August 25, 2021

We’re Here to do More than just Pay Taxes: How to Find our “Life Purpose.”

I once lived an erratic and unbalanced life fuelled by a desire to achieve power and peer recognition. 

In the pursuit of breaking the glass ceiling, I ignored signs that my body, mind, and spirit were out of alignment. I hardly ever spent time in nature, and worse still, I refrained from all self-care, replacing meals with caffeine, food with candy, and sleep with going to nightclubs. 

When I did eat, my choices were guided more by what could be gobbled up in front of my computer in seconds instead of what was nutritious and healthy. I killed my eyes reading countless documents until the early morning hours and nearly suffocated myself under piles of stress. I was focused on the prize: the corner office where, inevitably, I would be working even longer hours and taking even less care of myself. In other words, I was heading for a brick wall.

But I was brushing elbows with the most powerful and successful people on Wall Street. I was enjoying the world’s most renowned restaurants (mostly their take-out menus), spending lavish weekends in fabulous summer homes, and, in my spare time, shopping at expensive shops. According to society’s standards, mine was a fabulous existence.

Except it wasn’t. It was pretty awful.

There was a big empty hole in my life, and I was deeply sad about it. I spent many lunch hours hiding and crying in the ladies’ room, hoping that someone would come to save me from my self-created misery

Why had I boxed myself into this golden cage? 

When I wasn’t crying in the ladies’ room during my lunch break, I was out on 57th street, shopping my sadness away in fast fashion shops, creating chaos in my soul, bank account, and environment. I was mindlessly buying stuff I didn’t need to fill a massive void and throwing the season’s “it” bag or shoes in the back of my closet as soon as I got home. The next day, I would go down the same downward spiral.

I was making myself physically ill from working so hard, and I dreamed of creating something different but had no idea where to begin. I had always been super passionate about different avenues: fashion, art, music, jazz, and writing, but I didn’t know if I had any talent; or, if I did, where my talents lay. I had just spent 11 long years tucked away in several anonymous office towers, grasping at promotion after promotion in the corporate world—promotions that crushed my spirit. 

How does one find their way after that?

Then one day, I had a life-changing encounter on the streets of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

On a Sunday afternoon in November, a woman with deep, penetrating eyes stopped me on the sidewalk to tell me she had an urgent message for me about my career. She showed me her card: her name was Christine, and she was a psychic.

At this point, I needed guidance about my life and thought she might shed some light on the issue, so, following my intuition for probably one of the first times in my life, I followed her home. What could have been a fatal mistake (it was New York City, after all) turned out to be a life-changing moment. This woman saved me from myself and my downward spiral.

Once at her place—just like in a Hollywood movie—Christine squinted into her crystal ball and pulled out some crystals and tarot cards.

As soon as I sat down, our conversation went something like this:

“What are you doing with your life? You’re working in some cubicle office.”

“Yes, you’re right about that.”

“I see that you are deeply unhappy and dissatisfied.”

“Hmmm. Yes, you’re right about that too. I’m a corporate lawyer. I work in banking.”

“It’s never too late to change, you know?”

Silence. Bewilderment. Confusion. A deep knowing that she was probably on to something.

“What did you want to do as a child?”

“Let’s see…so many things. I wanted to act, draw, paint, and sing. Oh, and I love to dance.”

“Okay, so what happened?” She asked with a frown.

Stone cold silence. I didn’t know how to respond. Tears welled up in the corner of my eyes. I had bottled up so much sadness and frustration, and some of it was coming to the surface now.

“Okay, so what else did you enjoy as a child?”

“Well, I’ve always been interested in fashion and perhaps creating a fashion line…”

“Right. That’s not really it. What else?!”

“Hmmm, I don’t know…”

“What about writing?”

“Oh, yes, I loved to write short stories as a child.”

“Yes, yes! You were meant to write! You are meant to be writing, and you’re not pursuing your passions or purpose. You’re not pursuing your true path, and unless you pursue it, my child, you’ll never be happy.”

“Wow. Really?”

“Hmm, yup.”

She told me that I was an artist and missing my calling. Unless I embraced this talent, her tarot cards told her, I would never be happy. She also told me to leave the practice of law and to go home. 

Wow. Go home? Really? After all this grasping and pushing and striving? Could I really leave it all behind? 

At first, I brushed it off. I had invested 11 long years of my life in a career and wasn’t about to throw it all away. But on some level, I couldn’t ignore it. I had always felt the pull of the artistic side of my personality; I just never had the guts to explore it. Maybe Christine really was on to something. Something big, juicy, fun, and fantastic!

It took me months and months of soul searching to realize that she was right. But when I did, I didn’t lose any time. I resigned from my job in banking, moved back home, and signed up for creative writing classes at a local university. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

It was the best decision I ever made.

It was far from easy or simple. I felt lost for a while, as though I was drifting away from my life raft and all that I had worked so hard for. Some friends thought I was losing it, and my family questioned my decision and motives. 

But it didn’t matter. The many changes in my lifestyle gave me the confidence to take a nine-month sabbatical to write the first draft of a novel. It was a scary project at first—sitting alone in front of a blank page without a phone buzzing or anyone to talk to—but it soon became the most exhilarating experience of my life. It was liberating as hell: I could finally create the life I was meant to live. On my own terms—not one built on society’s expectations of success. 

After that year, I never second-guessed my decision. Seeing my first novel published was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. A closet full of expensive shoes was no longer my aspiration—happiness was.

I have come to believe that finding our true purpose is not only important but it’s also essential. We came here to do way more than just pay our bills and our taxes and to buy stuff. We are way more than just consumers. We are powerful co-creators with talents, passions, and purpose.

If you don’t follow your calling, you will likely turn to destructive behaviors and addictions. I should know; I went through it. I became addicted to shopping, sugar, and caffeine. It nearly destroyed my soul and my body. Author Steven Pressfield wrote an entire book about this: The War of Art. If you haven’t read this jewel of a book, I highly recommend that you do so. It is absolutely life-changing.

In these rapidly changing times, it’s part of your soul’s path and journey to live your life purpose with passion and delight. By doing so, you show the way for others to do the same. It’s a win-win for all, mostly for your spirit.

Looking for your purpose isn’t selfish by any means. It won’t lead to ruin. It won’t necessarily cause endings in your relationships, although if it does, this could be a good omen. It means that those relationships weren’t supportive or nourishing to your soul—they had to end.

It was a long and painful road before I “found my purpose.” I worked in many different careers and traveled different paths before coming home to myself and my life mission. My purpose has definitely changed and evolved over time, and I believe that we’re not necessarily meant to have just one mission, but I do believe that we all have a purpose in this life. Our job is to uncover and remember it! (But it’s totally fine if it takes a while.)

Amidst the noise, chaos, and transformation the world faces as we move toward a new era, there’s one constant: our life purpose/soul’s mission. It’s time to live up to our full potential for the benefit of all. Now more than ever, our higher purpose and soul mission calls us to stand up, and it’s critical to listen. Perhaps this time of chaos and change is offering you the opportunity to deeply listen to that inner voice calling you to action?

We are souls having a human experience, not the other way around. This was a teaching from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: 

You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”

The bottom line? We’re here to soar toward expansion, freedom, self-exploration, and self-expression.

We must remember that we’re here to embody our own individual mission. For some of us, finding our path comes easy; for others, the path is lined with doubt, uncertainty, and fear. (Again, I should know; I’ve gone through it.)

There’s a reason I mention all of this. For the longest time, I didn’t listen to my own intuition and ignored the calls of my soul. This led to chronic illness and a state of profound sadness, among other things. I was an unhappy corporate lawyer, boxed into a career I didn’t enjoy, frivolously spending all of my earnings on stuff to elevate my sense of Self. I was in pain. Moreover, I was contributing to creating more trash on this overburdened planet with my unhealthy consumption habits. 

To quote Plato’s Divine Design, a quote found in Florence Scovel Shinn’s delicious book, The Game of Life and How to Play It

“There’s a place that you are to fill and no one else can fillsomething you are to do, that no one else can do.”

If you’re struggling to figure out what it is you came here to do, here are some questions, clues, and ideas to help you on your way:

1. What did you love to do as a child? What set you apart from the rest of the kids?

This is often a substantial clue as to where your true interests, passions, and talents lie. As a child, I loved to write short stories for my family to read. I also loved to “play” school teacher and happily lost myself “leading” a class for hours.

2. What do you do when no one is looking? What websites do you visit on your lunch break? Where do you go to daydream? 

Where you go in your free time is quite telling. What websites do you visit? What Instagram pages do you admire? Who would you like to emulate? Who’s your hero?

I’ve always loved websites about eco-fashion, writing, and those who share spiritual teachings and messages that inspire me. This always draws me in, elevates my spirit. Also, I always admired Elizabeth Gilbert and other writers for their talent, dedication to their craft, and discipline. 

3. What comes easy to you? 

Our true purpose is meant to be lived with fluidity and ease, not through struggle or drudgery. What makes you forget to sleep and eat?

Remember that every step on the way is meaningful, and every pit stop is paved with rich teachings and lessons. Make it easy on yourself and find what comes easy and brings you joy. It does not need to be painful or cause you headaches. 

The secret is in the effortlessness of the flow.

4, What’s your name? Did you know that your name reveals possible clues and secrets?

Your name can say a lot about your life mission. I learned this while taking an online class with teacher Rebecca Campbell. What’s the meaning of your name? What’s its symbolism? Its origin?

My last name, “Laflèche,” is the French word for “arrow,” and to me, it’s synonymous with direction. I believe that my life mission involves pointing people in the right direction. And to guide them to open up to themselves, to a greater state of awareness and consciousness, not only in terms of their life purpose but also in their everyday consumption habits, my two passions.

It’s worth looking up the meaning of your name. You may be surprised at how relevant it is!

Here are a few more things to consider:

>> Take some time to daydream; this will help you align with your vision.

>> Draw, doodle, paint, and play.

>> Acknowledge your dreams. They exist for a valid reason. Follow your inner guidance and take action from that place of inner knowing.

>> Let go of useless distractions.

>> Stop comparing yourself to others. This is one of the top blockages to getting started on your purpose.

>> Stop blaming others and yourself.

>> Take one action step today—no matter how small.

It’s time to align all of your dreams with your actions. It’s time to commit to being you and bringing all of your glorious gifts to the world.

Are you ready to let them shine? I’ll be right there next to you, cheering you on.

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Isabelle Laflèche  |  Contribution: 755

author: Isabelle Laflèche

Image: Toa Heftiba/unsplash

Editor: Kate Force

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