There are times in our lives when we may ask ourselves “How do I find my purpose in life?” or “What is my purpose?”.
These and many other questions such as “What do I need to do now to make my life better?” or even “What do I need to ‘get or have’ in order to feel better?” generally arise when we are feeling unhappy, lost, a sense of meaninglessness or a lack of fulfilment. And so, we are looking to fill a void.
Those questions are also future based i.e. they pre-suppose that once I have found that something or have that something that all will be well. They take you out of the here and now, out of presence and consequently we suffer.
The Overactive Mind = Dissatisfaction
These questions may seem like great questions to ask but they can more often than not cause even more distress as you try to work out what your purpose is or how to get what it is you think you need or want to make you happy. And furthermore, if we feel limited in some way in actually being able to meet these needs or wants, we can feel even more dejected.
These questions may also serve as a distraction for a time as you work towards getting the thing you think you need or want, whether it be a new job, a new house, car or even a relationship, but ultimately we can end up feeling the same way even once we have reached the goal or have acquired those things.
And what about if what you thought was your purpose you find or decide isn’t really your purpose after all because you don’t feel how you thought you would feel or you find yourself still wanting more and you still feel empty.
You are not alone in your experience of this. If you have ever felt that way it’s actually very normal. Most of us find that once we have achieved or acquired what we thought would make us happy find that that feeling of satisfaction or happiness is generally fleeting.
There’s a reason for that and it’s basically the ‘mind’.
The mind will never ever let you feel satisfied or happy for long. Just think about that for a second.
Think about those times when you have achieved something or acquired something and think about how long you were actually happy for before you started to think about the other things that you need or want to be happy because obviously that wasn’t it or enough. Basically, this is a never-ending cycle.
If you are ready to explore, I have written about going beyond the mind in order to be ultimately free and joyful without the tireless search for something external to you that will only temporarily fulfil you.
You can feel at peace immediately regardless of your circumstances. If you want to learn more, read my articles:
The Better Question to Ask Yourself
But, if you don’t want to explore that just yet, then my advice is to not ask “What is my purpose?” (really everyone’s purpose is to evolve and awaken}, but rather ask “What does life want from me?”.
Why do I say don’t ask “What is my purpose?”, because it begins the debilitating and stressful cycle and snowballing thought processes of for example “If only I knew what to do, I’d be happy?’, “I mustn’t be passionate about anything otherwise I’d be doing it”, “Other people know what to do, why don’t I?”. How demotivating and depressing. I also want to tell you that you can actually be passionate about something and still not do it and there are reasons for that. Yes, the mind again. The mind can work for us or against us and we believe everything it says whether it is true or false.
So, the alternative is to just ask “What does life want from me?” and, leave it at that. It’s a much gentler and open (spacious) approach.
There is no need to think about it any further or to work it out.
When you start getting caught up in your mind about what your purpose is or the how around it, it stems flow, breeds frustration, disappointment and disillusionment as you come up with the many reasons why you can’t e.g. no time, money, conflicting ideas etc or you just can’t come up with the answer.
So, ask the question “What does life want from me?” and let it go. Don’t think about it. Or, if you find your mind working through it, just watch the thoughts but don’t engage with them. Watch them, observe them. The practice of mindfulness can help you with that. Click below to start practising mindfulness now.
To help you with that click the following link to read my article What is Mindfullness Practice? The Path to Happiness!
Thoughtless Clarity and Ease
I think it’s important to know that it is through the absence of thought that answers and clarity come and in the going forth with ease and just being. An idea may arise that you will feel compelled to act upon without pressure (yes, it’s a thought but it comes from stillness), an opportunity may present itself or what appears to be a chance meeting will occur.
Doesn’t that feel lighter? Can you feel the alleviation of pressure?
When we are in this place (and space) of ease, the difference here in our action (when we do act) is that it has come from a state of having let go, we are open, there is an ease from which we operate, we have freed ourselves from the shackles of the mind and have entered the spaciousness of our true essence and through this we are compelled to act as opposed to pushing ourselves to act through fear.
Many times in my own life I have felt as though I “should” be doing this or doing that. It’s not a pleasant place to be. There is a lot of self-criticism and harshness of oneself when we get caught up in this and berate ourselves for not doing what the mind tells us we should be or for not working it all out and getting it together.
And yes, to a degree it can be motivating until it becomes the reverse of that. The reverse is that we can become paralysed or we just hit a wall. When we act from a place of force, there is no ease. It’s coming from a place of push and that doesn’t feel good (not to mention it can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting), it’s not honouring where you are and to be honest it all comes from fear.
Now, I just allow myself for whatever brief or extended period I may need to just stop and not “do”.
Because, I know that eventually I will naturally be compelled to get out there, to do, to take action.
In the meantime, I am kind to myself and I don’t allow myself to get caught up in the “shoulds”.
So, if you are feeling as though you are stagnant, need clarity and/or direction, just ask yourself “What does life want from me?” and let it go. Give yourself a break from thinking.
It’s a cliché, but true, that the thinking that got you to this point is not going to get you out of it.
So, ask the question, let it go, be kind to yourself and just enjoy being where you are right now in this moment. After all, that’s all we have.
Until next time, go forth with ease and just be! You will be amazed at what unfolds.
“In the absence of presence, there is only that repetitive mental noise” Eckhart Tolle.