on purpose

in this month's keynote presentation i ask the question: do you remember who you were born to be? what you were born to do? this talk is about the quest to find your soul's purpose... the journey towards your light. 

click here to watch this keynote on youtube

click here to listen to the audio version on soundcloud


11 years ago i started having some very weird dreams. i call them dreams but really they are something in between waking & sleeping, more of an intense dreamy state than an actual vivid dream.

when i have one of these dreams i wake up feeling like i have lost something.

when they first started, the dream was that i had lost my wedding rings: i would even wake up sometimes searching my closet shelf for my rings, which of course were right there where i left them.

other times i wake up feeling like i have forgotten something – sometimes it is a living thing, like a pet or a baby, that i have forgotten to care for or feed, and now it is dying due to my neglect… sometimes i have forgotten to do some important paperwork or take some sort of pill, or complete some other task that was absolutely essential. the forgotten thing always seems to be buried deep in my closet.

so the dreams have taken different shapes over the years but i always wake with an intense sensation that i have lost something or forgotten something that is very important. i always wake up feeling very unsettled, and like clarity is always just out of reach.

a few months ago i had the opportunity to get some wonderful insight into these dreams.

one of my friends is highly intuitive – you might think of her as a medium or a psychic… she is able to communicate with her soul guides, in fact they will even come through and talk to you directly.

so after she was brave enough to share her gifts with me and we had become close i had this niggling feeling – like a tap tap tap on my shoulder - that i should ask her about my dreams – and so i did.

this is exactly what her guides said to me (apparently they had just been waiting for me to ask!):

This is the amygdala part of your brain triggering off a series of flashing *omg I forgot this!* moments – getting your attention just before or during sleep when there is room for the message to get through.

This is about forgetting to be you. Forgetting who you were born to be. Forgetting that you are worthy of love, connection, and success.

This is a message from your soul but triggered by your amygdala (the fight or flight part of your brain.)

Your role, if you choose to accept it (the guides are quite cheeky!) is to remember who you were born to be- not the person you *think* you need to be in order to be loved, worthy, successful, spiritual.

This doesn’t mean that you need to leave behind who you are now or how you walk through the world… what it means is coming back to who you were and had decided to be before you arrived, this time before and just after birth when the purest and most clear intentions are made for your journey here.

Think of these dreams as your alarm clock going off regularly to remind you to go with your heart and listen to your soul. To hear the call and to go wherever it is taking you.

whether you are into the notion of psychic intuition and soul guides or you are not, i think the message here is still so important.

do you remember who you were born to be? do you remember what you were born to do? can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?

when i received this message about my dreams, well it all made sense!

i had lost myself, i had forgotten who i was born to be, i had forgotten to take care of something very important, something that was neglected and hidden away…

my self. my soul. my inner spark.

and so my quest became finding my purpose… my soul’s true purpose.

i did indeed learn many practical strategies and tools for honing in on my purpose, getting clarity on the work i am here to do, igniting my spark. and i would love to share them with you some time.

but… and i know this will sound cliché… what i discovered is that your purpose is not actually a destination… your purpose is in fact the journey.

it’s a bit like the spiral staircase inside of the lighthouse. if you can imagine standing on that staircase – as you take each step, new steps appear… the next becomes clear… and each step we take brings us closer to that light at the top of the lighthouse…. closer to who we are meant to be and what we are meant to do.

that is the journey we are here to take.

and when we don’t – when our steps feel heavy or dark – and take us away from our purpose and away from who we are here to be – those are the times we feel a strong sense of dissatisfaction in life, when we don’t feel lit up from within, or we feel like we are just going through the motions.

maybe you can recognize times in your life when you’ve felt like this… maybe you even started having weird dreams, or noticed some other way that your inner soul was tapping you on your shoulder, trying to get your attention.

looking back i can see that my dreams started when i was faced with going back to my teaching career after i was on maternity leave. i felt called to do something else, i felt like there was something i was meant to do next – though i had no idea what it was, and no one in my life who understood what i was feeling – so that choice was scary for me. i ended up agreeing to move to the other side of the world as a way to escape making that choice – and that of course led me on a crazy path to where i am right now!

for me, building my business has been my path to my purpose… both how i’ve found my purpose and also how i share my purpose with the world…. how i own my light.

but i believe that we can each find and fulfil our soul’s purpose in many ways: through our work or career, via volunteerism and charity work, by exploring hobbies, interests, and talents, through our relationships with partners, family, friends, or by taking care of ourselves, our children, our homes, our communities.

you can find your purpose via any path that calls to you. the important thing is that you are taking those steps on your journey… you are doing, exploring, playing, and seeking…. NOT just waiting for your purpose to reveal itself, not just waiting for your light to ignite.

one of my all time favourite books is the The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (kwaylo) – it is a wonderful fable that describes a boy’s journey to finding his purpose. One of my favourite passages in the book is this…

Remember that wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find your treasure so that everything you’ve learnt along the way can make sense.

for me now, when the lost & forgotten dream comes along, i wake up and say “ok ok – i got the message!” it is that internal alarm clock clueing me in to my own inertia. i can often pinpoint what it is that i am not listening to, what i am afraid of or avoiding, where i am simply hiding or waiting. it reminds me that my job is to seek my purpose and step towards the light.

your life is trying to tell you something, are you listening?

our purpose here in this lifetime is to take the journey… to ignite and own and shine our light in the world.

what is the light?

light is energy. it is the energy of joy. peace. love. authenticity. growth.

pursuing these things in life is your purpose.

what lights you up? fills you with those “light” feelings of joy. peace. love. authenticity. growth.

what feels light? (you know, instead of dark and heavy or stagnant and dreary)?

what are your gifts? your superpowers? the stuff you are here to do more of in the world?

what sort of future do you want? what are your big dreams for yourself? where do you want your journey to take you?

who are you being right now? and who do you want to be? and why? (because your why is what drives you down this road, instead of feeling like you are pushing all of the time.)

when we explore these questions with joy and love we are living our purpose. when we find the answers we feel ignited… lit up from the inside out.

and please never forget, you DO have a light to shine. i promise you. your life matters. your light is significant.

when you have doubts, when that voice in your head whispers “who am I to do this? who am I to explore my path or seek a new purpose” i want you to flip your thinking and ask instead: who am I NOT to? because, for those people who don’t live a life that lights them up, it isn’t much of a life at all. so, really, who are you NOT to?

and what now of my weird dreams?

as i mentioned, when i have one of those dreams, i know now that it is my soul trying to tell me something.

we all get messages in all sorts of ways: dreams, music, stories, messages in our social news feed, people showing up in our lives, “books falling off the shelf” so to speak.

it is just a matter of whether we are open to receiving these messages, to paying attention to that tap tap on your shoulder, to hearing the call and exploring where it may lead... to taking the next step on the journey, to expanding how you see yourself and what you are here to do in your life.

are you open? are you ready? will you remember to listen to your soul?

recently i have had a new dream. in this new dream there is a magic ring or some kind of magic elixer waiting for me on that shelf in my closet (and yes i still wake up searching that damn shelf!) with this new ring or elixer, the sense i get is that i just have to activate it somehow because it has special properties (like superpowers) that will help me and help others too.

and so i continue to seek my purpose. i figure the more i keep exploring who i am in the world and the work i am here to do, the closer i am to activating those super powers... that magic. this is indeed my path to my purpose…. the journey i am here to take.

the late and incredible wayne dwyer once shared a very important message: do not let your music die inside you.

i would like to tweak that a little today and implore… please do not let your light be lost or forgotten or hidden inside you.

light up.

it’s what you were born to do.

karen guntonComment