However, in the West we like to deny the deepest and highest part of our selves. To me, that’s where modern humanity has veered of course, and people wonder why they haven’t found (or remembered) their purpose in life and feel as though it lacks meaning and connection.
Let me tell you a story.
Fifteen years ago I woke up in the middle of the night to the news from my mother that my elder brother, Mitch had taken his own life. I was twenty years old at the time. Little did I know back then – that event would open up a part of me that lay dormant. Mitch took his life and opened up mine.
Through the depths of grief and working through guilt, shame, anger and isolation – something else was happening as a byproduct of the experience. I was developing an intimacy with myself like I had never known.
Trauma like this can strip you naked and pull your whole life into question. In my nakedness, what I experienced was death of my identity. In a very strange, yet beautiful occurrence, all I can say is that a channel of energy begun to surge up from the pit of my being. What I now know as my soul speaking to me.
Of course back then I pushed it back down in fear of what was happening. You might be familiar with suppressed emotions and trauma. What we bottle will eventually burst at some point. You can run, but you can’t hide. I experienced this first hand and it wasn’t pretty.
After many years of building courage to explore my inner-landscape, which included my shadow, grief and tremendous self-doubt – facing my soul energy that was speaking to me, made me become aware of who I really was and what was truly important to me.
That Truth was a beautiful homecoming and one that looked so very different to what my conditioning alluded to. Coming home to myself, allowing myself to be seen beyond the shame and guilt, and being willing to see things differently – opened a doorway to my soul. The end result was a rich, intimate connection with myself, where I began to look at life through a new lens. It was like putting on a pair of Maui Jim’s – I could see clearly!
Like a lot of things in life – they are simple, just not easy. Tapping into the knowledge of your soul takes courage, vulnerability, kindness and compassion with self, and patience. It’s a process and you have to always ask yourself – what is your process telling you? It’s a process of investigation.
This connection with yourself is innate, not man made, and is paramount to your fulfillment. What I have learned is that a person will always go through life adrift, unwise and unsure, when a connection to their soul is not known.
Purpose is that voice that speaks to you in the quiet night when all is still. Purpose prods you through the poignant moments of your life that have stirred and nourished your soul – experiences that have left an imprint on you. Purpose is that thing you’ve been afraid to acknowledge about yourself in fear of judgment of others, and self-doubt fueled by comparison. Purpose is that thing that comes naturally to you – that divine recipe of love that’s unique to you, yet connected to the whole. Purpose is what tugs at you when you choose to open up to life and listen, as opposed to numbing and distracting yourself to what longs to be heard.
Purpose is a breath of being in-spirit. Remember those things that excite you and that you are passionate about. Follow them and investigate. Be curious where it leads you without any attachment to the outcome. Do it because you love it and it excites you. Then follow every activity, opportunity and chance you get related to that excitement and know it’s exactly what you need because it’s making you feel alive.
I followed that path and it led to my purpose. I know you can too. For what it’s worth – muster the courage to be yourself. It’s so worth it. What lies on the other side of struggle is freedom and contentment. That’s all life begs of you – to come home to yourself. Your purpose is your love and your love breathes from your soul.
My top six suggestions to spark your soul enquiry towards unlocking your purpose are:
– Recall all the poignant times in your life that have deeply touched you and stirred or nourished you soul. Ask yourself – what was so special about these experiences? Where can you make room in your life for these themes? What do you think these experiences were trying to tell you? Your soul leaves clues of what it needs to be fulfilled.
– Be in nature. Hike, swim, run, sit, meditate, walk, camp – find time to remind yourself you’re not separate from anyone or anything else on this planet.
– Follow your excitement and passion as far as it will take you, and detach from any planned or expected outcome. Ask yourself – what comes naturally to me?
– Journal everyday for three months. Write two pages – stream of consciousness and begin to develop intimacy with yourself. No judgment, just write authentically and see what comes up.
– Learn how to meditate. Make time for it, create a ritual around it and make it a life long practice.
– Find a community that supports your journey. We’re here for each other, always.
Godspeed along your journey,