“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.
In my decades-long career as a yoga teacher and retreat owner, I’ve found that one of the most pressing topics for my students is living purposefully.
We all want direction and meaning in our lives — to lean into greater fulfillment and happiness as we navigate life’s challenges with intention and make worthwhile contributions to society.
However, in our technology-driven world full of ceaseless notifications and information overload, it can be harder than ever to tap into our soul purpose meaning.
In other words…
While it’s entertaining to scroll Instagram, perfect our fantasy football teams, or binge-watch Friends for the gazillionth time, we can all agree these activities are not the meaning and purpose of life.
If you’re struggling with finding your purpose in life, I want you to know you’re not alone. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that only 20% of adults in the United States reported feeling a sense of purpose.
And yet… living purposefully is possible.
I believe with every fiber of my being that each of us is extraordinary and exists here on earth to fulfill a unique purpose. With the right tools, you can rediscover what truly matters and tap into your soul’s calling. Let’s get to it.
What does it mean to live purposefully?
Living a life of purpose is about prioritizing what truly matters to you according to your values and beliefs — then taking consistent action toward those priorities.
Living purposefully is deeply personal; no one can dictate your soul’s calling. You’ll know you’re living on purpose when life feels authentic and fulfilling, overflowing with endless opportunities for growth, expansion, and passion.
And when you’re not living purposefully?
Well, you might feel like you’re floating aimlessly, pulled in whichever direction the wind blows…
Now, take a moment to picture this:
You wake up before your alarm, feeling genuinely excited about the day ahead because you know you’re positively impacting the world around you. Your career lights you up. You feel strong and stable in your body, and you have boundless energy for the things that matter: chasing after your kids, training for a marathon, or finally pursuing that hobby you’ve been dreaming about for the better part of a decade. Most importantly, you feel a sense of deep meaning and direction that inspires you to be your best self.
How does it feel to visualize a life like the one I just described?
This is just a snapshot of what it’s like to live purposefully — and it’s a reality I know is possible for you.
It might be a long journey to discover your soul’s calling. It will probably be a difficult one. And yet, I know you can do it. Here are a few tips to get started:
How to find meaning in life
Living a life of purpose is a constant journey, not a fixed destination.
Say you’re flying from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The pilots might rely on auto-pilot to steer all 400,000 tons of aluminum and titanium as it soars through the sky. Still, the pilots must continually course-correct throughout the journey. If they fail to do so and consistently veer off-route by just one degree, you might arrive in Moscow instead of Honolulu — a locale probably not as fitting for that new blue bikini you purchased.
Finding meaning in life is similar. It requires consistent attention as we continually quiet the noise and reconnect with our inner teacher.
So, how do we course-correct on life’s journey to remember what truly matters?
That, my friend, is the power of yoga.
The true meaning of yoga
Through yoga, we begin to access our inner wisdom, cultivate resilience, and find the clarity and courage to pursue our passions and live a fulfilling life.
Here’s what I want you to remember:
Yoga has absolutely nothing to do with stretching and everything to do with stability — stability of both the body and the mind.
I don’t care if you can touch your toes or bend your torso in half. I’m more interested in your ability to calm your thoughts so you can tap into what truly matters: living purposefully.
But it doesn’t matter what I think. A brief look at the history of yoga reveals yoga is a way to get out of our own way so we can reduce mental suffering and achieve eternal happiness — not so that we can touch our toes or bend in half.
AYAMA™: Eliminate pain so you can live purposefully
I know many of you desperately want to tap into your soul’s calling, but right now, you’re struggling because you’re living in pain.
Everyday decisions and daily activities feel insurmountable. You can barely get through the day, let alone manifest your life’s purpose!
If this is you, again, I want you to know you’re not alone. In 2016, 50 million Americans reported some form of chronic pain, roughly 20% of the population!
If we want to tap into our true purpose and rediscover the immense joy and meaning that we were meant to experience, we must dramatically reduce (and, in many cases, eliminate) physical pain.
And that is exactly why I created AYAMA™ — so you can fully enjoy the activities that bring you joy and fulfill your purpose without ever worrying about frustrating neck, back, or knee pain again.
You are extraordinary and are here on earth to fulfill a unique purpose — and that purpose is not to suffer. Your pain might be a part of your story, but it does not need to define it.
If you’re wondering how to begin your journey to living purposefully, I suggest starting here.
You’ll learn how to restore balance to your body, release your attachment to suffering, and tap into your soul’s calling so you can live purposefully.
What would your life look like if you experienced more joy and happiness? How would you show up for yourself? What about your family, your friends, and your community?
This is what AYAMA is all about: finding your inner light to achieve inner peace and rediscovering your purpose.
Remember, there is no such thing as “I got this.” Just like a pilot charting her course, we must continually recommit to the practice of yoga so we can ride the undulating waves of life with peace and gratitude.
The science-backed benefits of living purposefully
By now, you can see that living a life of purpose takes real, deliberate, hard work. I promise you, it’s worth it.
Take the time to heal your body, calm your mind, and connect to your inner teacher, and you will change your life. But don’t take my word for it. Consider these tangible, science-backed benefits of living purposefully:
- Improved well-being: Studies have found that individuals who live with purpose report higher levels of life satisfaction, happiness, and positive emotions.
- Increased resilience: Purposeful living has been associated with greater resilience to stress and adversity, as individuals with a clear sense of purpose may better cope with challenges and setbacks.
- Better physical health: Research has linked purposeful living to better physical health outcomes, such as lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower levels of inflammation, and improved immune function.
- Longer lifespan: Some studies have found that having a sense of purpose in life is associated with a longer lifespan, potentially due to the positive impact that living purposefully has on mental and physical health.
How to live a purposeful life
We’ve explored yoga’s transformative potential in helping you discover your life’s purpose. Now, let’s look at some mindfulness practices that can complement and reinforce your journey toward greater clarity and alignment.
- Reflect on activities that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. What are the common themes or underlying values in these activities?
- Identify problems or issues that you feel passionate about.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself living your ideal life. What does it look like? How does it feel? Visualization can clarify your goals and inspire you to act towards achieving them. Consider the legacy you want to leave behind and what impact you want to have on the world.
- Connect with others who share your interests and goals, and collaborate on projects or initiatives that align with your purpose.
- Experiment with new activities or hobbies to expand your perspective and discover interests and passions.
- Take a few minutes each day to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Write down what you’re grateful for, your challenges, and what steps you can take to move towards your goals.
- Find a quiet place where you can sit and focus on your breath. Let go of any distractions and be present in the moment. Meditation can help you quiet your mind and connect with your inner self.
- Move mindfully to help you connect with your breath and bring a sense of calm and clarity to your mind.
- Take a moment each day to express gratitude for the people, experiences, and opportunities in your life. Focusing on gratitude can help you stay positive and motivated as you work towards your purpose-driven life.
Now that you have this powerful toolkit, consider weaving these mindfulness exercises into your daily routine — you might be surprised by how your life changes!
Are you ready to live purposefully?
Some of you are ready for game-changing shifts in your life — to feel stronger, joy-filled, and firmly in line with your soul’s calling.
For over 30 years, I’ve helped people from around the globe eliminate their pain so they can step into their greatest potential and live their life purposefully. I’d love to support you, too.
If my teachings resonate with you, learn more about how you can work with me here.
I look forward to seeing who you become as you remember your true essence and all that you are capable of!