Does a muffled voice inside you crave something greater, but is just beyond your reach? You are not alone. Falling into a routine of sameness is as natural as checking your emails while sipping that first morning latte. It’s true… the choices you make shape your existence. Thankfully, you have the ability to make different decisions. Leading a purpose driven life isn’t a pipe dream; it’s a matter of mind and body wellness. A myriad of health benefits, including decreased risk of Alzheimer’s, lessened cognitive decline (Boyle, Buchman, Barnes, & Bennett), even lower occurrences of psychological disorders (Owens, Steger, Whitesell, & Herrerra) come with following your bliss.
Mick Jagger is seventy-five years old, performs live and yet somehow still seems to magically possess the agility, stamina and range of motion he did in his twenties. Maybe that’s because people who live their passions, experience working differently. Driven by an inner fire, they radiate a glow about what they do. Whatever your hidden desire is, remember the words of novelist George Elliot, “it’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
Take Control of the Narrative of Your Life
Awareness is key. But daily distractions can make it tricky to hear your inner voice. According to professor Dan McAdams (Department of psychology, Northwestern) “identity is an internalizing and evolving life story.” In order to weave meaning into the tale of your life, start by incorporating a simple habit into routine, aimed at sifting through mental clutter. There, your deepest wants and desires will be illuminated.
When you shift your internal landscape, you reinvent your exterior world. As legendary fashion photographer, Cecil Beaton, once said, “Be daring, be different, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers.”
Seeds of Self Discovery
Your higher purpose is similar to a garden. In order to bare fruit, seeds are planted and nurtured with water and sunlight to blossom. By giving your thoughts and feelings focused attention and energy, you attune to the wisest part of your nature. Mental clarity allows you to unearth the roots of your purpose, giving way for personal growth. Through mindfulness meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn said (Duke, Human Resources), “You can gain insight into what drives you, how you see the world, who you think you are–insight into your fears and aspirations.”
1- Sit in a natural position. Close your eyes. Breathe. Let air flow through your nose. Slowly exhale.
2 – Envision a place that makes you feel centered. With your mind’s eye, paint this space with everything you love. Allow the sights, sounds, colors and textures to envelope your senses. Once the vision is fully realized, rest in this awareness.
3 – Ask yourself: What do I desire? What brings me fulfillment? Watch the thoughts as they pass in and out of your mind without judgment. Visualize yourself doing activities that intrigue you. Remember, your thoughts can create concrete change; Harvard researchers found that visualizing can alter brain chemistry in a positive way.
When you feel finished, exhale and open your eyes. Like steps along a winding staircase, each meditation will take you closer to realizing your purpose. And as you embrace this new heart-centered existence, remember to celebrate your successes along the path. Feel good about your progress. ■