Following all the rules leaves a completed checklist. Following your heart achieves a completed you.” – Ray Davis
In a world where there’s so much at stake and so much you could do, how do you determine where to start?
One approach is to take on action that is deeply connected with your personal sense of purpose.
But how do you know what that purpose is? If you’ve tried to think about your purpose before, tuning into what your body’s telling you could offer fresh insight.
What’s Your Purpose?
As the Spring Equinox approaches later this month, it’s a great time to tap into all your ways of knowing, not just your thinking self but also your feeling self. For many of us, access to that feeling self comes through our bodies and the wisdom they hold.
Try this simple exercise, inspired by Pachamama Facilitator and minister Howard Friend, for a day, week, month, or more and give yourself a chance to discover what you’re most deeply called to do.
Listen to What Your Body Has to Say
Finding a quiet space or time during the day for this exercise can be fruitful, but being mindful through the day, noticing your body’s responses to what’s going on around you, is just as important.
Pick one day to start, and as you go about your business, make a note every time you feel a strong physical response or sensation, including but not limited to:
- A racing heart
- Butterflies in your stomach
- Tears coming to your eyes
- Spontaneous laughter or a smile you just can’t stop
- What “pops” into your mind . . . a thought, scene, name . . . especially when something keeps “popping” up
- What “catches your eye” or what barely audible catches your ear . . . what do you find your senses drawn to, beckoned by
- Sensations, overt or subtle
Notice what caused your body to respond in this way. Be curious. What connections do you make to your body’s responses?
- Was it something someone said or did?
- Was it a picture in a magazine or newspaper?
- Was it a particular place?
- Did any specific thoughts, words, or phrases come to your mind at the same time? Note them, too, even if they seem random or unrelated.
Make your notes as detailed as you can. This means you’ll want to have a pen and paper (or other device you use for taking notes) handy at all times.
Learn from What You Discover
At the end of the day, take some time to read over what you’ve written.
Look for what brings you feelings of joy and comfort as well as what brings you sorrow and discomfort, and any possible connections between them. Where we are most joyful is often the place from which we can best heal what is hurting in the world.
Be open and curious about what you find. Resist the urge to make a decision or to take immediate action based on what you discover.
Instead, consider continuing the exercise for another day, a week, a month, or longer, and keep strengthening your ability to tune into your body’s cues.
Along the way, you’ll refine your sense of what moves and compels you – giving you a sound foundation from which to take sustained, committed action that engages your mind, body, and spirit.
How do you connect with your body’s wisdom? What has helped you to understand your purpose in life?
Thank You Pachamama!