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I believe we get these “nudges” from the universe all the time. But are we listening? And do we under- stand what they mean? By the way, when I refer to “universe,” please insert the term you use: Higher Power, the Divine, etc.


Spirit,


We were created us to be whole, beautiful, and live in the fullness of joy, love and light. We can only do this when we are fulfilling our life purpose. When we are not fulfilling our purpose, we can become un- happy, depressed and unconnect- ed from community.


So how do you find and live your purpose?


1. Listen or receive information from Spirit.


2. Interpret meaning from that in- formation.


3. Take action on what you’ve learned.


Let’s start with listening. The uni- verse is communicating with us all the time, every day. But how many of us stop to listen? There are many ways in which the universe com- municates with us each day. Here are just a few: prayer, meditation, inspirational books, nature, jour- naling, dreams, music, intuition, relationships, through our bodies, signs, and symbols, among others. For me, the most powerful ones are music, prayer, and taking long walks outside.


The key is that how it speaks to you is different from how it speaks to me. You have to find the spe- cial ways in which you connect to Spirit.


The next step is to interpret the meaning of the information you’ve just received. For example, if a message on a bumper sticker jumps out at you, you think “A-ha! That is confirmation of what I needed to know.” It may have that meaning or it may not. What causes the most grief is when you attach a negative meaning, like “I’m a failure,” “I’m being punished,” or “This is what I get.” Life isn’t saying that, and the universe isn’t say- ing that, YOU are saying that. What you believe about a situation is very powerful. In fact, how you interpret your failures is essential to how you move forward!


Finally, you have to take action on the information you receive. Wait- ing for life to happen or procrastinating yet another day will not get you one step closer to discovering your purpose. Most of us procrastinate out of FEAR. Because what if I take action and my dream comes true? It can be scary to think about. But would you rather look back on your life with regret or take a step toward living your dream?


Then, circle back around and start the process again. Once you’ve taken action, listen to signs around you for guidance that you’re on the right track. Have doors started to open for you? Did a phone call come out of nowhere from someone who wants to help you? Conversely, are all your paths blocked? Have you tried on numerous occasions to get something started but nothing seems to come together? Listen to what Spirit is telling you.


How do you know when you’ve found your purpose? You will know it to be true because it is something you already are AND it impacts oth- ers. Your purpose is not something you create, but something you come to see within yourself. Also, your purpose does not exist in a vacuum. For example, if your purpose is “beauty” it does not mean you exist to be beautiful and satisfy your own ego. Instead it means you are here to create beauty in the world. Then the question becomes, “HOW do you create beauty in the world?” So instead of measuring your self-worth against external factors like a job title, salary or tasks you’ve achieved, it is liberating and powerful to look at how you are fulfilling your purpose in the world each day. When you name and claim your purpose, it is a beautiful thing indeed! ■


Kirsten Meneghello, J.D., is a Life Purpose Coach with Illumina- tion Coaching LLC, based in the U.S. She specializes in working with


successful professional women who are on a quest for greater purpose and meaning in their lives. Kirsten coaches, speaks, writes and hosts weekend retreats on finding your purpose. You can reach her at kirsten@illuminationcoachpdx.com.


57 INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN MAGAZINE


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