Why am I here? What is the best expression of my gifts in this lifetime?
I hear these questions from folks all over the world, in places like New York, North Carolina, California, Paris, Oklahoma, Portland, Vancouver, Mexico City, and Taiwan, just to name a few. So, it sounds like finding one’s purpose is a likely a universal curiosity.
If you have also been wondering about your purpose, you are on an exploration of your life. While this can be a fruitful and even fun process, it is never easy, so go ahead and pat yourself on the back for taking the first steps. Then put on your explorer hat, and let’s go exploring!
Where do we begin?
Let’s start with where you are now.
What is happening in your personal or professional life?
Jana was in a profession she loves. She said she was not feeling satisfied anymore and wondered if this was still her calling. Although it was a great place to work, she hated her job. Jana had been in the profession a long time. Every day seemed like a movie she’d seen called “Groundhog Day” where the main character wakes up and lives the same day over and over again. Jana felt the same way. She showed up, did her thing, got paid, and went home to a lovely apartment. And actually, her life was picture perfect! Or at least it looked that way. In reality, she hated her life.
I asked Jana what her original purpose was for the profession she chose.
She said this profession promised to use her gifts. It involved research she loved and interesting places to investigate. She loved math and science and especially the exploration. Jana was great at solving problems. It used to be exciting, and she used to feel appreciated.
That part changed. People treated her like a machine now. It seemed like they expected her to take on so many projects and solve the issues without so much as a “thank you.” This went on day after day after day.
The work Jana loved and felt so passionate about wasn’t acknowledged anymore. Her job was thankless. She was thinking: Why bother? Why am I here? What’s my purpose? She wasn’t in touch with her joy.
I asked her if she needed a journey. She looked surprised.
“So, Jana, when was the last time you had a change of environment?” She had a blank look on her face.
“What would happen if you took some time off from work for a change of scene and life experience?”
Jana slumped in the chair. “Cat, I haven’t taken a vacation for a couple years, and…” Then a light went on in her eyes! “You know what? I always wanted to go on a cruise to Alaska. This is a good time of year to go.” She reflected on this idea for a few moments and turned to make a few notes on a small pad of paper I provide for clients for when they get the “Ah Ha!” moment.
She sat up straight in her chair. “Yes, I do need a change of place! I’m going to check out some cruises. I’ll get back to you and let you know what happens. Thank you!” She glowed.
“Thank you for being open to a different life experience,” I said. She smiled mischievously. “What are you thinking?” I asked her.
“Well, I wonder if they’ll miss me?” she smiled.
How do you see the world?
It’s transformative to change how you live and how you see the world.
What is going on? How do you view that experience? We all have a choice of whether to see the world more like a machine, where the cosmic dominos fall where they will, or as a living thing that responds intelligently to our actions and desires. Are you curious? Could you imagine a world with some magic and unseen forces operating that you can get in touch with – forces that contribute to you becoming your best?
When you feel the doldrums at work or in your personal life, you have an opportunity to see the situation with new eyes. “Hey! I’m not a machine! I need to explore and be surprised! I need to feel fresh and new and alive! I want spontaneity!”
We all need to get out of the everyday pattern, so we can gain fresh perspective and insights. After all, this is your life. Why not be your best? Live your purpose.
What happened to Jana?
Jana came back a couple months later, smiling and relaxed. “I took that cruise. It was so interesting and better than I could have ever imagined. Want to see some photos of my trip?”
She pulled out her phone and flipped through amazing photographs of glaciers, beautiful fields of flowers, sunsets on the water, and Jana standing in the middle of a group of people. “That one is with some new friends I met on the cruise,” Jana said. “You wouldn’t believe how much we all had in common. While cruising, we even practiced meditation together. Would you believe it!?”
“You look wonderful,” I said.
“Well, I feel wonderful. I took that journal you gave me and have been writing every day! I didn’t realize there was so much inside of me. I feel like I’m in touch with a whole part of me I never knew existed!”
I smiled. “Hey, Jana, how is work?”
“Well, I’ll tell you they missed me. I’ve been there for so many years that staff were used to my just being there. Even my senior associates told me they were glad I was back. But, I have to tell you that I’m actually thinking of leaving this career and going back to study something new.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“I want to explore what is happening in the oceans. For years I have read about the oceans and sea life, and never realized how it felt to be there. It feels like home – a home I forgot.” Jana’s breathing was calm and peaceful, and her posture looked relaxed and at ease.
It’s Instinctual, Just Ask an Animal
A friend of mine described going on a shamanic drum journey to meet up with his power animal and get some advice on living his purpose. The elephant showed him all of the things that elephants do, like grabbing vegetation to eat with their trunks, playing in the water, and taking care of each other in family groups. His lesson was that all animals know how to be themselves, to do whatever it is that they do, and so do human animals too.
My cats are experts on living their purpose, whether that’s perching on a windowsill, finding creative spots to take a nap, or hopping into my lap for some attention. Their natural curiosity keeps life exciting whenever there is a change in the environment or a potential new toy shows up. I don’t always understand their motives, but for them, it’s all natural.
Humans have this ability to naturally be ourselves too, but we also have the capacity to be influenced in another direction by family, friends, and media. When we wander too far away from our gifts, our interests, our passions, and our purpose, we lose our way. We get confused and might decide our goals are simply material. It’s about making money. Making the corporate machine happy. Sacrificing our unique sense of humanity to meet someone else’s expectations.
Wake up! You are more than you know!
It’s time to go out exploring. Your calling is waiting. You have a purpose, so let’s find it!
Take time to wander. Step out of the every day experience and go to a different place, be around totally different people, eat a food you’ve never tried, go see a show, try a new wellness practice, or chat with someone who can offer you a different perspective. It’s impossible to know what kind of insight and opportunity is waiting out there for you, until you go check it out for yourself.
Are you ready to discover your purpose and start living it now? Life coaching at Apositiva is designed to help you do just that. Call me, Cat Wilson, for your free introduction to the power of positive change in your life: (503) 525-0595.