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September 30, 2017

When Finding Our Purpose Feels Hard: 3 Questions for the Quest.

As I write this, my little black dog is snoozing peacefully on my lap.

We’re sitting in his favorite big chair in my living room. He has sprawled out his plus-or-minus 10 pounds of dachshund-whippet flesh over my right leg, his snout shoved cozily into the blanket and his ears twitching slightly with each whispery snore. My leg is in the process of falling asleep.

It’s moments like this that bring me pure joy—and questions. Like wondering why I struggle at times to enjoy life as it is.

As a transformation coach/healer/yoga teacher/soul-seeker/ordinary, imperfect human being trying to navigate this ding-dang path called life, I love helping others hone in on their purpose, ditch the stories that make them feel like crap, and go boldly forth into the calling of their life.

Yet, I find it is so much harder to do this with myself.

Which is why people hire coaches in the first place. To give us this sacred space to explore what this life thing is really all about.

In this day and age, it can feel like there’s a life coach on every corner—someone to help you with your business, your relationship, your health, your creativity, your success, your dream to win the Super Bowl in a tutu, or any aspect of life we can dream up. This all really speaks to human consciousness wanting to connect to its own inner power.

Maybe it’s just me (but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not), but when we step up to try to lead the world, sometimes we can get so impassioned by lifting others up that we forget to lead ourselves.

I know I do. I feel like I’m good at helping people find their purpose largely because I’m so damn good at losing mine. Maybe it’s not so much losing it as forgetting where I last left it.

It’s like the time I was looking in my truck for my sunglasses.

My friend asked me, “What are you doing?”

I continued to shuffle through the random odds and ends that somehow found their way into my inner console.

“Looking for my sunglasses,” I reply. Obviously.

“Uh, they’re on your face,” she says.

Oh. Yeah.

That’s what it can feel like to “find your purpose”—so amazingly invigorating…and so “oh, duh!” at the same time.

I believe that our purpose is to be ourselves. But what the hell does that even mean?

To be honest, I am not sure. But I am damn sure that it feels good to stop pretending I need to know and to be content with just continuing to ask the question.

Because I believe, deep down, we all have the answer to that question. We all know our purpose, even if we don’t consciously “know” it. We may not have it all wrapped up tidy in a neat little box with a ribbon on it—but who likes being in a box, anyway?

Our purpose is something we can feel in our bones; it’s the reason why we are here on this planet in this lifetime. We can sketch it out based on what brings us alive, and fill in the rest by riding that wave of what we feel called to, drawn to, or even lost in.

Purpose-work always brings up tons of questions for me. When I feel called to something that makes me feel alive, I can be sure fear will be tagging alongside it. Some of those questions I have to fight not to answer, because they bring me into false stories. These are questions like:

>> Just who do you think you are?
>> Am I good enough?
>> What if people see right through me?
>> What if I never…?
>> What if I did…?
>> How am I gonna do that?!

But there are some other questions that help lead me to my own truth. Here are three of my go-to questions that help me when I feel like I’ve gone off-roading from my path and am haphazardly bumping through the woods:

>> What do I struggle with the most?
>> What do I love the most? Why?
>> How can I best share all of the above with the world?

The first question brings up responses in me like: self-doubt, self-criticism, F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) syndrome, acting small, and dis-ease.

When I ask the second question, I conjure a reply of: inner work, connecting authentically, community, collaboration, yoga, reading, writing, and learning.

Engaging with the third question, for me, has been a work in progress. What it currently looks like from the outside is: writing about all of it, reading about all of it, practicing all of it, and walking alongside others as they wrangle with all of it. From the inside, it’s just me—just little ol’ me learning more about life every day.

Purpose is really a weird thing. It’s something we cannot live without. But it’s not something we have—although we will experience circumstances and tangible things because of it. It’s not something we do—though we will take action around it. Purpose is who we are, and there’s no end to the infinite possibilities of all that is.

So just like my sleeping pup, you can rest in the assurance that no matter where you are in life, at this moment, you are awake to living your purpose.

Even if your leg is completely asleep.

~

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Author: Danielle LaRock
Image: Averie Woodard/Unsplash
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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Danielle LaRock