Passion, Purpose, and Mission
PASSION, PURPOSE, AND MISSION
In a recent phone consultation with someone a woman I’ll call Paula (not her real name), she was telling me how she’d been a horse woman her entire life, but now, with 68 years on the planet, she felt she was getting too old to ride. Her body just wouldn’t take it any more. I could hear in her voice the sadness and the longing to continue working with horses in some way, but she just wasn’t sure how she could do so.
It was clear that she had a passionate connection with these animals and that her purpose in life was intimately intertwined with them, but the mission of training them had come to an end. She was searching for a way to apply her love for horses and redefine her mission.
Once we seek to define our purpose we discover that it’s inevitably tied in with a strong feeling of passion. When you can feel whatever it is you’re passionate about it’s a big step toward defining your purpose—your soul’s purpose, that which was determined before you emerged into this incarnation.
The key word here is “feel.” If you’re either cut off from your feelings or overwhelmed by them, it’s hard to really know from the physical and emotional sensations in your body what turns you on. Start by asking the question, “What is my passion?” Then breathe deeply and slowly, and notice your thoughts and how you feel in response. This will give you some clues as to what makes your heart sing.
Do you love to help people? Are you passionate about gardening? Are you drawn to work with children? Are you musically gifted? Ask these kind of questions, notice what you’re aware of in your body, and it will help further identify your passion, and in turn your soul’s purpose.
Then there’s your mission. Ideally this is birthed from your feelings of passion and your sense of purpose, but is defined more specifically. Discovering your mission will give you greater clarity as to how to enact your purpose. For instance, if you love gardening, perhaps this can be expressed as a landscape architect. If you love music, pursuing a musical career might just be your cup of tea.
Another caveat is that your mission can change over time as you enter a new ear of your development. It took me until I was well into my 30s before I realized that my main purpose on Earth this time around is about communication and healing. Now as I look back on my life I can see the various permutations of this purpose.
When I was 12 years old, my parents and I moved to California from Iowa. It was a great upheaval and my mother and father were fighting a lot. When I was about 13 years old I distinctly remember sitting them down and having them talk with each other calmly, without fighting, and me serving as mediator and counselor. How’s that for an initial foray into my soul’s destiny and purpose? As an adult I went on to earn my MARRIAGE and Family Therapist license! Truly there are no accidents.
Throughout my adult life I can see how this sense of purpose that I only consciously identified later on elaborated in a few different ways. I was a psychotherapist for many years, a professor at a local college, taught various classes and workshops, worked as a consultant in a drug rehabilitation facility, trained as a shamanic practitioner, became an expert on trauma recovery, published several books, and now have combined many of these experiences and skills into my present articulation of my passion and purpose. These it’s about writing on spiritual and shamanic topics, offering workshops and private shamanic healing sessions. Communication and healing.
Okay, here’s the catch: whatever you identify as an aspect of your mission may not be the one that brings in the bucks. Sorry to say, but sometimes it’s more of a hobby. For instance, I’ve always had a passion for music, both listening and playing. The past few years this has been articulated as writing songs. However this is still another form of my purpose, as my intention is to create original songs that are provocative, inspirational, or just plain fun. This is still but another expression of my purpose, one with another vehicle—music—for words, and it is an aspect of my mission.
What about Paula, the horsewoman? Well, she realized through our conversation that she had some healing abilities and wanted to apply these to animals, particular horses. We discussed some different ways she could do so, particularly with traumatized animals. I coached her on hands on energy healing and how to do soul retrieval for an animal. She was eager to try this with one particular horse with which she was familiar. The results aren’t in yet but I’m sure they will be positive. This is how Paula’s mission was re-defined, yet still based on her passion and purpose.
Then there’s my good friend Kevin, who when asked what his passion was said, “Life.” Simple. To the point. Perhaps this is the ultimate experience of passion, where living in the present moment becomes our primary purpose.