If you can't figure out your your purpose, figure out your passion - for your passion will lead you right to your purpose. ~ T.D. Jakes
One year ago, I moved to California with my boyfriend at the time (now fiancé! Whoop!) to pursue a life on the West Coast. While living in California has always been a dream of mine, being thousands of miles away from friends, family and comfort, had me drowning in a deep pool of self doubt. I constantly thought to myself, "Here I am, living in the City of Dreams where everyone knows their passions and are trying to ‘make it’ yet I don't know mine. I don’t know what is the driving force in my life, what is motivating me, or what is exciting me or my soul."
As lost as I may have been, I knew that I wanted to change those thoughts once and for all. I wanted more in life. I wanted significance. I wanted direction. I wanted passion. I ultimately wanted to discover my passions and purpose in life.
I think, in fact I know, this is a struggle a lot of young women have and since I believe we are all in this movement together, what not a better way than to share some of my tips that led me to the discovery of my passions and eventually to the realization of my life purpose - which is to live and mentor an authentic life, while empowering young women to take control of their lives and encouraging them to become their best, soul selves. And now with SOLO, my newest found passion, it gives me fresh perspectives, new outlooks, and further fuels this purpose of mine.
I hope these bits of direction listed below that helped me, will help you down your pathway from your head to your heart - from realizing your passions to discovering your purpose.
1. Step outside your comfort zone - Try something new! Go for a hike on a new trail that might challenge you. Rise above intimidation and take up your first yoga class. Attend an impromptu comedy class. Attempt to catch your first wave (my current goal!) Write a journal entry. Whatever it may be, push yourself outside your comfort zone as it is one of the many ways we grow as individuals and you never know, you just might reveal new passion of yours!
2. Ask the Universe for signs - Or whatever higher power you believe in. I'm a firm believer in this one! About 8 months ago, I was at an all time low in my career and it was starting to have an effect on my personal life. I knew something needed to change. I started listening to a podcast called, "The Kick Ass Life" by David Wood on my morning commute to work, which I HIGHLY recommend for all you commuters out there. One day, a guest speaker on the show assigned the audience to ask the Universe for signs in whatever aspect of life where we felt like we were lost and needed direction. Soon after this episode, I began asking the Universe, "Please show me where I am supposed to go from here in my career. Do I stay in marketing? Should I go back to school? Start a blog? Look into new companies? Show me signs to my dream career.” Day by day, week by week, the Universe continued to show me sign after sign. What started as an introduction to Career Contessa through Ryan, lead to meaningful, amazing conversations, lead to a blooming friendship, lead to sharing similar thoughts, beliefs and values, lead to the idea of launching a blog together, lead to Ryan winning a contest which would take care of our blog design, lead to meeting a photographer in the South Bay who wanted to support SOLO’s journey by offering a photoshoot, lead to the launch and creation of SOLO! Having to write this all out, still gives me the chills and it is truly nothing short of AMAZING!
3. Be aware and present - This is a common theme I live my life by and let me tell you - IT WORKS. Too many times we are caught up pondering about the past or fretting about our future. Enjoy these present moments. I would have never noticed the signs the Universe was giving me about my passions and purpose unless I was aware of my surroundings. Make sure to make time to stop, listen and observe your environment. The Universe is showing you the answers to your questions.
4. Keep the most open-mind and try anything and everything at least once - This one was tough for me, but looking back on it now, I can honestly say I am proud of myself for using this tactic. Throughout my life, people have told me to try modeling, but I always shot it down. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin let alone in front of a camera! I never thought it was for me, but during my career rut, I decided I had nothing to lose and gave the modeling thing a try. My close friend, Monica, who is an AMAZING photographer, took my head shots and lifestyle shots which I used on the couple casting calls I attended. While absolutely nothing relevant to modeling came out of it - great learning experiences did. It forced me to learn how not only to be more confident in my skin, but in front of the camera. I learned that I had a bit more “Miss Independent” in me than I gave myself credit for by attending casting calls alone and all over LA (HUGE deal for me coming from Chicago, where I didn’t have a car for 3 years! Yikes!) AND now I have beautiful pictures that will be used for SOLO.
5. Track the activities and things, big and small, that put a smile on your face or gives you pure joy - What are you doing? Are you cooking in the kitchen? Are you writing in your journal? Meditating? Practicing yoga? Running? Giving advice to friends and family? This one was super easy for me. I constantly caught myself smiling in the kitchen, trying new healthy recipes (especially smoothies!), talking with friends about our futures and researching self-discovery methods. See a pattern here? Take notes on your notepad in your iPhone or write these activities in your journal. Monitor the moments where you catch those corners on your mouth rising. They could lead to something more.
6. Repeat steps 1-6 in soul motion - What I mean by this is, don’t just quickly go through the motions and notions of these steps. Use your heart and soul. Repeat these steps with sincerity and meaning - soon you will see patterns develop within your passions that will lead you to your life purpose!
I challenge you to use these concepts as stepping stones to unravel your passions and expose your purpose in life. I am thrilled to continue down this journey with you and would love to hear what tips or advice you have that helped you discover your passions and purposes in life!
A self empowerment blog by Ryan & Erica. Made for women discovering their strongest, most authentic selves.