Connect with Jane

a sharp smart alert happy red fish with open eyes going in the opposite direction of a group of sad blue fishes with closed eyes : Be different or unique concept design vector illustration

Awakening to your life’s purpose is a process. It does not happen overnight. Purpose isn’t simply discovered in a year, through a college degree, from a relationship, and isn’t “found” in a job or a hobby.

Purpose is discovered through consciously living your unique journey. Learning to prioritize connection with your evolving inner self is critical for shaping a deeply fulfilling life.

It was in my first encounter group in 1970 that I decided that the most important thing I could do was to intimately know myself. As a participant in the group described her father’s cruelty, my tears began to flow uncontrollably. I thought that my tears were about her, but quickly learned they were about my own experience.

The support I received was unlike any love I had ever felt in my personal relationships. The space — so safe, encouraging and comforting, deeply connected me to myself and to the group. I felt lighter. In those moments of soul connection we know our deepest truth and authenticity. From then on I knew I wanted to know more about myself and to learn more about love, believing that they would be the keys to my happiness.

These are 6 lessons I learned on my path to “Awakening My Life’s Purpose.”

  1. Be willing to face your pain and fear, your vulnerability and what is causing it, in emotionally safe spaces.

As you release conditioned beliefs and the feelings associated with them, you meet your soul, which can then become the guidance of your life. The ongoing process of release brings us to our radiance, similar to a deep cloud cover lifting and breaking up, allowing the sun’s rays to shine through.”

  1. Gradually start taking responsibility for making new, often difficult choices.

Pay attention to the pull you constantly hear from within. What might feel like a risky choice at first may be exactly where you are meant to go. Treading new waters will feel uncomfortable, yet if you are rooted in your deepest desires, they will lead you to your happiness and satisfaction.

  1. Purpose underlies results.

Purpose is the energy that keeps us moving towards creating the results we desire. If we are willing to meet our challenges and feel our emotions, we can connect with our souls and awaken to our deepest purpose at any age. Our purpose becomes the calling that ignites us to act and fulfill.

  1. Make a desire list.

Feel the intensity of the pull towards each desire. You will know what you most want from the strength of your internal experience. Go back to your list several times, deleting, adding and prioritizing. Give yourself time. Become at one with your desires. You will naturally choose your purpose from them. When your purpose is authentic, you will want to give it your energy.

  1. Begin to take baby steps towards your purpose.

You will probably meet resistance within. Resistance is simply your fear showing up. Surround yourself with people who will both support you and hold you accountable. This can be friends, or a therapeutic or spiritual group that meets consistently.

  1. Journal every day.

Include your concerns, emotions and resistances. Also listen for your ideas and willingness to take small steps towards fulfilling your purpose, regardless of your feelings.

Journaling will keep you current with your desires.  It will also serve to keep you in touch with your feelings and priorities. It is a way of staying in connection with your soul where your purpose lives.

Be gentle with yourself, aware that sometimes your purpose may change.

This post originally appeared on Purpose Speaks, a blog by Zach Mercurio.