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Your Gift to the World: Living Your Life Purpose

What really lights you up? Life purpose is a different expression for everyone. It’s unique like a fingerprint.  Doing “your thing” is not a selfish act—It’s the gift of your unique Self to the collective. When you shine your light you make your highest contribution to the world.-Nicole MacDonalad, MA,RH (AHG)

When I imagine someone who is enlightened, it conjures up an image of a meditating monk, calm and peaceful with a glow in his eyes. But, what if an enlightened person was one who was passionately living out their life’s true and unique purpose? What would that look like? Maybe you had a teacher along the way who was so passionate about their subject matter that they got you really thinking and excited to learn? That’s life purpose in action!

What if your greatest gift to the world was “doing” the thing your spirit called for you to do? What if it was that passionate expression of Self that gave the most back to the world? Of course, a meditative type life purpose has equal merit; it’s just not what everyone is called to do. The human experience is more rich and diverse and everyone’s special gift or talent is needed.

Doing “your thing” is not a selfish act—It’s the gift of your unique Self to the collective. When you shine your light you make your highest contribution to the world.

Vices—not just drugs and alcohol, but watching a lot of television, compulsively shopping, overindulging in treats and fancy coffee drinks—are ways to quell the voice of your Spirit. They are a way of compensating. It hurts to live small in a shrunken boxed up state, in fear of your greatness.

One of my mentors, a man who has been in the scrutinizing eye of the public since the 1980s, told me that he’s had to withstand a great deal of criticism while living out his life purpose as a teacher. I realized that this is what the term “fear of success” is referring to. I hadn’t understood this statement before. I thought, who the heck would be afraid to be great at what they do? Don’t we all want that? Well, we fear that when we put ourselves ‘out there’ that others will challenge our message, our gifts, and reject us. That’s hard stuff since most of us fear rejection and abandonment more than anything else!

When we have the good fortune to live in a place without war or plague; when we’ve managed to create personal safety, provide ourselves with food and shelter, and have stable relationships with others—then we can turn our attention to Life Purpose.  We begin to notice the things we feel passionately about.  Maybe you’ve had regular contact with these things throughout your life, for example, a fascination with plants or how machines work. Maybe as a child you always came home with different species of flora collected while out at play. Maybe you took all your toys apart to understand how they operated. Your parents may have noticed these interests and encouraged them. Maybe you were punished for digging up the neighbors’ marigolds because you couldn’t resist their beauty, or for dismantling your new remote control car. Whichever the case, these experiences are clues about your life purpose.

What really lights you up? Life purpose is a different expression for everyone. It’s unique like a fingerprint. When we meet someone with whom our purpose is similar it can ignite shared enthusiasm—we feel like we could talk to them forever! It can also feel threatening, especially if we know we love something and we have been avoiding it. Perhaps we’ve been medicating with vices or we have excuses (which may be incredibly persuasive) of why we cannot do that! You know these excuses…I’m too old, it doesn’t make enough money, people will think I’m crazy!

Life Purpose can be so many different things. It can be about leading or inspiring others, or creating art and music. Maybe it’s about creating a profitable business, helping others or being a great parent. It might be very personal like a deep understanding of Self through meditation or yoga. It’s something that is within each of us, a thing that was there at birth and follows us through life, whether we have turned to face it squarely yet or not!

It could be a career path, but perhaps not. You might have a “regular job” that pays the bills that you feel “just fine” about doing, but then your true work is something you do outside of your day job, like surfing and finding union with the ocean or writing a novel. If your life purpose is fulfilled through your career than you get to “play” instead of working through life! When we do what we love it feels like play, even the hard parts are something we feel compelled to pioneer.

Long-term job dissatisfaction is a “red flag” that you are not taking the most direct route to your true work. How do we find out what our unique life purpose is? Luckily our spirit wants us to hear the call, so it leaves us ample clues.  Often the clues are symbols repeatedly shown to us, which we feel a great pull toward.

Listen and your Life Purpose may already be making itself known to you.

  1. Pay close attention to the things that draw you out of your normal routine and make you feel alive and sparked up.
  2. Our close friends often give clear messages, “Your house looks amazing! Will you come over and give me some tips about how to decorate mine?”
  3. There are systems of self-discovery we can look to like astrology, numerology, and psychometric tests.
  4. Partnering with friends, mentors or a counselor who can truly See You—Your Spirit, and can hold up a mirror so that you may see your greatness is second to none in its ability to show the way to Life Purpose. For it is something that is within you and can be difficult to “see” without reflection.

When you begin to discover your Life Purpose and embark on a path to embody it, your life truly begins. Your vices no longer keep their hold on you. You don’t want to numb-out or waste time with those distractions anymore. You have a beautiful life to live! Proclaim that you are ready and be open to receive guidance from Spirit.

Nicole MacDonald holds a masters degree in counseling psychology and is a registered herbalist.  She has been successfully combining spiritual counseling and medicinal herbalism, healing the physical and emotional concerns of her clients for the past nine years. Nicole is also an experienced workshop facilitator.  Her latest workshop series is all about Finding Your Life Purpose.  


  1. tom@selfinquirytherapy.com on August 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I find this immensely inspiring and reaffirming. Thank you for sharing yourself so fully, and using your own life’s purpose to set fire to so many others’!

  2. Bold Serenity on August 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Just what I needed to read at this moment in time. Thank you. Beautifully written….!

  3. Anonymous on August 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks for both the inspiration as well as practical tips.

  4. Rosalee de la Forêt on August 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Wonderful post – one I’ll be bookmarking and recommending to others often!

  5. Megan on August 23, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Thank you for the reminder that its “okay to be me!” I can be just who I am, and honor what my Spirit is calling me to do. Its easy to get off the path at times, and if we can remember that our heart always holds the answer, its so much easier to find out way again. Thank you for the words of wisdom so simply stated!

  6. Jan honeycutt on August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I really needed rthis today. Perfect for my pre fall doldrums.

  7. airline contact numbers on September 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

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