“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Aristotle
I pretty much just had to laugh when I saw this week’s topic – I guess maybe I should have looked a little more closely at the ‘Official List’ before deciding on the weekly format for my project! The whole idea of finding and living my purpose in the next seven days seemed a tad unrealistic…I mean, after all, it is one of life’s biggest questions – some people spend their whole lives trying to figure it out! How could I, just an ordinary, everyday person, expect to figure it out in a week? Well, I decided, I would at least give it a try, and so I did what I imagined anyone would do when confronted with one of life’s biggest mysteries…I googled it.
Isn’t it amazing how the internet can take a fairly broad question like, “How do I find my life’s purpose?”, and actually narrow down the results to sites that claim they have the answer? “How to Discover your Life Purpose in about 20 Minutes,” “Life on Purpose: 15 Questions to Discover your Personal Mission,” and “How To Know What Your True Purpose in Life Is”, were just some of the sites I had to choose from. I felt a flicker of hope, though, when I saw these…maybe I could find my life purpose in a week! So I spent some time going to the various websites and testing out their theories, which were, by and large, mostly just a lot of soul-searching questions. But I did end up with a few new insights, so I thought I was off to a pretty good start.
My internet search also led me to a book called, “The Instruction – Living the Life Your Soul Intended,” by a psychic named Ainslie MacLeod. It caught my attention for a couple of reasons…first, because I am fascinated by anything having to do with psychics, and second, because I recently spent a week learning all about ‘intention’ for my project (Week 5: Have the Intention to Raise your Consciousness). So, to find a book about life purpose that combined both of these things – not to mention it was also recommended by Oprah and Dr. Oz – well, let’s just say I couldn’t wait to read it.
The basic premise of the book is that each of us comes into this world with a purpose that our souls have chosen before we are even born. Depending on the age of our soul, and our experiences from past lives, we come into the physical world with certain goals and talents that will, if we use our free will wisely, allow our soul to evolve to the next level. The book is the result of the author’s communication with his ‘spirit guides’, and contains easy to follow ‘instructions’ as to how to tap into our soul’s original plan. MacLeod writes:
“The Instruction is designed to give those who are open to it an understanding of how the Spiritual Universe works and to help those on the Physical Plane become more connected to their soul’s purpose.”
Well, I was definitely open to it, especially this week, so I decided to give it a try.
What I discovered, after going through the step-by-step process, is that, unfortunately, figuring out a life purpose is just not an exact science. There are no right and wrong answers, so the results I came up with were based more on my intuition than anything else. But still, some of the answers were pretty interesting, and gave me a little more insight as to what my purpose may be. For instance, it seems I am an old soul; on a scale of 1-10, I am a Level 9, so I guess I’ve been around the block a few times! I am a Caregiver soul ‘type’, with a life mission of Change and Healing. My past life fears include Failure and Self Expression, and my soul’s talents include Communication and Healing. And, although I know hindsight can be 20/20, I’m thinking that it’s really too bad I ignored my childhood dream to become a nurse, since Healing seems to be one of my souls’ more prevalent traits!
Anyway, my experience this week has made me realize that the most important thing I can do to understand my life purpose is to listen a lot more closely to what my gut is telling me. Sometimes it’s easy – there have definitely been times in my life when that inner voice has been so strong that nothing in the world could have stopped me from doing what it was telling me to do. For instance, when I was in my mid-twenties I knew, without any doubt whatsoever, that it was time for me to be a mom. It was such a powerful urge, and it came from so deep inside, that there was not much that could have stood in my way – just ask my husband! Similarly, I think that the inspiration for this project may have come from that same place…just a deep inner knowing that this was something important for me to do, no matter what.
Of course, there have been a lot of times in my life when it’s been less clear which path I should take, especially when my inner voice is being drowned out by all of the other voices jabbering away in my head. And whether those other voices come from my ego, or from the expectations I think other people have for me, perhaps I need to try to ignore them a little more often, and listen more closely to what my heart is saying. Sometimes that can be a little scary, especially when my inner voice is telling me to do something that is way out of my comfort zone, but maybe that’s when I should pay the most attention. In his book, ‘The Power of Intention’, Wayne Dyer says:
“Somewhere, buried deep within us, is a call to purpose. It’s not always rational, not always clearly delineated, and sometimes even seemingly absurd, but the knowing is there. There’s a silent something within that intends you to express yourself. That something is your soul telling you to listen…”
I guess that, for me, the bottom line in all of this is that I believe finding happiness is, as Aristotle claimed, my soul’s greatest purpose. Sometimes the path to that happiness is easy, because my inner voice is very clear, and sometimes the path is a little harder to find, because I can’t hear, or I choose to ignore, which way I am supposed to go. So I will just have to trust that, as long as I have the courage to really listen, my soul will tell me everything I need to know to live my purpose, and find the happiness it has always intended for me.