5 Questions to ask yourself if you want more clarity about your Life Purpose

Career, Life path, The Self

dots

topbunI have read countless articles and watched videos on finding my life purpose. I’ve taken notes of some questions that might help and answered them as best as I can. I’ve done my best many times to follow through the tips I got from various writers and life coaches. Not all of the tips and questions worked for me. Each of us go through our unique journey and what have worked for some may not work for others.

Here is my version of that list of tips/questions. These have been working well for me – so far. 😀 Hope this helps.

1. What excites you?

This would probably be the most cliche of all my points. I think it helps because it serves us a warm-up. Asking yourself this question is like testing the waters. Scan your past experiences and look for clues to your behavior.

In which situations were you mostly present – engaged? What brings out your creative ideas? What makes you come out of your shell and participate? What do you look forward to? If it’s up to you, how do you usually spend your time?

There should be a sense being pulled into a certain direction – which is different from the sensation of being pushed.

When we feel pulled into something, it feels light and a nudge is enough to get us in. A push is on the opposite end of the pole. It’s mostly about things we/others think we have to like/do. There is no chemistry. There is no sense of curiosity, fun nor adventure. We may be good at these things but they don’t give us joy or it could also be that we are getting more stress than fun from them. Observe yourself and pay attention to that “pull”.

2. What drives you to be a better version of yourself?

Which types of information are you personally hungry for? What encourages you to stretch your limits and go beyond your comfort zone? What motivates you to learn and grow? In which areas do you want to be better at?

If it’s up to you, what kinds of books/films/TV shows do you usually read/watch? Which kinds of feedback/rewards are the most fulfilling for you? Which topics do you like talking about?

3. What burns you out? What irritates you? What brings out the “hulk” in you?

The things that trip us off can also give us clues to our calling.

I believe that life purpose is not only about the things we naturally like or the things we are good at. In our purpose lies the things we are mostly struggling with as well – because they contain the life lessons we need to learn and integrate in ourselves at this point in our spiritual evolution.

Do rigid schedules burn you out? Do you have little tolerance for authoritative bosses? Do you dread having to speak with customers? Does wearing a corporate attire make you feel confident? Do you look forward to frequent business travels?

Look back into your past jobs, relationships, travels and past time activities. Eventually you’ll see a pattern there. Connect the dots to see the bigger picture.

4. How would you like to serve and make the world a better place?

It sounds cheesy, I know. But I believe that inside all of us lies the desire and need to be relevant and to fulfill our place in the world. The process of satisfying our purpose can only be completed once we have served a need that is higher than us.

We don’t even need to stress about it and squeeze ourselves into cookie-cutter careers in the name of service. If we’re already doing the thing that brings us joy and helps us grow – for sure we’re already serving/fulfilling a need in our own unique way.

Our passion acts as an invitation for us to participate in world-creation and advancement.

We just have to keep on engaging with it and follow its guidance on what to do next or which way to go.

5. What are you curious about?

This would be the last item on my least because a.) It may not help but may only confuse most people and b.) I would use this technique in either a more practical setting (e.g. if you’re thinking of shifting your career path) or if you wish bring some zest back into your life (e.g. discovering a new field of interest).

My career journey is partly about following my curiosity. I’ve changed my path a few times to the point that it feels like I have lived many lives in just one lifetime (and I am only in my 3rd decade). There is no harm to it if you maintain your focus and pursue just one thing (or a couple of things) at a time. This is to make sure that you go through the entire process until you reach its natural conclusion. By this time for sure you’d have learned something meaningful about yourself and the nature of life. You also get better at new things.

Following your curiosity can be tricky because it’s subtle and it leads you to a path of uncertainty. It would be easier if you just take your pick in the beginning and follow it down the road, right? Following your curiosity is the opposite.

It’s not composed of one straight road but of a series of road each branching out in multiple directions again and again. Following this path would require you to make pivotal decisions every now and then. It means that you have to keep your faith and guts and be more self-aware as you move along.

Curiosity also speaks to us in a whisper or even just a nudge. It almost never grabs us by the hand or shouts into our ear, commanding us to check something out. It’s subtle like our spirit – subtle but solid.

Try this technique. Pay attention to this nudge and follow its guidance. It may lead you closer to that pot path of fulfillment.

I would love to know as well what has worked for you when it comes to finding you life purpose. 🙂

Advertisements

QNA Wednesday

The Self

selfaware

blackyellowThe one dream you have that you just can’t stop thinking about

Just one? Can I have at least three?

Become a mural artist. Travel the world. Be a caretaker in an animal shelter or a wildlife reserve.

The biggest way you’ve changed in the past year

I’m more open to abundance now.

Three rules you try to live by

Let authenticity and joy be your compass. Don’t lose your childlike sense of play and wonder. Use self-awareness as a superpower.

A list of things you love about this season of your life

Tough self-confrontations are teaching me how to be grounded. The time to work-out and grow stronger. Spending lovely times with my dogs. Enjoying quality and fun conversations with my boyfriend. Healing in our family.

A list of your favorite books and why you love them

Out by Natsuo Kirino, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, Gone Girl by Julian Flynn, Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel, Quiet by Susan Cain, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa by Lualhati Bautista, A Great Love by Alexandra Kollontai, Water by Bapsi Sidhwa – they are about kick-ass women who defy stereotypes and/or are written by kick-ass women. They go against the grain and are well-written.

Your bad habits

I’m a binge eater and I crave for refined carbs. I judge myself and others easily – all the time. I can be manic when it comes to work and productivity.

A tradition you want to have with your own family.

A round-table session where we criticize ourselves and each other openly and regularly.

One way you’d like to grow in the next year

I’d like to stick to the basics – Act normally in most social situations.

A project you’re working on

Sculpting the abs of my dreams

A skill you wanna learn

How to be funny

How you think you’re making the world a better place

By reinventing myself over and over again – showing others it’s possible and even beneficial

Questions from The Girl Who Loved to Write.

The blueprint of our Journey

Life path, Manifestation, The Self

summoned

mountaintopThis may sound insane, but I believe that we actually create the situations we come across – especially the most challenging ones.

Overcoming those challenges equals our spiritual growth. It means leveling up our game. In a way, it certifies us for more success and joy as well.

I know it would be a struggle to do it right during those times when we feel miserable and exhausted. But just to help ourselves without beating ourselves – we can take a glimpse of all the awesomeness that is to come out of whatever it is we are struggling with. This can provide us with an expanded perspective and may lighten our load.

Looking back into my journey, it makes sense now that I’ve actually summoned those experiences – especially the pitfalls and uphills. I needed those challenges to become who I wanted to be on a soul level. I need those challenges to unlock the life experiences I wanna have and to attract the kinds of people I wanna be connected with.

Likewise, by looking back into my recent challenges and successes I can somehow predict now what my next challenges are gonna be. For instance, I’m aware that I have this habit of walking out of situations when things get tough. Until now I still believe that I was right in doing so. Those situations were toxic in ways that didn’t match my strength. But I am also aware that I could’ve stepped out in ways that are more mature and diplomatic. I know sooner or later that I would have to learn how to stay and be assertive – how to argue and how to fight.

I also know that by the time I’m able to level up and grow – I know that it’s also because it’ll be worth it.

If you look carefully into your past, could you see some meaning there? Are you able to sense the blueprint of how your path will unfold? Coming from where you are right now, do you have a knowing regards to where you are headed? How do you feel about it?

 

 

Our Personal Best

Life path, The Self

special

undressI like this concept in sports of recording and celebrating one’s personal best/personal record. I think we should adapt this to our everyday lives as well.

Modern societies are structured in such a way that there will always be comparisons and competitions. The rewards can be both tempting and fulfilling. But this has its own pros and cons as we know them. Either way it’s a stressful situation to be in ’cause everything’s shifting all the time. Someone or something better will always come by.

However, measuring our progress through our personal best could serve as our buffer and guide.

Society may point out where we are in the game and value us accordingly – but we can find our unique value by looking into our own journey.

Each of us experiences life in a special way – even situations that are apparently similar.

Adapting this measure won’t only protect us from the damages of comparison and external judgment, it will also motivate us to be more reflective and self-aware – therefore enabling us to become more of who we wanna be and to correct our course to the direction we truly wanna go.

Independence is Self-Care

People & Relationships, The Self

humans

http://emayville.com/Everyone of us should have some kind of outlet – something that helps in cleansing our thoughts and emotions on a regular basis. I used to always have at least one girlfriend who I shared everything with. Surely, it was helpful and fun especially when you’re young. However, there came a time when I couldn’t dive into my own thoughts and feelings anymore on my own ’cause I got so dependent on doing it with another person.

It’s almost been a while since I’ve stopped being dependent on someone else in processing my thoughts and emotions. Now I have my spirituality, my writing, my visual art and my workout as my buddies.

I talk about everything under the sun with my significant other but it doesn’t mean I can just dump him all the nitty-gritty parts like I used to do with my girlfriends way back. I know better now. Humans can only take so much. We have to find other ways to express ourselves and support ourselves especially during rough times. It’s also part of our growth – we become more self-aware and resilient by knowing how to go through this on our own.

Self-Validation first

Healing, People & Relationships, The Self

bikiniI’ve been thinking lately that being judgmental of others could probably be just a symptom of one’s need to be validated. We express it in various ways – some of us become passive-aggressive, others outrightly domineering, while some choose to ridicule others to look good and feel good.

I am a very judgmental person even though I don’t always show it. From time to time I find myself in a self-righteous mode – rolling my eyes and mercilessly shit-talking someone in my head. To be honest, though, it’s never made me feel good.

Recently, I did some introspection about this attitude and behavior and found out that I’ve been in fact hungry for external validation.

I wanted my beliefs, my ideas, my choices to be recognized and even applauded by the people around me. Whenever those people had different ideas and beliefs in mind I took it personally and I felt rejected. It made me feel defensive without realizing it. My being judgmental was my way of defending myself from those who I felt rejected me.

Now that it’s been made more clear to me, I’m no longer berating myself for being judgmental, not only because it’s morally wrong to do it, but also because it only makes things worse for me, too. Now I know there’s something I can do when I start to feel it creeping up on me. It only means that I have to provide myself with the validation that I need and to stop relying on external validation as well. This level of self-acceptance could also help me change my attitude of easily jumping into conclusions and habitually judging others.

I’ve survived my worst Acne Breakout – my Self-Esteem can survive anything

The Self, Women's Room

IMG_20170829_143032_793It all started in Hong Kong – after a week of stay, upon hiking one of its peaks. It must be the extreme July heat, the fabric of the cap I was wearing all day, everyday and the waterfall of sweat irritating my pores. It started with one, then two – then after a couple or more days I had a load shit of cystic acne creepin’ on my forehead. They were itchy, painful and angry red. Unfortunately my forehead was not enough, they’ve decided to climb down my nose, my cheeks and chin as well. The next thing I knew my face felt and looked like a jack fruit had fallen on it while I was mindlessly staring at the sky.

At the same time, I mysteriously had insect bites on my legs, which were itchy as fuck and left me with ugly, dark marks (and it didn’t help the fact that I had sunburn). My mom was traumatized when I got back home and she saw me again – she swore to my face she’s never gonna go to HK if it meant she’s gonna be ugly like me, too.

I thought things were gonna get normal again as soon as I got home and my skin problems would disappear on their own.

They. Didn’t.

My face kept on breakin’ out even after two weeks of being at home and for the first time in a long time I had to gather all my bag of acne treatment tricks. I mean, I’m used to having pimples – I’ve had them since I had my period at 11. But cystic acne’s all new to me. They’re monstrous, itchy and painful.

I was wondering what could have possibly caused it. I’ve read articles saying that acne breakout due to traveling was quite usual. Some say it’s the water, it’s the food, it’s the air, it’s the stress, it’s the humidity, yada yada yada. I was thinking it could possibly because I started eating meat again after 3 weeks of eating only plant-based food. Maybe it’s also because I started taking contraceptive pills again.

It was hell for quite some time – until it wasn’t anymore. I just let go of my worries. I said fuck it, I was having acne for some reasons which will never be clear to me. My face wanted to break out and throw a tantrum. She’s having her moment. Let her be. I still went on with my acne treatment routine (which consisted of the gang – salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, exfoliating soap and all kinds of Korean facial masks) but threw my worries out the window. The same thing applied to my sunburn and the nasty marks on my legs.

But whatever – at least I was fit enough to travel and to do the outdoor activities that I liked even if it meant I would have girly problems eventually.

It’s been six weeks now since the breakout began – and I still keep on having new cystic pimples coming out. It’s not so bad anymore, though. My skin is finally responding to the treatment. I’m working out everyday as well and I’m back to my healthy diet. I have survived the worst of it, to hell and back again. I joke myself about it ’cause I know it may sound petty but it’s true and I know some people can relate – I’ve survived my worst acne breakout, my self-esteem can survive anything.

I can be at my ugliest and still chill and strut my stuff like business as usual. I think that’s a reason to celebrate.

Little milestones. *winks

Our life path as an Orchestra

Faith, Life path, The Self

kidWhen a situation has already served its purpose, we won’t miss it – ’cause we’ll feel the readiness to move on.

If we cling to it, though, we must be prepared – the Universe will intervene and pull us out of it WHATEVER IT TAKES.

We can kick and scream all we want but the Universe won’t flinch. We must listen to our intuition when it tells us something doesn’t feel right. We don’t need to wait before the situation turns from “not right” to “bad” before we step on the brakes and walk out. We wouldn’t wanna see “bad” turn to “worse”, to downright “horrible”, won’t we? (But many times, even our good intentions betray us.)

Clinging only brings us unnecessary pain and exhaustion. The wise thing to do is to surrender and spend our energy healing and integrating the lessons we’ve learned in preparation for our path ahead. It will take all our self-discipline to take a step back – but once we step back, the Universe will proceed with its work and help us sort things out. All we have to do is make that one decisive step.

The Silent Warrior

Life path, Places, Poetry, The Self

climb

lake2In one of my future lifetimes, I wish to become a mountain.

I admire them. They are silent but they have endured so much – and they have so much life and beauty to offer. It must be their height that’s influencing their higher and wider perspective. They don’t even need to say a word nor do anything. Their mere presence is other creatures’ rock and haven. You can find your strength through the climb up and your respite as you arrive on the top. You can admire the beauty of Earth together – something she sees everyday but still never gets tired of.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote about mountains (in Tagalog).

 

There is beauty, even in Regrets

Healing, The Self

huggingI’ve been wrestling with my regrets recently. Some days were downright shitty.

It went on for days and weeks…and months. Until had what I call a clearing. I have decided to get back on my feet and climb out of my self-loathing pool. Suddenly there was the sun, the sky and life as usual.

I remember a line from one of Sylvia Plath’s poems, “…I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.” While for sure it’s something I’ve already been doing for months, this time this particular line rang into my mind with a different meaning. It may have drove Plath off the bridge of her sanity, but  it gave me a breather and a glimpse of freedom.

I have realized that –

There is beauty, even in regrets.

Regrets are neither whips to beat ourselves with nor weed to pluck from our garden the moment they shoot out.

Regrets are mirrors of our path. They show us the blessings we’ve always been given and the times we’ve failed to notice them. They remind us that we are loved and taken care of. They are proofs of God’s faithfulness to us, that no matter how blind we may be at times, grace has always been showered on us.

They remind us how much we have, and therefore, how much there is to lose.

Like Plath, I wanna be acutely aware of the things I’ve taken for granted – but unlike her, it is not to beat myself to death but to enable myself to start again – this time, more grounded and more grateful.

I wanna know how much I lost so I can learn how to value and maximize all that’s left.

I wanna mourn and celebrate my regrets. Without them I won’t have enough pointers to guide me in correcting my course and in living my life to the fullest that I know of.