Living Your Purpose: Which Voice to Listen To
Finding your passion: How to quiet the noise and listen to what’s important
1.) Emotions are a great indicator of how far you are from your life’s purpose (and from your inner being). If you’re sad, depressed, angry, frustrated, etc…listen to your emotions and try to get to the root of the problem. Figure out if you’re eating, drinking or taking drugs in an attempt to numb your emotions. Christiane Northrup defines depression as oftentimes a message from one’s inner being that things are out of balance on some level or that there’s a deep seeded need that’s not being met.
If you pay attention, your emotions can guide you in the right direction. If you’re feeling anything less than happy, stop and feel what you’re feeling instead of trying to cover it up. Really feel it and start working to change that emotion from bad to good. Find out what that would take. LISTEN to your emotions instead of drowning them out. This requires some alone time to really feel and find out what your heart wants. And if you see that the only way to get there is through change, trust that change is necessary. Let go of resistance, especially if change is what’s required to get from unhappy to happy!
2.) Make it a priority to get happy. Our minds will constantly spit out negative crap and keep repeating it until we drive ourselves crazy! But have you ever noticed that the moment you’re happy, that crap stops (those thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough,’ I’m not smart enough,’ I can never have what I really want.’)?
A friend and I went up to Guanella Pass during the peak of the fall and saw the most amazing beauty. It was truly stunning! And I noticed that my brain was filled with everything that I wanted to do. Things just kept pouring out of my mouth: “We should go to steamboat…” “I’d love to go to Yellowstone one of these days…” “I’m going to plan a roadtrip……” All of a sudden, I’m not aware of any of the details required (like money). I’m just extremely inspired and motivated to do all the things that make me happy! Have you ever noticed that?
You see things differently when you’re happy. None of the worries that were swimming around in your head are there anymore. Get that kind of happy. Do whatever that is for you, and feel the difference. When you’re happy, you’re inspired, and that’s the time to ponder your purpose. That’s the time to entertain the thought of change.
3.) Goal Setting: I personally don’t put too much effort in goals because I think we tend to spend 98% of the time just trying to get motivated in order to do the things we need to do to achieve those goals. And if that process works for you, than that’s fine. But for others, what if we acted when we were in the state of being inspired? What if we did something that made us happy when we’re not feeling motivated, instead of trying to force ourselves to mark something off the to-do list? And then when we became happy and in a good mood, THEN we did something that was advancing ourselves toward that goal? I like the idea of acting mostly when we’re inspired because those actions will have more of a positive effect, and they’ll be the right action and we’ll attract exactly what’s needed for that moment. It’s much more efficient that way, and much more flexible because we allow ourselves to change the goal or the direction or whatever else that needs to happen without the guilt that usually follows. The state of being inspired is a very powerful force. We can attract amazing things when we’re in that state, much easier than if we were grudgingly going through the list trying to create action.
4.) Listen to your ‘urges’ and don’t let your brain interfere (‘I don’t have enough money or time’ etc). There’s a quote that speaks to me, by Martha Graham, who basically says that we all have one thing to do in life and all that’s required is to keep the channels open and pay attention to the urges that motivate us…it’s that word URGE that I connect with because it really does feel like an urge. Some people call it a knowing, or intuition or a voice. But to me, it’s an urge. We get the urge to call someone or go somewhere, or to look at the book shelf where a book we need practically jumps out at us. Follow those urges. It’s your inner guidance system uncovering opportunities.
5.) Focus on WHAT you want and WHY you want it rather than how you’re going to get it. Thinking about HOW you’re going to get there will usually bring up resistance. Let God or the universe (whatever you believe) take care of the details. The more you try to predict what it’s going to take and how you’re going to get there, the more discouraged you’re likely to become. Because when we identify a path that we assume will get us from A to D, we tend to shut out any other possibility. Perhaps we find ourselves at M, then L and realize that it’s taking us to D in a roundabout way. We would have denied all those necessary steps, thinking that A B C D was what it’s going to look like.
I’m sure you’ve heard the commencement speech by Steve Jobs that made the rounds again after he died. He talks about how he dropped out of college and took a calligraphy class that he loved. Turns out, what he learned in that class had a huge impact on the fonts of computers and if he had never dropped out of college and had he never found that class and had he never taken that class, perhaps the text on our computer screens wouldn’t look as appealing as they do now. He goes on to say that we can never see how the dots will connect looking forward. We can only see them looking back. We just have to trust that the dots will connect going forward. Focus on the details only when you’re in the inspired mood to do so. Otherwise, keep envisioning what you want and why you want it and trust that your urges will lead you to the details.
Try this: if you’re looking for a change, write down what you want and what will happen when you get it. If it’s a new job you want, describe what you want to be doing. That should be easy because by now you know what you don’t like. Pay close attention to how you’re feeling as you’re writing all this down. Usually, you’ll become more adamant about what you want, which can make the resistance of change go away.
6.) Don’t let yourself get too bogged down with your to-do list. It’s fine if you have goals. If you’re looking to transition into something else and you have a plan, great. But be sensitive to when you’re feeling like you’re forcing yourself to do things you’re not inspired to do. Don’t be afraid to take a break and find something to do at that moment that makes you happy.
7.) Focus on what you have and not on what you don’t have. Otherwise you’ll miss really great opportunities because you’re too busy complaining. Plus you tend to manifest what’s rolling around in your head and who wants to manifest not-enough-money?? Being in an appreciative state makes you more aware and alive. Lynne Twist is the author of Soul of Money; she puts it so eloquently:
If you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, which is what we’re trained to want more of, it frees up oceans of energy to pay attention to what you already have. When you nurture and nourish what you do have and begin to make a difference with it, it expands before your very eyes. In other words, what you appreciate appreciates. This is true prosperity.