Discover 4 fundamental steps to discovering greater purpose, joy and authenticity in your life
In my practice with clients, as well as in my personal life, I have observed a trend over the last 7-10 years that seems to be growing and expressing itself in large numbers of people. I find it to be especially true for women between the ages of 40-75. More and more, I find that women are speaking about their desire to know themselves more deeply, to gain a greater awareness of who they are as unique individuals aside from their roles as daughters, wives, mothers, and employees. They are experiencing a lack of fulfillment, happiness and authenticity in their lives and are searching for ways to feel more alive, vibrant and authentic. Many are asking the questions, "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" and "What is my purpose?"
There are a couple of different ways to think about the word purpose. The first, living on purpose means that you are taking full responsibility for your life, you are choosing to move from a state of unconscious, going through the motions living into a state of conscious and intentional living. You recognize and accept that you are fully responsible for your life, your choices and your results. You let go of blame, victim mentality and powerlessness. You embrace the Universal Laws of Attraction and become a conscious co-creator of your reality. Living on purpose is a state of being.
The second, living your purpose means that you have embarked on a conscious, deliberate journey to discover your unique reason for being on the earth at this time. You have stepped onto the path of discovering your personal destiny, that thing which you are here to do differently or better than anyone else. The ancient yogis called this your Sacred Calling, your Dharma. A more modern definition of the word purpose, "the reason for which something exists", suggests that each of us are here for a very specific reason. Living your purpose is a state of doing.
I believe that you can choose to live on purpose without choosing to live your purpose. For example, you can choose to bring more love, compassion, forgiveness or acceptance into every aspect of your life without making major changes in relationships, jobs or living situations. I believe that living on purpose will be the path that the greater number of people will take. Either way, living on purpose or living your purpose must start with four fundamental components:
1. Getting clear on what you want in your life: recent studies have shown us that 80% of working Americans report feeling unhappy or unfulfilled in their lives. Many of us, especially women and caregivers, constantly put the needs and desires of others before our own. Men often toil at meaningless jobs to provide for the family’s financial security. To do otherwise is considered selfish or inappropriate. The result is exhaustion, resentment, body aches or disease, depression, anxiety or just a lack of joy and vitality. Getting back in touch with what lights us up, makes us feel alive and gives us a feeling of meaning and fulfillment in our lives is the first critical step to living on purpose.
2. Releasing limiting thoughts, beliefs and behaviors: adults process approximately 60,000 thoughts per day. About 95% are repetitive and 80% are unsupportive. Many of these thoughts and beliefs have been taken on since childhood, reflections of our family, religion, schooling, peers, and societal norms. Few of them have anything to do with the deepest truth of who we are as Spiritual Beings. There are many resources available to help uncover and release limiting beliefs, such as EFT, meditation and energy psychology. Begin to educate yourself in how to increase your awareness of your limiting beliefs and systematically begin to eliminate them from your thinking.
3. Consistently choose in favor of what you want: this is the basis of the Law of Attraction. Everything is energy and whatever you put your attention on, whether consciously or unconsciously, will show up in your life. Once you get clear on what you want to create, every time you are faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity choose in favor of what you want. Keep your awareness on what you want, not on what you don’t want. There are a great many books, teachers and resources that can help with this, including The Passion Test, Dream Coaching and anything to do with the Law of Attraction.
4. Expressing gratitude and appreciation: these are among the highest vibrations available to us. When we express gratitude we are increasing our vibration and allowing more goodness to flow to us. Begin a daily practice, perhaps writing in a gratitude journal everyday or voicing your appreciation for yourself, your partner, children, co-worker, store clerk, etc. Spread the love and it will come back to you! Any of the resources in #3 will work for this, too.
So, whether you choose to live on purpose, or live your purpose, start today. Get some clarity, set an intention, release limiting beliefs or behaviors. Allow yourself to feel the energy of what it would be like to be living a life of greater joy, fulfillment and happiness and take one step in the direction of that which you choose to create. Remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson,
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Let the journey begin!