In my last blog, I talked about how I resisted the idea of teaching for years. I refused to listen to the signs and denied that teaching could ever be something fulfilling for me.
Then last year I finally started to listen. I took time away from work to reflect and really feel where the energy in my life was trying to flow. I stopped resisting, kept myself open and curious, and let everything unfold.
The transformation I experienced was electric.
And now I’m overcome with joy about how everything in my life fell into sync. Teaching is one of my passions, and I no longer ignore that.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about purpose (passion), so I’m sharing my journey with you because I want you to know that it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out. It’s okay if you’re feeling lost or if you weren’t born with some intense desire to do ONE thing for the rest of your life (most people aren’t!). And it’s okay if what you thought was your purpose changes next week.
Let’s talk about what it really means to connect to purpose, but first, a quick recap about what purpose is and what it’s not:
- Purpose is another way of saying, “What I’m passionate about.” For this blog, I’ll be using the term ‘passion’ more, but it’s simply another way of expressing/talking about purpose.
- Purpose doesn’t have to be a career. Though I make a living doing one of my purposes/passions (teaching), my other passions have nothing to do with my career. Purpose can involve money (such as, “I’m passionate about being a multimillionaire.”), but it can also be something simple and beautiful like, “My passion is spending plenty of quality time with family and friends.”
- Purpose is clarity, fulfillment, and energy.
- Purpose is not stagnation; purpose is alive. It evolves throughout life just like you. Yes, some people have one grand life-long passion, but most do not.
Beginning to Connect to Your Purpose/Passions
At the heart of purpose is connection—to yourself, to your truth, and to the world around you. Aligning with your passions starts with getting curious about what’s happening inside you right now.
A lot of people struggle to feel confident about how they spend their time and where they put their focus because their own mind is creating a barrier. If you haven’t taken the time to reconnect with yourself—to sit in silence and listen to whatever comes to the surface without judgment—then you may be telling yourself what your passions are.
You may be telling yourself, “I should be passionate about this one thing,” or, “When I was in high school, I was passionate about XYZ, so I must still be passionate about it.”
Thoughts like that will get you stuck because there is a HUGE difference between telling yourself something and listening to what’s deep inside you. Anytime you use the word “should” you’re going to create a blockage, and then you’ll be spinning on your wheels feeling lost and unsure.
To begin connecting to your passions, you first need to stay mindful of keeping yourself open. Don’t get stuck on the idea that you will or need to have the same purpose forever. Turn every “should” into “allow.” You have to allow things to rise to the surface inside you so you can see them clearly. You have to allow new, unexpected experiences to happen.
The Passion Test, which I’ll talk about more in a bit, is such a helpful tool for this. I use it every month because it keeps my truth front and center in my life. Passion/purpose (our truth) is fluid, so The Passion Test is a wonderful tool for helping us stay connected to what’s most meaningful to each of us.
Once you’re allowing things to flow and remaining open to what comes up, you can start to follow what I call “the breadcrumbs.”
Understanding your passions is a journey, and purpose comes in a lot of strange and mysterious ways. It doesn’t happen overnight. It took ten years for me to connect to my passion for teaching! So following the energy breadcrumbs—those little inklings, synchronicities, or things that keep coming up—will ensure you’re always letting your purpose evolve as you shift, change, and grow.
As I mentioned in my last blog, for a lot of years my purpose/passion was raising my kids. They were my main focus and doing breathwork and coaching people was secondary. The work I did with others helped me support my family. But now that my kids are older and venturing out into life on their own, my purpose has shifted.
If I had let myself get stuck in a rigid mindset or started getting lost by trying to manifest some big purpose for my entire life, I may have taken a dramatically different path when my kids were born. I might have prioritized work over spending time with them or I may have taken on a job I hated, telling myself it “should” be my purpose/passion.
Instead, I just kept following the energy breadcrumbs. Whenever I felt lost, I turned my focus to where I felt the strongest energetic pull. The Passion Test helped a lot with this because it gave me clarity when I felt most unsure.
It’s impossible to know how your life will evolve, so just let yourself flow.
The Passion Test
The Passion Test gave me one very important piece of wisdom: there isn’t one grand purpose for my life.
I have many passions. We all do. So the test narrows down your current top 5 passions so you can make aligned decisions about your daily life.
When we think purpose has to be a career or last a lifetime, we’re more likely to make decisions that lead us in the opposite direction of a happy, fulfilled life. We end up miserable because we’re not paying attention to our actual needs and what our inner self craves.
We start fighting ourselves, trying to ignore where the energy in our lives wants to go and ignoring the little whisperings about our real passions.
When you sit down to take the test and become clear on your passions, you’ll be able to make decisions that bring you closer to living your ideal life. You’ll be able to say things like, “I’m not going to focus so hard on building my career this month. I’m only focusing on my top five passions and letting energy guide me.” The test will help you understand that the areas of your life that don’t present themselves as current priorities, as your passions, can be put on a temporary pause. The more you practice following your passions, the more you’ll trust in the process.
Putting parts of your life on pause sounds scary at first, but I can tell you from experience that you’ll be amazed at how shifting focus from what’s draining your energy (like your career) will actually improve it in the long run. NOT focusing on your career (or whatever is stealing all of your focus) seems counterintuitive, but letting yourself get immersed in your true passions has a way of uplifting all other areas of your life.
I always recommend that people go through The Passion Test once a month (but no less than seasonally or four times a year). Once you become familiar with the process, it will only take around fifteen minutes daily, and it will become an important self-care practice you look forward to doing. It’s a way of staying connected with yourself as you work on unraveling years of conditioning about who you “should” be, leaving space for who you really are (and who you’re becoming).
It’s all about building energy and staying connected to your truth in every moment.
After only one session with me where we go through The Passion Test and discuss what’s going on in your life, you’ll have all of the tools you need to move through the steps on your own. You’ll know a system you can use the rest of your life.
I’m always available to answer any questions that come up after our session together, and you can also book an additional 30-minute session if you need more guidance.
Excited to discover your passions? Schedule an appointment with me so you can gain greater clarity on embodying a purposeful life.