or complicated, the latter tending to be the default due to a lack of understanding.
But that’s just how the process evolves. From chaos comes clarity—from fog comes clear vision. Ideas and inspiration will come knocking on your door, but the question is, how will you respond to them?
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in her book, Big Magic, that when an idea comes to you, if you don’t act on it, it will leave and visit someone else. She also says, “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living.”
You can’t get creative without doing the mind work—without digging deep and asking yourself the questions that will help you to define your true essence and guide you towards realizing your full potential.
After years of living, soul-searching, studying, creating, and experiencing, I can say that I am finally beginning to embrace more and more of my gifts. I now recognize my calling as a messenger who teaches people how to harness the power of the brain to self-empower. I see it as my duty, mission, and my personal assignment to empower minds and open hearts. And that is exactly what my recently created curriculum on Thinkaholism is designed to accomplish!
And how do I know for sure that this is my ultimate purpose? Because of the way it makes me feel inside. It gives me a natural high when I’m serving in this capacity, whatever platform I may be using. My gut tells me that it feels right, and the universe nudges me and points me in this direction or nods in response by sending me more of the same. And believe me, when the universe disagrees, I get a very clear “no” and use that as a sign to redirect my energy.
At the time, I had no idea that all of the chapters that led me to where I am today were serving me and preparing me for something bigger. But each chapter added another piece to the puzzle of my life, and slowly, but surely, the dots were being connected by a higher power that was guiding me towards my ultimate purpose.
So listen and pay attention to all of the nudges, nods, and tests that are sent your way, for they are there to challenge you—to see whether or not you’re serious about your purpose.
And don’t worry and think that you aren’t the person you need to be to complete the calling yet, for pursuing the calling will always develop those very capacities lacking in you. Tara Mohr sums it up nicely, “Herein lies the dual purpose of our callings: to enrich the world and to grow, in just the ways we need to grow.”
I feel more fulfilled, happy, and peaceful knowing that I am using what I have been given. You, too, have a purpose. Invite curiosity in and it will replace the emptiness. Uncover, develop, and nurture your gifts, and the universe will open the necessary doors for you and connect the appropriate dots.
Soon enough your life will make more sense and you will see in hindsight how each chapter had a lesson to teach, an offering to give, another piece of the puzzle for you to connect in order to create the ultimate masterpiece—a meaningful and purposeful life.
Nowadays, this is what I say to the universe, “Thank you, and bring it on!”