I’ve learned throughout my relatively short time on earth that life likes to leave us clues. It’s constantly leaving breadcrumbs on our path that, if paid attention to, will lead every one of us to what we are meant to do in this world.
If you hate flying then your purpose is not going to be becoming a pilot. It sounds incredibly obvious and maybe even a little bit dumb, but I use this example because I heard a woman voice this fear and it struck me so much that I never forgot it. She was scared that what the universe has in store for her isn’t going to be what she wants for herself. She was really conflicted and I can bet that if she has this fear then others do to.
Here’s the deal: The universe’s plan for you will specifically match up with your passions and talents. That’s why God gave you certain passions and talents in the first place. The exciting and beautiful thing about living your purpose is that when you discover it, it feels like everything is in alignment, because it is.
Paying attention during something that lights you up is one of the clues to look out for. Does the time fly? Do you find that ideas or actions flow effortlessly, almost as if they are coming through you and not from you? When you find yourself in “flow” you are synced up to the Universe. You are the filter through which genius flows. It’s like a holy download. It’s a natural alignment between your talents and God’s plan for you.
Even right now, writing this blog post I feel totally in my flow. I usually need to keep a few hours open in my day if I plan to write because I know once I start, time flies and there is no way I am paying attention to the clock. If I schedule an appointment too close to writing time I will totally miss it!
Here’s another clue to look out for:
After you finish something of value to you, do you feel even more energy then before you started? When I was in college, the majority of my classes were dance, so while other students were sitting at a desk for 5-6 classes a day, I was dancing for those 5-6 hours with rehearsals in the evenings and shows at the end of every semester. Looking back, I’m amazed that I had enough energy to study for my academics and bar tend on the weekends! That’s what happens when you are living in flow though. Your purpose feeds you and generates even more energy than you knew was possible.
These days my schedule is packed. I wake up early in the morning and am at Equinox by 8am. All day I am learning and taking on new challenges. I have classes, meetings, sessions and workouts. It’s a lot, but it’s fascinating. I love the field I’m in and I leave feeling great. After Equinox I often go to my restaurant job and whereas before, I felt tired and bored, lately I’ve noticed I’m in a great mood. I have tons of energy and I don’t feel nearly as run-down as I used to. It baffles me because my workload is at least double what it used to be. I’m doing things I love and that makes all the difference.
Another way to know if you are in alignment with your purpose is to pay attention to how you feel after you finish something. Do you feel a sense of peace, or even elation? After I write I often feel like everything is right with the world (or at least with my world). I feel a sense of peace and after I hit “publish” I feel like I’ve reached the top of a mountain. It feels like all of my effort lead me to this moment and my heart is lighter for having followed it.
Paying attention to your heart is a pretty good way to live. These days I try to stay away from things that my heart says ‘no’ to. More often than not, they end up being things that take my focus away from what I love to do. My heart saying ‘no’ feels like a heavy burden or a contraction instead of an expansion. I also pay attention to my energy. If I feel tired, sad, bored or lost for too long I take a look at what I am doing and if it is bringing me closer to my purpose or farther away from it. It’s usually the later.
I challenge you, as you go about your usual day, to ask yourself whether you feel your heart expanding or contracting. Are you using your inherent unique set of gifts in your work? If not, it’s your job to ask yourself these questions and discover what makes you light up. And then go do it. Because living your life on your terms, with joy, inspires others to do the same. And I will tell you a little secret. That’s my purpose.
With so much love,