It all started in mid-May when I was experiencing chronic back pain in my lower back.  I arrived at a point where I was extremely irritable all the time.  Physical therapy wasn’t moving the needle enough and I was at my wits end.  My boss at the time recommended I see her acupuncturist, whom she deemed “Houdini.”  A few days later, I was on my way to see him.  I had no idea what to expect, but anything would be an improvement from what I’d been feeling. 

When I arrived, I patiently sat in the waiting room, feeling slightly anxious about having Houdini stick me with needles.  Then I looked up and this feeling of calm took over as he walked toward me.  He had this all-knowing, soothing presence about him.  As I watched him walk closer, I immediately felt this sensation that I could trust him with anything.  Intuitively, I knew in that moment that he would change my life forever – and that’s exactly what he did.  He helped me reconnect with myself and with the world around me.  He was the catalyst for my spiritual awakening that helped me discover who I am authentically and what my purpose on this earth is. 

So how does one discover their life’s purpose?  It took me several months of transformational workshops, wellness retreats, yoga, reading and more to figure it out.  I’m here to tell you with certainty that you have access to all the answers that you need within.  You, and only you, can uncover those answers.  The best way to begin is to ask yourself, “Who am I?”  Think about this in terms of your “ways of being.”  When I examined the stories I told myself, I realized that I decided I was a small, quick-tempered, anxious, emotional, adult acne-faced woman.  When I looked at myself from a deeper, soul-level, and with a lens of self-love, I remembered that I’m a funny, nurturing, kind, and intelligent woman.  When you choose to accept all parts of yourself unconditionally, nothing else matters.  I do have adult acne, fine lines, love handles, and anxiety – And I choose to love myself anyway!  Shifting your mindset to one of self-love and acceptance will create unconditional love and acceptance in relationship with others. 

Everyone in this world is going through something and we’re all put on this earth to learn, heal and grow.  So what are the life lessons you’ve been tasked with learning?  One way to uncover this is to look at your deepest fears and limitations.  Perhaps you believe you’re not beautiful enough and you don’t think you’re worthy of love.  Therefore, you’re afraid to be vulnerable and your need to look good or be in control has you alone.  Or maybe you think you’re not smart enough so you never go for that promotion or raise you want.  Make a list of all your stories and uncover which ones create the most discomfort.  In addition to looking at your fears, you get to look at the things that bring you joy.  What makes your soul sing?  Music, nature, family, hugs, deep conversations?  Make a list of all the things that bring joy and look for common threads.

Once you identify your biggest self-limiting behavior, you can uncover your biggest fear.  It may be hidden under a few layers.  Like an onion, you’ll need to peel those layers back to get to the root of the issue.  For instance, I’m guarded.  I have a difficult time connecting with people in an open and vulnerable way.  I’ve spent many years being emotionally unavailable in relationships because I’ve been hurt and rejected and lied to.  I fear falling in love and the thought of intimacy causes me to sweat profusely. This comes from an even deeper space of fearing that I might not be enough. 

An enlightening exercise to consider as part of this process is to ask your parent, the one you relate to most, what advice they would give to their 20-something-year-old self?  What lessons did they learn?  There’s a very good chance that one, if not both, of your parent’s will possess the same underlying fears and self-limiting beliefs that you have.  This is because our childhood, environment, and past experiences all shape these fears and limits.  We hold on to them in order to be safe, to be right, to look good, or to be in control.  Once you discover your biggest lesson, it’s pretty easy to uncover your soul mission.  The answer is the exact opposite of your lesson.  You get to consider how you can combine the things that bring you joy with addressing your biggest lesson. 

For me, healing is about love and connection.  When I first started this spiritual journey, I thought healers were all-knowing, intuitive experts with incredible gifts.  The truth is, they’re all that and so much more!  They face their deepest fears with courage in order to help others heal.  We all have the basic need to be loved and accepted.  It’s human nature and it begins with our connection to self.  The way you get to have love and connection in relationship with others is to develop unconditional love and acceptance for self. With that said, be a stand for a connected and loving world.  Most importantly, have patience with yourself while on this path to self-discovery and healing.  It might take time for you to uncover your purpose.  Always remember that life is a journey, not a destination.  Experiment, learn from your mistakes, open yourself up to new possibilities and never stop growing.  It’s in those experiences and lessons that you discover joy and purpose.