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Solve the Puzzle of Purpose

by bevbarnes on April 3, 2014

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Hi there! I was in San Diego a few weeks ago at the Martha Beck Coaches Summit. It was SO much fun. Hanging out with warm, loving, shiny people was just what I needed to escape the winter that never ends.

I’m re-posting a guest blog I wrote two years ago today. I love this post and thought you might too. If you want to find out what the 1970’s television series Bewitched, has to do with NOT finding your purpose, read on.

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I looked for my purpose for many years. I believed that there was some special thing I was supposed to do, some reason I was born – but I couldn’t find it. I felt disheartened, discouraged and angst-filled because I knew that deep in my soul, I had something that I was born to do but I wasn’t doing it and I didn’t know what it was.

I tried really hard to ignore my discontent because I had a pretty good life – a good job and family, no real hardships. I tried to be content with what I had. But the angst didn’t go away. One day, I decided to stop ignoring my discontent, probably because I’d tried everything else. I acknowledged that my job made me miserable and I vowed to start doing more of what I loved both on and off the job.

Those simple steps eventually led me to discover my purpose and my passion – guiding others to their own purpose. And I’ve made it into my life’s work. How ironic. In the years since I made that discovery, I’ve discovered many things that I wish I’d known when I was trying to discover my purpose. That’s what I want to share with you here:

1. You might be a Wayfinder

It turns out that the reason that I was so obsessed with finding my purpose is that I’m a Wayfinder – a person who is called to teach, heal and lead others in transforming the world. Martha Beck uses this term in her new book Finding Your Way in a Wild New World. Among a number of different characteristics, one of the things Wayfinders share is:

“A sense of having a specific mission or purpose involving a major transformation in human experience, but being unable to articulate what this change might be.”

If you felt sweet relief when you read this passage, then my hunch is that you’re a Wayfinder too. If you are thinking that you can’t possibly be a Wayfinder because you aren’t “special” enough then that just about guarantees that you are.

2. The purpose of your life is to use who you are, to add love to the planet. Period.

You can do that in many ways; it doesn’t have to be work related. You can heal old resentments and disappointments. You can start doing what you love. You can add love to your life or someone else’s every day – with gratitude, a smile. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. You don’t have to be famous to live your purpose.

3. Stop following the rules.

I’m not suggesting anarchy, I’m just saying start being conscious of the rules that you are following that you don’t believe in. Start questioning why you do things. There are false beliefs that are deeply embedded in Western society. Just watch Bewitched, the 1960’s and 70’s television series. The fact that I loved this show is probably one of the reasons that I was so stuck trying to figure out my purpose. Bewitched demonstrates society’s rules, many of which still apply. Here are some of the things NOT to do to find your purpose, straight from Bewitched:

a. Don’t believe that your life’s purpose is to please your partner. Samantha, the main character in Bewitched had this problem. She spent her time trying to change herself into the person her husband wanted her to be. He didn’t want her to be a witch so she tried to deny that part of herself.

b. Don’t hide your gifts and unique talents. Samantha hid her gifts so that she could fit in. Maybe if she’d used her witchcraft she could have changed the world.

c. Don’t try to fulfill everyone’s expectations of you. Darren, Samantha’s husband, was obsessed with fitting in with the status quo, doing exactly what was expected of him. He believed that if he did so, then he would be rewarded by a sense of belonging, social acceptance and job security. He had no clue what his gifts were, and neither did anyone else.

d. Don’t get caught up in ego, fame and symbols of wealth. Endora, Samatha’s mother was hypercritical of mortals or non-witches. She probably rated quite high on the narcissism scale, believing that she was better than everyone else just because she was a witch.

e. Don’t be over-focused on others’ lives and under-focused on your own. The neighbour, Mrs. Kravitz spent her time watching Samantha through her window and trying to convince anyone who would listen than Samantha wasn’t “normal.” Mrs. Kravitz didn’t develop her own passions because all her attention was externally focused.

f. Don’t be afraid of your own power. Aunt Clara and Esmerelda, Samantha’s aunts, were afraid of their magic. This led them to make huge errors or completely disappear. They did not optimally develop their magic powers and so they could not offer their gifts to the world.

g. Don’t think that experiencing fun and delight means that you are selfish and self-indulgent. Uncle Arthur, the gay warlock of the show, yes I said gay, was the one character that was consistently filled with delight. He claimed and expressed his gifts, used magic, made jokes and had lots of fun. He also helped Samantha, in many episodes. He was totally delightful and delighted with life. That’s what it feels like when you are fulfilling your life’s purpose. He was looked down upon as self-indulgent on the show.

Start noticing what rules you can throw out and what new rules you want to create.

4. Remember that we all have a purpose.

Everyone has a purpose. Not just super talented athletes or musicians or artists. Everyone. Our purpose is to use who we are – our gifts, our innate talents, everything we’ve learned because of our own particular history, in order to make a contribution or add love to the world.

5. Name and claim what makes you different.

Figure out and start using the talents and gifts that you were born with – everywhere, not just in your job, in your whole life. Re-invent your life so that your gifts and talents are on centre stage and not just a side line.

6. Rely on your body to guide you, not your mind.

You can’t find your purpose by just thinking about it. You have to start exploring and testing by doing. You’ll know that you’ve found something you love by how it feels when you are doing it. If you feel energized then you are moving in the right direction. If you feel drained, change directions.

7. Find your passions and follow what you love.

Find your passions and include them in your life. Your purpose is all about love. Big universal love, not small romantic love. You find your purpose by being love.

Once you do that, you’ll transform the world. And that’s what we are all here to do. Exquisitely simple isn’t it?

I LOVE hearing from you. Let me know what has helped you to find your purpose. Comment below on the blog.

 

 

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn April 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm

I love this, Bev. I remember “Bewitched” so well. There were so many things about it which made me uncomfortable as a child, and after reading this I see much more clearly why.

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bevbarnes April 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Me too Dawn. It was still one of my favourite shows.

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Sonja April 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Love it! Thanks Bev!

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bevbarnes April 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

You are welcome Sonja 🙂

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Lynne April 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

How beautiful Bev! Thank YOU.

My purpose unveiled itself to me as I listened more & more to my inner self.
The inner voice inside of me was resonating for CHANGE.
I knew then that this intense, novel craving for change did not mean changing jobs or finding new contracts, it meant changing direction altogether.

It was as though I had been kayaking (on water) all of my life and now it was time to learn to fly (in the sky). Accepting that it was time TO change and FOR change, off I went, flying, in a new unknown direction. Trust and faith were my best allies in this ‘Unknown Zone’.

Detachment from any outcome is key. Curiosity & excitement of the new helps as well.

My favourite quote in this post is: ‘You find your purpose by Being Love.’
LOVE is all pervasive & limitless.

To Purpose and Love!
Lynne

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bevbarnes April 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Thanks for your comments Lynne. Listening to your inner self is the big step.

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Tari Heap April 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Samantha could’ve been helped by Deanna Troy from Star Trek! Ha, ha!

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Angela April 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm

I love this, Bev!

“The purpose of your life is to use who you are, to add love to the planet. Period.”

It’s so clear and such a good reminder.

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bevbarnes April 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Angela. Yes it’s simple and we make it really, really complicated.

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bevbarnes April 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Samantha really needed a balanced Empath guiding her and helping her out. Thanks for this Tari!

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Leda April 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I love this, Bev! I was a big fan of Bewitched and it’s very interesting to see your analysis of the characters and the lessons there.

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bevbarnes April 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Hi Leda, yes Bewitched was all about not making waves, exactly what you need to forget about when you are uncovering your own purpose.

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Ingrid Huebner April 4, 2014 at 3:19 am

When I watched Bewitched, I always wished I had the powers that Samantha did. Now, I realize that I have my OWN powers; I just have to own them and use them. Wonderful article! Thanks for posting it again!

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bevbarnes April 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Yes Ingrid, we all have our own special powers to use. Thanks for sharing:)

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Becs April 4, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Your article was so interesting to me Bev. Makes me wonder if we have a generation of “Bewitched” women who learned the message “don’t make waves” who are now daring to “surf” and “make BIG splashes” in the second half of their lives;). I know I’m in the water playing baby!!!

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bevbarnes April 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I LOVE this Becs. Maybe the bewitched generation of women is now ready to play. Enjoy the waves and thanks for commenting!

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Linda Donnelly April 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Wow, Bev, brilliantly insightful. You just led me to realize what a role model Samantha was for me. There she was, in my living room, gracing us with a glimpse of her magical, glamorous life. I am certain that a part of my subconscious wants nothing more than her approval and is more than a little disappointed that I am not an adoring blond housewife in a contemporary colonial. Now please don’t get started on “Jeannie”!!!

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bevbarnes April 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Linda, I laughed out loud when you brought up Jeannie – stay in a bottle and wear a bikini or something close. Still laughing:)

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