finding purpose

finding purpose

I spent a lot of time searching for my purpose and place in the world. I tried being a lawyer, I tried volunteering at an animal welfare organisation, I tried ancient and modern history, I tried working in government, I tried formal logic, I tried working for an NGO in Delhi, I tried moving to Costa Rica and then to Tel Aviv. I tried to specialise in international relations, I tried to get a job in a tech company, in a bank, in a philanthropic organisation.

I really believed that there was something “out there” that would define me, that would explain my existence or justify my life. Looking back, throughout this process of searching I felt really disconnected from myself and, not to sound too esoteric, but also from the universe. I felt useless, incomplete and completely lost. I was searching for this thing, this reason or purpose to be here and with it I believed I would finally feel connected to this external divine force. As long as I didn’t know what that thing was I would feel disconnected.

And now I don’t know. The need to find my purpose felt like this lofty pressure to prove myself. It seemed to come from a place of insecurity, where I believed I wasn’t enough. It seemed to come from this feeling that I had to prove my worth. It wasn’t enough to just be me, to just focus on and think about what I wanted or what I love. There was this added spiritual pressure to give back or share or prove myself to make my life mean something.

Can we really understand our lives from where we are right now? Maybe there are some things that make sense and others that don’t. I think it’s ok to not have everything make sense and to be ok with that. I think it’s ok not to be 100% clear on who you are, what you are doing and where you are going. I think it can be more honest because maybe the truth is we really don’t know. We experience life, we don’t control it. If we believe we know ourselves completely and have decided why we are here then that doesn’t leave much room for movement, for change and adaptability. We don’t know how we will respond when different experiences and situations are thrown our way. We are constantly learning about ourselves and the less fixed we are, the more easily we can keep accepting over and over again the whole of us.

I don’t know if teaching yoga is my purpose but maybe it is part of it. It’s what I want to do now, it’s what feels right for me right now. I love planning the classes, picking the music, the anticipation of waiting for students to come so the class can start, the point in class where you can feel everyone relax and become peaceful. Who knows what will happen from here or where it will go. And maybe it’s naive, but I am trusting that that’s ok.

Because what if it is actually really simple; just find out what it is you love, and then propagate that as best as you can, however you want. Whether that’s through your career or in your art or your personal relationships – maybe all of these. Trust that by following love and letting what you love guide you, you will have your spiritual connection. There is nothing more or less you need to do. You don’t need to give or share anything above and beyond your true self. Creating a life for yourself that you love is enough, it’s not small, insignificant or selfish. It’s spiritual, divine and true.

Maybe after we transition out of this life is when we can finally understand and look back on our lives and see how it all makes sense. And it is then that we can understand that we did in fact have a purpose. That everything meant something, that roads travelled and stuff we experienced all led somewhere. That we impacted the people around us and their choices in small and big ways that played out over time.