Last updated on February 23rd, 2023 at 02:08 pm
Finding your soul’s purpose in life can seem like a daunting task. My recent experience shooting a video for an upcoming event reminded me of all the steps it took to get me to this point on my dream journey.
The camera was rolling, the room lit up with one of those professional white umbrella lights, and the script was scrolling upwards on the teleprompter. I gained a new level of sympathy for television newscasters, as I tried to keep my voice at a natural pace as the words scrolled by.
Sometimes they seemed to roll by too quickly, and sometimes too slowly. My friend David, a talented videographer, kept adjusting the pace for me, and yet it all still felt unnatural or forced somehow to me. It wasn’t quite “clicking” for me yet.
Finally, in exasperation, I decided that maybe it was time to scrap the script, and just wing it. I love public speaking and am the opposite of camera-shy. (My friends all love to joke about how I’m always trying to make sure the camera is capturing my “good side,” which in my silly mind is my head turned slightly to the left, with my chin titled down just a fraction of an inch. My knack for striking a pose any time a camera appears seems to come from the consummate diplomat/politician that resides somewhere in my psyche).
Strike A Pose
Winging it was much more fun. I still stumbled occasionally, and with David’s cue just kept on going after fumbling my words, since he could cut out what wasn’t working easily enough. I’d decided, for whatever reasons, just an impulse of inspiration, that it’d be fun to film a few little snippets at the end with me in big sunglasses, and with a flower in my hair. Just being goofy, posing, and hamming it up.
I’m a glamour girl at heart and a bit of a card, and I felt like that would showcase my personality and keep the tone light.
It’s A Wrap
After two hours of filming, with a script at first and then without it, David and I decided we’d captured enough to pull together a few-minute-long video.
That was the goal. I was filming it to promote the 100-Day Extraordinary Woman Challenge that I’d created which launches in one week, all about how to live an extraordinary life. Oddly enough, I wasn’t the least bit nervous, although I’d procrastinated on filming the video initially. David and I originally were supposed to film one week earlier, and I was having a “bad hair day” and felt like I desperately needed a haircut.
Solution: Before we filmed, I trimmed my own bangs, which had been so long as to be unmanageable, since I couldn’t get an appointment with my favorite stylist until after the shoot. A woman does what she’s got to do!
Following Our Soul’s Impulses
It was a leap for me to create the video. It was something I’d been wanting to do, including creating “podcasts” for my work, yet I hadn’t actualized it until now.
Then everything just seemed to align for it to happen. My friend David had called to invite me to dinner with him and his beautiful wife, Dawn. I hadn’t seen them in months, since I’d been away for so long, in Florida, London, Hawaii, literally gone for months. I had the impulse to ask if he’d be willing to spend even 1/2 hour just shooting a quick video since that is part of his genius and his work. I suggested that we could do a trade, and I’d do coaching with him if he could help me out.
Being the generous soul that he is, David immediately said yes, and now I knew I needed to make it happen.
Writing the Script
It was Thursday when we set a dinner date for Saturday night, so I had two days to write a script. I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I just wrote down what I thought would capture the essence of the series, wrote about our motivational speakers, and as much as possible, tried to capture what it means to me to be “extraordinary.”
I committed to living an extraordinary life years ago, and I’ve managed to do so many things that I would never have even dreamed I could have done, years ago: traveling to India to teach with my spiritual teacher Nithya Shanti; ziplining over the rainforests of Costa Rica; white-water rafting in the river valleys in the Mendoza region of Argentina; watching Spain win the World Cup in San Sebastian, Spain; parasailing on the beaches of Florida, just to mention a few.
Living Our Soul’s Purpose
Of course, for me at least, living your soul’s purpose means more than simply having outrageous adventures and experiences. It’s more about living life to the fullest, truly savoring the moments of your life, learning, and growing.
And, for me, it’s about following the call of my soul to be who I want to be in this world. And right now, this means leading and teaching classes, workshops, and retreats, mostly on living with more joy and living with purpose and passion.
I always incorporate mindfulness teachings into my workshops and classes as well, since meditation is the single most fundamental and transformational practice in my life, that has brought me so much joy and peace.
I love teaching, and one of my current life missions is to inspire and empower other women to live extraordinary lives. I’m someone who feels incredibly lucky simply to be alive, after some of what I’ve survived earlier in my life, and it’s such a gift to live the life I do.
I want others to live in a way that fills them with joy and to be able to create themselves to be whoever they most want to be in the world.
Rocking It As Women
For women, especially, self-doubt, fear, and low self-esteem seem to get in the way sometimes of people living their dreams. I know so many women, myself included, who have listened in at times to the critical voices in our own minds that tell us we’re not good enough to do, be or have what we want.
I believe that when we can step into our own power, thank those little voices for their opinions but not listen to them and just do what we want to do anyways, we are giving a gift both to ourselves and to the world.
In my own life, I’ve decided that I’m just not that interested in what my inner critic has to say since that nattering little voice seems to just love to compare me to anyone with whom I think I fall short. I’d rather play a big game in this world and just focus on being my best self than stop myself from self-actualizing because I think I’m not good enough, not as good as someone else, or not living up to some false ideal of perfection that I’ve created in my head.
Making this video, for one, meant overcoming my own perfectionist impulses and just leaping in and doing it. How’d I do? You can watch the video below and see it for yourself…
6 Tips for Living Your Soul’s Purpose
There is something so powerful about making a true commitment, to anything in your life, when you decide that you are in it 100%. I have written numerous “commitment pledges” over the years, to myself and the universe. Don’t be willing to let life pass you by without making the most of this ride.
Make a point to do things that bring you joy on a regular basis and look for moments of joy in your everyday life. For me, looking for more joy is so much of what makes living worthwhile.
Personally, I get bored if life stays in the same routine for too long. Make sure you are regularly shaking things up in your routines, challenge yourself to try new things, visit new parts of the world, and expand constantly what you want to create in the world. I think we are meant to continuously grow and evolve, for a lifetime, and for me at least it can actually become painful when life feels too “stagnant.” I am happiest when recreating myself over and over into the next, best, grandest version of me. Try it.
Be committed to meditating daily, taking a 10-minute walk, or spending time in quiet, contemplative silence. Commit to eating healthy for at least one meal a day, work towards exercising regularly, and get plenty of rest because self-care is important to have the energy and vibrancy to pursue your soul’s purpose. You have more to give to the world and yourself when you make time for taking care of you.
Find a purpose bigger than yourself. For me, I believe I’m here on the planet to love, heal, evolve, and share joy; and to help others do the same. I am committed to the Bodhisattva and vow to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime for the sake of all beings and to help all beings be free. No small task, right? This way of thinking makes life more fun because your purpose feels bigger than you.
Nothing beats just leaping sometimes and doing what you are most afraid to do. When you are willing to take bold risks to make your life amazing and to follow your big dreams, life becomes magical at a whole new level. And, you are giving the gift of your best self back to the world.
Lisa P. Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, TED motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning in their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on her website or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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