Have you ever wondered what your purpose is? Why you are here or what it is that you’re meant to do? This isn’t something that’s really taught to us in school, or even at home for that matter. Instead we are taught to do well in school and go to college and get a job and pay our bills and save our money and maybe one day retire… THEN we can finally enjoy life, right? There is something incredibly backwards about that line of thinking, about living solely for the future.
Yoga teaches us to be in the present moment. It’s about bringing our awareness within to connect to how we feel. We are taught acceptance and to honor whatever is happening in the moment. If we can master this concept on our mat, then we can take it with us out into the world. So if inner peace is so connected to being in the present moment, why are we putting off our dreams until the future?
I used to be so caught up in the rat race, going to work and making a great living, but also driving myself crazy in the process. I thought that just because I was earning a lot of money, it was okay to be burning the candle from both ends all the time. Boy was I wrong! Not only did the stress of that career start making me physically sick, but it was also hampering my plan of starting up a yoga business. I had the idea in the back of my head for 5 YEARS to start up a business before I finally did it. So what was it that finally woke me up? Discovering my purpose, of course.
After ignoring some serious health issues for over a year, I finally got to a point where I needed a break. I took a leave of absence from work and I went down to Deepak Chopra’s center in Carlsbad, CA, a decision that ultimately changed my life. One of the most valuable things I learned there was to start asking myself 3 important questions every single day. The first question is “Who am I?” – it has nothing to do with your name and what you do… it’s about finding out who you really are, deep down in your soul.
The second question is “What do I want?” – it seems so straightforward, yet we hardly take the time to truly ask ourselves what would make us happy. If you could have anything in life and be truly fulfilled, what is it that you want?
The final question is the most ethereal of all, “What is my purpose?” – how I can help? How can I serve? Deepak says to first figure out what your true passions are. What is it that you truly LOVE to do? What are the things that you love so much that make you feel connected to creativity and inspiration? You know, the things where you feel like you lose all track of time doing? He says that if you can take that passion, that special gift, and find a way to use it to help others, then THAT is your purpose.
When you first start asking these questions you don’t typically know any of the answers, and that’s okay. It’s about starting the dialog and asking the questions with an intention of wanting to know the answers. If you deliberately ask those questions every single day, you’ll notice that the answers will start coming to you. Sometimes they come in moments of inspiration, other times they come in conversations you have with others who say something that really resonates with you. The key is to start asking. Ideally do this right before you meditate. Ask the question and then release it into the universe. If you know the answer, then reiterate it to yourself and let it go.
These questions changed my life. Within a matter of weeks, the answers all started flowing to me and I became incredibly clear on who I am, what I want and what my purpose is. I know that my purpose is to inspire people to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. I am meant to share the healing practices of yoga and philosophy with more people to help them find this balance and peace within their own lives. I discovered that starting up a yoga business was my way of sharing this with the world and making a difference in the lives of other busy professionals. Throughout the process, I also discovered that another way for me to live my purpose is to help other yoga teachers to share their gifts in a bigger way. Ultimately that allows me to be the catalyst for making a difference to even more people on a far greater scale.
I feel incredibly blessed and grateful for having learned these teachings. Being connected to your purpose just FEELS right. Following that path gives you an incredible sense of confidence, that you KNOW you are doing what you are meant to be doing. It brings the greatest sense of inner peace and happiness, and allows you to make changes in your life to enjoy each moment and share your gifts. My hope is that these questions help you find your purpose too. The key is to start asking.