Find Your Purpose

This is the 750 year old Boab Tree, replanted in Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia

Finding your Purpose… this is a challenge that most people face at different times throughout their lives, but this 750 year old tree might be able inspire you!

Whether you are a teenager looking for an initial direction in your life, an adult feeling hemmed in by a job that seems to be stifling your spirit, a parent feeling lost and lonely in an empty nest, or an older citizen looking for a way to fill your day in a meaningful way – at sometime we all bump up against the problem of nailing down exactly what our purpose in life is.

During yesterday’s European Fresh Start Call, hosted by Life Path Unlimited leaders Kerrianne Cartmer-Edwards and Mandy Swift, I realised that we humans are dynamic creatures – always changing, always growing.   As the sun rises and sets, we become more experienced and complex creatures and so our goals are constantly morphing to mirror our experiences.

Recently we visited the 750 year old Boab Tree in Kings Park (pictured above).  This tree has an amazing story to tell.  Several years ago, it was found that the tree was standing in the path of a proposed new highway.  Rather than chopping down and discarding the tree, it was dug up and transported by road 3,500km, from the far north of Western Australia, to its new home in the Botanical gardens in the southern city of Perth.  The amazing thing is that journey was a logistical triumph, requiring a smoking ceremony and blessing from the local Aboriginal people who held a deep spiritual connection to the tree in its original site, a fleet of trucks to transport the precious cargo, the police to clear the roads for the 7 day trip, helicopters and media coverage, local residents lining the route to witness the unusual procession, and an army of horticultural experts to ensure the tree survived the journey.

What is truly amazing is that this gentle giant, not only survived its arduous road trip and the stress of adapting to a very different climate, two years later it is now sprouting new leaves and is thriving in its new home.

On a personal level, I see this  big old tree as a metaphor for my own life.  I have done many things in my life, I have worked in many different jobs – from washing dishes to running a bar, from working in Intensive Care Units to sailing square-rigged sailing ships – and I’ve lived in many different places… non of which were  inherently “wrong”.  Yes, some stops were brief – at times I learned my lessons and moved on quickly.  Some adventures were longer and more profound.  Each experience seemed to weave into the next like a tapestry. Like the branches of that tree, each experience served its purpose, and when the time came, changes needed to be made – like the seasonal pruning of the branches that helps the tree to flourish when the spring comes.

THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR PURPOSE:

With this tree in mind, there are several simple steps you can take that will help you Find Your Purpose:

1.  SET GOALS & REVIEW THEM REGULARLY:
Our goals change over time – they have to, because WE change over time.  My goals are nothing like they were 20 years ago, and I’d hazard a guess that yours wouldn’t be either.  Central to finding our purpose is to continually review our goals.  Daily, Weekly, Monthly… when you know where you’re going, the actions that you take today will get you there much quicker, if they are aligned with your overall goals.

2.  APPROACH EVERY MOMENT ASKING “WHAT IS POSSIBLE?”
Asking “What is Possible” is a wonderful way to approach any situation.  What is possible in this day?  What is possible in this situation?  What is possible in this meeting, call or presentation?  What is possible in this date?  What is possible in this conversation?  What is possible in this moment?  When we approach our lives, moment-by-moment, from this perspective,  knowing that there is nothing inherently “wrong” in our lives, and it opens your mind to the wealth of possibilities that surround you at any given time.

3.  CONNECT TO YOUR PASSIONS:
What do you LOVE to do?  What makes your heart SING?  What puts a smile on your lips AND in your heart?  You are the only one who can honestly answer this.  It makes no difference what you answer – I’ve heard millions of responses, from reading books, to building paper planes, from polishing the silver cutlery to designing weird  and wonderful sculptures.  The difference here is once you recognise your passions, you need to find a way to make a living doing something related to that.  The answer probably won’t come immediately, but if you keep asking, you WILL get the answer.

The first part of the journey of life is to discover who you are, what you love to do and where you want to go.  The second part is to get out there and DO IT!

The PURPOSE of the tree is to grow towards the sun!

The purpose of your life is for you to Reach Your True Potential.  

Six Simple Steps to Getting Unstuck

The paralysis of indecision is something we all experience at some time in our lives.  And it’s not a habit you want to encourage!  Yesterday, as I was looking at my “To Do” List that has remained almost untouched for the past four days, I realised that I really needed to do SOMETHING about this.  I couldn’t justify writing the same things in my diary “To Do” today that I had not even attempted to do over the past week.  In the midst of wallowing in this latest fit of procrastination, I jotted down some notes about the best ways to move through this dreaded state and off into the sunshine of success and achievement, and I came up with Six Simple Steps to Getting Unstuck:

1.  Do a Ground Zero Assessment (GZA) – To me, this means to take a “good hard look at yourself” or the situation that you are stuck with.  Be present.  Just SEE what’s happening.  No need for judgement, simply OBSERVE.  Perhaps you might find writing a short description in your journal a good way to access what is bothering you.  The important thing here is to just be aware of the source of your upset is.
For example, yesterday I found I was getting really annoyed with people around me, for no good reason.  When I did a GZA, I found that I had this nice list of 7 or 8 things on my “To Do” list that I really NEEDED to do, but which I didn’t WANT to do.  This avoidance produced a swirling  feeling of fear, low-level anxiety and general unease in the pit of my stomach, which I didn’t really notice at the time, so I promptly projected the feeling onto the people around me, and blamed them for feeling yucky!

2.  Think of the Possibilities
:  You can approach this with a lovely sense of fun and playfulness, instead of making another boring “To Do List”.  Just sit.  And, taking the old “To Do” list, come up with as many wonderful possibilities that might result from you completing each of the tasks on the list that you are currently resisting.
For example: I was resisting going to the Post Box because I felt that it was out of my way… well one of the possibilities I thought of was that there could be a lovely cheque waiting for me in the box! (This seems silly, but it really did change my energy, and almost made me feel like going out of my way to get the mail!)

3.  Consider the Price of NOT Completing Your Task:  It’s also worthwhile to stop to consider the cost of not completing your tasks.  If you keep putting these things off, what is that going to cost you in the short/medium even long-term.
Example:  If I were not to collect the mail, I might miss an important piece of mail, the post office might not be able to fit any more mail into my box, they might take my mail box off me (and I like having a mail box).

4.  Build Up Your Energy
:  Before you jump into action, it might be helpful to give your energy a boost – breathe deeply, centre yourself, focus on increasing your energy and, if possible, ground yourself by taking a walk outside or doing some simple stretching exercises.
Example:  I ditched all the negative vibes by taking my dog Rani for a walk (Rani is a Golden Retriever with the most happy, loving, excitable energy I have ever met, and most of the time, just being around her is enough to make you smile).

5.  Take One Simple Step Right NOW:
 For each of the items on your “To Do” list, think of one small step you can take TODAY that will take you closer to achieving it.  If the goal is too big or hard to complete in one foul swoop, then even doing something will suffice.
Example: I organised my morning errands so that I could go and empty the post box between doing two other tasks – it wasn’t that hard after all!

6.  Give Yourself Feedback
:
 Make sure you give yourself feedback about completing your smaller steps… Once you complete something, take a moment to stop and notice how it feels.
Example:  I feel soooo good to have made the effort to do something that had been niggling away at my subconscious for over a week (I realise that I wasted a lot of energy berating myself for NOT doing this simple task, when I could just have easily wiped it off my list days ago).  My feedback to myself in this situation was noticing how good it felt to have completed the task and seeing the big red tick in my Journal “To Do” List  was very satisfying!
And the added bonus: I did receive a small unexpected cheque in the mail too!!!!
So, if you find yourself feeling stuck, be strong but gentle with yourself, look for what’s lurking beneath the surface, refocus on your overall goal, and then take some baby steps forward!

Become A Brave Explorer

Have you ever tried exploring in your own back yard?
Have you ever gone exploring in your own neighbourhood?
This past weekend, our family threw off the shackles of “normality” and decided to go exploring.  We became tourists in our own home town.  And boy, did we have fun.

It’s almost like you see the world with new eyes.  You certainly tap into a new appreciation of all that you normally take for granted.

Starting at dawn, we packed up the car with enough food and drinks to sustain a small army, and off we went.  We explored roads and tracks that were not on any maps.

We turned left or right just because it felt right.  We stopped for photo opportunities at the most inopportune times.  And I must say – we had a ball.

As the sun was sinking in the west and the light was fading fast, we arrived home, exhausted but happy – and with a whole new appreciation of this beautiful place in which we choose to live.

It just goes to show – you don’t need to jump on planes or put stamps in your passport to be an adventurer.  It all starts in your head in the way you approach every single day!

This wonderful experience also left me wondering, where else in my life could I be a little braver, a little more observant, a little more “out there?”  Where else could I expand and grow? And where else could I live more fully, more richly, more deeply?

So have you adventured beyond the norm lately?

 

Sources of Inspiration

Thinking this morning about Sources of Inspiration.  As a Coach and Writer, I consciously seek inspiration on a daily basis.  And sometimes I find it hard to access.  The ideas just stop… nothing seems to flow… and then the panic sets in.

So I started wondering, well, where do I get inspiration from?  When I actually stopped to think about it, for me, inspiration is an INTERNAL thing – an actual experience.  Yes it may be triggered by an external event or person, but essentially the experience of being inspired comes from within.

If my inspiration is an internal experience, then wouldn’t it be wise to be aware of what particular things/events/people etc actually trigger my inspiration to flow?  So I set out to Mind Map my way through my sources of inspiration (that way I can get things down on paper quickly and efficiently).  And here are some of my triggers:

People around me; Books; Reading and Writing in my Journal; Exploring the Internet – other people’s blogs etc.; Social Media input – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube; Seemingly Random Events – people I meet, things I see; Physical Experiences; Physical Exercise; Feelings; Dreams; Movies & Shows; Photos; Nature… the list goes on and on.

So now I am aware of my triggers, there is no excuse for going anywhere near panic mode when I feel that Inspiration is eluding me… I simply reach out for one of my triggers, and the river of inspiration will is guaranteed to start flowing again.

How is Inspiration flowing in your world today?

Sychronicity

Have you ever experienced a period in your life when, following a specific decision that you’ve made, you are seemingly bombarded with events that either support or negate your decision?

My life has been overflowing with events lately that all seem to be supporting each other, and me in my new life.  You see I embarked on a new career this year, and since I made one seemingly isolated decision, my world has been FILLED with small but related events that are supporting that decision.  It would seem that the Universe is celebrating, cheering me on, saying “Yayyyy – she’s finally on the RIGHT path!”

Have you ever had a similar experience?  If so, how did it effect your progress, your momentum?

What I’m interested in is maximising the feedback potential of these synchronistic events and fully utilising their capability to keep me headed in the right track.

Guess it all comes back to listening more closely to my inner self and trusting the guidance I receive when I’m out there on my Life’s Path.

Until next time, happy wanderings!

Hello World!

Here I go, embarking on another adventure.  This is the first blog I’ve ever attempted… and I must say, it’s quite exciting to be trying something new.  It’s so easy to stay in that nice little comfort zone, safe and secure, not taking any really BIG risks.  But there comes a time when a little voice inside gains a little more volume, questioning your direction, your commitment, your authenticity.  I must say, it’s pretty exciting to step out into the world, to walk a different path, to try something new.  It doesn’t have to be huge and life-changing.  But as you do this, you will realise that we humans are a bit like the Universe -ever expanding, growing and limitless entities.

How much more satisfying will it be to reach your deathbed, content with the knowledge that you really have lived to your truest potential?

Happy adventures!

~Estelle