It’s Not About Finding Your Purpose

Accepting who you are warts and all

When I started this blogging journey, it was all about my writing. I wanted a place to pursue my passion. I wanted an arena to showcase my work and a venting spot to unleash my unexpressed writing dream. Since then, I’ve moved to Hawaii, bought a house, suffered from a few chronic illnesses and had a baby. Through it all, I realized the journey has molded my intention rather than the other way around. Instead of a place to inspire creativity and to get more writing gigs, it opened up my soul. It’s not just about finding our purpose or living our dreams. It’s about loving your life and finding a way to accept wherever we are in the process. It’s about self-acceptance. Patience. Faith. And courage.

I realized this because I found myself getting too attached to external circumstances. How many people were viewing my blog? How many freelance writing jobs was I getting? Was my work good enough?

Understandable questions to ask when striving for freelance writing success. But it was the meaning I placed on professional achievement and positive feedback that was wonky. Success, attention, like Lady Gaga’s new song, Applause, should not equal self-worth.

Doing well in your profession is important. Never giving up on your dreams is important. But more than anything else, our goal in life should be to find ways to love our self.

Basing who you are and your value on feedback from others or from success will inevitably deplete you. What nourishes our soul, what we’re really looking for, isn’t temporary validation through external sources. What lasts longer than a complement is the belief that regardless of what we accomplish, our lives mean something.

And that doesn’t have to mean BIG, grand, dramatic things. Just because your neighbor, a Facebook friend or a relative has done something so fabulous it leaves your life seem boring and worthless in comparison, doesn’t mean your less valuable than them. Just because you haven’t found “it” yet (great job, relationship, etc.), doesn’t mean you should walk around with your head down and your voice squelched.

It’s not about what you do that matters. You matter because you are here.

The secret is not in uncovering what will make us shine. The secret is that we don’t know we’re worthy of shining.

If we could all take that in on a deep level, the world would be a kinder, more loving, compassionate place to live. When we’re not trying to convince others of our worthiness, we’re ourselves. Being authentically you and feeling good in your own skin are the ways to happiness.

And your true calling?

It will find you on that path.

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Use Magic to Find Meaning In Your Life

There is something magical about this moment.

It’s the only one you’ll ever have.

Whether you’re grieving over a loss, bored out of your mind, or simply enjoying the ordinariness of this moment, if you can take the time to appreciate how fleeting it all is, you’ll find meaning in your life.

As I sit here on the bare floor writing pen in hand, I am listening to the rain while observing my 7-year-old mini lop bunny hopping around me and pushing his soft nose in my chubby knees. It’s a thing to marvel at. Maybe you don’t find anything magical about a person and their rabbit journaling maybe self-indulgently about their life. But that’s just because you don’t see what I see.

Magical moments are not simply ones that make dreams transpire out of nothing, but being able to notice the moment without being so busy you let it all pass you by.

When life feels uninspiring and void of meaning it’s because you’ve drained it of its magic. You tell yourself:

“I know everything.”

“I’ve seen everything.”

You’ve become closed to age and time. And being the weary-traveler, you shut yourself out to anything new, any potential for possibility in your life.

When you shut out magic, you open the door to a meaningless life.

Your life isn’t meant to be strictly a huge to-do list of insurmountable tasks and brag worthy accomplishments. It’s meant to flourish, to savor, to share love and joy, to teach and to live. When you’re closed off to chance and live by the book, you leave little room for all the good things in life like hope, courage, and faith.

According to Dictionary.com, magic is:

“the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.;”

What appears to be deceptive is our own mind. In order to allow magical moments in we need to adopt the child’s mind, the ability not to know everything. And be okay with it. When we assume to know everything and make our way only with numbers, statistics and research to back it all up, we don’t leave room for chance. And chance is where things like magic, luck, serendipity and pure joy comes in.The reason why we won’t move forward unless we got a lot of left-brained thinking to back it up is fear. Being vulnerable reminds us of being shamed as a kid or foolish as a teen and no one wants to regrettably say, “I should have done that instead.”

But the only way to build up a meaningful life is to open yourself up to vulnerable moments. It’s walking in the rain without an umbrella. It’s moving courageously in the direction of your dreams rather than waiting for the “right” time.

If you’re truly searching for more meaning in your life, you’re going to need to get good at listening within. You’re going to have to forgo the outside chatter that says, “You’ll regret that,” or “You’re making a bad decision,” or “You’ll never do it,” and you’ll have to do it anyway.

You’re going to have to sit still enough to hear and appreciate that inner voice. You’re going to have to take chances when you were to fearful to do so in the past. It will take courage, patience and a lot of doubtful moments. But if you continue on the path despite all obstacles, you will find it. You will again return to the space that I’m currently in-quiet moment, wave of acceptance, gratitude and an unwavering openness to the unknown, fear on your back and eyes set forward.

It’s no way an easy place to be. But I promise you this…here you will find meaning.

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There’s Nothing Pollyanna about Being Positive

“I say Joyce Meyer’s quote to myself: ‘”You may not be where you need to be, but thank God you’re not where you used to be.'” ~Alanna Castilleja

There may be some misconceptions of inspirational writing. On one hand it’s filled with positivity and uplifting stories. Yet on the other, it’s probably written after much heartache and pain.

Lessons of Hardship

If there’s one thing I know for sure is that the best things from life, hope, inspiration, love, often come from the most difficult times in life.

  • Heartache teaches us to appreciate love.
  • Disappointment = humility
  • Loss = appreciation for life
  • Pain teaches us the importance of spirituality.

Although the road is painful and sometimes long, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is hope.

Inspiring others through your writing is not just about the happiness and appreciation you get after the hard work. It is the hard work!

It is the moment you decide to write even when you feel rejected, dejected and unsure.

It is the moment you decide to find sunshine, even if it’s pitch black dark, and the only light is the meal you have in front of you. Those moments are the inspiration.

The unglamorous, non-spectacular, courageous actions you do that seem so ordinary, are the moments that define inspirational writing.

Look to that. Look to yourself. Forget about going straight to the head of the line or passing go to get there. Write about where you are in this moment-your fears, your uncertainty, your struggles-talk about how your greatest accomplishment was not the trophy sitting atop your mantel, but the time when you first learned how to breathe after a great loss. Write about how you feel like a fraud, but still kept to writing every day, just for the chance of one day getting published.

Talk about the journey. Talk about your sorrow. Write about your gradual journey toward the light at the end of the tunnel. And your readers will follow.

Life is difficult.

As I write this I’m reflecting on one of the most difficult years of my life. The loss of my 15 year old dog, a recent illness that I’m battling with, the uncertainty of my writing career and future.

But then again, every year has its battles.

But what I remember are the tough, scary moments that made me inwardly strong. And though it may sound corny, the truth is that we really do learn more through pain and suffering, then we do when everything is going well in our life.

Hardships forces us, molds us into who we need to be.

It’s what makes me embrace inspirational writing. The chance for life’s challenges to change us. And the ability to capture that and inspire change in others, that’s not just Pollyanna positivity, it’s the beauty of life.

Would you agree?

What did you learn from the most difficult moments in your life?

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