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Twenty-five. The number of jobs I’ve had trying to find my purpose.
Considering I’m 40, had my first job at 15, and have been self-employed for over six years, that’s an average of a little over one job title per year.
Throw 20 studio apartment moves in that mix, and you have a perfectly imperfect scenario of a wandering lost soul trying to find themselves.
I have always believed that we each come to earth for a specific purpose, and I used to daydream about discovering mine. I thought my reason for existence was something I would find in an extensive search outside of me. Like one big scavenger hunt in the world that would lead to this significant ah-ha moment.
Growing up, I looked high and low in every high school textbook, sport, and hobby. I paid close attention at career days and college fairs, listened to coaches’ feedback, and I even thought my report cards or grades may reveal what I was good at. When none of that worked, I started to explore all my jobs.
The titles I have had are vast—baby sitter, barista, hostess, student assistant in a pharmacy, nanny, administrator in a warehouse, assistant meeting planner, event planner, assistant to a chiropractor, Nesquick bunny, Jack Daniels girl, promo person for Charmin, three different titles on a cruise ship (Youth Staff, Cruise Staff, Crew Activities Manager), caretaker, customer service in a mortgage office, customer service and then business development in IT, administrative assistant for an acupuncture school, flight attendant (I also worked in the office for an airline when my body didn’t like flying), virtual assistant—shall I keep going?
None of it was fulfilling. While there were moments of bliss every so often, and some things felt good, I certainly didn’t feel like any of it was purposeful. I looked to others who inspired me, taught me, and mentored me. I thought they might have the answer to help me find it.
So, what changed? My mind…
…and I can pretty much pinpoint the moment.
I had been seeing a spiritual teacher, who prided herself in assisting people in finding their purpose. This was part of the problem; her leading me to believe that she had the answers, and if “I just stuck with it,” I would be the best Feng Shui Practioner, Intuitive Medium, and even better as an Energy Medicine Practitioner. *Insert facepalm here.*
I took a class from her that I believed I needed before I could really do what I wanted to do to fulfill my purpose—finally.
This was well before Zoom, so we met via conference call for six weeks, with two hours of instruction each week. About three weeks into the class, I had an all too familiar flashback of being in second grade, sun gazing out the window, thinking about the fruit roll-up that was in my lunch box. I was in pure boredom and realized I hadn’t learned any new material in the first half of this series.
It wasn’t that the information wasn’t good or interesting. There wasn’t an opportunity to practice the material with others. I asked myself, “If I already know the content, and there isn’t practicum, what the hell am I paying for?” It ended up being an expensive lesson that taught me the only difference between the person leading the class and me, was she decided to put herself out there and do the damn thing.
After class three, I reflected. I could continue feeling safe and listen to information on repeat, or I could take action and start.
That sounded good but there was one big problem. The thought of starting scared the sh*t out of me. I immediately grabbed ice cream from the freezer and turned on the serial killer series, Dexter, in hopes it would take effect on my ego, and drown out the voice in my head that was telling me to just begin.
But the following morning, the voice was back. She hadn’t drowned, and she was even more obnoxious consuming my entire morning. She wouldn’t leave!
I started thinking about how I had always followed fear. The thought of being stranded at sea freaked me out yet I went to work on cruise ships. I was scared of flying then became a flight attendant. I asked myself how I could do it again in this scenario. And I did.
I finished the class because integrity is important to me, but I broke up with that teacher. I fully invested in a mentor who helped me see the answers were in me.
She put me in touch with some of my first clients. I kept practicing and saying yes to things that scared me. I emailed friends letting them know what I was doing. I did more practice sessions and upped my prices.
I just kept going leaving no stone unturned.
Eventually, I began working for myself full-time. And even then, my title and my purpose have shifted from Feng Shui Practioner to Intuitive Medium, to Spiritual Counselor, Intuitive, and Spiritual Mentor.
As I write this, my whole business is being re-branded. Not because I don’t like it, or I am searching, but because I am evolving, as we all are. We are each designed to shift, change, learn, and ascend.
I look back at all of the titles and labels that I have owned and chuckle with delight that I have never been afraid to leap. I am reminded of the beautiful journey that led me to where I am, but damn. As former first lady and activist Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
I have found this to be very true, and if I could go back to my 16-year-old self, I would beg her to reach out eagerly without fear at every step.
If I could give my younger self five pieces of advice to save her time in the ultimate search for her purpose, I would share the following with her:
1) We don’t find our purpose, we live it by saying yes to joy, moment-to-moment, and by aligning with our core values. Please know your core values well, review them often, live by them, and rest assured this approach will bring more purposeful experiences.
2) We live our purpose with greater ease when we stop being afraid of fear but instead follow fear like a trusted teacher. Please keep following the fear and saying yes to things that scare you.
3) You are never going to feel ready. Other people won’t feel ready either but may say yes first. So, listen to number two and just start. Please keep following the curiosity, leaving no stone left unturned, and say yes soon.
4) The only wisdom you will gain from a teacher or leader who makes you think they have an answer you don’t already have, or a miracle cure for something you need, is that you are no different. Please keep following the call to work with mentors who guide you to embodiment through self, and say yes to the lessons and wisdom of others who teach with integrity.
5) Remember this quote by Oprah, “I believe every one of us is born with a purpose. No matter who you are, what you do, or how far you think you have to go, you have been tapped by a force greater than yourself to step into your God-given calling. This goes far beyond what you do to earn your living.” Please keep following the nudges you are called to for the sake of love, not money, and saying yes to all that feels right.
I am not claiming to be the master of purpose. I haven’t faced adversity before being appointed a Supreme Court justice like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or made life-changing contributions to the development of the quantum theory, like Albert Einstein. But every day, brings a new gift, with miracles I witness, and I feel gratitude each morning and night, that I feel a sense of purpose.
In being an Energy Medicine Practioner and Embodiment Mentor, I get to work with heart-centered people every day to help them take the steps toward living a more embodied life. There is far too much hype around finding that big deal purpose, and “that thing” we are supposed to do. In reality, that thing doesn’t exist, we will not find it. It is within each of us, living, breathing, and continually birthing and morphing.
May we all feel the blessings in the freedom that comes with saying yes to joy, letting fear be our trusted teacher, and doing it all for love, never money.
May we all feel the blessing of the freedom that comes with a purpose-led life.~Gina Nicole