Finding Purpose–Sharing your Gifts

Angeloak
Angel Oak Tree, Johns Island, SC (Photo by Janine Cammarata)

When we take care of ourselves, find out who we are, and grow our purpose, we may want to share it with the world. Trees absorb the energy and nutrients from the earth, take what they need, and then releases all their goodness so that we can live. That is part of their purpose and their branches and leaves reach out to make an impact on others.

  1. What do you want to give to the world?
  2. What is your purpose and how will you share it?
  3. How do you want to make an impact?
  4. What does that impact look like to you?
  5. How does it feel to know what truly feeds your soul?

Trees have known a secret since the beginning of life on earth. They have to shed what doesn’t serve them anymore to make room for what will. Even the evergreens lose their needles and renew again. When leaves fall, it’s a sign that another season has come to an end. Another cycle has come and gone, so that another one can begin.

fall-leaves-on-the-ground

  1. What can you let go that no longer serves you?
  2. Is there something you are doing that prevents your newly found purpose from evolving?

Creating space to let the new in or to allow room to grow is part of our learning process. As seasons change, so do we.

Finding Purpose–What Will you Grow?

Finding purpose in life and what drives you is a lifelong endeavor. It will change as your life circumstances do, but being aware of where you are and want to be is the next step. If you have followed the Finding Purpose series, you have established your values, what is important to you, and the type of person you are.

acorn_sprout-56a319505f9b58b7d0d053e8

Everything wonderful starts with something small. Life forms from a tiny acorn.

Journal about the following questions:

  1. What do you want to grow within yourself?
  2. What or who do you want to grow into?
  3. What kind of life do you want to live?

I’d like to grow a sense of community through my teaching and writing. Through my written word and connection, I instill a sense of hope that we can all make a difference, even if it’s a small one. As with the acorn, a small act of kindness can grow into something incredible and self-sustaining.

Old oak

 

acorn
Template to use on your personal oak.

Use this acorn or draw your own and write the words you came up with on your quest for growth. For me it’s writing, yoga, community, personal health, family, connection, hope.

You have the power within yourself to be the best person you want to be. It’s all in you. Nurture it and watch it grow into something beautiful and amazing.

 

Finding Purpose–Your Core Character

The third part in our Finding Purpose series is developing your core. I am referring to your character core, who you are as a person, or who you perceive yourself to be.

As with our bodies, the trunk of a tree is the core to its strength and ability to bounce back when the storms of life try to knock it over.

trunk
Photo by Alysia Thomas

To work on your core, answer these questions:

  1. How do you describe yourself?
  2. How do people describe you?
  3. Is there a difference?
  4. Why do you think that is?
  5. Write those words on the trunk of the oak tree you have already begun. If you want to start from the beginning of this process, visit my previous posts, You are Awesome! and then Root Values.

Remember not all of your characteristics will be positive. Maybe there are some you want to work on, especially if they are characteristics others have described you with. As someone in my last workshop said, “I am stubborn or at least my kids say I am.”

Being stubborn may be seen as negative, but it can also be a positive. If some words cause a reaction, journal about why you are seen that way, and whether you want to change or nurture it.

Keep going! This is important and you have to do the work to find the purpose!

Great journaling and let me know how it goes!

Finding Purpose–Root Values

Finding our purpose. Living our dreams. Being the person we want to be. These are strong notions that need deeply instilled values to implement.

The oak tree has huge significance to me as it probably does to so many people. When my son was in the hospital battling cancer, this poem was sent to me. It was a daily prayer to Nick that he would never break from this disease. His spirit never broke, but unfortunately his body did.

Then this poem and all that it signified became my personal mantra, symbol, and prayer to keep going without one of my boys. I have bent, lost my way, cracked branches, had holes drilled into me, have bared my soul, but I have never broken.

oaktreeimageryforhealing

Through my journaling and becoming self-aware through yoga, I have learned what I stand for, and not only how deep my roots go, but also what I value in this life. As part of that knowing, my purpose is to share with others, so that under the worst possible circumstances, you have hope. That is my purpose, that is my impact word–HOPE. We all need it.

Over the next couple days, I will share this process with you. It began with my last post of writing about your personal awesomeness. Start there if you please.

 

oak tree

You can use this image of an oak tree, draw your own or find another image. The point is that the oak tree symbolizes ourselves and our foundation.

Step One: Journal on the following questions:

  1. What are your core beliefs and values?
  2. What is important to you?
  3. Why do you have these values, where did they come from?
  4. How were they instilled in you?
  5. How do they impact your life?
  6. How do you live by them?

Step Two: Write your values in the roots of the oak tree. Words such as honesty, trust, dependable, etc. are words that you will have chosen to describe your values after you journaled. There are no wrong answers. It is whatever is right for you.

Be honest with yourself as this is the path to your purpose and you want it to be true.

Let me know how it goes for you. Keep it in your journal as we will come back to it tomorrow.

Happy Journaling!

Finding Purpose—You Are Awesome!

adriennemishlerIt’s a new year, and I am excited about bringing more journal prompts and forms of expression to you. This week was the first of my monthly journaling workshops. So many came out to learn about journaling and others are hooked by the written word and the accepting and encouraging community we have created.

IMG_9275.jpg
Journaling at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

One of the first prompts we wrote from was the quote from Adriene Mishler, an actress, yoga teacher, and entrepreneur. Sarah, a fellow writer and journaling extraordinaire, introduced her to me with another quote from Mishler:

“You don’t need fixing, you don’t need to waste energy searching for tools to help you get what you don’t have. You have everything you need.”

This is so true. In a world tainted by anger and fear, we often forget we have the power within ourselves to create positive change and to make choices that fuel us. It’s important to look inside ourselves and know what makes us so awesome. For when life gets tough, we can dip into those awesomeness reserves and know we have what it takes to live a life that fulfill us and make us better people.

So the awesome in me bows to the awesome in you and asks:

What makes you awesome?

Don’t be shy. Let it out. Share what makes you special. Stand in your awesomeness and don’t be afraid to let the world know it.

Focus on the Good Times

The house is quiet once again. For two weeks, Stephen was home from college. I have to adjust back to the quiet, the dogs not barking when he comes home after midnight, the music blaring, and the video game action shaking the floor. I miss it. I’ll be sad for a couple days, while I settle into the empty nest routine once again.

IMG_9198.jpg

The dogs who loved Stephen’s Christmas presents miss his presence. They roam around his room and have a hard time settling in for the night.

I know in another year and a half, he’ll be on his own (maybe!) and those breaks will become visits. It helps me to focus on the joy I had while he was home.

IMG_9233.jpg
Zoey will do anything to get Stephen’s attention!
img_9130.jpg
It’s an annual tradition to find the pickle in the tree. Alysia won once again this year!
IMG_9132.jpg
Always enjoy having my sisters over!
IMG_9179.jpg
Missing some of our kids, but wonderful when we can connect and remember what is important!

We have held a Christmas ping pong tournament for the last four years. Alysia and Charlie got some practice time in at college and the three-time champion, Rich Thomas put up a good fight, but was defeated!

IMG_9161.jpg
It was close, but Stephen kept the trophy in the household this year!
IMG_9263.jpg
Enter a caption

Family matters. I love having my son home and switching life up to be present with him. I soak those moments in and have a huge appreciation for them, as I know how fleeting life can be. I am grateful for my family and the joy we collectively share during the holidays and whenever we are together.

Take a moment to remember your holiday, your gatherings, your family. Revel in the joy, remember those who are not with you, and focus on the good times.

Each New Day

snowytree
Photo by Alysia Thomas

Each new day is a chance to begin again. No matter what is happening in our lives, we have the choice to change where we are going, what we are doing, and how life affects us.

Sometimes those choices mean leaning on others when our load gets too heavy or letting the world go by while taking care of ourselves. Self-care is mandatory if we want to fulfill our purpose and be the best person we can.

Knowing our potential and instilling boundaries is essential.

Start this new year being the best you can be, but remember–be the best to yourself first.

What ways will you take care of yourself this month and this year?