"The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away."
For a while last year I was really unsure what I wanted to focus on and what direction I wanted to take my life. I felt so confused, overwhelmed, undecided and lost. It must have been August or September when I came first heard Beyonce's song I Am Here and it sent shivers down my spine. So I started listening to it every night before starting my evening writing rituals and meditations.
Sometimes it is easy for life to feel sense-less, meaning-less and without purpose. However, I personally don't believe that we were born insignificant. I believe that God (I understand not everyone believes in one, that's cool, feel free to change that to your personal belief system), has given each one of us a unique gift. And like Picasso said, the meaning of life is to find it and once found, the purpose is to give it away.
So, after much experimentation in various jobs, I realised that, among other things that I love to do, my gift is writing and the creative expression of ideas, thoughts and feelings through words, art and performing. I realised that for one reason or another, the way I express myself resonates with people and touches them in some way. Having found my gift, I am now working on giving it away and sharing it with anyone who cares to enjoy it or be empowered by it.
When I was brainstorming the ideas for this blog, my friend suggested that I include how I found the meaning of my life: i.e. my gift, because she is trying to find hers and said that others may find this information useful.
So, here are five things I did to discover my gift. Remember, you may have your own path to travel to discover your gift, so always use what you read with caution: make sure that it sits right with you first .
Learn Sign Language
God, the Universe, your angels: whatever you believe in and whatever name you want to give this entity, are always communicating with us and if we pay attention, listen and ask, they are constantly sending us signs to guide us on our journey. For me these signs come as numerology, words or images that I see, or anything that shows up one too many times to be called a coincidence. Some of my friends told me that they get signs from birds and for others it would be through prayer or meditation. Whatever it is for you, learn that language and read it well because it will guide you.
You know the thing about comfort zones? Well, they're exactly that: zones. A zone that is stretched has more space and more opportunity, so become comfortable with being uncomfortable and stretch the limits of your potential. How did I do this? I started saying yes to activities that I thought aren't 'me'. For example, I tried indoor bouldering, which is rock climbing without ropes and even though I was absolutely petrified of heights and falling, I became quite passionate about it and in stretching my comfort zone, discovered a new passion.
Find Your Flow
The idea of flow is one where you are so focused on what you are doing, the concept of time and space disappears and you become completely present and concentrated on what you are doing. I feel most present when I am creating: dancing, writing, painting. Whenever I am engaged in these activities, I zone out of the world and zone into myself and what I am creating. What makes you feel like time stops?
Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.
Did I mention, read? Yes, read, read as much as you can, and when you can. Read fiction, read non-fiction, read newspapers, read history books, why? Because reading stretches our imagination and understanding of other cultures, people and characters and their reasons and motivations. We only get to experience so much with the one life we are given however by reading, we are given the opportunity to go inside someone else's mind, heart and reality and experience another life time in ours.
Learn Active Listening
As part of my acting sub-major at uni, we learnt a training exercise where our teacher partnered us with someone and instructed that person to tell us a five minute story about their day and the other person had to listen and then relay it back to them. The story-teller had to listen and give a rough percentage of the accuracy of the information remembered. This exercise was used to develop active listening. Why is active listening important on the mission to discover your gift? Well, it's important because people always have stories that they are bursting to share with anyone who cares to listen. So if you ask the right questions and sit back and actively listen, you can learn insights of how their journey began and use this information in your own life.
Remember, you are unique and you have something that only you can offer to the world. How will you find your gift? And how will you then give it away?
I'm curious to find out your story.
Keep us posted on your journey.