134: Pursuing Your Purpose


Welcome friends to Episode #134 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. To know your purpose can feel like a gift. Finally, clarity around why you are here and what you’re here to do in life. Yet, you often still need help pursuing that purpose. You need help believing that it’s possible. You want inspiration from others who have succeeded. You long to feel that you’re not alone and that you’re making progress. Today’s podcast on pursuing your purpose will be a story on what’s possible when you pursue your purpose and why it’s worth your time and effort.

I have long felt that spirituality was my purpose. Specifically, to learn to love and be loved. It feels like a journey home to be living life. One where I am on my way to this purpose every moment of every day, constantly learning more about it as I come back. 

It can feel amorphous at times, as if every time you truly try to put your finger on it and explain it in words, the words seem not to be enough. Yet, here we are as humans in a physical world trying to live our lives with purpose and make it meaningful. We have both the way we show up in this world as spiritually energetic beings and also our human being-ness. In that human being-ness, we want the tangible manifestations of our purpose, which looks like our words, actions, and the work we pursue.

Today, I want to share with you why it’s important to also focus on pursuing your purpose in the way you live, not just what you do for a living. This will help you understand why it’s beyond the work you do and how to also incorporate it into the work you do. A paradox, but one I want to explain is worthwhile to pursue.

If you were to truly understand the limitations of your thinking and conscious mind, you would let it rest more often. It’s actually the case that 80-90% of our actions come from our subconscious mind. That subconscious mind needs room to explore itself and the thinking, conscious mind is often judging too soon. I tell you this because it is always easy to find what doesn’t work and why it can’t be enough to know what you do know. This analytical mind will find the gap and work to close it as fast as possible, but true expansion comes when you let yourself be in that opening just a bit longer.

The ability to find different and more creative ways to live, be and do come from the ability to suspend that analytical brain for one more minute. Yet, it’s uncomfortable to notice the stream of thoughts that question, judge and leave you feeling silly, wrong and embarrassed to be even asking to live with more purpose. You want to close that discomfort down so you come to a conclusion that it’s not possible, other people are right about living just to make ends meet and that wanting to pursue more meaning isn’t a real thing or the right decision for you.

In closing down that discomfort, you feel a sense of relief. We erroneously then believe that we made the right decision because comfort is good. We go on with our lives. We stop asking ourselves about the additional meaning we are seeking. You go back to seeing why it’s good for you to do that. Thoughts like, “Everyone else seems fine living life this way” or “They don’t need to know their purpose to be happy” or “This is comfortable and I shouldn’t be ungrateful.”

While there’s nothing wrong with that thinking, what’s unhelpful is when it comes from trying to disguise discomfort. Your discomfort is asking you to pursue a question that may not be easy to fit into your very defined life.

I’m sure you’ve had moments where you were like, “THIS is what life is about.” Perhaps you were on vacation, in nature or in a community with family or friends. You felt a sense of flow that was supportive. You don’t question things as much. You just flow from one thing to the next naturally. What’s strange is that we often think to ourselves how nice it would be if our life was like this all the time. We think of these as extra-special moments.

What I challenge my clients to do is to think differently about these moments. What if these moments were your life? The moments where you feel so grateful to be alive. These moments ARE your life. 

This connected moment is your norm as much as the other part of your life which feels more tense, doing-oriented and full of the push and “let’s just get through this” energy. Our job is to stitch together more of these “extra-special” feeling moments. To craft our lives in a way where we feel like we have so much to be grateful for and are in that gratitude not because we should be, but because we actually feel it deep into our bones.

This is possible. Whether it’s the feeling of luxury surrounding you, the pause of the critical inner voice, the quiet you get when you spend time outdoors or a sense of connection and love with those around you – these can be your everyday experiences. The other day, my daughter and I were in a store buying some books and gifts for a new baby in our neighborhood. The store was just so quiet, there was relaxing music playing, and our daughters sat on a little bench in the store looking through the books they had on display. My youngest daughter commented to me afterwards, “Mom, that was so nice” and “I wanted to just keep staying there”.  I let her know I understood and asked her if it would be something she wanted to create in our home. She was excited and said, “yes!” This line of thinking and these actions already nudged forward by a thought of “why not have this more often?”  

Many times there’s much less preventing us from pursuing our purpose than we believe. We think we have to do an entirely different line of work or give up the way we live currently, including the things we enjoy, but it’s not the case. When you’re pursuing your purpose, you can be almost anywhere doing anything and you feel that sense of connection from your core coming through. 

When you have that kind of perspective about your life, you are suddenly operating from a more confident and relaxed energy. You know that you can figure out the minutiae of daily life. You don’t feel overwhelmed by the to-do’s and the list of things that have to be done. You let the stress of the bad news or the scary moments disappear because you feel like there is something even bigger that you’ll always have.

This is the power of pursuing your purpose in the way you live. You see all the things that you do to be moving you towards the way you’ve wanted to live your life. You see all the obstacles as something to learn from and to be curious about so that you can fit them into the puzzle that is your life. You see the mystery of your past and the future to be open-ended questions that don’t have to be answered. You don’t think where you’re from is a problem and you know that you don’t have to compare yourself to others.

When you lose that sense of purpose, you will come down to the more materialistic realms to measure success. You’ll see that you don’t have enough compared to other people. You’ll see what you haven’t yet done and what you want to do as embarrassing. You feel the sense of needing to be further along and not good enough. These are what most people experience on their way to success, but you don’t have to live your life this way. You can have these feelings and thoughts as a passing small voice instead of the voice that is the loudest.

When you pursue your purpose, the journey feels magical and interesting. People pop up out of nowhere to support you. You release the need to answer every single question and you find that things seem to make more sense. You are able to be even more of that parent, partner, teammate or boss that you desire to be. The reason is because your purpose is typically an energy even greater than the stressors and day-to-day activities you have in your life. It is what brings you perspective because it is an overarching feeling and energy that you’re moving towards and embodying. 

I’ve always known that spirituality was important to me but I couldn’t describe it or articulate it for a long time. You might be feeling that way too. How do you even put this into words when it’s more of a feeling? Yet, the feeling is enough. I want to remind you that there’s a sense of remembrance that occurs when you come into contact with that energy. It might be when you meet someone, think a thought, remember something or see something in your environment. Instead of thinking it’s not enough, you can take that energy, encapsulate it and let it be the fuel of your life. This is what I do with my clients. We work on taking that lightning in a bottle moment and expanding it 100x. What if you could have your energy feeling so alive and connect to it so much so that things seem more possible than ever? Life becomes more expansive. You have so many more beautifully connected moments. Success feels to come more easily. Self-doubt seems to reduce as you remember who you are – someone and an energy bigger than you ever imagined.

I had dinner with my mom the other night after we visited my grandmother who is experiencing dementia. Jay and the girls were with me as we normally visit her all together and I mentioned how the girls sometimes ask the most interesting questions about life. Big questions like how did we get here and what happens after we die. My mom was telling me how children tend to remember more when they are younger. Past lives or just themselves as something more than a human body. A spiritual sense of remembrance. She told me a story about how when I was 6 years old I was napping and she heard me crying. She came to me and asked me what was wrong. I said I had a dream that there were two groups of people that were fighting over me. One group was a set of monks dressed in gray. The other group was a set of monks dressed in yellow. 

At that time, my mom hadn’t yet begun studying Buddhism. The next day, the same thing happened. The same dream, the same napping, the same dream and me waking up crying. Then a third day. The same thing occurred with the same dream. 

I have no recollection of this story. It came as a surprise to me but also not as a surprise. My mom has no idea really how spiritual my life is because on the outside, there’s not a lot that signals it. I told her the work I do with my clients, why I pursued certain things in my own life, my calling as a Spiritual Achievement coach and she was like, “really?”  These are the things that happen when you begin pursuing your purpose.

You don’t know when it will come together, what stories will help you and what you’ll discover for yourself that no one else knows but you. Until they do. It’s like an outward and inward experience that’s not very linear. This is what I want to encourage you to pursue, the non-linearity of life. To open up what’s closed, to see what’s big as small and what’s small as big. No one may understand but you for a while, and that’s ok. If you’re feeling sufficient and that you’re making progress, it is enough. This is what success looks like on your terms.

There’s also a whole community of others who are asking the same questions as you. I work with many of them. They live lives that look very similar to everyone else’s, but the difference is that they ask these questions and we talk about them as normal topics. You aren’t weird in any way that you should be worried about. You might be abnormal in this world of material wants, but that’s not a problem.

You’re looking for more and I encourage you to experience it in your life. Create the moments you want to experience from the inside out. Find the simplicity of how easy it is to pursue your purpose from the energy you connect to and you’ll then find that your work begins to transform. You’ll find in your outer environment to become someone who seems more sparkly, bright and magnetic. You’ll find it easier to answer the questions you have, lead confidently, reduce stress and perfectionism. As a result, you stop procrastinating on what matters most.

Come from the inside out and you’ll see that pursuing your purpose is possible. We’re rooting for you. 

If you love these topics, you’ll love living the Spiritual Achiever way and I invite you to explore that in Spiritual Achiever coaching. Develop your sense of confidence, trust and intuition. Learn how to manage your time and energy in creative ways as you pursue a life of meaning and achieve your biggest and most important goals, differently. Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact to learn more about this program. We’re heading into our first retreat of the coming year. We will be in Sedona, Arizona in February. A perfect time to come back to remembering who you are and what’s most important in your life. We take all your biggest decisions and we create the plan that will guide your year. You will love it and we’d love to have you there as part of our coaching community.

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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