5 Questions to identify your soul purpose
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
So, how do we identify our soul purpose? We live in a very dysfunctional society with much to distract us. It is easy to get lost, and be unaware of our soul purpose, our center, our home. We suffer from a kind of psychic homelessness that manifests as anxiety, depression, restlessness and irritability, stress, etc. We know something is wrong or off, but we don’t know what it is, or how to fix it. The dissonance between what we do and the frequency of our soul is so normalized… this dis-ease is so commonplace… that we hardly even remember what it feels like to be in resonance with soul frequency. W hardly remember what it feels like to be truly home, or truly in vibrant health. We don’t always realize that it is possible, or that our home and center is there to find our way back to.
Societal ills are reflective of an aimless, and waywardness from our soul on a more collective level. Like the poles of the Earth, North will always be there, in the exact same place. A seeker may loose track of it, and become lost. But it is the seeker that is lost, not North. Our Soul will always be there, in the same place… we just have to orienteer our way back to it.
We live in, what psychologist, writer, and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin likes to call an “ego-centric society.” It means that it is designed to serve the ego (that which protects the self-image from anticipated danger). In other words, our society goes to great lengths to protect us and our fragile egos from knowing who we really are, for the fear of pain it elicits. This traps us in an adolescent stage of development. We avoid self-knowledge at many costs. Our society piles all sorts of materialism and “innovation” on top of us, making the wool of illusion, self-deception, confusion, fatigue, inertia, and helplessness thick over our eyes. This pile-on becomes the mis-appointed object of admiration, devotion, allegiance, pursuit, consumption, addiction, and blind faith.
This is in contrast to a “soul-centric society that prioritizes helping people come in to their preeminent Medicine. What is necessary for people to really come in to their Soul Purpose and embody their Medicine is to undergo some very arduous trials and tribulations that that force them to confront their true nature. It is necessary for them to go through pain, destruction of their ego, and near-death experiences so that everything that is false will be destroyed and only that which is true, which is real, and that can therefore withstand the pressure, will remain. That is how we uncover our true nature, and discover our medicine. That is how we discover our soul purpose… the gift we have to offer the world, that we were put on this Earth to offer all beings. This intentional, ritual process of soul discovery is called Initiation, and is a universal ceremony and rite of passage found in traditional indigenous societies throughout the world. I will talk more about it in an upcoming post. But for now, I just want to illuminate how in contrast our modern society is to this value of supporting people in knowing who they are and uncovering their Divine gifts. Our society moves in the opposite direction. No wonder it is so hard for us to uncover our purpose and feel powerful, in alignment, joyful, abundant, and at home in ourselves!
So, I’m going to give you a little guideline about how you might navigate the murky waters of our society, your conditioning, and your own inner world to locate your soul and recenter in it. What follows is a list of questions you can ask yourself to rouse the sleeping, wild, and vibrant soul within you. And I’m going to tell you how to use it.
First thing’s first: we are dealing with matters of the heart so we must drop down from the head in to the realm of feeling.
In the head is where lives story, the past, the future, our identity that we are attached to, and the narrative of our lives that we play over and over like a broken record (but which don’t necessarily match up what is happening in the present moment.) We come down into the body, to the arena of feeling, which is more aligned with the present moment, and what is real.
We recognize Soul through excitement, inspiration, that feeling of being alive, and most notably, expansion. If we follow those feelings of vitality as they arise, and let them be our guide, we will come back to the north pole of our souls, and embody our most powerful gifts.
Remember that these passions you may not recognize as gifts. They were likely poo-poo’ed by parents and society (remember that we live in an ego-centric society… society doesn’t want you to know yourself or grow. It’s scary, it’s threatening to the “known” world, it’s threatening to the investment society has placed in avoiding self-knowledge and it’s threatening to this other materialistic, industrial value system it has built.) So, know that you are up against a lot. It is a very brave and subversive (and at first isolating) thing to seek out one’s soul purpose. You are fighting against a lot of resistance both external and internal.
So that resistance will no doubt come up. When it does, recognize it as a natural, expected backlash. But it’s no sign that anything is wrong. It’s just the natural growing pains of your decision to evolve beyond the phase of adolescence our society is stuck at.
You must also know that this path is not an easy one. It is not partial. It is total. You can’t expect that you will find your soul purpose and pursue it and remain the same person. The only way to embody your soul purpose if you are not doing so already is to become an entirely different person than the one you are now. Every aspect of your life will change: your relationships with friends, partners, family…your job, potentially your location, your lifestyle…everything. Chogyam Trungpa once said in talking to a room full of Berkeley students: “My advice to you is not to undertake the spiritual path. It is too difficult, too long, and too demanding. What I would suggest is to go to the door, ask for your money back, and go home. This is no picnic. It really is going to ask everything of you, and you should understand that from the beginning. So it is best not to begin. However, if you do begin, it is best to finish.” It is no wonder that finding and fulfilling one’s soul purpose is so hard… there is a lot at stake! And many are not willing to make the sacrifices. Know that fear and dread are a natural part of this process. Again, it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. In fact, it is probably a good sign.
So, now we have gotten somewhat acquainted with resistance. Let us continue…
If resistance arises, see if you can distinguish resistance (which is characteristically and qualitatively “not-you”… something that is cutting you off from your True Essence and your wholeness) from YOU, (which will feel like inspiration, passion, wholeness, and more essentially “you”). The part that is You and pertains to your Soul will most likely come from your heart area. You may feel energy in your chest area. The parts that are Not you, that are the limiting beliefs, resistance, and doubts will probably come from your head area. You may be able to feel that your consciousness is more located in your head than in your heart in these instances. If you are in alignment with your Soul, or your “You,” you should feel expansive and connected to things. When you are in resistance, you will feel physically, energetically, emotionally, and mentally constricted and disconnected from things. Your world-view will shrink, you will probably be a little hunched over, feel energetically drained, be unable to take full, deep breaths, etc.
Make this distinction in your life between things that expand you, and things that constrict you. Begin to recognize them as YOU and NOT-YOU. YOU are infinite. YOU are limitless. Everything else is just stuff getting in the way.
So, what are some questions you can ask yourself to help you awaken your soul inside? As you ask yourself these, drop in to your heart. Let your heart answer. Answers may come in the form of memories, images, or body sensations. Take your time, and really immerse yourself in the full felt-sense experience of it:
1) What has always excited or interested you? (Don’t harp on whether or not it is realistic, how you are going to do it, or about whether you can picture it fitting in to your life)
2) In what settings, with what people, and in what circumstances do you feel most alive, inspired, expansive, powerful, “yourself” (in the higher-self, soul- sense)?
3) Has there ever been something on TV, in a book, or that you saw in real life that completely captivated you? What was it?
4) Was there ever a person in your life that you felt “saw” you? What did you feel they saw?
5) What was your favorite thing to do as a little kid? Think of what games you most enjoyed playing, what kinds of books you most enjoyed reading, what character you wanted to play, what movies you enjoyed.
As you answer these questions you may want to even make a T-chart. On the left side you can write your heart answers. On the right side you can write any associated “not-you” doubts, fears, resistances, etc that come up. This will help you distinguish the two from each other, and help you recognize the “not-you” limiting things that are liable to rear their heads
over and over again through your process of pursuing your soul-purpose. Then you can recognize them as they come along as a familiar part of the process, as part of your conditioning and patterning that has kept you trapped where you are now. When you recognize them as such, you don’t have to buy in to their story or believe them.
Moral of the story: Follow your expansion. Follow people, situations, places, and activities that expand you. At first the path is scary, and isolating, and there is a lot of destruction.
But as we follow it, all the allies come out of the woodwork to greet us. We are welcomed home by our soul family. All the spirits, the animate forces of Nature, and universal Grace itself conspire to aid us in our journeys.
I wish this for all of us. More to come. Until then, love and continued blessings on your journey,