You came into this life with a unique purpose and expression that nobody else can fulfill. As Martha Graham once noted: If you do not fulfill it, it is lost for all time.
What will you do with this one precious life? What gifts and talents can only you express? What is calling you forth? And what holds you back?
We work together to illuminate what is already deep inside you – your essence. The way I see it, our purpose, expression and way-of-being change as we learn, un-learn and grow. We blossom when we peel away layers of conditioning and release old ways of orienting in the world. We reveal our true nature when we step into authenticity.
What do I mean by authenticity? I mean showing up fully to whatever life is presenting in the moment and noticing any impulses we may have to change, fix, escape, fight or even heal what’s happening. It means being aware of our habitual responses — and gradually integrating old thoughts, emotions, behaviors, actions and addictions that no longer serve. As the 19th century psychologist William James observed, “All our life … is but a mass of habits.”
What is the connection between authenticity and purpose? One way to frame it is that our out-dated beliefs, loyalties and habits blind us to life, and shroud our purpose, making it harder to see.
Researchers suggest that up to 90 percent of our beliefs, emotions, loyalties, thoughts, behaviors and actions are unconscious. That is, the vast majority of our life is lived on automatic. We often don’t question the things we think, feel, say and do. We assume, “that’s just how it is!” Even when we are aware of our patterns, we may keep repeating them, falling again and again in the same hole. (“How did I do that again?!”)
In other words, we cruise through much of life on automatic — believing our thoughts and reacting to life out of imprints that were shaped when we were very young and our brains and nervous systems were still forming. Because of the nature of our early imprinting, we may cruise through much of life living other people’s values, purposes and dreams — not our own.
What to do? How do we move through this morass of conditioning to reveal the gems underneath?
Stepping into our true purpose doesn’t happen overnight — and gems reveal as soon as we begin our journey together. With each step, we come closer and closer.
I find that the path of purpose begins with self-awareness. As we come to know ourselves, we can differentiate what’s ours and others’. We become familiar with our deep desires, and our way of orienting in the world. We may see parts of ourselves that we love and others that we prefer to ignore. We come to see and accept our conditioning, or strategies for dealing with the world. These patterns and strategies exist for good reason, else we wouldn’t have adopted them! It is in this journey that we learn why we are here.
It may sound odd — and our very conditioning, wounding and deep patterns can be a lantern that shows us the way to the treasure of our unique purpose and gifts. As the mythologist Joseph Campbell suggests, the journey of the hero and the heroine always begins with a wound, some injustice.
As we explore our patterns, our beliefs, and our wounds, our purpose unfolds — and our relationships change, too. We come to see that the very things we love and detest in others, are often core aspects of ourselves. When that happens, we come to understand others and the world around us in new ways. And the barriers that we perceive between us melt.
Our journey to align with our true purpose can stir discomfort. We may discover things we would prefer not to see. It’s tempting to deny our most deeply-embedded stuff, to push it away. And it seems true what we resist persists.
We may never “get rid” of our patterns — and, as we change our relationship to them, they soften and have less of a grip. As we truly accept all of facets of our being — our strengths, our habits and our flaws:
- Our nervous systems relax, and we see things that we never saw before.
- We become lighter.
- We develop greater wisdom and compassion for others and their struggle.
- We see synchronicities that our hard to see when we’re in a cloud of habitual reactions.
- And these synchronicities point the way to our purpose.
When this happens, it’s as if the light of your true purpose, your unique essence, naturally switches on, illuminating the way. Your next step becomes crystal clear.
I have found that the more I come into what in sanskrit is called dharma, which is loosely translated as aligning, in a unique way, with a greater power or purpose, the better and easier life gets.
This path ignites a joy that comes from deep within — one of the beautiful mysteries of life.
My role is to act as a guide on this journey. I offer a map. And together we discover the territory, with great respect, boldness and gentleness, dignity and compassion.