By Alecia Rice –
I feel like a compass without a direction. How do I find my purpose in life? — Lacking Purpose
Dear Lacking Purpose,
In the famous, simple words of Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss.”
You come programmed with passions that light the path you’re meant to walk. This is your first clue for direction and fulfillment.
Ask yourself what you’re good at. Is there something that you are or that you do that people ask for your help with? If so, that’s another clue. If you still come up empty, ask people who know you well what they think is special about you. You may get some reflections that surprise you.
I would also recommend that you meditate on this question. Don’t judge what arises regardless of how far-fetched it may seem. Honor all inspirations equally and simmer with them from there.
Our purpose in life is to love and find connection with people and nature. Regardless of anything else, if we are this, we are living our ultimate purpose.
I could rattle off things that feel “wrong” like anxiety, grouchiness, and anger but what I’ve figured out is that ultimately I’m just.plain.afraid. This undercurrent of fear seems responsible for most of the things that don’t feel right inside and I don’t know why. I feel like life is good. Any insight. —Just.Plain.Afraid
As we know, the root of all emotions are based in either love or fear. You’ve done most of the heavy-lifting in reducing the imbalances in your life to fear. This is an important insight to have when so many feelings camouflage themselves with other symptoms.
We’re experiencing an unusual time in humanity’s history. To many it feels like we’re living in an upside-down world. It’s hard to know what to believe, which can breed an underlying sense of fear and anxiety. The sensation of fear is compounded in empaths who can’t yet tell the difference between what feelings are theirs and what feelings belong to others. If you’re an empath, I would suggest that you search for some tools on how to protect your energy.
Ego deplores the unknown. It attempts to be the driver of our vehicle, and fear of the unknown is its gasoline. If we don’t address the root of our issues, we’ll hack at the branches of symptoms forever. It’s best to forget the time-consuming branches and head straight for the root. Sometimes it takes a while to decipher what’s calling our attention, but if we keep seeking they’ll eventually show themselves.
Addressing fear requires that we work with various tools. There is a multitude, but here are a few to get started:
Be present with your thoughts/feelings, especially when they’re uncomfortable. What are they trying to tell you? Meditate on them to understand them. We have less fear around what we understand. Vipassana is an especially effective form of meditating which has a grounding, calming effect.
We often rob ourselves of a secure sense of now by letting our monkey mind rattle on replacing it with an insecure sense of “What if?”. Realize that fear only exists when we contemplate the scary, unknown future. It doesn’t exist in the present, unless we’re being physically threatened, and there’s no fear of the past because it has already happened.
Ask yourself questions like “Is there something I’m afraid of losing?” because that’s often at the base of our fears, especially when life is good. This is a great place to challenge attachments.
Believe in yourself and your higher power, if you have one, and ask for outside assistance. Know that God, the Universe, or whatever you believe in, conspires for your highest. Trust that you will be better and stronger in the long run from whatever you’re facing because we grow the most through our struggles and overcoming our fears. Know that every situation that feels bad provides an opportunity to look internally at our incomplete places which enables more personal expansion.
Steep yourself in gratitude for what is, regardless of how it feels. Gratitude is a powerfully positive tool that overrides and neutralizes the seeming negative. You can’t hold gratitude and fear in the same moment.
Hope is the antithesis of fear. I encourage you to practice expanding it, and cultivating its handmaiden, courage.
Finally, cultivate a practice of acceptance. Resistance will keep you stuck and prevent you from moving forward, to where you want to be.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective, and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker and gatherer of women. For advice on personal issues, you’re invited to email questions to: AskAlecia@moontribevillage.com. Maybe you’ll find the answer posted in next month’s issue. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.