Updated: Aug 10, 2021
“Find that thing that you love!” We have all heard this phrase once or twice while navigating those moments throughout our life when deciding what direction we will take, most often with our career.
What I know about that phrase, is the reality of finding that thing doesn’t just appear as a magical thought one day, at around 18 years old and is going to determine the trajectory of the rest of our lives. It is quite the conundrum, being offered an opportunity to do that thing that brings love, versus the reality experienced by most of that, the idea of how we know what that actually is. Society makes us think we should know that thing that we loce right out of high school, but before you know it, out in the real world after some study or attempts to try many things, jobs or careers, we are deep in life commitments, expectations and often lost, and with less agency to be living an unfulfilled dream. Also, for the majority of us, without intention we do something, then choose to do something different as we grow, evolve and change but get lost in the web of conditioning that predetermines what is best based on salary, position title or someone else's career trajectory. Or sometimes it is on the cusp of our fingertips, but just out of reach of reality.
That idea of what we love, doesn’t just pertain to what we do for work, or money. It is a way of life, and one of the major weaknesses again of mainstream thought is our purpose being what we do for work. Instead it should be known to present that as humans we need to be fulfilled and have passion infiltrating various aspects of our lives. Relationships, health, employment, hobbies, family, engagement with the community and within our personal relationship to ourselves are all just as important as one another. They are intertwined within our values, motivations and beliefs.
My understanding of purpose has evolved and changed over the past 10 years. I have had some significant life experiences, and learning opportunities that provided me with an understanding of what we think purpose is vs its actual manifestation in our lives. For myself, Its presentation has been multidimensional, with innate awareness of who I am, the people I have met, the environments I have been exposed to and the education I have received. When I think about why I became a career and confidence coach, it really hit me that I want people to have agency and confidence over their life choices, to feel fulfilled with this gift which is our existence and what we get to do with our lives. I see too many people (and personally experienced myself) wait for something outside of us to determine our potentiality, despite it existing already within who we are. By handing the direction of your life to others to determine your worth in any given situation, we are essentially disconnecting from our own personal power. Consequently, we lose our resilience to navigate challenges and seek opportunities that light us up. Over time, this becomes an unconscious habit that is repeated over and over again, further stepping away from our truth. That is why I am so passionate about purpose. Deep reconnection to yourself, leads to deep reconnection to your life, purpose and potentiality.
The deep burning feeling inside
Do you have it? I know I certainly do and it has often been my driving force to make big decisions and go for things that felt way out of my comfort zone, but I knew I had to follow the feeling. There was no choice.
For me I feel it in my stomach. For those familiar with chakras, the sacral centre. It generates a deep feeling that I can’t explain, other than it lights up my heart and leads my mind to take action. Do you know your feelings? This is often referred to as your gut feeling…. intuition. It is a sense of deep knowing, beyond rational thought. My intuition tells me to do it, despite every reason that comes up in my mind for why I shouldn’t and I know from there I need to be in action to bring that to life.
When I was 15, my intuition told me to change high schools after Year 10, and I went from my country high school to a new city high school, where I have met some of my oldest and greatest friends. From there, once I turned 18, I knew I wanted to study my university degree on the Gold Coast, in a completely different state, and now I am celebrating many exciting life events with the beautiful people I met there. Meeting people at university, from all around the world, I moved to the USA and Canada, which ended up being a base for travelling the world for 3 years and to over 50 countries. From those travels, I saw developing and emerging countries for the first time and I began my Masters in International and Community Development, which felt so right to study, gave me a new renowned sense of purpose and felt like the education spoke my language. That gut feeling, also inspired me to leave full time work to complete an internship in Phnom Penh Cambodia, where I worked with SHE Investments, in a largely Cambodian team to empower female business owners in business skills. After that I continued to follow that feeling to Melbourne, where my personal development journey took off, meeting an empowered tribe of people and for the first time in my life, I fell in love with who I am and started my journey as a life coach. That inner knowing has been leading my purpose where it needed to go to unfold and emerge. Where has yours been wanting to lead you?
Significant Life Experiences
As you have just read, my journey took me around the world, through various cultures, and showed me so many different ways we can live life and be happy. I say this exposure I got from travelling has been my greatest achievement and education thus far. I remember after living in Canada for a winter season, I was ready to get some sunshine and warmth and spontaneously decided to spend some time in Central America. I didn’t know much about the area, what I did know was that it was cheap, I had friends going and wanted to fill in some time before my family travelled over for the North American summer. I did enough research to make sure my trip was as safe as possible, however there was room to be adventurous and not have full plans. I hoped a week of Spanish School in Costa Rica would get this Aussie girl through (very naively).
Through this trip, I caught local buses, did activities I never knew existed like volcano boarding and swimming with whale sharks, eating all the delicious new local foods each country had to offer, all the way to Mexico. What I didn’t expect to learn was how amazing each culture really was, and that despite the different way of living, less material wealth, crime and slower pace of life it offered, people there found ways to celebrate life that I had never witnessed in other western countries including my home country of Australia. I became entrenched with wanting to understand how other people lived, what their priorities were, what they valued and how they were human. This was the greatest education I had ever received. To know life can be done a different way and people are happy. It doesn’t have to be the way I was brought up in Australian culture, and that is okay.
Knowing this I have realised I have more choice over what makes me happy then how I was conditioned to believe. Acting on that isn’t always easy when you are immersed in the country, but witnessing another way of life, you realise it is possible and that is enough to get started to know you have a choice.
My travel experiences led me to studying my Masters in International and Community Development, which has only extended what I had the privilege of observing around the world. My studies have led me down a journey of understanding ideology, which is the social constructs created by humans (often governments) that influence the way we live, by determining what our priorities are, what we value as a society, and what we should be aiming for. The amazing thing I have learnt in my studies, is by looking back at ideology through the ages in relation to Community Development practice, of empowering people through various disadvantages, is that it has changed and as humans we have lived through so many schools of thought regarding how we should live.
The recent pandemic may have brought to life for you how you had been so busy in your life, that when you stopped you were able to enjoy your time with your family, feel more a balance in your quality of life. That busyness we had been blindly living is a direct result of neoliberalism which has been entrenched in our society since it was formed by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Yep it isn’t really that long ago, yet now we live as if time is money and we are so busy consuming that we feel blind to the reality that we have been compromising our family time, wellbeing and social life due to the economic drivers now dictating our society. The economic machine, to tick the boxes and build debt which requires us to keep grinding away is actually a made up idea by political leaders 30 years ago, and to the detriment of what the studies say actually reflect our quality of life at the end of it all. If you have been alive prior to this time, I will ask you to think back about what your life was like before the 1980s. Many say our humanity was stronger.
Has this been a mic drop moment? Don’t worry, we have all been constructed to value the economy, yet when you think of our experience in the pandemic, how vulnerable the economy was to shocks, and then how vulnerable did that make aspects of your life? How much value did you place on money? How much power did that have over everything?
That is why I want you to work with purpose. I want you to know you are also not alone. We can’t change the larger ideology, but one of the premises of neoliberalism is that we all get the opportunity to engage in the market. That is part of our free will. So why not engage with it in a way that feels purposeful to you? What they don’t often tell you is that you don’t have to grind away in your own life, and if you are able to connect to yourself, discover your own personal power and value and activate that in your life, your life becomes more than money, and you can embed purpose into all aspects to make it more fulfilling. Make this ideology work for you! It is designed to do that, not to beat you down. Build your strength to transcend any obstacles, and feel clear on what is your own personal driving force. If you feel like you don't have the tools, is there a way to develop them for your agency?
You don’t need a worldwide adventure, higher education study or strong connection to your intuition to achieve this. You need a cheerleader, accountability pal, and someone to guide and believe in your purpose to discover what this looks like in your life and engage it and entrench it into your world. Let it be your intention, as you do all the other things, rather than be blindly led. I have witnessed myself so many ways to do this thing called life, and this is the time to strip it back and find your path.
I have no regrets of my journey, sometimes I do feel the pressures, but I use this fear to steer my intention into places I desire it to go. When I need an injection of self belief, I practice self love to build my foundation, I slow down to clear the fog and engage with my purpose of seeing others step into their purpose in a confident way. I work with activating your innate energies to embody a balanced approach, driven by what gives you that self love boost and radiate into the different facets of your life.
I want you to know I do see you, and I am here for you. I do offer 1:1 coaching where I work with clients to connect to their purpose and confidently design their life based on this. I support them to build that brain muscle to strengthen the foundation to incorporate this larger into their lives. We work through the blocks, to see new rays of light shining from your truth. If this sounds like something for you, book a 1:1 complimentary discovery call.