We all have a creative vision lurking around in the background of our lives, but often our everyday minds try to keep it out of our consciousness. Our purpose - in a nutshell - is to become who we are meant to be. It is a higher quality of being that we want to live into.
Our life purpose is most often inspired by our family of origin and the circumstances of our upbringing. What we truly need to do in the world has its origins in healing our original family. What we could not achieve in our original family is quite often the underpinning of our calling in the world.
Likely you feel a conflict between who you were supposed to be "to get along" and "not rock the boat" with who you really are designed to be in your purpose. We are all meant to bring something new to life that is a progression and an improvement on how we were raised. Often our purpose runs counter to what we think we should do to belong,
Psychologist Chuck Spezzano writes about how our entire psychology actually revolves around needing to live and then obstructing our purpose. "I have found that about 85% of our problems were constructed as an obstruction to our purpose. The remaining 15% were problems that were necessary to learn lessons vital to our purpose."
Opening Up to New Inner Experiences
You may feel you purpose involves being different in your family, in your workplace, or in your culture - and you may fear not fitting in. Perhaps you think your purpose is too big or too ridiculous to follow through on. We often tell ourselves that we do not have the strengths, courage, talents or capacities to live into our creative visions. Or maybe we are so caught in blaming other people for how we feel and have conveniently "forgotten" our purpose nearly entirely.
The importance of finding the feeling-tone behind our purpose is so we can begin living into the emotionality of our creative vision everyday. Intuitive Creativity, for example is one quality that I feel called to live into, and so it becomes a way for me to develop my character and give to the world. Intuitive creativity has helped me loosen my conditioning and my encultured views about what is right and wrong.
Creativity has opened up my mind to the spirit of new possibilities. And is has helped me move more easily into "taboo" shadow areas of my consciousness to heal and accept them. Through my intuitive creativity I have learned how to see more deeply into life, to be present, to listen within, to be more spontaneous and trusting.
We each have a place to fill in life that are uniquely ours to occupy. This may not always involve being famous or even always making money. Our life purpose can be about learning how to be genuinely happy, grateful or generous. Our life purpose always involves giving to life and connecting with other people in a kind and helpful way. Giving what we may not have been taught to give requires that we move into the greatest strength that we can muster. And, this involves letting go of old hurt.
You could call your life purpose your unique way of loving life and other people. Ask yourself this question, "How do I uniquely want to love give to life?" Be sure to check into where you are afraid. You might even ask, "What do I need to give to life in order to feel whole? What am I afraid to give to life?"
Progressing as a Whole
Having worked in a large hospital setting facilitating art for the elderly and interacting with hundreds of people, I learned that we all have a part to play in the organizations that we live and work in. We are all essential. Some of the best people I have met were not necessarily the people who are at the top of the organization. The people most on purpose were the ones who were giving to the reality of their day in an authentic, loving, mature way that considered the whole.
African Elder Malidoma Some explains purpose in this way:
"Every person is sent to this outpost called earth to work on a project that is intended to keep the cosmic order healthy. Any person that fails to do what he or she must do energetically stains the cosmic order."
When We Don't Live Into Our Purpose We Become Depressed
Failing to keep the cosmic order healthy in our corner of the world in my sense of it, is the number one cause of depression and anxiety. We are all wired to give to life. What I have found is that many of us tend to beat ourselves up for not living into some grand looking, far reaching, meaningful purpose that gets us noticed and approved of by others. In the midst of such unnecessary overwhelming creative visions, we miss the small essential progressions that must be made in our character, and so that we can move forward in a daily, incremental, growth-oriented way.
Often our life purpose asks us to change in ways that are uncomfortable. Life purpose essentially requires that we round ourselves out in all areas, and is the fire that burns away all of the "fat" of our psychological hurts, emotional struggles and fears. Each weak characteristic that we struggle with must be transformed in order to take our larger journey towards our unique contribution.
Rounding Out Our Character
We also must progress as a whole regarding the other people in our life. Not everyone can take the journey with us. Often our growth will incite disturbances and resistance in our family of origin, as well as in our immediate family, friendship and working groups. We start to make choices about where we want to focus our positive energy, and where it can or cannot be received.
Our purpose always involves and affects other people. We are each embedded in life situations where all of our choices have impact. This means if we are not moving forward towards our purpose we need to ask, "What do I need to give to my life situation right now? or "What is life wanting me to give, be, or do right now so that I can move forward?"
We all have inklings of how we need to change and grow each day. Following these small steps opens us up to more clues, more clarity, and the magic of a life on purpose. This "following our nose" is how we find our place in the fabric of life. This is how we evolve our life, our purpose and our world. We can sense into what is required of us in the present moment by one small, kind, healthy, giving, or positive act at a time.
We free those who love us by choosing to be our best selves. Each day we do what we can to positively uplift the fabric of our life. This is how we evolve as families, as work groups, and as larger and evolving human systems. Perhaps the biggest mistake people make in pursuing their purpose is thinking that they can progress as an individual entity, and that they need to step over other people in pursuit of their goals. From our ego selves we tend to want to have a "win" right now. We can easily forget that we are a part of a larger network of connection that needs to progress along with the needs of the whole.
Living Into Purpose in Increments
As creative people we often see things years in advance. It is important to understand that it can take a long time to live into a big vision. I often tell people to vision big and to imagine themselves more unlimited than they think they could be. We can use our big creative visions to inspire our passion to grow and change in positive ways.
And we need not be discouraged if our purpose does not get "finished" in our lifetime. Even if we choose to embody a specific quality in the world, such as love, peace, appreciation or generosity, we never will quite finish. Most of us live our life purpose to a point, and then inspire other people to carry on or contribute to our mission.
Often our purpose is to live and work withing larger systems and we play our one instrument in the symphony of something much larger that is trying to come into this life. For example I may not be able to change the entire world's view of the benefits of art and healing, but I have a part to play in my corner of the world. As the Talmud says, "You are not required to finish the work, neither are you free to desist from it."
Life progresses in wholes. For myself, having long been a prolific creator, I have had to take many side steps to get my family life, my emotional life, and my practical home and working life in healthy and loving order before I could take the next step towards my creative visions .
It requires much strength and the willingness to grow to live a purposeful life. Having a purpose motivates us to grow through emotional pain from the past in the past in a much faster way. Everything becomes healthier, more truthful, and more connected and enriched on the road to our purpose. For those who do not want to accompany us on our journey to truth, health, love and purpose, they have the choice to grow or to fall away.
As a visionary thinker, I can see the potentials I have not yet lived into yet. I have learned how to not be disheartened, and to keep my eye on the small immediate steps that life is calling me to. Often just an immediate thought, feeling or action that is not in alignment with my purpose needs to be expressed, accepted, and implemented before I can move forward in a positive way.
Change Is Only Found in Taking Action
Action is absolutely necessary for change and it does not have to be overwhelming. It can be a small daily practice of living into who we want to become with a determined attitude to shift the depressions and disappointments of the past into a positive life direction.
We can start to see even the tiniest good in each moment and follow our inklings into a visionary, creative life. As Aster puts it, when we start to live into the higher aspects of our nature we recalibrate our being - we begin to sculpt a "new me".
"Our hormonal and nerve impulses will change to correspond to the new person we are becoming. Once we have achieved this degree of change we are able to do "good deeds" without any expectation of reward. Good deeds (a life purpose direction) is now a natural and spontaneous expression of our beings as a result of our consciousness becoming established at a higher level. We can start by making small changes in our life by focusing on little things."
~ F. Aster Barnwell