by Stephan Martin
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
In each of us there is both a need and a hunger to live rich fulfilled, meaningful lives. How we do that, how we explore the questions, “why am I here?” and “what am I here to do?” is possibly the most important journey we can take in our lives. Our purpose is the answer to these two questions. Living our purpose means being who we are fully and authentically in the world. It means living a life connected to what’s deepest and most meaningful in ourselves and our lives, and expressing our gifts and unique qualities in a way that serves others and benefits the world.
A whole host of recent scientific studies have shown that having a sense of purpose, meaning, and contribution to one’s community has many benefits. People with a sense of purpose live longer, healthier lives, enjoy more fulfilling relationships and careers, and can make a greater contribution to the world than those who are not in touch with and living their purpose. It seems that humans are hardwired to live fulfilled lives of purpose.
So how do we do it? How do we find our purpose? Traditional cultures have used many different approaches such as vision fasts, prayer, meditation, dreamwork, sacred journeys, and many others. At the Center, we use many of these approaches to help people turn inside but we also include insights and approaches from modern psychological and change theory to help work with the inevitable resistances and challenges that people face in discovering, living, and expressing their purpose in the modern world. This two-pronged method of developing insight while working with resistance and obstacles makes this approach particularly effective in creating lasting change and transformation.
Living purposefully is one of the best routes I know to a life of lasting happiness, fulfillment and service. The challenges of today’s world need the unique gifts that each of us carry, both for ourselves and for future generations. So open yourself to your purpose, and let your light shine!