Have you ever wondered why you are here on the Earth during this lifetime?
Is there greater meaning?
Do you have a purpose that you are supposed to be following?
How do you find out that purpose?
Follow your heart? Follow your intuition? Follow your passions?
I had all the same questions, until I spent an amazing weekend with 23 fabulous women in Sonoma at one of our women's yoga retreats.
I am filled with gratitude and inspiration.
Much of my gratitude is thanks to my co-leader who is a life and happiness coach, and led us through a journey and workshop where we discovered our purpose using techniques for self-reflection and exploration. It was certainly eye-opening and enlightening and I came away with such clarity and vision.
A little background on my path.
After 16 years working in the corporate world, I finally decided to follow my passion of teaching yoga, providing healing through massage and energy work and helping and inspiring others, by sharing practices that have helped me and that I am passionate about. The beginning of this path marks a major milestone in my life when I decided to follow my passion, back in 2009.
I began to wonder if this path I was following is really my purpose, and how I determine that.
Although I have taken time over the last few years to write down goals and visions, and my mission statement for my Body Flows yoga retreats business, I had never prevoiusly considered nor written down my 'purpose'. Or perhaps these are one and the same. I have been following my passions and my heart, organically, with courage and determination, being guided by my intuition. Was this living my purpose?
What does our purpose even mean? Do we each have one purpose? Or multiple purposes? Can our purpose change during our lifetime or once we've found our purpose, is that it until we die?
Is our purpose something we should be doing in life, or a set of goals, or a way we should feel or a state of being? Is it the reason that we are here on the earth during this lifetime?
I was excited to find out more from our happiness coach and 'discovering our purpose' expert, and move towards greater clarity around my purpose and my life in general!
One of the first ideas that she shared with us and really resonated with me was about our path towards happiness and how the 3 Ps (Pleasure, Passion, Purpose) were factors on this path towards happiness.
Pleasure: When we follow something that gives us pleasure, such as chocolate or wine, our happiness lasts for a short period and is only short-lived.
Passions: When we follow something we are passionate about, such as teaching yoga or helping others, our happiness lasts much longer.
Purpose: And when we follow something that aligns with our purpose, our happiness lasts even longer, and is, in fact, unlimited.
This Path Towards Happiness resonated with me as I began to consider the true essence of Yoga, which is Samadhi, the highest state of being, enlightenment, connection with our soul, finding our true inner happiness.
There are many paths to this state of happiness and enlightenment. Practicing yoga and meditation is the path I am following.
Discovering and being clear about our purpose in life, and truly living our purpose each day, is another and beautiful path towards our goal of happiness.
In Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to free ourselves and all living beings from suffering and reach inner happiness or enlightenment, by training the mind through meditation. This is our collective purpose in Buddhism. I believe that as long as we are living our life with the belief and state of mind of freeing ourselves from suffering and moving towards true happiness, we are living our purpose.
So I came to the conclusion that our purpose doesn't need to be a job or a set of specific goals. It can be a state of being, a way of living our life in a meaningful way. As long as it resonates with us, we connect with it deeply, and it gives us a sense of meaning, that is what matters.
During the final part of our Discover your Purpose workshop, we took some time to write down a first draft of our purpose statement. We had been guided through various exercises and leading questions that helped us to reflect and explore our purpose.
I would like to share with you the purpose statement that came up for me. Perhaps my purpose statement will evolve over time. I think that is ok. However, it feels completely wholesome and perfect right now, and I believe that is what matters and is what will help me to continue on this path towards greater happiness and peace, the 'purpose path towards happiness'.
Here is the first draft of my Purpose Statement.
"My purpose is to inspire, provide healing and create community, through yoga, massage and retreats, inspiring growth, transformation and happiness."
I am feeling so inspired to continue on this amazing and purposeful path towards inner happiness and I hope you too are feeling inspired about discovering your purpose!
If you'd like to learn more, please consider joining us at one of our yoga retreats.
If you have any questions or feedback on this article, please leave a comment in the comments section below. I'd love to hear from you!
Author: Sally Mitchell, founder of Body Flows Yoga Retreats and RYT 200 Yoga Teacher leads yoga retreats in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. Living in beautiful Sonoma, California, after 15 years in NYC and San Francisco, her approach as a leader and teacher is holistic, balanced and grounded. She enjoys practicing and studying Yoga and Buddhism, hiking and trail running in nature, traveling, writing and inspiring others to live a more spiritual and meaningful life.