Greetings. How is it going with your “getting to know your dharma” project? Interesting, scary, confusing, enlightening … or a combination? Finding your purpose is a lifelong journey. Each chapter brings something new and it’s up to you to integrate that discovery into your life.
If you’re still not clear on what your purpose is, don’t worry. Keep digging. It will emerge with time and curiosity.
If you have a pretty good sense of your dharma, congratulations. You’ve worked hard to get to this point.
So in my recent post – “Your Purpose: The Search Within – Part 1” – I mentioned that some people get concerned when they realize that their calling is NOT anywhere close to how they’re living their life. This realization is not the sole reason to make radical changes … unless you feel that this is absolutely necessary. You may find that you can make small shifts at first (read: try something on to see how it fits) … until you find the space and confidence to walk a new dharma-driven path.
You can embrace your purpose in an organic, empowering, easily implementable way. How? Any way you choose. You’re in charge. Here are a few examples …
- My husband Steven, a TV sports producer, is a real cat lover (so am I, however he takes the cake!). He knows part of his purpose is to love and help as many cats as he can. Now he doesn’t have plans to quit his day job to become a veterinarian, however he did find a way to share his passion with lucky felines. He volunteers weekly at Kitty Kind, a no-kill animal shelter in NYC. I’ve noticed a major shift in his energy and mindset since he started volunteering. It’s exciting to see him come alive!
- Abby Albaum (pictured beautifully above) is a close friend and former co-worker from my public relations days. Abby is a marketing manager by day and hoop dance extraordinaire the rest of the time. She discovered the power of hooping after suffering from depression for years. At first, she hooped simply for pleasure and stress relief. Then, the entrepreneurial spirit got to her and she started a business – Hoola Monsters – to bring the power of hoop dance to her Florida community. For years she lived a double life – working full-time at a restaurant company and working her hooping business on the side. She recently decided to fully embrace her purpose and resign from her marketing job to focus more energy on the book that she’s finally writing (a dream that she’s had for as long as she can remember), as well as continue to focus on her role as a fire dancer and group fitness instructor. I can’t wait to see what amazing things Abby creates for the world. She’s a powerful force who has found her calling.
- Elina Furman, publisher of mamaista.com, a chic little daily for moms, has always been a writer and entrepreneur. Prior to having her son Julian in early 2008, she was working at home as an editor-in-chief of a lifestyle magazine and writing books. When she became a mom and needed to find interesting products for Julian, she would go to the mom blogs and portals and would become very overwhelmed at how busy the sites were and how much information was coming at her. A true mompreneur, she decided to launch mamaista.com with the intention of making moms’ lives easier and more stylish. Subscribers get one short, beautifully designed email featuring an amazing product every day. Elina’s purpose is to use her immense gift as a writer to help moms, while simultaneously being able to spend as much time with her son as she can.
- I am a devoted yogini who has been practicing for close to a decade. A few years ago, I decided to get my teaching certification (at Sonic Yoga NYC) while still working full-time as a conference producer. That little voice inside my head had told me for some time that it was time to walk a new path in life. I felt that going deeper into my yoga practice would help me find some answers to what was next for me. I was right. While I was undergoing training, I worked up the courage to resign from my job. Was I going to teach yoga full-time? No. I knew in my heart that wasn’t the path for me, but my yoga immersion led me to my dream career: coaching. I then got certified as a career/life coach (through iPEC) so I could share my passion for inspiring others to create a life of their choosing. I’m so grateful to have found my calling. Owning my own business allows me to create my own schedule (giving me the opportunity to spend lots of time with my family), which is THE definition of freedom in my book.
- A few of the moms I met in the new moms support group I participated in earlier this year decided NOT to return to work after becoming moms. They originally thought they would go back to their high-powered careers after maternity leave, but realized that their purpose at this point in time was to be stay-at-home moms. They listened to their inner voice and haven’t regretted their choice for a second.
So these are five very different examples to ponder. They are all unique in their approach to create a life from the inside out. When embracing your purpose you can test the waters, dip your toes in, splash around a bit, or dive in head-first. It’s up to you.
How do you know when you’ve found your calling? I think it’s similar to the feeling I got when I first met my now-husband. That feeling of coming home, being comfortable, being fully YOU. In short: you’ll just know.
FOCUS OF THE WEEK
– Explore how you can weave your dharma into your life. Look for opportunities that are right for you … they are all around. Start small. Put one foot in front of the other. One action leads to another. Tip: don’t overthink it!
– Talk to inspirational people (or read stories about people) who love what they do/love their ife. Ask them how they figured out their purpose and took action on it. Get a sense of the challenges they encountered along the way … and how they kept the faith that they were on the right path.
– Envision your life once you’re fully living your purpose. Close your eyes and vividly see it in front of you. What does it look like? How do you feel? Allow this vision to motivate you and take you forward.
“Somehow we’ve got this notion life is a dress rehearsal. It isn’t. This is it.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
You only go around once, make it count. Until next week, enjoy the ride.
P.S. Questions, comments, feedback? Please share.