A life of peace, joy, and inner contentment – isn’t that what we all strive for? But this sense of “all is right with the world” isn’t something you purchase; it’s a feeling generated from deep inside. This soul-feeling is not always expressed as outward exuberance and bliss, but rather as the quiet inner contentment that comes from living a life on purpose.
Just saying the words “life purpose” may send you on the emotional roller coaster of confusion and frustration. We’ve been taught that life is serious business, full of angst and inner strife and that we should know exactly why we are here and how to live our lives to the fullest.
What I’ve found true in my work is that life purpose is not always something obvious. It may show in the profession you choose, or in the relationships you have with your family and friends. It may be expressed through the various community activities you are involved in, or even in the art you create. Because the way you express your life purpose may not be obvious, you may fail to recognize it. You may fail to recognize your life purpose, but the clues are right in plain sight; they reside in the quiet space of joy.
Exercise: Finding Clues to Your Life Purpose
1. Sit in meditation, with your eyes closed and feet flat on the floor. Breathe, relax and listen to the stillness. Feel yourself surrounded by waves of energy that vibrate with your highest and best interest.
3. As you sit in this meditative place ask that memories and thoughts come to you about times you’ve felt immense joy.
4. See images form in front of your closed eyes. Hear words whispered in your ear. Listen. Remember what joy is like for you.
5. As you open your eyes and come out of meditation, sit in silence for a moment more and review the words and images that bring you joy. Sit and feel. Sit and absorb. That is all.
Joy has many forms. Some people will immediately sense a connection between joy and living life on purpose. Others may find that the answer to the life purpose question may come to them one day as a flash of insight or a slow dawning of what makes them feel alive and full of joy.
You may be sitting at your desk, deeply immersed in solving a project conundrum, when the light bulb of joy and life purpose hits you full on. You might be teaching a class and realize that time has stood still. Or, you might feel the soul-filled sense of being on purpose as you care for an ailing friend. It could be that your current job is not a source of joy, but it might be a way for you to pay for the art class that does bring you joy. Spend a moment thinking of those times when you are not defined by time and space.
For me, it was a huge awakening to realize that my life’s purpose was not tied to how I earned an income. I spent years trying to come up with an occupation that gave me ecstatic joy. I bounced from one job to another and never found that soul filled niche; until I started teaching and writing. Then I knew! Maybe your passion lies somewhere off the beaten path, as mine does.
If you love nature, your life’s purpose may entail being aware of Mother Earth and tending to a garden. Maybe joy takes the form of volunteering at a community garden, or working with the community council to save your local park from future development.
The importance lies not the do-ing, but in the be-ing. Being in joy. Radiating joy through your thoughts and feelings. When you’re living a life of purpose, you’re living a life of joy. You’re content, happy and fulfilled because you know you are doing, being, and having exactly what is right for you.