Unlocking the Power of Purpose

When I typed ‘How do I find my purpose in life?’ into Google, it came up with 1,750,000,000 suggestions! Which tells me that there an awful lot of people looking for the answer!

I guess it’s not surprising, given that NOT having a sense of purpose can leave us feeling aimless, unfulfilled and disconnected. In other words – lost. At least, that’s how it felt for me!

Is this it? I’m here to make a difference… but doing what? Why can’t I just find the thing I’m meant to be doing, once and for all? Am I really doing what I was born to do? Isn’t there some way that I can leave a lasting, positive impact on other people?

A yearning for that all-important ‘something’

I don’t know about you, but I reckon I’ve had each and every one of these thoughts in my time! And the thing that all these sentiments have in common is a yearning for purpose.

And THAT is a very powerful a feeling!

Purpose is unique to each and every one of us. For some it’s to do with legacy, fulfilment, motivation and for others it’s a blend of ALL that and more.

And by the time we reach our 50s and 60s, this yearning for purpose takes centre stage as we start to re-examine whether the way we’ve been living our lives still works for us now.

And when the answer is ‘no’ the realisation that we’re not ‘on purpose’ can become a powerful catalyst to actually DO something about it. The feeling that there must be ‘something more’ leads us to become a ‘seeker’ and sets us off on a journey of self-discovery and growth.

The 4 ‘P’s’

Plan P Jigsaw

Passion, purpose, potential and prosperity: 4 words that form the heart of my business manifesto and indeed my entire business. But out of these four, ‘purpose’ is perhaps the element my clients find the most elusive and intangible.

I think part of the problem lies with the whole concept of a ‘life purpose’ – it somehow sounds loaded with lofty expectations! No wonder we find it intimidating and overwhelming to contemplate!

But when we break it down, isn’t the question we’re really asking ourselves, “What can I do with my time that’s of value?”

The magic ingredient

You KNOW when someone is ‘on purpose’. You can see it. You can feel it. It’s a very attractive energy to be around! When I thought of all the people I know who have this energy, I realised that their purpose is about giving, not getting. The magic ingredient sprinkled into everything they do is ‘contribution’.

The ripple effect

To me THIS is the most exciting thing about purpose. Not only can our purpose create a radical transformation for ourselves and our own life but also for the people who are part of our purpose.

That’s the ripple effect.

Expressing your purpose through business

For most of my clients, creating a ‘business’ is the way they choose to express their purpose. Their business is not their purpose – it’s a vehicle for their purpose. They build a business in order to deliver their purpose.

My purpose is helping women over 50 create their unique Plan P at the intersection of their passion, purpose potential and prosperity.

And my business is a vehicle for my purpose. In helping my clients use their skills, talents and experience to make a difference, make an impact and make a solid income, they create businesses which enable them to deliver THEIR purpose. The ripple effect in action.

Which brings us to the question we started with…

How do you find your purpose?

Well, you could type the question into Google in the hope that somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of answers that come up you’ll find the one that works for you! But it’s not a process I’d recommend because you might be looking for a very long time!

Purpose lives HERE

The thing is, your purpose isn’t ‘out there’ somewhere – it’s actually much, much closer to home than that. It’s a deeply personal thing and because it’s a deeply personal thing, it comes from within.

The good news is, it’s already there inside you – to find your purpose, you just need to dig deep and dig in the right place and start exploring how the threads of your unique experiences and perspectives weave together.

Here are a few ways you can get started:

  • Pay attention to the activities you gravitate toward in your free time. What do you most love doing that feels aligned, absorbing and enjoyable – the things you become so immersed in that you lose track of time? What part of you do they speak to?
  • What do people ask you for help with?  What do people compliment you on?
  • Make a list of people you most admire and then list their qualities. Chances are, you either already have those qualities, or you would like those qualities.. What can you do to cultivate them?
  • When you’re feeling most satisfied with your life, who are you with? What are you doing? What sort of environment are you in? What do those answers say about what’s important to you? And what can you do to bring about those conditions more often?
  • What have you struggled with in your life?  What challenges have you overcome? How can you make life better for others facing the same challenges now?
  • What do you stand for? What principles are most important to you?What would get you up on your soapbox? What do you stand against? What outrages you? What do you most want to change?

Everyone has a purpose within them

‘What is the purpose of my life?’ is as much an invitation as it a question – an invitation to reconnect. To reconnect with who you are and what gives you joy. To reconnect to the dreams and aspirations that are deeply important to you.

And as with anything that’s worthwhile, it does take effort. But the effort is an investment in what is arguably the most important reward available to us – the assurance that our lives matter.

Need a little help?

I fervently believe that if we ALL lived our purpose the world would be a better place.

If you need a helping hand with this, do check out my transformational home-study programme called the Inspiration Incubator

It gently guides you through a step-by-step process to help you find that all-important inner clarity about who you are and what you uniquely have to offer.

Over to you…

How about you? How do you define your purpose? Has your purpose evolved and changed? Or are you still searching? Leave me a comment below – as always, I’d love to hear from you.

Making the Most of Your PMZ? (Post Menopausal Zeal)

If anyone had told me during the menopause that I could look forward to experiencing a shot of ‘post-menopausal zest’ once I made it to ‘the other side’, it would have given me some much needed optimism to help me through!

Although to be fair, I may not have paid much attention to the possibility because at the time it seemed an unlikely prospect!

It’s been called post menopausal zest, post menopausal zeal and even post menopausal zing… but no matter what you call it, it is without doubt a wonderfully powerful phenomenon, which for the purpose of this blog, I’ll be referring to as PMZ for short!

Even though it’s something that’s been recognised and well documented for over 60 years, it’s not exactly a common topic of conversation – although why that’s still the case is beyond me!

Even if you haven’t heard of it, if you’re a woman over 50 you’ll have certainly experienced it – and there are plenty of women in public life, too, who seem to abound with PMZ – just think Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, or Angela Merkel, to name but a few!

A physical and psychological surge of energy

It’s that special time of life when many of us emerge from the ‘menopause tunnel’ blinking into the light, with a renewed sense of vitality and energy, accompanied by a desire to do something different and to make a difference in the world.… a time when we discover an inner life force that knows no bounds. Bring it on!

post menopausal zest

The term post menopausal zest was coined in the 1950’s by the legendary American anthropologist Margaret Mead, who said:

“There is no greater power in the world than the zest of a post menopausal woman.”

And, speaking as a post menopausal woman who works exclusively with other post menopausal women, I think she’s absolutely right!

A time of positive change

Heaven knows, we’re all well aware of the physical changes associated with this life stage but far less is said about the changes we experience once we emerge the other side of the transition – freer, clearer and more confident – when things like passion, purpose and potential suddenly move to the top of the agenda.

It’s a completely natural life transition – a liberation and a transformation – that results in a significant shift in how we see ourselves and what we want for ourselves.

The start of a dynamic new life stage

PMZ can kick-start a brand new chapter of our lives where, for the first time in a very long while, we have the opportunity to prioritise ourselves rather than being driven to nurture everyone else.  It’s a chance to focus on and take ownership of what matters to US – our needs, our dreams and our priorities. An opportunity to take stock and start exploring new possibilities and new ways to live a bigger, bolder, happier life. It’s what creating Plan P is all about.

As a coach and mentor to women in their 50’s and beyond, I know – and they know – they have so much still to offer. I also know how incredibly exasperating it can be to have all this PMZ coursing through your veins and not know what to DO with it!

Because I felt it too.

And I can remember all too well the sheer frustration at not being able to channel my energy in a way that would allow me to ‘do my thing’ and make a difference – my difference- in the world. Consequently, I spent years trying to find my thing before finally having the big realisation that I’d been looking in all the wrong places. I am now on a mission to help others short cut this journey by looking in the right places from the outset so that they can shine their light, make a contribution and share their purpose with the world, especially now, at a time when this has never been more needed.

So, are you noticing a shift in priorities in your own life?

  • Are you feeling an increasingly urge to follow your own star?
  • Have you felt a growing confidence to try things you once thought impossible?
  • Do you have a strong desire to make the absolute most of the next half on your life?
  • Have you found the courage to explore new horizons or start new adventures?

I’d absolutely love to hear from you in the comments below. It’s time we let our younger sisters know what a treat they have in store.

And if you’re not there yet, where would you like your PMZ to take you…. what possibilities would you like to explore?

If you’re ready to start gently opening up to possibilities, a Power Hour session is a great way to explore where and how you can add your unique value and be of service to others. Book yours and let’s see if we can get the ball rolling.

Now is your time.

Feeling Uncertain About What’s Next? Time to Explore the Fertile Void

We’re not fortune tellers; we don’t know what will happen. We can only do our very best to navigate our way through this truly unnerving and uncertain time.

But one thing IS certain, this too shall pass.

What’s less certain, is how we transition from here into a new beginning. And it’s very likely you’ve found yourself plunged into an uncomfortable, in-between place of not knowing what’s next, at the very time when the question you’re desperate to answer is, “Now what?”

And when there is no ready response to this question, the subsequent silence can be disconcerting to put it mildly!

So it might reassure you to know that there’s a name for this in-between place. In fact, there are a few…. I’ve heard it called the Fertile Void, the Creative Void, the Powerful Pause and the Neutral Zone – all names to describe the very real stage we go through as we transition from one state of being to a new beginning.

For me, ‘the fertile void’ is the one that seems most apt

Isn’t that a contradiction in terms, you may ask?

On the contrary, it’s spot on!

Because while the Fertile Void is, without doubt, an uncomfortable, in-between place, there’s a HUGE amount to be gained by simply sitting with the confusion of not knowing… IF (and yes, it’s a big IF!) we can resist the urge to rush ‘through and out’ because when we do that, we miss out on the gifts this space has to offer us.

The fertile void has its own creative energy

I know this may be hard to believe – especially when you unexpectedly and unwillingly find yourself thrown into this space. Although it is a confusing, painful thing to go through, something inevitably shifts in the process.

“Confusion is the state of promise, the fertile void where surprise is possible again.” – Paul Goodman

It’s a process of transition

Think of this time as your very own ‘cocoon of change’…. a time and place where you gradually shed the skin of your old life in order to develop the new. And, like the butterfly, you won’t suddenly appear in all your glory without hanging around as a bit of gloopy stuff first! 

This is where you get to spend time in your own chrysalis whilst engaging in some introspective soul searching. AND if it feels as if nothing is actually happening, just keep remembering the incredible metamorphosis going on inside the seemingly unchanging cocoon.

What if this is a gift?

With every crisis – even one like the coronavirus – comes opportunity.

What if you’ve been gifted this time to think and reflect?

What if you could regard this as a place of opportunity, of potential and possibility? A creative space where you are ‘held’ in order to allow a transition to take place:

  • to realign with the REAL essence of who you are and how you want to be in the world
  • to become aware of all those things now calling for your attention
  • to shed the old layers that no longer serve you
  • to re-examine aspects of your life and let go those that no longer feel right

Make the most of this opportunity

Acknowledge your feelings
Whatever you’re feeling right now – fear, anger, grief, confusion – it’s ALL totally valid and accepting the validity of these feelings and working with them will be more productive than trying to push them aside or plough on through, in the long run.

Embrace this time
Believe me, I’m well aware this is easier to say than do…. especially when you’re consumed with all sorts of mainly negative scenarios playing out in your head!
You may well be impatient to dig into something new but the fertile void is essentially a time of waiting, not acting… of being, not doing. It’s funny, isn’t it, how much more difficult we find it to NOT do things? But it’s by pressing the pause button that we gradually become aware of the unheard voices calling for our attention.

Let go of the need to know ‘what’s next’ for now
You’ve probably used a huge amount of energy already trying to deal with this uncertainty. And maybe you’re exhausted from trying to push your way through this situation in an attempt to find something new and solid to stand on. In letting go of expectations for ‘what’s next’, you gently open a space – a space to breathe…. a space for inspiration and ideas to incubate and germinate. You open up to what might be and to the possibility for something new and fresh to emerge.

Control your mind chatter
I’ll bet your inner gremlin has been having a field day recently, whipping your thoughts into frenzy as it desperately tries to reach some semblance of ‘normality’ and restore the status quo.

It’s really important to find ways to get outside your head and give yourself a break from its incessant chatter enabling you move into a space of optimism, curiosity and open mindedness. For me this usually means taking more exercise and doing more yoga – honestly, there’s nothing quite like a bit of mind, body and spirit alignment for finding some all-important white space in amongst all that dark fuzzy, tangled stuff!

Keep an open mind
This is a precious chance to allow your ideas to roam, explore new possibilities and make new choices. Some of the best views are to be found at the end of what look like dead-end tracks, so don’t be afraid to follow your curiosity and wander down some unfamiliar paths.

Start a journal
And I know all the above might sound frustratingly passive, so if you’re desperately looking for something to DO at this time here’s my go-to option! Get writing!

Writing has well-documented therapeutic qualities, so get it all out of your head and on to paper…. anything that comes into your head… feelings, ideas, thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears. Write it ALL down. It’s a brilliantly effective way to process your thoughts and gradually sift and refine them into a personally inspiring and meaningful way forward.

This too shall pass

This IS an opportunity – an uninvited and unscripted one, but an opportunity none the less! You may be desperate to find a way out of the fertile void but trust me (and the process) when I say you will not stay here any longer than you need.

Because one thing’s certain, this too shall pass. When you are ready… when it’s time to take action, you will move through the uncertainty of the fertile void and emerge with an understanding that will put you on a path to a fuller, more abundant life.

Are you in the fertile void? Could you benefit from some personal support from someone who knows this terrain well? Why not book yourself a Virtual Coffee with me – it’s free, informal and guaranteed to bring a shot of clarity.