Dear Warrior Soul,
When I was 19, I spiraled into a debilitating depression, left college and moved home from Atlanta to Seattle in search of peace of mind and a mended life.
In attempt to help me find some much needed clarity, my mother invited me to a mind-body-spirit professional leadership retreat she was co-facilitating. We focused on exploring our strengths, illuminating our weaknesses and aligning our intentions with our actions.
While this was all fine and dandy, I was particularly amped about a meditation exercise that was to help me get clear about my overall life purpose and reason for being on the planet.
I had pegged this as the perfect opportunity for sorting out my life’s drama of dissatisfaction and getting me started on having the “real” life I was destined for.
I. Could. Not. Wait.
Lying on the floor, 2 minutes into the exercise, I fell asleep…and stayed asleep…until the whole thing was over. When I woke up, I couldn’t remember anything we’d done and I didn’t have one more stitch of clarity about my life.
Maybe it was the My-Whole-Life-Depends-On-This-One-Exercise anticipation.
Maybe I was exhausted from a week of deep exploration and soul stimulation.
It could just be that the depth and breadth of my life purpose was not to be revealed at that time.
Either way, I was devastated.
The overwhelming disappointment of missing the big reveal compounded with my lingering depression left me in a crumpled, soggy state of
I’m never going to know what I’m here to do! I’m just going to keep wasting my life and be a miserable failure! Why, oh why, did I fall asleep?!?!!!
All I really wanted was an answer. Some clarification. A message from on high to tell me who I was and why I was on the planet.
With that kind of lucidity, I could go about the work of actually being that person and avoid the whole soul searching thing all together. But it didn’t come.
Instead, I learned that life purpose revelations usually don’t get divulged when and where we want. But because I found sleep instead of answers, I was even more on fire to figure it all out once I left.
And I have.
And good googaly moogaly, does it feel good.
1. Be intentional.
When you’re clear about what you want, the answers will emerge. It may not be when you want them. They may not be the answers you’re looking for. But a clear question will entice clear answers.
If you could have a magic genie reveal something specific about your purpose, what would you really want to know?
2. Go into the void.
Despite how achingly difficult it can be to stay in the unknown, the void often births the most refined clarity and laser beam direction when we become still enough to let it. Of course it’s easy to get distracted by the constant stimulation of TV, Twitter, texting, Angry Birds, overthinking, problem solving, errand running, a never ending To Do list…you know what I’m talking about. Anything to keep you out of the silence that actually being in the unknown requires.
Get still. Listen for answers. Without silence, you will not be able to distinguish the real answers from the other noise around you.
3. Respect the process.
Accept what is right in front of you. The reveal is a gradual process of creating space, deep diving, exploration, experimentation, following your intuition, taking chances, getting it wrong, getting it right, bumping your head and collecting little jewels along the way.
Do your very best in this exact moment. Trust that things are unfolding in perfect order. Learn from each experience and continually apply your knowledge to every thing you do.
The answers are already there.
If you knew everything you were supposed to do for the rest of your life right now, you might be intimidated by all of the greatness you’re here to create and experience. One of the best parts of life is we actually get to live the answers.
Take your time. Rest assured. Everything is revealing itself just as it should.
Although the whole life purpose meditation thing didn’t pan out the way I’d anticipated, during that week I painstakingly created a credo that would become the guiding light of the next 10 years of my life and eventually undergird my life purpose.
Another lesson learned: Although it may not be immediately obvious, we all get what we need when we need it.
See that seminal piece of work here.
All my love,