On Finding Your Purpose In Life

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on April 11th, 2012

Many of my patients lately have told me they are searching for their purpose in life. These are a few thoughts I have as I reflect on how I would coach someone in discovering what their soul is longing for.

Key components to finding your purpose:

Know what brings you joy.
Know what is fundamentally important to you.

Be brave enough to be honest with yourself.

Have the courage to walk your own path.
Spend time with yourselfand I don’t mean reading books, and listening to music.

It is important to practice deep listening within yourself. A wonderful patient of mine recently talked about how she never feels heard by the people in her life. Life can get hectic, and consuming and before we know it, we spend very little time in the present moment. How often are we living and working for our tomorrows? How often are we truly open, with all our senses in the present moment? How often do we see the people in our lives as they are today, rather than an image we have of them? If you are seeking truth, you must first shatter the everyday illusions you accept as truths. And there are plenty. The journey to health, happiness and enlightenment is arduous, sometimes painful and not for the faint of heart. It takes diligence and practice. Faith and perseverance.

A very good friend of mine has just celebrated one year of sobriety from drugs and alcohol, and I could not be more proud. His journey has been a spiritual one, focusing on discipline and cultivating self love. I am new to what alcoholics refer to as the Big Book and I have found it profound in deepening my spiritual understanding. I recommend it to anyone who would like to grow in the spiritual arena.

Here is a link to an online version: The Big Book

So, how does one get in touch with their own unique purpose in being? 1) Self reflection. What brings you joy? What is important to you? What gets you up in the morning? 2) Ask people what you bring to the table. What do they know about themselves or about life being in your presence? 3) Live a life of service. Volunteer, teach, listen, join a community, or create one, reach out. 4) Celebrate your gifts and skills. Don’t have any? I don’t buy it. If you are clueless about this one, refer to number 2. No one on earth is a mistake or a waste of space-especially if they rise to life and devote themselves to manifest their own unique expression. 5) Be patient and never give up hope. Do not dwell in the negative. Hopelessness can no longer be a state you indulge in. If you want your life to change, you must resolve to change and be different. It is not easy, but it is not beyond your power. 6) Practice deep listening. Listen to your heart and cultivate self love. After all, all answers dwell in your heart. The mind can often provide distracting chatter. For this reason, meditation practices are so important. Quiet that mind, and answers will come. 7) Don’t forget to celebrate your victories, regardless of size. What good is the harvest if you don’t savor it?  8.) Live like it is your last day. Time is precious. We do not know when our last breath will be. Life is too short to indulge in anything but the light. Think about it. This last one is important. Sometimes I feel we can indulge too much, and lack a sense of poignancy which calls us to attention and action.

I have numbered these tips to organize them. They are in no particular order, nor is this a complete list. I just hope it moves some of you.

Peace, and keep practicing! Till next week-

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