Living on Purpose (part 1)

“My advice is to live your life – allow that wonderful inner intelligence to speak through you… Don’t climb the ladder of success only to find it is leaning against the wrong wall.” ~Bernie Siegel, M.D., Love, Medicine and Miracles

For more years than I’d care to think about, I’ve known deep down that something was missing.  My life would be going along just fine – great family, friends, work – when BAM! This nagging, uncomfortable sense would settle in, reminding me that things weren’t quite right.

Finally, last spring, I could no longer ignore or suppress this feeling, this nagging void.  It was far too powerful and persistent.

So, what was missing?  Fulfillment.  Meaning.  I wanted more, and was tired of feeling guilty about it.

Have you always known what you wanted to do?  And are you actually doing it?  I don’t mean from a career perspective… I mean in life in general.  Seriously, do you get up in the morning, driven by the sense that you are doing exactly as you “are meant” to be doing, that you are positively contributing to the world using qualities which make you unique?

I wasn’t driven by any such feeling, and too many years had gone by like this.

I finally acknowledged what was going on – primarily to myself – and decided to actually do something about it.  I am fortunate that my husband Chris understood and has been really supportive.

I started working with a life coach, Leslie.  This was an important step for me.  There are many benefits to working with a coach, but for me, three things in particular made the difference to propel me past internal roadblocks I’d subconsciously built up over the years:

  • The accountability factor.  Working with a coach means you can’t just read part of a self-help book to solve your issues, then put it on the shelf to gather dust because you get busy.  A coach makes you accountable for taking specific action steps and following through on them.
  • Compassionate, firm guidance.  Self-realization is challenging, so when difficult questions or issues arise and you’d rather skip past them or bury your head in the sand, your coach is there to supportively but firmly guide you through the process so you can break through old barriers and find your own resolutions.
  • Objectivity.  It’s one thing to tell a trusted friend or family member that you’re searching for meaning – and once their eyebrows lower back into their normal position, that person may well try to help you.  But it’s another thing entirely to work with someone experienced who will listen to what you have to say and provide perspective and insight without the distortion of preconceived notions about you.

When I first met with Leslie to talk about what I wanted to achieve, I didn’t know how to define it.  It was something nebulous but emphatic like, “I want to feel fulfilled!  And I have no idea what that looks like or how to get there!”

So we talked for a while, then she boiled it down to a simple yet incredibly challenging question:  what is my life purpose?  The idea being, that once I identified and began living according to my purpose (living “on purpose”), I would naturally feel fulfilled.

That’s how the journey began.

Much of my coaching focused on exploring and completing an amazing workbook called Finding Your Purpose: A Guide to Personal Fulfillment by Barbara Braham, Ph.D.  (Aptly titled, given my situation).  It was a deceptively simple read for such a thought-provoking book.

More on this journey will follow in a future post, but for now, I’ll quote something from Dr. Braham’s book that I found interesting:

“Purpose answers the existential question why… Why are you here, on this planet, at this time?  Are you here to do something?  Are you here to be someone?

…When you find an answer to the why question, the answer will hold up in every part of your life.  It will apply to your family life, your work life, your social life, your community life. If you have not found an answer that fits in every domain of your life, you have not found the answer yet.”

What about you?  How do you find fulfillment in daily life?

About Christine

Positive thinker. Writer. Personal empowerment coach. Lover of travel and adventure, oceans and mountains, and the energy of a big city.Oh, and deep belly laughs, sappy movies and spirited conversations. Believer in limitless human potential.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Life, Purpose and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Living on Purpose (part 1)

  1. alexdk3 says:

    This post is very interesting. I am glad you are finding answers.
    I have found fulfillment in my life for several years now. I think homeschooling is a big part of it, it just fits, feels like “this is what I am supposed to be doing”. I also find that feeling when I am making things by hand. I sometimes wonder if I was born in the wrong time period! I really get a great pleasure from quilting, cooking, sewing, making preserves..all those domestic things (not cleaning much though, only when it’s done!). Who would have thought that I would be feeling this way about this kind of life?

    • Thanks – this exploration has been an important process for me to go through.

      Isn’t it interesting how we build up ideas over the years (largely driven by what we see around us) about what we “should” be doing in and with our lives, when in actual fact, what truly fulfills us may be so different from what we pictured? I’m so glad you’ve found fulfillment, and it shows! When I see you, you always seem comfortable, content with who you are and what you’re doing. And that’s such an awesome gift!!

  2. This was great for me to read as you feel exactly how i feel . In fact, my blog is mainly all about my figuring out my life purpose . I too feel like there should be more to my life. I am blessed with wondeful hubby, stepkids, family and friends. I do hate my job however and I feel if i got a new one, things would be better. However, I can’t put all my eggs in that one basket. I could very well get a new job and still feel unfulfilled. I am open to trying everything , and believe me I’ve read NUMEROUS books on life purpose but a life coach is something i hadn’t considered. I may have to research this a bit. anyway, thanks for your post, I found it to be very meaningful and close to my heart.

    • Thanks so much for your heartfelt reply. I too feel grateful for the amazing things in my life, but can no longer ignore the inner voice telling me that I haven’t been focusing on what I need to be focusing on in life. It’s a journey, but I’m getting there. And I tell you, it’s very freeing to be making progress – finally – in an area where I felt so blocked for so long.

      If you’re not sure about life coaching, you may want to look at Barbara Braham’s workbook in the meantime. (I have no affiliation to her whatsoever). Her book was very helpful to me, allowing me to look at purpose, and my own resistance to it, in a broader and deeper sense than I did previously. If you commit to going through all her exercises, it may make a difference for you.

      Thanks again for commenting. I wish you all the best on your exploration. I know it’s challenging, but so worth it.

      I look forward to checking out your blog!

  3. Pingback: Purging to Make Room | The Brighter Side of Life

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