One evening, like so many others that had come before it, a pressure grew in my chest.
After scrolling through LinkedIn for at least an hour, I was forced to accept that I’d never find the unicorn of a job that not only totally fulfils my purpose, but also reveals to me what that purpose even is – and because of that, it meant that I either didn’t actually have a purpose, or if I did, I’d definitely never discover it.
Surely I’m not alone – how many times have you searched for something external (a job, relationship, university course, opportunity) to affirm that YES you are supposed to be here, and YES it’s for a specific reason that makes each of us special?
I think I’ve been doing it my whole life.
The next day, news broke that Mary Oliver had passed away.
My insta feed was flooded with her quote (you know the one): ‘tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one and precious life?’ (actually very inspiring) – which had instagrammers responding with things like “to love!” and “to have an adventure!”.
Sitting back in deep silence, I considered that maybe rather than focusing on what my life’s purpose is, I could focus on what my life is about.
Before this, I thought life purpose (soul purpose, or whatever else you want to call it), was primarily to do with satisfaction in career and major contribution to the world. If you weren’t making a celebrated contribution, your potential remained untapped. Am I to blame, because how many times have movies, stories, and advertising told us this basic story?
But now, I was starting to see that life purpose was an energy and theme which was woven into every single interaction, relationship, response, event, decision – literally everything – that you do. It’s underlying, innate, and propels us forward into new experiences that affirm and evolve our sense of self.
I tested the theory out – so, what was my life about?
After the knee-jerk “fuck, I don’t know”, I couldn’t help but imagine my funeral speeches. What would people say about me if I died tomorrow?
I realised there was something I did bring to almost all interactions and situations - social, personal, and professional - which was uniquely me. I could always be counted on for honest insight and opinion, a readiness to make space for hard thoughts and feelings, and a certain sensitivity. These characteristics are my personal legacy.
Even more interesting is the thought that this legacy is something I’m already and naturally carrying out – it’s not something I have to find out in the world. And, the same goes for you.
But, how can we articulate what our lives are about without it being done in imaginary funeral speeches?
That’s where astrology has been a huge support.
Usually, astrologers look at the midheaven, north node, or sun for ‘purpose’ and it’s usually always in context of a career.
I’d like to extend this idea of purpose to encompass that energy I described earlier – the vibe you bring to the world, in every single interaction – as well as the concept that your purpose, on a personality level, is only to be the most authentic version of yourself.
The hard part is succinctly articulating what that is.
There are placements in the natal chart which indicate deep mission (north node), motivation (mars), ambition (MC), joy (Leo), and self expression (sun) and more – and they’re all essential ingredients contributing to a sense of inner purpose and authentic life expression.
But how does it all work together?
There’s no cookie cutter answer. Sorry!
But I have experimented with creating a narrative exercise, which by using your unique placements and associated keywords you can construct a three sentence story…
Here’s a personal example:
I guide local community by liberating my roots. I’m motivated to learn through partners in order to transform myself, so that I can bring joy to my cultural groups, and become a nurturing member of society. My unique insights come from my inherited spiritual beliefs.
It sounds abstract, so what does this look like in practice?
A reoccurring pattern in my life has been starting local niche community groups (for example – a group for women filmmakers in Melbourne, or young and emerging astrologers), which comes from my desire to do things differently and to create more support for others.
However, my sense of what I’m able to do is very closely linked to the way I was raised, and how my parents were raised. The more I break these moulds, the more I’m able to connect with my community and groups.
As well, I’m finding that I’m personally developing at an accelerated rate by treating difficult experiences with romantic and platonic relationships as mirrors and shadow experiences.
And finally, I have always been a ‘spiritual’ person with an unchecked belief in a universal connection, an understanding which either brings people directly to me or which underlies all that I do.
I’ve tested this activity out on friends and strangers, and it’s been such a pleasure to hear people read their purpose narrative read back to themselves, and seeing them coyly smile – the affect of being seen and recognised.
Are you interested in downloading this purpose narrative activity?
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What are you naturally good at?
What kind of member of society do you want to be?
How do you instinctively express yourself?
What do you think your life has been about up until this point?