In Search for Purpose I touched on a few fears in my life and some of the things that have made me feel like a failure, as well as exposed some of the doubts that I have had in myself. These fears and failures have led me to seek for a bigger answer. It’s become an important goal for me to reach deeper into my spirit and establish what truly makes me happy. What things make me tick. Discover my talents and find a way to use them. So often we allow outside things to be the source of our happiness or discontent and they tend to become the things that define our joy. But without having control over these things it seems entirely unreasonable to allow them to be the bases of my insecurity or unhappiness. I never want to be someone who is defining myself based on what the world has given or not given me. I want to be defined by who I am. I hope to be able to take all of the things I love and am passionate about and turn them into my source of joy and purpose.
This discovery within myself is what has brought me on a search to find my mission. When starting this blog I made a commitment to myself; I would not fake it. I chose to be up front and open about my world and all of the pain, pleasure, excitement, and hurt that comes with it. So in walking you through this journey I have decided to expose the depths of my heart by sharing my step by step. I want to give you all of it. This will bring forth some past issues that most know nothing about, and will briefly touch on times in my life that I have kept tucked away in shame. In doing this I hope that you can relate. We all experience hardships, and have challenges and down times. But they don’t have to define us. And that’s the secret I hope to share that will make an impact in your heart.
When writing my mission statement I found that I was forced to address every piece of my spirit. I was actively rummaging through all of the things I love about myself, as well as all of the things I hate. My successes and talents were dug out of their graves and each of my failures stood right beside them. My heart and soul was laid out. It was vulnerable and exposed ready to be judged, evaluated, and analyzed. And so it was.
When you embark on this process I encourage you to be open to yourself. We are working to find the things that will allow you to be joyous in even the worst of times. The pieces that you can actively put into your life that will make everything you do worthwhile. This isn’t about making life goals, or setting up another way for you to disappoint yourself, but is about discovering your truth. Allow the truth to come out. Don’t let anything be hidden out of fear or embarrassment. This is between you and your heart and will all be part of the process to discovering where your true joy lies.
Here we go…
Sitting down and dedicating time was maybe the hardest part of this for me. But, when I finally decided to take time, lock my cat and phone out of the room, and allow myself to be distraction free for an hour is when I began seeing some progress happening. Resource after resource recommended answering a few questions in order to find the things that inspire me. I gave myself about 30 seconds per question and forced myself not to think. I answered quickly without using full sentences, not worrying about punctuation, or whether what I was saying made sense or not. Letting this process be pure to what my mind came up with I allowed myself (for possibly the first time in my life) to not over think. Some answers came naturally and others made me realize where I don’t know myself very well/ areas I lack confidence.
What makes you smile? Animals, art, music, creation in all forms, movies, books, silliness, friends, kisses, long in depth conversation, connecting with the Creator, silence, women with dreams, happy children, good parents, a couple truly in love, beautiful hair, beautiful things, flowers, nature, great fashion
What are your favorite things to do? Sing, dance, eat, spend quality time with people I cherish, good conversation, create, laugh, travel, experience new things, explore, design, build relationships, relish in moments, my morning ritual
What activities make you lose time? Reading, painting, decorating, house projects, movies, exploring, good conversation, relaxing, shopping, sitting outside, going for a walk
What makes you feel great about yourself? Painting, being unique, brightening a friends day, having a good hair/ makeup day, serving others, being motivated for something new, staying disciplined, goal planning, achieving said goals, making someone else feel beautiful/ valued, experiencing God, discovering something in myself, being brave
What are you naturally good at? Building relationships, art, spiritual discernment, offering wisdom, being romantic, fashion
Who inspires you most? Bloggers who do what they love and have made a name for themselves by doing it, Cara Loren- girl next door fashionista, Cara DeLevigne- living an uninterrupted life, Ghandi- wisdom, Mom- always seeking more, Febe- strength and faith, Janel- wisdom and passion, Elizabeth Gilbert- drive to discover herself, Taylor Swift- self love and advocate against bullying, Emma Watson- female powerhouse
What do people ask for help in? Art or home decor projects, beauty/fashion, relationship advice, wisdom or advice in life circumstance
If you had to teach something, what would it be? Beauty techniques, soul seeking, self-worth
What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having? Traveling, being brave, giving everything in love, building connections around the world, family, experiencing God to the fullest of my extent, impacting lives, building something great
90 years old, what mattered most? the relationships I built, family, living life to the fullest, seeing the world, knowing I invested everything I have into as many people as possible
What are your deepest values? Personal growth, inner peace, honesty, love, faith in others, trust in myself, self-worth, valuing others, financial freedom, creation, adventure
What were some difficulties you encountered and how did you get through them? Feeling unaccepted and rejected as a young child all the way through adulthood. Experiencing bullying in many different levels and degrees. Allowing suicide to be an option considered as the only way of ending pain. Feeling worthless, and undesirable no matter how much I offered. Being involved in unhealthy relationships. Disappointing myself time and time again. Extreme family hardships (which I will keep private out of respect for my family.) Experiencing the disappointment of miscarriage through the midst of a painful breakup. Choosing selfishness over caring for someone I love and feeling the regret of those choices.
With each of these things my answer was always faith. Faith in God. Faith in myself. Faith that someday I would see a better day. Faith that more things were in store for my life. I always knew, even in the darkest times that there had to be an answer. I was always lucky enough to be too stubborn to give up. I wanted to find that answer no matter what it would be or how hard it would be to find, and so i search. I search and I search and find answer after answer. No matter what the situation, or how painful it may be there is always promise of a sunny day. I never chose to live in that pain for long, but always chose to find a way out. And although the answer isn’t always clear and my journey is rarely easy, I think its the seeking that pulls me through it. Forcing myself to connect to something other than my pain.
What causes do you strongly believe in? Teaching young women their value, giving women a sense of beauty, self acceptance, and worth, creating independence for yourself by encountering who you are and learning to grow in that, taking a stand against domestic violence and physical/mental/ or sexual abuse, redefining the way our culture affects sexuality and how it is viewed
If you could get a message across to a large group of people, what would it be and to who? Everyone, but specifically focused on women and girls; You ARE beautiful. You are growing, and blossoming, and worthwhile. Your heart is special and everything that it has been through and has been burdened by has made it more beautiful than ever. You are not alone. No matter what has been said or done to you in the past know that I think you are special and undeniably precious. You are a piece of what makes this world what it is. You have more impact than you recognize. Be light for someone else. Be someone who stands up and makes a difference. Do not allow the things around you to define you or cause fear or insecurity, but use those things to give you power. Represent something great. Be a voice to those who need to hear it. Pain and rejection doesn’t make you weak, it gives you power to make a difference in someone else’s life. You are valued. and you CAN make a difference. Be beautiful. Be strong. Be the voice and face of your generation giving those around you a teeny sliver of hope. Let your truth be known. You are more than they say you are. Make your time count for something.
How could you use your talents and passions to contribute to this? Having clients in my hair chair allows me the opportunity to hear their story and speak words of wisdom and encouragement. I have a chance to make them feel as beautiful as they already are. Giving women the tools they need to feel as beautiful outside as they are inside. Creating relationships to encourage worth. Using art to connect to emotions, or speak a message. Writing to take a stand.
As you may have noticed (I most certainly did) when I allow my mind to speak for itself, without fear or distraction I tend to speak with a consistent pattern of passions. My answers may look a million times different than yours but I could bet that you will see a pattern beginning to form. Your heart speaks loudly when you allow it the opportunity. You can start to see a little bit of what influences you, what makes an impact, and where you hope to make a difference. Now what?
The next step I took was to identify connecting words. Make a list of words that mean something to you. They may have a major impact, be a core value of yours, or you may just like the way they sound. But whatever those words are allow them a chance to fill your page. Give yourself a three minute time limit. This forces you to write without thinking much and allows words to flow onto the page. If after three minutes you find yourself still writing, then allow that freedom and see what you discover.
empower achieve live relate explore adventure passion create inspire believe desire brave intention grow build endure endearment love value worth respect understand compassion drive thrive spontaneity ability culture education wisdom truth inspiration connection give motivate discipline cultivate attract respond honesty peace god enjoy freedom creator power travel journey laugh trust faith magnify encourage stability enhance recognize permeate balance improve produce empire move triumph challenge treasure speak listen cross relax generate evaluate
Again, I can see some repetition in the things that my mind and heart are attracted to. Taking a minute to reread each of these questions and words allowed me a chance to reevaluate and add to the lists where I felt drawn. I started putting some pieces together and recognizing where some of my passions, talents, and influence lies. A connection began happening. So I simply, made a list. I took all of my answers and summarized them into a few common themes .
- Understand and experience culture
- Discover and acknowledge beauty in daily things
- Be adventurous
- Inspire and encourage others to love who they are and to use that to enjoy their lives
- Live life choosing to be intentional in every choice I make. Choose my paths and moments, big and small.
- Enlighten my spirit/ experience god
Wow. I couldn’t believe how well these things summed me up. Although I have always known each of these things about myself I had never quite wrapped them up in such neat packages. I feel like reading this will not have quite the impact that I felt to actually sit and look at my heart written neatly on a piece of paper. All of the things that make me smile, that give me joy, make me feel worthwhile were all consolidated to a few bullet points.
The next part was the most fun. In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (if you haven’t seen this movie yet, then stop what you are doing and watch it now. Like right now. Seriously,) you catch the motto of Life Magazine over and over again and again.
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of Life.”
-The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
My viewing of this movie came in the most perfect timing. I saw this quote and was awestruck. There it was laid out for me to see; a purpose statement that made me want to cry. I connected so well and related to this in such a capacity that I knew I was on the right track to discovering my mission. So I started to write. I wrote everything that I want. Sentences, words, phrases. Inspired by each of my previous steps and stemming from what I had just learned about myself I began to write out everything that I desired for my life. It looked a little something like this:I want to feel every emotion there is to feel
- to see everything there is to see
- see the world in the eyes of others
- experience and understand the world others live in
- feel with people
- emote with people
- impact and change lives
- be brave
- no fear of the future
- to use my heart to its fullest
- live making every moment worthwhile
- experience to the fullest
- never second guess
- be everything
- never waste time
- be intentional in my thoughts
- experience god
- know god more than imaginable
- experience enlightenment
- feel freedom. everyday
- be disciplined in thought and action
Not one of the things in my wants was a family. Nor was it a career. Or a shiny new car. Or the home of my dreams. It was a real life with people and places in it. It was the truth of what brings me joy. My purpose was becoming very evident to me. For some, this would be a fine place to stop. Having learned and mapped out what things bring you joy and fill you with fiery passion is the whole point of doing this, right? So if that’s you, feel free to stop where you are. I know myself better than that though, and recognize that I need something tangible. Something that I can look at day in and day out that makes me feel alive. So this next part was the most crucial for me. I knew without this my passion and excitement for these things would only last momentarily. And then everything I’ve worked through would find its way back into the woodwork, underneath my chores and laundry and surface level relationships.
I took all of the things that I knew to be true to myself and began forming them into sentences. This list went on for about an hour. Changing, perfecting, adding, and removing. I would think of a phrase or sentence and insert or delete it into other phrases or sentances I loved. I will give you a few examples just to get the idea across.
- to freely and actively seek beauty, to live intentionally to make a difference in the world
- to live with intention, making a positive difference in the world and actively seeking beauty in those moments
- to intentionally seek beauty in my world and use it to make a positive difference
This list went on and on until finally something insane happened. I wrote a statement that made me cry. Literal, actual tears came streaming down my face. And I knew I had it. My mission. My purpose for living.
Now this statement isn’t something that I am bonded to for life. I have even made a slight change to it since it was first written. But that’s the beauty of it. It’s mine. All of my joys and dreams wrapped up into one little statement. Since discovering my mission statement I can truly say my life is more fulfilling. When I am making decisions on what to do with my time or how to treat my relationships I am forced to fall back to this, asking myself if it helps accomplish my mission. I end up recognizing how my day to day things can be used towards my mission. How those things can make an impact.
And the best part of all: I’m excited! I am excited about my life and what I’m going to do with it! And living with excitement has been phenomenally better than living as a failure. I would love to hear about your excitement and passions. Where does your joy lie? Who are you? I want to know! Share some of your statements with me by pressing the comment button below, and continue updating me on how this process has worked for you to be able to write your own personal purpose statement. I’m beyond excited to see what next step is in store.
To live intentionally to make a positive difference in my world. To actively seek beauty and enlightenment. To connect and to feel. That is my mission.