Purpose is a tricky word. It almost suggests that there’s only one reason for being. And for some, that may be true, but for others, you may have many reasons. You may have multiple purposes and they may come and go throughout different stages of your life. I am the later and I have learnt that what works best for me is to focus on living purposefully rather than focusing on having a purpose. What this means for me, is knowing what strikes a chord with me and bringing it into daily life. Living with intention.
Over the years, I’ve found that I am most fulfilled by connection. Connection with myself, with others and with the world around me. This is where I feel purposeful. This is where I stop thinking of the hunger in my belly, the desires in my heart and the needs of my constant mind. In a place of real connection, I stop, and the world is exactly how it should be.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this thought that connection is the only real point to any of this.
As a child, I found life overwhelming. I was quite outgoing. I had no problem raising my hand in class, introducing myself to people in a strange room, reaching out to the new kid in school. I wasn’t shy. But inside I had this disconnect. I did not feel that there was a real place for me. I was on the outside looking in. I connected with everyone and no one. I did not belong.
Where did this imbalance come from?
To be honest, I’m not sure. Of course I have ideas, but ultimately, I don’t know why I am the way I am. What I do know is that by some sort of design flaw in nature, I was able to connect with others easily. I was able to connect with the world. I was able to connect with myself. But I couldn’t tie any of it together. And so, connecting these dots became intensely important to me. Finding a place in this world became key to my wellbeing.
I work on it every day.
I put intention into my thoughts, actions, habits and responses daily. I don’t get it right every time, but I get it right a hell of a lot more than I used to.
I often get asked by clients, friends or family “how do I do this every day? How do I live intentionally? How do I feel fulfilled?”
No matter what makes you feel fulfilled, there are strategies to bring it into each day. Consider how you start your day and how you can incorporate things that are important to you into a purposeful routine.
I’m going to share my morning routine in hopes it gives some insight into the intention I use to set up each day.
Connecting with Myself
My routine starts when I open my eyes and the first thing I do is reach for my journal. If I remember my dream, I jot it down and pull out all of the beautiful wisdom of my subconscious which is intertwined within the vivid images of my dreams. Understanding our deeper thoughts takes practice but eventually it just begins to make sense. I connect with my fears, my hopes, my passions, my frustrations. I release.
After this, I exercise. I let it all go. I push my body and mind to its limits with intensive weighted workouts or I care for myself in restorative yoga sessions. I learn so much about myself through this process.
I have a cup of hot water with lemon and take a shower. I use this time to consider the day ahead. I envision what my day will look like, how I will show up as my best self and how I will show kindness to others.
Connecting with Others:
I pull my overnight oats from the fridge and sit down to breakfast with my partner. Sharing food can be a wonderful bonding experience. We also check our fantasy ice hockey team together. This is something fun that we can both look forward to and it makes for easy conversation as we set up our strategies for the games ahead.
Connecting with Myself & The World:
After breakfast, I use Qigong to get back into a rhythm with myself. It is a gentle flow of movement and breathing. This grounds me and I am then ready for my meditation.
For this, I sit by my bedroom window and look out over the rooftops. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have seen a photograph of these old rooftops at one point or another.
One day there will be beautiful streaks of sun breaking through the clouds. The next day there’s stormy grey-blue clouds with birds testing the winds as they propel themselves into the sky. There may be a feeling of change with shifting clouds or a feeling of grounding with complete stillness. I watch. I listen. I breathe fully.
By the time I have gotten dressed, slung my bag over my shoulder and am walking to work, I feel that I have connected deeply with myself, with others and with the world around me. I am grounded in who I am and what my intentions are for the day ahead. I get to work and I find myself calm in stressful situations. I connect with my colleagues. I laugh. I try to build them up. I sometimes complain. They sometimes build me up.
Overall, I feel real connection. Sometimes, I get lost and have to bring it back to basics. I check-in with myself, with others or the world around me. Ultimately, I feel I’m living purposefully. I feel I have a place in this world. I feel I belong.
What would help you to feel purposeful every day?
Everyone’s purpose is different. Whatever yours is, try and find a way to put it at the heart of your daily routines.
Consider a morning routine incorporating internal thought process (journaling), movement and breathwork. This really starts your day with intention.
If evening is your best time, focus on a night-time routine instead. This can end with habits which wind you down for a good night’s sleep.