Tag Archive | Purpose

To Believe or Not to Believe

This morning I got to share my faith with another human being. An opportunity within our work together allowed me to share these words. I asked for wisdom and courage and this is what came out. I share here that maybe it will resonate with someone else.

“The spiritual self-care. This is one of my favorite topics to talk with people about. I will share a little of my story here and you can take what resonates with you and feel free to dig deeper.

I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school 1st-8th grade. I was brought up with a faith in God, His Son and the Holy Spirit. But growing up I did not understand this faith because it was confusing as all hell. All I felt I was taught was to know all the things I should and should not do. And I was taught that God sees all and will punish me if I “sin”. Again, I had no idea what the heck that meant, so I learned to associate God with fear and shame.

But I remember as a child feeling God and knowing that what I was being taught contradicted the feeling I felt in my body and in my mind and in my soul. I remember questioning many parts of what I was being taught. I remember wanting to explore my faith deeper. But I was afraid and did not have the support. Most people thought it was crazy that I even cared.

So I went about my life without exploring this part of me. In my twenties I sought out therapy after almost dying from alcohol poisoning on my 21st birthday. Between counseling and my college classes in dysfunctional family therapy I came to learn that I was an “adult child”. So I started going to ALANON which is for family members of addicts. It was there that I began to rediscover God as my “Higher Power”. I studied the steps and grew to understand God in a much different way, as someone who could help me by leading and guiding me if I learned how to let go of the control I was trying to have over my life.

In my thirties I went through a huge mental breakdown and will not go into all the details because it is written in a book that you are welcome to read if you want (RENEWED: A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach to Self-Renewal). But anyhow, after this breakdown I began to turn to God even more and realized that the church I was attending was not where I belonged. I decided to explore churches because I wanted to get more involved and also wanted my children to know God. We found a non-denomenational church that we have been going to ever since and it has changed my life and my relationship with God completely.

I’m not saying your answer to life is to find a church, but I am saying that a huge piece to the healing puzzle is finding yourself spiritually. I do not believe all of our paths are the same, but I do believe that we all have a Higher Power that tries to guide us. I believe that God brings people onto my path for me to help with the gifts He has given me. I believe that my eating disorder was not a punishment or something God gave to me, but something God uses to help others and teach others about through me. I believe that God can guide you and has given you many gifts that He can help you to use to and pour into others.

I choose to call my Higher Power God. Maybe it’s because I grew up calling Him God. And to me that is okay. I believe God gave us nature as a gift and I feel closest to God when I am in nature. I see God in people sometimes, certainly not all of the time. I am grateful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and dug deeper into exploring my beliefs and my faith. I now have a relationship with God. I do go to church because I love connecting with God in this way and I learn a lot from it, but today I understand that churches are people and people are human. People are incredibly flawed. And even God’s church will hurt, reject and disappoint.

I share this with you not to convert you to believe in God or anything like that, but more because I want to challenge you to explore your spiritual beliefs. What do you know about God? Have you ever felt His presence? What keeps you from exploring your spirituality? I know mine was due to being hurt many times in a church and by people who claimed to follow God. Do you talk to God, and if not, would you ever ask Him to reveal Himself to you so you can learn about Him for yourself?

Anyhow, I am hoping this is okay that I shared this with you, but as I said, the spiritual self-care has become the biggest part of my healing journey and I find it the most exciting to talk about. I will be praying that you find yourself spiritually because it is awesome!!”

How to Discover Purpose and Meaning in Your Life and What You Need to Put it into Action

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Every Spring I go on a self-exploration and transformation retreat for 3 days.  This year I attended a workshop on how to create transformational workshops.  The purpose of this weekend was not only to rejuvenate, but also to help ignite my fire that would hopefully inspire my next project of putting RENEWED: A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach to Self-Renewal into a 3 day transformational workshop for clients.  My intention for the weekend was to leave with knowledge on how to structure my workshop and how to relay 15 chapters of information from my book to my participants in a 3 day time period without overwhelming or boring them.  So what does this have to do with you finding your purpose?  Bear with me a moment and I will explain.

Chapter 13 in my book talks about discovering our purposes and meanings in life.  I break it down into 3 different life purposes (Universal Purpose, Communal Purpose and Personal Purpose) and use the 5 W’s and 1 H (who, when, where, what, why and how) to help readers to discover their life purposes.

Our Universal Purpose is all the same and answers the what; it is to matter in this world and to those around us.  But our Communal and Personal Purposes are different.  Our Communal Purpose is the who, when and where we matter to.  Our Personal Purpose is the why and how.  It answers the questions of what gifts we will use to matter, where we got those gifts, why we use them and how we use them.  I explain that we can have one purpose or multiple purposes and that those purposes can evolve over time.

So let me get to the point of what I discovered last weekend and see if it can help you to uncover your life purposes.

I spent the first two days in this workshop struggling to figure out why I was there.   It started out pretty weird.  There were five leaders and they had us participate in some pretty uncomfortable and different activities that broke social norms.  They were activities that brought about group cohesion, comfort and safety through movement, music, meditation, laughter, drawing, storytelling, sharing, touching, etc.  You heard me…TOUCHING.  No, it was’t some perverse activity that we did.  It was gentle partner yoga, but it was weird and uncomfortable with a stranger.  

One of our group leaders kept telling us, “You have everything you need inside of you to create a transformational workshop.”   They would transition us from one activity to another with little explanation as to what the purpose of the activities were.  I had trouble making the connection between each activity and what I was supposed to be learning.  I am used to the traditional style of learning where the teacher talks and the student listens.  My expectation was that they were going to give us step by step instruction on what we need to do to create a workshop and ideas for what we can implement into them.  This did not happen as I expected.

I uncomfortably participated in all activities and grew more and more frustrated as the workshop got closer to an end.  Then, on the afternoon of the second day, something shifted.  It started with an activity where the group had to serve one another by helping and offering assistance, then switch off and receive help from another.  A second activity was called “mind-mapping” where we drew our vision onto paper.  Again, I was a bit frustrated because I already had my vision drawn out, I needed help to put it into action in an organized way.  So I quickly finished the activity and instead of using my turn to talk about my project, I listened to my partner and tried to help her with her brainstorming.  We ended that session with a mindful meditation and off I went to my room.  I took out my notebook and began writing everything that was flowing from my brain.  In 2 hours I had developed a vision statement and outline schedule for my workshop.

That evening we talked about the elements of personality and language and how each person learns and connects differently depending on which personality traits they have.  That night I wrote more and more.  The next morning we spent time having closure with our group.  Tears were shed as group participants shared about how they felt so safe in the room and how they were able to connect with each other in such a short period of time.  We processed the weekend events and how the group leaders helped us to connect to our vision.  I can remember smiling inside as the light bulb turned on and it became clear as to why I was there and how that particular workshop helped me.  It all began to make sense and the words I had flowing through my brain were, “You have everything you need inside of you to create a transformational workshop.”

You see, I went there with clear knowledge and vision as to what my purpose in life is.  But what I learned at that workshop has everything to do with you uncovering yours.  I learned that when we are in a safe environment with like-minded people, we are able to connect to our intuition that has everything you need to uncover and live out your life purpose.

The group leaders did not teach us anything I did not already know (although they did provide us with a wonderful manual and help me to put organization to it).  What they did was create an atmosphere that was safe with very few words and a whole lot of skill and wisdom.  They provided us with activities that stimulated our brains through movement, music, meditation, laughter, drawing, storytelling, sharing, touching, serving, etc.  These activities, combined with the safety in the room, allowed for a connection between the brain and soul.   And when that happens, our intuition is released uncovering our purposes.  It took me a little while to let down my guard and fully connect to my fellow group members, but once I did, my purpose that weekend flowed right out onto paper.

So my advice to you if you are feeling stuck with regard to who, when, where, why, what and how you are to matter in this life is to find like-minded people and connect with them.  You can do this by joining a group, spiritual study or taking a workshop with like-minded people.  You have everything you need inside of you, you just need to connect to it.

Keep connecting with those whom God puts on your path. Your fire will ignite and your purpose will become clear.

If you would like more support and guidance with regard to exploring your purposes, check out my RENEWED program at http://www.renewedmindbodyspirit.wordpress.com.

Peace and blessings,

Katie