Discover the Thing You Were Born For in 5 Easy Steps

Lately I’ve given up gazing into the navel of enlightenment. There’s only so long you can talk about waking up without boring or repeating yourself.

What has captured my imagination (other than the wonder and awe of an increasingly non-ordinary life) is the question of purpose. I’ve always intuited that being born came with hidden mission instructions, that my being alive as a woman in the 21st century is not a random event without meaning. That applies to you too. We are all here, for a reason.

purposeOne of the objections I often hear from people is that purpose is a luxury item for those with idle time and ample money. And to a degree, that is true. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, purpose would be at the top of the pyramid, once the basic needs are met. Let’s face it, if you are struggling to survive, thriving is not on the table.

But most of us in the first world live with the possibility of self-actualization. Yet we also exist in a state of persistent amnesia rooted in a disconnect from our soul. We wander like sleepwalkers through the years allotted us, never stopping to wonder not only “Who am I really?” but also “Why am I here?” And while ultimately, we are all here for the grand purpose of remembrance (of the infinite divinity we are) there is in each of us a call to a unique expression of this divinity in the world.

This quote by modern dance pioneer Martha Graham says it all: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.”

It is in this spirit my curiosity has propelled me into a phase of discovery: I am heaven-bent on shining the light of my inner-knowing on this one question: What is my unique expression that is being called for now? In other words, “What is my most true purpose?” (I touched on this two years ago in my post, What is this Form For?)

In my sleuthing, I’ve come up with five steps that seem to be working for me. I offer them here as a playful possibility that you might find them useful in the quest for your unique awakened-heart expression in the world.

Step One: Let go of thinking you know for certain what is NOT your purpose.

purpose
Featured Image: “Bodyscape” – artist Allan Teger

I began the purpose-quest five months ago. I started by mentally ticking off the things I knew for sure could not be a part of my next expression of self in the world. And yes, many of these items truly were roles that no longer fit.

But lately I’ve begun to see that I’d tossed a few babies out with the bathwater. For instance, my high functioning clairvoyance (I had nine year lucrative and successful career as an intuitive reader) is still a part of my unique self expression and it’s not disposable. It’s central, in fact, to how I operate. To dismiss it would be sort of like a maestro saying the strings section is not longer needed in this orchestra. Ever.

So ask yourself: What aspect of self—what talent or gift—have you abandoned that perhaps you need to re-invite to your purpose party? What have you banished that could be a celebrated asset?

Step Two: Get Clear that Dreams, Strategy and Actions are not the same as Purpose.

I owe this insight to author Marcia Weider, whose book Making Your Dreams Come True, came into my life at the perfect time. She makes clear that too often we have dreams (and then strategies and actions to execute those dreams) that are not founded on this thing called Purpose. In her view, when that happens, we climb a dream mountain only to find that we are on the wrong mountain top.

For example: I was quite busy with the dream of creating a business based on teaching entrepreneurs how to create viral online content. This dream was based on me wanting to generate income doing something I know how to do. After two months of heavy lifting to make this dream a reality, I had a wake up call that stopped me in my tracks: This direction—and all the strategies, money and actions I had taken to support it—was not founded on my purpose. (In Marcia’s world, purpose is the bottom of a pyramid that is essential if we are to be happy when we reach the summit).

Step Three: Be Open to Discovery and Revelation

My wake up call happened in the middle of a live three-day video training program for women called Shine Online. The whole point was to get comfy on camera and create DIY video selfie that would help me brand myself.

I should have known something was amiss when I could not remember my 30-second elevator pitch script that first day. The next morning, rushing to the class, I walked right into my open car trunk with such force I ended up flat on my ass on the ground, watching in shock as blood started pooling on the pavement. My first thought? “Who the hell hit me?”

A mild concussion and a stitches-worthy cut later, I realized this incident was not just an accident. It was a message to stop and reassess my direction. That night I had a powerful dream that clearly showed me I was not creating a business aligned with my deepest purpose, but rather on a convenient way to monetize a set of skills.

And I opened to the mystery of my purpose again. I was willing to not know, until I did. Just after this, Marcia’s book about making dreams happen, entered my life. Not incidental, this book got me to think about purpose in a new way, as something deeply intrinsic to who I am. The book made looking for my purpose feel like fun.

Step Four: Look to Your Childhood for Depth Clues.

The first time I really got that we are born for a particular greatness was when I read The Soul’s Code by James Hillman. I must have been 33 or so when that pivotal book was published: long story short, the thesis is we each are born with our own unique daemon, or genius. Like an acorn that becomes the oak, we arrive fully encoded with a master design to become mighty in the world.

Hillman notes that clues to our true genius can look like the very thing we shirk from, or that is a major childhood stumbling block or wound. For instance, wartime radio orator Winston Churchill stuttered as a child. His handicap become his glory.

Digging into my childhood I can see two themes with clarity. I have always been a mystic and encountered my first “miracle” at age 9. I was obsessed with magic and miracles, and my life unfolded with episodes of supernatural and extraordinary encounters.

The second theme: I was so painfully shy and withdrawn that I did not speak in school for years. I channelled much of my self expression into writing and began to win awards in grade school. My life created the perfect circumstances for the craft of writing to become one of mastery.

If you pair magic and miracles with writing….well, I guess that sums up the Awakened Dreamer blog and the book I am currently writing. At one level my purpose is to provoke and inspire people to entertain magic and engage miracles. The deeper layer, post awakening, is that my purpose is to demonstrate these miracles occur from the recognition that my will IS god’s will. There is no separation (only the illusion of it).

Step Five: Take a Self Love Inventory.

There is an old zen story about a carver who creates beautiful elephant statues from a block of stone. One day, the student asks the carver: Master, how is it that you carve a perfect elephant every time? The Master Carver replies: I carve away all this is not elephant.

Similarly, finding our purpose is that perfect elephant waiting for us in the block of stone that is our life. To carve away all that is not true, I created a three-question Self Love Inventory. When you answer these three questions honestly, you clear away the mental noise and emotional confusion.

Question 1: If money was no obstacle what would you be doing that brings you joy?

Question 2. If the opinion and judgements of others had no impact on you, what would you be doing that brings you joy?

Question 3: If your duties and responsibilities to others disappeared overnight, what would you be doing that brings you joy?

Sometimes the answers to these questions is not immediately obvious. And it is entirely possible your answer could be “finding my purpose” or “I am already doing it.” Nonetheless, this Self Love Inventory is something I use a my own reality check to make sure I have not slipped into the ruts of:

1) Making money my purpose instead of having my purpose make money.

2) Worrying that others won’t approve of my path.

3) Feeling I have to sacrifice my own true passion in order to be a dutiful mom or responsible wife.

I’ll finish up with one of my favorite quotes on purpose by Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work.

I believe that if you don’t derive a deep sense of purpose from what you do, if you don’t come radiantly alive several times a day, if you don’t feel deeply grateful at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you, then you are wasting your life. And life is too short to waste. – Brainy Quote

These words strike to the heart of why purpose matters, at least for me. It’s about being radiantly passionately joyfully alive. It’s just that simple.

Awareness is here, purposefully

Lori Ann

Lori Ann Lothian is a Contributing Writer to Shift Frequency

SF Source The Awakened Dreamer  July 2015

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