Living With Purpose

Apr 14, 2023

Living with purpose is a concept that has been around for centuries, but it has become increasingly popular in recent years. From an African spiritual perspective, we are all born with a purpose and agree to live out that purpose before we come earthside and we align with our purpose through our connections with the Divine and aligning with the will of the Creator. It is about understanding that we are all part of a larger plan and that our lives have meaning and purpose.

A few weeks ago I visited Costa Rica in order to plan for the R.A.W. Restore Being retreat that will be held there later this year. I was there for 3 days and I did not return the same. I was reminded of what it means to be silent, set a part, aligned with my purpose and so connected that I can fully feel. I was able to feel safe in all those feelings and know with certainty what next steps are important. That trip reminded me that we are all part of the same source and are here to fulfill our unique roles in the grand scheme of things. We are here to learn, grow, and contribute to the world in our own unique way. Living with purpose is about understanding that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world around us and that we have the tools within us to locate not only the purpose but also the path to fulfilling it. 

I feel it is important to note that living with purpose is also about understanding that our actions will always have consequences. While we tend to think about consequences from a negative place, consequences are merely outcomes as a result of a particular interaction or event. Every action we take has an effect on the world around us. When we understand this, we know that we must be mindful of our actions and strive to make choices that take into consideration the consequences for ourselves, our loved one’s, the larger community AND our greater purpose. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, all of those things don’t align and the outcome of those things do not always feel good. We often strive to feel good and keep other people happy and this can bring us out of alignment with our purpose. 

Here are 5 things that I remembered about living in my purpose, some ways that your trauma and emotions can interfere and some tips that will help you stay on the path to yours.

  1.  Purpose brings both connection and isolation. There will be times on your journey where you are required to be alone and there will be times when you are required to be in community. We are all vital parts of a spiritual and physical ecosystem that requires that we use our gifts, abilities and talents to support others. However, there will be times when you have to function in isolation. Isolation may be required so that you can learn new things or leave places that no longer serve you. Sometimes you simply feel alone because you are called to do things differently than those around you. Both experiences are a part of the journey and must be honored. If how you perceive community is related to your history of trauma, either of these situations could create feelings of discomfort. Discernment helps you to understand what season you are in and when you need to shift into a new one.
  2.  You are required to learn and do new things, but not everything is for you. As you grow, you will learn new ways of being. You will understand yourself differently. You may even receive new training. However, in a society where everyone (over) consumes information you will need to be careful not to be the forever student - simply taking in information and not mastering anything. It is important that as you develop connection with yourself, you are able to understand what is aligned for you. What feels good to your heart space? What are you choosing out of ego? What stage are you prepared for? Asking yourself some of these questions will support you as you elevate on your journey so that you are able to stay in alignment with YOUR timing, not anyone else’s.
  3.   Fear is a natural part of the journey. Listen, you may not always want to do it and fear will tell you that you shouldn’t. Whether it’s simply because it’s new to you, or you don’t know what the outcome will be or you think you will fail, having fear over new things is natural. However, you can’t let the fear stop you. If you are someone who experiences anxiety, the anxiety may even come with a lot of stories around why this should be a “no.” Learning to care for yourself through these experiences will teach you how to listen to your heart and not the anxiety so that you can choose to move forward in spite of the fear.
  4.  Ego is a hell of a drug. Most people think of ego as the space of feeling overly self important. And while that is partially true, I like to define ego as the stories that you create,, not just about who you are, but also who other people are and need to be to keep you feeling safe. When you have a history of trauma, you may have developed ego stories that keep you showing up a certain way in the world. For a lot of people, those stories have carried you a long way and supported you in survival. The challenge becomes when you are now looking to thrive. Those very same stories will tell you that what you have is enough, and create narratives about you and everyone else around you to keep you stuck. We all need our egos to some extent. However, understanding which parts of your ego come from trauma will support you in moving past it when it shows up to keep you away from your purpose. 
  5. The journey is a lifetime. We are obsessed with reaching our destination. If you can imagine that we are all children in the passenger seat and the Creator is driving the car, we are the one’s constantly asking “are we there yet.” We want to know that everything that we envision is right around the corner. We want to make sure that we are doing it “right” and that the outcomes will be evidence. A lot of times we are seeking validation in the outcomes that we desire. Let me spoil this for you some - there is no straight path here. You will be disappointed, you will be happy, you will fail, you will succeed and you will grieve. We can choose to see that as beautiful and choose to see the car as the place we are supposed to be - constantly on the journey. 

While I encourage the embracing of vision, holding your visions too tightly will create disappointment and sometimes resentment when they don’t show up the exact ways you want them to or in the time frame you imagined they would. Understanding the duality of this experience and allowing yourself to experience grief will both support you in staying on your path and being open to its shifts that can lead to wondrous places you never imagined. 


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