Am I Here? . . . Discovering Your Purpose
by Maureen McIntosh, B.Comm., MBA
I had been asking the wrong questions for years. How much
money will I make if I do this? What is there a demand for
in the marketplace? How will other people perceive me if
I do this? How does society measure success? None of these
questions led me in the direction of my deepest nature and,
as you may guess, I was not particularly happy or fulfilled.
The people in my life could not understand my discontent
because I had it all, compared to society’s measuring
Harold Whitman understood this truth when he said, “Don’t
ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes
you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world
needs is people who have come alive.” How many people
do you know who are truly alive? How many people do you know
who can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning because
they are passionate about their life?
One of our greatest needs as human beings is to discover
our purpose, to find meaning in life. As children we come
into the world aligned with this truth, we naturally follow
our bliss. Unfortunately it does not take long for us to
lose this natural connection to our spirit.
How soon we lose the connection and the degree to which
we become lost varies from person to person and is dependent
on many variables in our environment and on us as individuals.
When we are not connected to our spirit we can easily get
off track and follow a path that runs counter to our true
nature. When we are on the wrong path there is a constant “drag” on
our consciousness; life becomes a grind and loses its sacredness.
I believe most of us have the ability to do and become almost
anything and in fact, many times we become very good at what
we don’t enjoy. Unfortunately this can make it seem
riskier and more difficult to change paths.
why we are here,
our purpose, is a truly exhilarating
and satisfying journey.
As I reached middle age and did an assessment of my life
(as most of us do at that time), my greatest fear was that
I would never know why I was here, what my purpose was. Many
of us are so lost and out of touch with our authentic self
that we don’t know how to go about reclaiming it. What
I have discovered is that our true nature is deeply buried
beneath a lifetime of ingrained thought patterns and conditioning.
As overwhelming as it seems, the key is for us to begin the
journey of excavating the soul.
In my seminar titled, “Why Am I Here… Discovering
Your Purpose”, I take participants on a journey. We
begin the journey with some insight into the thought patterns
and conditioning that sabotage us and keep us on the wrong
path. It is so much easier to be open to our authentic self
once we realize who we are not and once we let go of what
other people and society expect of us. We can gain wonderful
insight into our true nature when we go back to a time before
the negative thought patterns and conditioning existed, before
we became self-conscious, back to a time when we naturally
followed our bliss. Many people are able to identify the
critical points in their life, the forks in the road, if
you will, where they began to lose themselves. As part of
this step I teach participants how to use affirmations, or
positive statements, to replace or re-program the old thought
patterns and beliefs.
The next step on the journey to self-discovery is honing
our ability to access spirit. As John O’Donahue so
eloquently stated, “Trust the indirect, oblique compass
of your soul. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny
better than your mind ever will and your soul will always
bring you home.” There are many techniques and practices
that are effective for quieting the incessant chatter of
the mind so we can access our spirit. In the seminar we explore
several of these techniques and practices, identify those
that work best for us, and then commit to applying them in
our daily life.
The final step on the journey is to ask the question, why
am I here? Release the question to the universe and then
be open to the answer when it is revealed. Many times answers
to our questions will come in the form of coincidences, which
are messages from the universe that will guide us in making
the decisions that are right for us. Our “receivers” must
be on — we must be aware in the present moment. If
we are caught up in continual chatter of the mind and not
present in the moment, we can miss these messages altogether.
The ability to be in the moment was a powerful truth (and
obstacle) for me, a truth I explore in-depth in a seminar
titled, “The Gift of Living a Present-centered Life”.
Discovering why we are here, our purpose, is a truly exhilarating
and satisfying journey. It is a journey that requires great
courage and commitment. It is a sacred journey — a
journey worth taking. Bon Voyage!
Maureen McIntosh is a professional trainer and keynote speaker
who has her own training company called BestLife Seminars
Inc. She communicates a series of powerful messages designed
to inspire individuals to live their best life. She artfully
blends her own experiences with wisdom from the great leaders
to bring her audience captivating and highly interactive
sessions. For more information or to register for seminars
visit www.bestlifeseminars.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or phone (306) 249-4624 in Saskatoon.