There is something that makes you uniquely gifted in a way that fits into the grand design. You might have known what that was as a wee child, but somewhere along the way you forgot. Maybe you haven’t discovered yet how you fit. It may take time and lots of exploring, but when you find that essence, your life changes. Things don’t necessarily fall miraculously into place. You may travel a path of moving more fully and deeply into your truth over time. The way may be circuitous or riddled with roadblocks and massive boulders. Sometimes you may need to muster every ounce of courage you have to face the challenges.
Please don’t give up. I can’t tell you how important you are. Every one of us has something that the world cannot live without. Some people stop looking and never find it, or they settle for a small fraction, focusing on an outer manifestation, a talent that only hints at the deeper truth; they allow the larger picture to remain a mystery.
At 61, I’m still learning about my big picture. I never seem to stop discovering it. Sometimes I have to dig deep down into the mire, feeling my way for the crystal clarity that lies buried beneath the refuse of old baggage. At other times I soar to the heights and see truths beyond my imagining. (Guess which one I prefer?!) In either case, each piece of the puzzle that I find contributes to the tapestry of my life as it continues to unfold.
Over the last couple of decades, I’ve learned a fair amount about purpose from working with my clients to uncover their path to fulfillment. I’ve watched people begin to blossom and thrive as they walked more fully in alignment with the truth of the soul. I’ve seen many go from being adrift in a sea of lost dreams to finding the drive to fuel the vision of their spirit. That has been one of the most joyful experiences of my professional life. This certainly has not been the case with every person who came through my door, of course, and many went on choosing the known over the possible. We all have that choice to make eventually—whether consciously or not.
So many souls are seeking something more now. My sense is that we are being awakened and propelled by the universe, the Divine, the spirit within to find the means by which we can make a difference because indeed the world needs each of us.
So how do we do that? For me, I can assure you there was no rhyme nor reason to the process. My route was as circuitous and haphazard as they come. However, nothing on that path was wasted. I make good use of every skill I learned along the way as surely as if the whole thing had been scripted to bring every single aspect of my life together. But I can say it didn’t seem that was going to be the case for the longest time! And the Divine had to step in and give me a huge wake-up call more than once along this journey.
Those among you who are traveling a similar road probably can relate. If that describes you, remember that everything will fit together eventually—although it may take some time to see how.
For now, here is a revealing question you can ask yourself to help discern your path of joy:
What kinds of books do you like to read? (If you don’t read, consider the movies you enjoy.) Many of us are captivated by all or most of these genres. So ask yourself, “If I had to decide on only one kind of book to read or movie to watch for the rest of my life, what would it be?”
Those who love fantasy fiction are often imaginative, creative people. To live a fulfilling life that taps into their uniqueness requires finding a profession that allows their expressive side to blossom. That doesn’t mean they have to write, paint, draw or sculpt. They could be chefs, inspiring teachers, actors or any number of other things. They may end up changing professions more than once as they explore the deeper truths their spirits hold.
Many times the folks who enjoy sci-fi have a flair for invention and a wealth of ideas. These people often have access to both sides of the brain and may be drawn to science or to work that evokes their innovative abilities. They may like to fix things too but in the process may very well be thinking about how to build a new, improved model of that broken ___________. These forward-looking souls are interested in pushing boundaries and stretching beyond where we have been. Fitting in is not paramount to these individuals, and they may be willing to go out on a limb to discover and unveil the truths they seek.
The action-adventure genre often appeals to people who have an inner need to get things done or shape the world. They may feel strongly about issues related to justice. Because action adventure is such a broad category, it’s difficult to express in a few words its many aspects. Here are a handful of potential roles for someone with this as the preferred genre: law enforcement officer, defense attorney, firefighter, pilot, foreign correspondent, athlete and (later) coach. These folks often are meant to move into leadership positions no matter their profession. They can be creative as well and may even become writers of the genre they love, but chances are they would be of the Hemingway ilk with their art definitely imitating their lives.
Those whose favorite genre is romance are often caring dreamers and idealists who seek to make the world a better place. They may see potential where others do not and envision a more utopian reality. These beautiful souls may become holistic healers, counselors, therapists (especially focused on children or women), matchmakers, or any number of things that on a large or small scale serve to make lives better. They may have much in common with the fantasy genre lovers and may share the creative spark—although it’s likely to show up differently.
Drama is one of those classes that encompasses a large array of subcategories. Generally, however, the people who enjoy this form are realistic, thinking, socially-conscious individuals. They may have an interest in philosophy, sociology, psychology, history and anthropology and may gravitate toward professions in those fields. They also may be activists for a cause that reflects their desire to help others. The people who like drama often reveal a strong sense of responsibility that lends itself to dedication and success in their careers.
Those who read a lot of biographies harbor a lively curiosity about people and often seek to understand others at a deep level. They too may have an interest in psychology but usually on a more intimate scale. Their journey is often more about the emotions. They may have a similar desire to help others through one-on-one or family social work. They also may be keen on learning the lessons of life and advising others related to such matters.
If every book you read is on self-help, that does not make you a narcissist. In fact, the opposite is usually true. Your soul is calling you to heal and grow so that you can rise into what you are meant to become. For those who claim this as their favorite genre, the deeper desire is often to become a healer of some sort. When we find the path to healing our own wounds, we are often learning the very things that will allow us to minister to or serve others.
What about those who devour metaphysical books? These old souls (in many cases) are often already keepers of great wisdom who simply need to be ignited and awakened to those spiritual truths that they have yet to access fully. The “aha” moments that come while reading these books may very well be the soul’s way of saying, “Remember?” These people tend to be catalysts, changemakers and visionaries who seek to kindle the flame of truth and freedom. They may not easily find satisfaction in the mundane pursuits of life, for they want to affect beneficial shifts. These individuals may go into higher education or write books that share their philosophy. Some may head movements or become leaders in nonprofit organizations geared toward healing or helping the planet in some meaningful way.
Last but certainly not least, let’s consider comedy. The dear souls who fully embrace this genre are not merely seeking escape. They’re looking for fuel. These are the joy bringers. If their supply is running low, comedy replenishes their stores and sets them right again. These souls often love to spend time in nature. Their main role in the universe can be filled in any number of ways because they sprinkle sunlight wherever they go. They compliment the check-out person at the supermarket and almost always smile at strangers. Their lives are not always easy, of course, because quite often they are meant to be healers too on some level. Their healing gift is the natural light they shine into the lives of those who pass through the world around them. Since these souls are almost always givers, the most vital thing for them is self-care through laughter (and often singing), by absorbing beauty (especially in nature) and through pursuits that nourish their own joy. They tend to love activity (in a different way from action adventure enthusiasts), outdoor games, sunning at the beach (or any soothing natural setting), animals and trees.
Okay, I confess I got a little carried away by the last two categories. I have a lot of these people in my life and love those alchemists/changemakers and happiness spreaders to the moon and back!
Many of you may have read these descriptions and found quite a few that seem to apply to you. I feel the same way. I read every one of these genres and share traits with many of the people I’m describing. My top four are fantasy, romance, metaphyscial and comedy, and I live in all those aspects of my soul’s journey by being a writer, artist, healer/counselor, catalyst and joy bringer. Our paths are not always simple and cannot be defined in mere generalities, but this is a starting place at least.
I hope this article sparks your journey to being YOU in a positive way and reveals a little about where to look next. The world needs you to be the truth of your soul.