Get Rid of Struggling to Find Your True Purpose Once and For All

Artist paintbrushes over palette with oil colors

Do you have this niggling feeling in the back of your mind, where you wonder what your true purpose really is? Or if you are really living it?  If so, I totally get it – it used to gnaw away at me big-time…but now I think about the whole concept somewhat differently, and it no longer stresses me out…

When I was younger though, and studying naturopathy and pranic healing, I had this over-zealous notion that I was put here to “heal people”. I took myself very seriously and this epic ambition was a quite a weight on my shoulders (not to mention somewhat of of an ego-trip, and partly a projection – subconsciously I craved healing for myself most of all).

Later, when I was travelling around the world in my mid-20s I worked stints as a live-in care-worker so I could earn money quickly and go off travelling again. Even though I chose this lifestyle, part of me felt frustrated that I was “just” a carer when I could have been working as a trained naturopath, and really helping people. I kept feeling like I wasn’t living my true purpose and that my real life hadn’t begun yet.

But one day at work I happened to just be in the moment, peacefully brushing the hair of my terminally-ill young client, and she looked up at me with such gratitude, and I realised how fortunate I was to be right there at that precise point in time…and that this simple act was indeed a form of healing – for both of us, as any pure act of giving always is. I started to drop all my rigid notions and “shoulds” around purpose, and began to wonder if we really even have one.

Do We Even Really Have a Purpose?

The thing is though, we are conditioned to want to have a purpose.

First of all, our limited human mind finds it really difficult to fathom the huge mystery and fundamental ambiguity of life. So we try to nail down a sense of meaning as a way of coping with the fact that we don’t really know how we got here and we don’t really know where we are going in the end, we are in fact just a teensy part of something much larger than ourselves. (So how can we possibly know what we are supposed to “do” in our brief glimmer of a human life?)

Secondly, our Western culture values qualities such as drive, ambition, hard-work, productivity and success. From the time we are kids, we are constantly asked “so what do you want to be when you grow up?” We are valued for our contributions and not for who we intrinsically are.

Our sense of self-worth is therefore undeniably linked to our accomplishments and what we “do” in the world. In fact, what is it we call people who lack ambition or drive? We call them losers…as if life is a race that can be won or lost.

And so we approach our lives just like a race, we strive constantly and delay our gratification until we reach the finish-line: the next milestone, the deadline, the payday, the reward just around the corner, the holiday, the moment we have finally arrived, when all is complete and we can finally relax and say we did “it” and earn our ribbon.

And I believe this deep desire to “find” our purpose is related to this, and trying to find it can cause a lot of angst. A sense of purpose is ominous, weighty, filled with heavy things such as success and failure, it is linear, part of a P-L-A-N. Many of us also feel pressure that our job should at least be related to our purpose – that we should be able to make a living from it.

I say we just totally scrap this idea of races, finish-lines and purposes, and think about life as something else entirely.

A Sanskrit Word To Remember When You are Hung Up On Purpose

One of my favourite words in Sanskrit is leela. It means God’s play. And it refers to the notion that all of this beautiful, crazy world we see around us is just the play of God. It’s all just a wildly whimsical creative expression…just for fun. Just because. It’s not going anywhere in particular or trying to achieve anything. Flowers, stars, lemurs, fuzzy bumble bees, rainbows and geckos…do you think they were put here for a purpose?

Another way to see life, (which I borrow from the wonderful, late Alan Watts) is to see it as a piece of music or a dance rather than a race or a journey. It is essentially playful and reaching a particular destination is not the point of it at all. You are simply supposed to sing, or dance while the music is being played. (To watch a beautiful, short video of Watt’s explanation of this, click here)

So if we see life as a dance rather than a purposeful journey, perhaps a better question to ask ourselves is not ‘What is my purpose’, but ‘How do I want to dance?’ In other words, ‘What am I most passionate about?’ “What lights me up from within and excites me more than anything”?

Dancing Your Passions

the-purpose-of-your-life-is-joy

Unlike the seriousness of purpose, passions are fun, light, changeable and exciting… Purpose comes from a sense of obligation and self-importance. Passion comes from a sense of natural joy and self-expression. You can also have more than one passion, and they may not have anything to with your work.

And for those of you I can just hear saying “But I don’t know what I am passionate about” or “I don’t have any passions” then I believe either you have been starving your soul for too long and have been so caught up in the “race” that you have become disconnected from your true self or deep down you do know what you are passionate about, but you are too scared to really express it. Perhaps you are holding yourself to some limiting script like “I’m too old for that” or “I’ll never be truly good at this”. (I highly recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if you want help getting in touch with your passions or getting over the fear of expressing them – even if you don’t think of yourself as an “artist”.)

Remember the point with passions is that there is no point at all, other than joy – you are not to trying to accomplish anything or achieve mastery or accolades. They’re just your uniquely favourite way of dancing to life’s music.

So now I’d love to hear from you – in the comments below, do you agree or disagree? Do you worry about finding your true purpose? And most of all, I would LOVE to hear about your passions – how do you dance to life’s music?

Enjoyed this post? Please share it!

 

Share

8 Responses to Get Rid of Struggling to Find Your True Purpose Once and For All

  1. Hey Sharee,
    I really love this post, I have been coming to this realisation recently and it feels like such a weight lifted off my shoulders, I would constantly feel guilty that I wasn’t doing more for the world but now I see that I am, I have 2 young children and they are my passion and by bringing them up in the best way I can with love and compassion I am helping the world. I totally understand what you mean at the start about wanting to heal everyone but was subconsciously craving healing in yourself, that’s exactly what I was doing, I have been diving deep into all thing spiritual and life in general but would feel anxious trying to remember everything so I could tell my family and then I’d miss the hole point of what I was learning because I was so worried about having to share it so I wouldnt put it into practice but have realised this pattern and am trying to heal myself first so I can then better help others.
    Thanks again for all your beautiful work.
    Much Love,
    Amber xo

    • Thanks Amber for sharing your story, bringing up your children with love and compassion is an incredible offering to the world and to future generations to come. I know what you mean about learning things and wanting to share them straight away with family and friends, I used to be so concerned about their issues…which is a way of avoiding our own of course!! So now I try to keep my eyes on my own page, and of course others are more likely to change by being inspired by someone living it than being told about it anyway! Thanks again for your wise insights, much love xoxo

  2. Hello my sharee what a breathe of fresh air I love that clip on watts and your definitely on the money in what you say shall we dance and let our and all others hearts sing

  3. I completely agree with this.
    I think that if everyone was able to discover their passions and express them and work on them the world really would be a very beautiful place. My passion is helping the kids who need the most help and I think that comes from my background – I was one of those kids and eventually I got to work with / watch someone who in someways was fulfilling passions similar to mine – she was an incredibly dedicated and engaging teacher who taught the kids in a way I wish I was taught in. So I then had a sort of visual of what my passion would look like. Now I am in my second year of teaching students with high needs in an education support centre, to set them up for life after school. I am challenged every day and my passions continue to grow and I love it.

  4. Isn’t it amazing how seeing one person truly living their passions (the teacher you admired) can ignite our own…that’s such a beautiful story. And you sharing that incredibly beautiful heart of yours with kids who need at most is so inspiring to others 😊 xoxo

  5. It’s taken me 68 years to realise my purpose is to feel great joy and gratitude for my life and be the best I can on a daily basis.

    I am a 24/7 carer for my mum who has dementia. I am grateful to her for giving me this opportunity.

    • Hi Lesley – how wonderful you have come to this realisation, and how wonderful that you can truly appreciate the gift in the challenge of caring for your mother. Namaste 🙂

Leave a reply

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Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

Get Rid of Struggling to Find Your True Purpose Once and For All

Artist paintbrushes over palette with oil colors

Do you have this niggling feeling in the back of your mind, where you wonder what your true purpose really is? Or if you are really living it?  If so, I totally get it – it used to gnaw away at me big-time…but now I think about the whole concept somewhat differently, and it no longer stresses me out…

When I was younger though, and studying naturopathy and pranic healing, I had this over-zealous notion that I was put here to “heal people”. I took myself very seriously and this epic ambition was a quite a weight on my shoulders (not to mention somewhat of of an ego-trip, and partly a projection – subconsciously I craved healing for myself most of all).

Later, when I was travelling around the world in my mid-20s I worked stints as a live-in care-worker so I could earn money quickly and go off travelling again. Even though I chose this lifestyle, part of me felt frustrated that I was “just” a carer when I could have been working as a trained naturopath, and really helping people. I kept feeling like I wasn’t living my true purpose and that my real life hadn’t begun yet.

But one day at work I happened to just be in the moment, peacefully brushing the hair of my terminally-ill young client, and she looked up at me with such gratitude, and I realised how fortunate I was to be right there at that precise point in time…and that this simple act was indeed a form of healing – for both of us, as any pure act of giving always is. I started to drop all my rigid notions and “shoulds” around purpose, and began to wonder if we really even have one.

Do We Even Really Have a Purpose?

The thing is though, we are conditioned to want to have a purpose.

First of all, our limited human mind finds it really difficult to fathom the huge mystery and fundamental ambiguity of life. So we try to nail down a sense of meaning as a way of coping with the fact that we don’t really know how we got here and we don’t really know where we are going in the end, we are in fact just a teensy part of something much larger than ourselves. (So how can we possibly know what we are supposed to “do” in our brief glimmer of a human life?)

Secondly, our Western culture values qualities such as drive, ambition, hard-work, productivity and success. From the time we are kids, we are constantly asked “so what do you want to be when you grow up?” We are valued for our contributions and not for who we intrinsically are.

Our sense of self-worth is therefore undeniably linked to our accomplishments and what we “do” in the world. In fact, what is it we call people who lack ambition or drive? We call them losers…as if life is a race that can be won or lost.

And so we approach our lives just like a race, we strive constantly and delay our gratification until we reach the finish-line: the next milestone, the deadline, the payday, the reward just around the corner, the holiday, the moment we have finally arrived, when all is complete and we can finally relax and say we did “it” and earn our ribbon.

And I believe this deep desire to “find” our purpose is related to this, and trying to find it can cause a lot of angst. A sense of purpose is ominous, weighty, filled with heavy things such as success and failure, it is linear, part of a P-L-A-N. Many of us also feel pressure that our job should at least be related to our purpose – that we should be able to make a living from it.

I say we just totally scrap this idea of races, finish-lines and purposes, and think about life as something else entirely.

A Sanskrit Word To Remember When You are Hung Up On Purpose

One of my favourite words in Sanskrit is leela. It means God’s play. And it refers to the notion that all of this beautiful, crazy world we see around us is just the play of God. It’s all just a wildly whimsical creative expression…just for fun. Just because. It’s not going anywhere in particular or trying to achieve anything. Flowers, stars, lemurs, fuzzy bumble bees, rainbows and geckos…do you think they were put here for a purpose?

Another way to see life, (which I borrow from the wonderful, late Alan Watts) is to see it as a piece of music or a dance rather than a race or a journey. It is essentially playful and reaching a particular destination is not the point of it at all. You are simply supposed to sing, or dance while the music is being played. (To watch a beautiful, short video of Watt’s explanation of this, click here)

So if we see life as a dance rather than a purposeful journey, perhaps a better question to ask ourselves is not ‘What is my purpose’, but ‘How do I want to dance?’ In other words, ‘What am I most passionate about?’ “What lights me up from within and excites me more than anything”?

Dancing Your Passions

the-purpose-of-your-life-is-joy

Unlike the seriousness of purpose, passions are fun, light, changeable and exciting… Purpose comes from a sense of obligation and self-importance. Passion comes from a sense of natural joy and self-expression. You can also have more than one passion, and they may not have anything to with your work.

And for those of you I can just hear saying “But I don’t know what I am passionate about” or “I don’t have any passions” then I believe either you have been starving your soul for too long and have been so caught up in the “race” that you have become disconnected from your true self or deep down you do know what you are passionate about, but you are too scared to really express it. Perhaps you are holding yourself to some limiting script like “I’m too old for that” or “I’ll never be truly good at this”. (I highly recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if you want help getting in touch with your passions or getting over the fear of expressing them – even if you don’t think of yourself as an “artist”.)

Remember the point with passions is that there is no point at all, other than joy – you are not to trying to accomplish anything or achieve mastery or accolades. They’re just your uniquely favourite way of dancing to life’s music.

So now I’d love to hear from you – in the comments below, do you agree or disagree? Do you worry about finding your true purpose? And most of all, I would LOVE to hear about your passions – how do you dance to life’s music?

Enjoyed this post? Please share it!

 

Share

8 Responses to Get Rid of Struggling to Find Your True Purpose Once and For All

  1. Hey Sharee,
    I really love this post, I have been coming to this realisation recently and it feels like such a weight lifted off my shoulders, I would constantly feel guilty that I wasn’t doing more for the world but now I see that I am, I have 2 young children and they are my passion and by bringing them up in the best way I can with love and compassion I am helping the world. I totally understand what you mean at the start about wanting to heal everyone but was subconsciously craving healing in yourself, that’s exactly what I was doing, I have been diving deep into all thing spiritual and life in general but would feel anxious trying to remember everything so I could tell my family and then I’d miss the hole point of what I was learning because I was so worried about having to share it so I wouldnt put it into practice but have realised this pattern and am trying to heal myself first so I can then better help others.
    Thanks again for all your beautiful work.
    Much Love,
    Amber xo

    • Thanks Amber for sharing your story, bringing up your children with love and compassion is an incredible offering to the world and to future generations to come. I know what you mean about learning things and wanting to share them straight away with family and friends, I used to be so concerned about their issues…which is a way of avoiding our own of course!! So now I try to keep my eyes on my own page, and of course others are more likely to change by being inspired by someone living it than being told about it anyway! Thanks again for your wise insights, much love xoxo

  2. Hello my sharee what a breathe of fresh air I love that clip on watts and your definitely on the money in what you say shall we dance and let our and all others hearts sing

  3. I completely agree with this.
    I think that if everyone was able to discover their passions and express them and work on them the world really would be a very beautiful place. My passion is helping the kids who need the most help and I think that comes from my background – I was one of those kids and eventually I got to work with / watch someone who in someways was fulfilling passions similar to mine – she was an incredibly dedicated and engaging teacher who taught the kids in a way I wish I was taught in. So I then had a sort of visual of what my passion would look like. Now I am in my second year of teaching students with high needs in an education support centre, to set them up for life after school. I am challenged every day and my passions continue to grow and I love it.

  4. Isn’t it amazing how seeing one person truly living their passions (the teacher you admired) can ignite our own…that’s such a beautiful story. And you sharing that incredibly beautiful heart of yours with kids who need at most is so inspiring to others 😊 xoxo

  5. It’s taken me 68 years to realise my purpose is to feel great joy and gratitude for my life and be the best I can on a daily basis.

    I am a 24/7 carer for my mum who has dementia. I am grateful to her for giving me this opportunity.

    • Hi Lesley – how wonderful you have come to this realisation, and how wonderful that you can truly appreciate the gift in the challenge of caring for your mother. Namaste 🙂

Leave a reply

As Featured In:

Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

Get Rid of Struggling to Find Your True Purpose Once and For All

Artist paintbrushes over palette with oil colors

Do you have this niggling feeling in the back of your mind, where you wonder what your true purpose really is? Or if you are really living it?  If so, I totally get it – it used to gnaw away at me big-time…but now I think about the whole concept somewhat differently, and it no longer stresses me out…

When I was younger though, and studying naturopathy and pranic healing, I had this over-zealous notion that I was put here to “heal people”. I took myself very seriously and this epic ambition was a quite a weight on my shoulders (not to mention somewhat of of an ego-trip, and partly a projection – subconsciously I craved healing for myself most of all).

Later, when I was travelling around the world in my mid-20s I worked stints as a live-in care-worker so I could earn money quickly and go off travelling again. Even though I chose this lifestyle, part of me felt frustrated that I was “just” a carer when I could have been working as a trained naturopath, and really helping people. I kept feeling like I wasn’t living my true purpose and that my real life hadn’t begun yet.

But one day at work I happened to just be in the moment, peacefully brushing the hair of my terminally-ill young client, and she looked up at me with such gratitude, and I realised how fortunate I was to be right there at that precise point in time…and that this simple act was indeed a form of healing – for both of us, as any pure act of giving always is. I started to drop all my rigid notions and “shoulds” around purpose, and began to wonder if we really even have one.

Do We Even Really Have a Purpose?

The thing is though, we are conditioned to want to have a purpose.

First of all, our limited human mind finds it really difficult to fathom the huge mystery and fundamental ambiguity of life. So we try to nail down a sense of meaning as a way of coping with the fact that we don’t really know how we got here and we don’t really know where we are going in the end, we are in fact just a teensy part of something much larger than ourselves. (So how can we possibly know what we are supposed to “do” in our brief glimmer of a human life?)

Secondly, our Western culture values qualities such as drive, ambition, hard-work, productivity and success. From the time we are kids, we are constantly asked “so what do you want to be when you grow up?” We are valued for our contributions and not for who we intrinsically are.

Our sense of self-worth is therefore undeniably linked to our accomplishments and what we “do” in the world. In fact, what is it we call people who lack ambition or drive? We call them losers…as if life is a race that can be won or lost.

And so we approach our lives just like a race, we strive constantly and delay our gratification until we reach the finish-line: the next milestone, the deadline, the payday, the reward just around the corner, the holiday, the moment we have finally arrived, when all is complete and we can finally relax and say we did “it” and earn our ribbon.

And I believe this deep desire to “find” our purpose is related to this, and trying to find it can cause a lot of angst. A sense of purpose is ominous, weighty, filled with heavy things such as success and failure, it is linear, part of a P-L-A-N. Many of us also feel pressure that our job should at least be related to our purpose – that we should be able to make a living from it.

I say we just totally scrap this idea of races, finish-lines and purposes, and think about life as something else entirely.

A Sanskrit Word To Remember When You are Hung Up On Purpose

One of my favourite words in Sanskrit is leela. It means God’s play. And it refers to the notion that all of this beautiful, crazy world we see around us is just the play of God. It’s all just a wildly whimsical creative expression…just for fun. Just because. It’s not going anywhere in particular or trying to achieve anything. Flowers, stars, lemurs, fuzzy bumble bees, rainbows and geckos…do you think they were put here for a purpose?

Another way to see life, (which I borrow from the wonderful, late Alan Watts) is to see it as a piece of music or a dance rather than a race or a journey. It is essentially playful and reaching a particular destination is not the point of it at all. You are simply supposed to sing, or dance while the music is being played. (To watch a beautiful, short video of Watt’s explanation of this, click here)

So if we see life as a dance rather than a purposeful journey, perhaps a better question to ask ourselves is not ‘What is my purpose’, but ‘How do I want to dance?’ In other words, ‘What am I most passionate about?’ “What lights me up from within and excites me more than anything”?

Dancing Your Passions

the-purpose-of-your-life-is-joy

Unlike the seriousness of purpose, passions are fun, light, changeable and exciting… Purpose comes from a sense of obligation and self-importance. Passion comes from a sense of natural joy and self-expression. You can also have more than one passion, and they may not have anything to with your work.

And for those of you I can just hear saying “But I don’t know what I am passionate about” or “I don’t have any passions” then I believe either you have been starving your soul for too long and have been so caught up in the “race” that you have become disconnected from your true self or deep down you do know what you are passionate about, but you are too scared to really express it. Perhaps you are holding yourself to some limiting script like “I’m too old for that” or “I’ll never be truly good at this”. (I highly recommend The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if you want help getting in touch with your passions or getting over the fear of expressing them – even if you don’t think of yourself as an “artist”.)

Remember the point with passions is that there is no point at all, other than joy – you are not to trying to accomplish anything or achieve mastery or accolades. They’re just your uniquely favourite way of dancing to life’s music.

So now I’d love to hear from you – in the comments below, do you agree or disagree? Do you worry about finding your true purpose? And most of all, I would LOVE to hear about your passions – how do you dance to life’s music?

Enjoyed this post? Please share it!

 

Share

8 Responses to Get Rid of Struggling to Find Your True Purpose Once and For All

  1. Hey Sharee,
    I really love this post, I have been coming to this realisation recently and it feels like such a weight lifted off my shoulders, I would constantly feel guilty that I wasn’t doing more for the world but now I see that I am, I have 2 young children and they are my passion and by bringing them up in the best way I can with love and compassion I am helping the world. I totally understand what you mean at the start about wanting to heal everyone but was subconsciously craving healing in yourself, that’s exactly what I was doing, I have been diving deep into all thing spiritual and life in general but would feel anxious trying to remember everything so I could tell my family and then I’d miss the hole point of what I was learning because I was so worried about having to share it so I wouldnt put it into practice but have realised this pattern and am trying to heal myself first so I can then better help others.
    Thanks again for all your beautiful work.
    Much Love,
    Amber xo

    • Thanks Amber for sharing your story, bringing up your children with love and compassion is an incredible offering to the world and to future generations to come. I know what you mean about learning things and wanting to share them straight away with family and friends, I used to be so concerned about their issues…which is a way of avoiding our own of course!! So now I try to keep my eyes on my own page, and of course others are more likely to change by being inspired by someone living it than being told about it anyway! Thanks again for your wise insights, much love xoxo

  2. Hello my sharee what a breathe of fresh air I love that clip on watts and your definitely on the money in what you say shall we dance and let our and all others hearts sing

  3. I completely agree with this.
    I think that if everyone was able to discover their passions and express them and work on them the world really would be a very beautiful place. My passion is helping the kids who need the most help and I think that comes from my background – I was one of those kids and eventually I got to work with / watch someone who in someways was fulfilling passions similar to mine – she was an incredibly dedicated and engaging teacher who taught the kids in a way I wish I was taught in. So I then had a sort of visual of what my passion would look like. Now I am in my second year of teaching students with high needs in an education support centre, to set them up for life after school. I am challenged every day and my passions continue to grow and I love it.

  4. Isn’t it amazing how seeing one person truly living their passions (the teacher you admired) can ignite our own…that’s such a beautiful story. And you sharing that incredibly beautiful heart of yours with kids who need at most is so inspiring to others 😊 xoxo

  5. It’s taken me 68 years to realise my purpose is to feel great joy and gratitude for my life and be the best I can on a daily basis.

    I am a 24/7 carer for my mum who has dementia. I am grateful to her for giving me this opportunity.

    • Hi Lesley – how wonderful you have come to this realisation, and how wonderful that you can truly appreciate the gift in the challenge of caring for your mother. Namaste 🙂

Leave a reply

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Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved