The 6th of my 7 Essential Truths is "Your life purpose is your North Star on your journey," and it feels right to share this with you as we move forward into the summer, possibly resting for a while and looking at our lives in perspective.
This truth is about, “What are you doing on the planet? Why are you here?” and the practice is: Keep your eye on the ball. As you start to understand and realize who you really are, the next obvious question that you’ll probably continue to ask yourself along your journey is “What am I doing here? Am I moving towards anything? And what does that mean?”
I think it’s important here to pause and ask yourself that very question, “Where am I? What am I doing and why?” The first thing that comes forward for most of us is that what we’re doing is usually motivated from a wound. I’ll explain that. Who I am being today, my false self, who I’m not, is being or doing something as a result of something I learned as a kid. “I want to be a doctor when I grow up. My mother wants me to be this. My father wants me to be that. If I’m in real estate, I’ll make a lot of money.” The choices we make are typically coming out of a survival mode, which is not who we are.
Yes, we have to survive on the planet. Absolutely. Right here is a good place to bring forward a statistic that’s pretty staggering: Thirty million people today suffer from anxiety disorders. Another thirty million suffer from depression. In my 20+ years of working with people, myself most intimately, I can link this directly to not knowing who I am and not knowing what I’m doing here.
When I found out who I was, that was the first part of the journey. Then, if I don’t know why I’m here, that’s the other part. We need to know. It’s just the way we’re wired. “Why am I here? What are my special gifts?” We all want to make a contribution. Most of us don’t get beyond survival, so we go back to spinning the story of who our parents want us to be or who we feel we have to be in order to survive. So for most people, this feels like a luxury, inquiring about life purpose, but it’s critical. It’ll make the difference between getting out of bed because you have to, versus because you want to. How do you find out? Simply ask the question, “What am I doing here?” Another thing to notice is the things that already attract you. “Wow, I notice that I’m continually drawn to working with people.” You’re service-oriented. Or perhaps you’re good with your hands.
Another really great question to ask is “When do I feel most alive?” Go inside and start to notice. It could be something as simple as, “I notice my body expands when I’m outside.” You might want to keep a log; see if maybe your life purpose isn’t a consistent behavior. There are plenty of things you can do on the planet—let yourself have them all and write them down. Notice what you love, what makes you feel alive, what makes you feel good about who you are, and continue towards those things, not excluding what we need to do to take care of ourselves.
You know what support looks like now, so this place that you’re asking inside yourself is supported by who you really are. You know how to inquire. You know how to listen to your body. You have a practice and now you’re going to start to notice here, the same way we’ve done in every other place, “What am I doing? How do I feel while I’m doing it? How does it make me feel about myself?” You’re gathering evidence. The guidance that we start to get will be clearer because we will have cleaned out those filters. We can pay attention. We’re not busy just trying to survive or get our needs met. This is kind of a reward type of place. People who know what they’re doing on the planet oftentimes are given that information as a result of clearing out, listening, checking in. So it’s something to look forward to.
It’s a process. We just keep growing and expanding, so there’s no perfect, final answer. I’m not even sure I could tell you the name of my life purpose, except I know that when I get out of bed, I am thrilled to be six feet above ground and serving you. That’s it. I’m not looking to fill myself up anymore outside of myself. These are ways you’ll know: You’ll feel complete. It’ll feel like yes. You’ll feel satiated. Your contribution feels whole. You feel good about how you are. There isn’t the residue. There isn’t the fatigue of feeling drained, of giving too much. It’s your pleasure to do this thing.
In the busy day-to-day world, even when we know what our life purpose is, it’s easy to fall off the path in the myriad of thousands of details that we have to attend to—our families, our loved ones, our just being human attending to our body’s needs. Come back and remind yourself, “What am I doing here? Right, that’s what.” It puts things in a kind of perspective. It gives you a context for being, a container, a direction. It’s like being a missile and having a sight. We all know what it feels like to be an unguided missile. We just need some direction and focus. It’s another place to look.
So, what’s your purpose this year? What are you committed to? How can you incorporate more of what you love into your livelihood? Then create a loose plan and set your intentions to move towards creating that! You might go so far as to enlist a dream team—folks you already know who can help mentor you and turn those dreams into reality!
For the other 6 truths, get a copy of my Thrive, 7 Essential Truths CD here.
This article was originally published at Maryanne Live
. Reprinted with permission from the author.