Do you know what you want to do with your life?
So said my mum on my fifteenth birthday.
I’m not asking what your profession should be, nor what your goals, are Elle, (wow that presupposed I had a goal) what’s your deepest inner desire. What do you think your purpose is? The reason you feel you’re here. This was in response to my incessant question: Is this all there is?
If you want to live a purposeful life, my mum said, then you need to find out what that purpose is.
Huh? What the heck was she talking about. Life was all about music and hanging out with friends, oh yes and boys, wasn’t it? We never really got to the bottom of that little conversation.
Years later I pondered the concept. I’d thought it was a ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ conversation…and you all know by now there was a time when I could be a little dense when it comes to the larger questions in life.
So I sat down, with a pen and a piece of paper. I have Shakespearean fancies…minus the quill.
I wrote: What is a purposeful life for me? You probably think I’m going to tell you that I had all these brilliant, astonishingly insightful, shakespaerean ideas…and I’d love to tell you I did…but it’s not true. All I got was rubbish.
I put it out of my mind. But it kept coming back to haunt me. What’s the answer to this. Nosey parker that I am, you know I couldn’t leave it alone. I needed to discover the answer, did I actually have a purpose or not.
Should I sit in some leafy glade and contemplate? Maybe.
Instead, I did some searching and it seems there were tons of really complicated ways to discover what my true purpose was…far too complicated and bothersome for me…hey I couldn’t even conjure up one sensible idea with pen and paper.
More years passed and I began to appreciate the wisdom of my mum and grandma. I began to study and practice the laws of consciousness and the dynamics of how they operated. I began to change and my life naturally changed along with me, and I returned to the question. What’s a purposeful life for me?
This time, with my trusty pen and paper in hand, I wrote the question at the top of the page and using the principles I’d studied, imagined I had written the answer, and then I put the paper in a prominent place on my desk.
A few weeks later, with the paper still blank, apart from the heading, but with a wonderful picture of my outcome in my imagination, I sat down again, and just began to write anything that popped into my head. Short phrases, incomplete sentences, didn’t matter. I kept writing until I found something that touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I carried on until I wrote something that really made me cry and I ‘knew’ this was it. It welled up from deep within.
That’s how I did it…and I did have a purpose after all.
None of this will probably make a ton of sense to the reasoning part of you, but this is a story for your soul. It took me almost an hour to get to the point of ‘knowing’. Oh, plus all those years of wondering and weeks of imagining. But I have read that it can be done in under half an hour.
If you’re interested in finding your purpose, you might like to give this a whirl. It might seem a silly way to discover something as profound as a life purpose, but it works. Just start writing, you might go off on tangents, feel resistance, make excuses…anything to stop. Keep writing, something, anything that pops into your head. It’s an amazing exercise.
If you’re anything like me you’ll repeat phrases or words…didn’t seem to matter much, but it is interesting what keeps popping up.
I stopped and closed my eyes once or twice, to visualize I had the outcome I desired. I needed to keep my eye on the prize.
Here was my final answer:
To live consciously and generously, full of praise and encouragement. To reflect back to everyone how strong and brilliant they are, and help fan the spark of the Divine until it flames brightly within them.
I don’t know how long it would take if you were to use this method…for which I claim no credit…there is nothing new under the sun after all. Maybe it will take many attempts, like me, maybe not.
But it’s a wonderful and enlightening process and you’ll learn a lot about your true self, even if you don’t come up with your purpose in life.
And if you discover your life’s purpose, or maybe you already have one and you’re willing to share…I’d love to hear from you.
Encourage one another.
5 thoughts on “Are You Ready To Meet Your True Self?”
Elle, I really love how you somehow always manage to hit the spot with me. This is the question I have been asking myself these days. I am answering “tiny buddha’s 6 powerful questions that will change your life forever” and it is so interesting getting to know myself all over again. I find things emerging from deep within. There was always something pulling me towards movement, dance, the outdoors, nature, children, teaching… but it always seemed I had to tame myself. I graduated university, and I could work as a teacher, but I find myself looking at my colleagues who go into schools right after graduation, and I think to myself – it’s too soon for me, I want to teach them something more than what’s in the books, I want to live before I teach, I can’t just switch places from student’s to teacher’s desk. Now I work as a translator, I find my mind expanding, but I have this urge to untame what I once tamed on purpose, I want to explore the things I can do, I want to learn new skills, because only when I live my life to the fullest I can be able to help someone else discover what they would like to do, and that is a teacher’s mission. I did dance once, and I was great at it, but it was almost as if I was afraid of the happiness it brought me, like it wasn’t meant for me. But it is. I know it now. Yesterday I found myself searching for sailing schools. I couldn’t sleep from the excitement of just finally realizing that I can do whatever I want. And I can feel that ever since I started looking at life differently, I became a more supportive friend, and people tell me they find me to have an encouraging influence on them. I devoted this entire month to imagining, dreaming, getting to know myself, writing, creating, and discovering my mission in life. It was a bit difficult for people my age to ask themselves what they would like to do at the age of 15, because our country was bombed at that time, so getting over PTSD took some time, but it’s never to late. Anyway, I just want to say – you are fulfilling your mission in the best possible way. You inspire me. Thank you.
You, Ana, inspire me. I can feel your excitement and it’s wonderful. I’m truly grateful
for your encouragement. And I encourage you to live your life to the fullest. Drink deeply..and love it.
I do Morning Pages, according to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. This is a free writing exercise as soon as you wake up. I haven’t come upon anything too profound yet but I continue the practice.
I continue to be amazed at the Enlightened Mum and Grandmum you have.
Love have Ana, above, shared. Just beautiful.
I’ve never done morning pages Harriet, but they sound great. I don’t know if you ask questions and then write, but what a great way to start your day. Love it. Thanks so much for sharing your practice with us.