Meaning,purpose,why?, explore

Recently, a client asked me “What is the purpose of Life?” Everybody has to struggle to answer this question for themselves…….

Many people find purpose & meaning through volunteering. Though finding the right niche might be tricky; if you are a mentor you both have to be able to connect to the person you are working with or you have to enjoy what you are doing to make the world a better place.

The more layers of things you weave together that matter to you, the more life percolates & has purpose.

Through one of her characters the author, E. Annie Prior said:
“The secret to a happy life is the broadly engaged mind.”

In order to determine what engages you, you have to sample a lot of experiences. I have an extremely long list of all the things I’ve tried that haven’t worked out; from horseback riding where I learned horses terrify me to water color painting to the children’s book on anxiety that I just recently trashed. So be open to finding out there will be many things that are not a good match for you.

So start by acquiring a long list of your own of things you’ve experimented with that did not work out.
*You have to push outside your comfort zone
*You have to be willing to be awkward doing something new
*You have to cope with the anxiety & uncertainty of a new beginning

Too many people are only wrapped up in their children for purpose. It’s important not to shrink your sense of self only to the role of caretaker. Parenting can be a lovely, all too familiar role but hyper-focus on safety can stifle their explorations. I’m so proud my 3 year old grandson told his Dad, Gram Rhoda says mistakes are important. If parents prevent mistakes they suffocate learning.

So parents need to sprinkle in other ways to find their own meaning & purpose separate from their role of parent. See it as an opportunity to role model how important it is to grow. You will evolve into being better at letting go when your kids need their wings more than their roots.

The transition of leaving the role of parent or your work identity behind needs to be seen as an opportunity to “reboot”, to find the courage to sample life in new ways. Try something that makes you uncomfortable. Be open to new adventures & the role of exploring. Pursue your curiosity.

What’s your favorite art form?
What do you support in the non-profit world??
When is the last time you attended live music??
What do you do for for fun besides dinner & a movie ?
What is the last time you tried something new?
What’s something from earlier in your life that you’ve neglected?

Connections are another meaningful part of life. Do you reach out to new people? When was the last time you reached out to someone you didn’t know? When was the last time you were vulnerable & shared something beyond the superficial? When was the last time you expressed your gratitude to someone? Who is an acquaintance you could enjoy knowing more?

Each of us has this gift of time & place in the world. Notice what draws your attention. The more you explore the more satisfied you are likely to be with the purpose of your life.

I will end with a quote from the play The Arabian Nights by Mary Zimmerman summed up in the Meme below:
purpose, meaning, explore, curious

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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