Our purpose is not a 5-year plan. The Universe only guides us one step at a time.
I quit my part-time job at the retirement community eighteen months after I'd started there. It no longer brought me joy. Worse, it didn't help me serve the seniors in the way I wanted to. But the community wanted me to continue the weekly Storytelling group I'd started. So I kept it going...for all of 11 years.
Around this time, I kept hearing the word hospice a lot. We don't have hospice in India, so I had no clue what the word meant. Naively, I believed it had something to do with the "hospital."
When the word kept coming up again and again, I knew it was a sign. Except I didn't know what to do with the sign. Until that evening a friend invited me to go see a play.
The play was about a daughter whose mother was in hospice.
The evening was hosted by a hospice organization. They made a short presentation where they announced an upcoming volunteer training program.
I knew in that moment. This is where the universe was guiding me next. I signed up. For the next five years, I sat by the bedsides of the dying as their companion. When they passed on, I opened my arms and held the bereaved family members who were falling apart.
I was in the University of life, present to death, dying, and living: all of it.
Listening to the deathbed confessions of many, it became clear to me how important a life of meaning and purpose is. The dying weren't telling me they regretted the promotion they didn't get at work or the contract they didn't win.
Here are some of the regrets many shared with me:
- I wish I'd showed up for more of my son's baseball games.
- I wish I'd said "I love you" more often.
- I wish I'd looked into his eyes and really listened instead of being distracted with work problems.
This is when it all began to come together for me. My purpose was crystallizing with complete clarity.
My Soul Purpose was to help people transform their pain into purpose, so they could live a regret-free life of joy and peace.
I had to go through all the steps the universe had guided me on before getting to this clarity.
I committed to the universe. I said a loud and clear yes. I did everything I could to show up and serve.
There were moments of self-doubt and confusion. But I knew in my heart that my only job was to trust that the universe knew where I needed to go. And it knew how to get me there.
Many people struggle to commit to a path because they're too busy trying to figure out the how.
The "how" belongs to the universe, not you.
The universe doesn't believe in 5-year plans. It shows you the next step. Just one step. When you say yes and deliver on that one step, it shows you the next step. But used as we are to instant gratification (thanks to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and so on), we often struggle with the patience to do one thing and wait.
As I committed to my purpose and my soul's agenda, I had to make certain priority shifts...and this impacted my marriage.
Next week, I'll share about how I navigated my marriage when I chose my soul.
If you enjoyed this story, my book Losing Amma, Finding Home is chock full of stories about how I received my purpose through the worst pain I endured. Click the orange button below.
If you're ready to live into your purpose, reach out for a free, no-obligation 30-minute chat!