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Karen M. Black
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Surprising questions that reveal your purpose – instantly

February 1, 2013

The surprising questions that reveal your life purpose

“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.”
– Aristotle

My dad lost my mom a few months back. He says that the hardest part is knowing what to do, filling time that used to be full.

I've heard similar stories from other friends, too. People who have lost their jobs or a relationship. Some who are pondering retirement.

Sometimes, when things are going tickety boo, we forget: life inevitably brings change. And with its tides, an opportunity to see how well we're able to smooth its edges, with the energy of our own hearts.

From frantic hamster wheel to passionate activity

Busyness is deceptive, and may “look” to be purposeful. But you can always sense whether or not such activity is heart-connected by looking into someone's eyes. Are these eyes moist, soft and warm? Fiery and alive? Or is there blankness, or an out of body shrillness? Or strained or sad?

Heart Explorers have their ups and downs, but they tend to flow and stretch with the twists and turns of life. Instead of straining for control, we search for deeper understanding, using our hearts as a guide.

Careers, kids or other external “stuff” as a focus, may work for a time. But when our choices aren't linked with our hearts purpose, we feel empty and stressed instead of connected and energized.

Here are some questions I've asked myself which have revealed deeper dimensions of my own purpose. If you answer them thoughtfully and honestly, I promise you: they will do the same for you, awakening your full potential

Revealing question #1: What breaks your heart?

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
– William James

Heart Fuel is an essential ingredient for those living a purposeful life. You'll know it, when a person or situation unearths a deep well of emotion inside you... perhaps with a bit of revolutionary thrown in.

Heart Fuel is different than sympathy or pity and it's not about judgment. It's where you're moved so deeply, that you feel you have no choice but to move toward something. To get in the bathtub with it, and roll around.

Everyone's Heart Fuel is triggered by something different. It may be personal, or it may be related to business, politics or any number of issues.

What's most important is to notice and tap in. Then, to allow your Heart Fuel to focus you, propel your choices (and as a result, awaken the fire in your eyes).

Revealing question #2: What have you overcome?

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”
– Ben Okr

Entrepreneur Suzanne Somers said in an interview, that she's taken all of her problems, and made them into businesses. A few years back, she survived cancer without using chemo, wrote Knockout and became an outspoken advocate for alternative health.

This question is about noticing the stuff that our personalities don't plan. So often, the twists and turns of life become alchemists of our souls. What have you overcome in your life? What if, you were here to help others solve the problems you've already faced? How does that feel to you?

I once met parents whose first child was autistic. This was unexpected, but after they got over the initial shock, they got riled up. Built a school for autistic kids. Became activists. This re-charged their relationship, gave them a sense of purpose, together. This gives me chills, you?

What have you overcome? Answer honestly, and downplay nothing. For this may reveal a gem of information that sparks or deepens your purpose.

Revealing question #3: What scares you?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”
– Marianne Williamson

Something happens inside our bodies when we face a fear, and move through it. We become more clear, more powerful. Often, growing in to our purpose is doing what doesn't come easily to you, or even what scares you.

As I finished the first complete draft of Moondance, I wasn't happy with the ending I had created, and so I took some time out from writing. At that time, I found a wonderful book The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear, by Ralph Keyes.

A writer and a teacher, Keyes proposes that fear is part of the creative process. He pays attention to those students who are terrified of what they've written. The reason is that often what they have to say is powerful. Reading this book, helped me go back and re-write the ending to Moondance in the most powerful way that I could muster.

Your purpose is an ever-unfolding act of creation. Moving through fear, for the purpose of your growth may be exactly what you need to do. It may also be that your own triumphant story is what ends up inspiring or empowering others, in service.

Now: start where you are

Embracing your ever-unfolding purpose anchors your heart to this earth, whether you're here to nurture a child, stabilize a community or touch millions.

Your purpose will unfold during your lifetime, and its nuances will shift, as you grow. As you master something, more will be revealed.

Your job is to ask, and to listen. To notice, and appreciate. To sense your fears and resistances and be curious about them, holding them with love.

So rooted, the dramas of life will no longer have the power to distract you, and shake you from your true path. Your own power will grow.

And as it does, you'll begin to find the folks who resonate with you and offer them your gifts. And so it goes...

Meaning of life articles for your heart. Created with love.

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