Do you ever ask yourself, What do I want to be when I grow up? If you do, you’re not alone.
It doesn’t matter how old you are when you ask this question. What does matter is that you’re in different phases at different times in your life. So the exploration will have a different focus when you’re 25, or in your 40s or 50s, or older.
Finding your life purpose is a deeply significant journey. Here’s what I know for sure: When you live with joy and your soul is thriving, you’re living your purpose.
So how do you discover your true purpose? I am listening hard to what you and others who come to see me as a coach are saying to me. I’m paying attention to the newest research and my own intuition and inner guidance system as I write a book for you to use on your search.
Here are a few of the key things that have emerged so far in my search. Let me know what you think.
- Listen more attentively to your own internal guidance system. It helps when you build foundational practices that guide you to your inner landscape: meditation, yoga, journalling or prayer but what is most important is that you engage in a practice that takes you to your still, quiet centre. Some people dance or drum in sacred circle, chant or sing in community or kayak on the big blue water solo. Find your own inner vibe and let it open your heart and soul.
- Let go of the “story” that keeps you stuck in the past or catapults you to the future. Stay in a subtle attunement as feelings arise but drop the story around them. You may need to let go of the story and return to the feelings “A thousand times a thousand”, as Sharon Salzberg, a brilliant Buddhist teacher says, but it’s worth it. As you continually let go, an enhanced present moment awareness arise, including forgiveness of self and others.
- Invite self-compassion to radiate and allow the self-critical voice to rest. This is an ongoing practice for me and is still tough sometimes. I slide into self-criticism and judgment with a polished and slippery ease. I continually ask for help and guidance on releasing this. Dr. Kristen Neff has helped me a lot: she is an expert on self-compassion and has this fabulous quiz you can take if you’re interested. Self Compassion Quiz
Know your core values. Allow time for reflection, so that you know and anchor into your key values. A profound integrity arises as a result. What do you really, really believe in? What values would you die for?
Celebrate life, including yourself, daily. Be in the radical gratitude and live this one “wild and precious life” (Mary Oliver) as much as possible.
Let me know what you think about finding your life purpose and thriving your soul. If you want to explore further questions about your life purpose and thriving your soul with me, I’d love to travel with you as your coach and guide firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Young, M.Ad.Ed., IPC, RSSW, is a certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Facilitator and registered Yoga Teacher in private practice in Kingston. She teaches Soothe Your Stress Yoga and Mindfulness at Janati Yoga School.