Many of us wait for our purpose, for later. Some date in the future. Once this or that has occurred.
There may be an amazing in purpose in your future.
But, there is also a purpose in your life right now, too.
I always want to be clear, that seeing the purpose in the present moment, does not mean you have to give up the purpose of the future.
I have always been a bit of a dreamer myself, I love to dream of the possibilities of the future. And I remember reading articles about how “maybe the purpose is right now after all” – and actually left the article feeling disappointed. Because I felt like dreaming of the future was off limits.
Dreaming of the future is not off limits.
There may be an exciting adventure for you to take in the future. There may be an awesome project. There may be a new job.
Feel free to dream.
You can anticipate and take steps toward the future.
BUT, please do not do this at the expense of today. Right now.Your current life and these current moments.
As you read this article, I challenge you to think reflectively and deeply, as you ask yourself,
What is my present moment purpose?
Values, Intentions, & Your Present Moment Purpose
So, now that you know that you don’t have to give up any dreams of the future, let’s get focused on the present for a bit.
I recently heard spiritual teacher Ekchart Tolle use the term “present moment purpose.” It resonated with me so much, because I have spent so much of my life living only in the future, instead of investing and embracing all that the present moment had to offer.
I think we can come up with excuses for why we can’t live out our purpose now. Saying things like, I can’t live my purpose until I have a new job or move to this next phase of life. Again, new jobs and new phases of life are not bad things – but if our belief is that we cannot live out our purpose in any way at all, until these things are done – well, I am going to challenge this idea a bit.
So, how do you start embracing your present moment purpose?
You have to be intentional. Maybe you have heard the phrase before, “The grass is green where you water it.” If you place all your happiness in the future and don’t water the the grass that is right in front of you – well, you are going to have dead ugly grass – so of course you are going to be desperately looking for the greener grass somewhere else.
I am advocating for a mental shift in which we anticipate the future because there is joy in the future, NOT because the present is terrible and we desperately want to get out of it.
So, starting today-
Begin to water your grass.
Plant some flowers.
Do some landscaping.
Although you are allowed to dream of the future, pretend – just for a moment – that you are here forever. What would you do differently? How would you invest more?
I love how Jess Lively talks about value based intentions on her site.
Jess describes that intentions are “statements of our deepest values in particular areas of life.” And once we establish our value based intentions, we are to “embody our values in the present moment, given our current circumstance.”
Given our current circumstance.
I have spent a lot of my life fighting the current circumstance. But this new way of thinking suggests that we show up fully, given whatever circumstance we are in.
I had struggled with my job when it shifted and changed – when my caseload and workload increased. Some days I tried to fight the way things were. Other days I would apathetically detach.
But, when I focused on what values I wanted to live out, given the current circumstance, there was a bit of a shift. We cannot always control outcomes, but we can choose to live out values, to the best of our ability, in any situation.
So, if I have many clients to meet with. I am busy. Things are hectic. I am juggling too much. I can still focus on and live out my value based intention.
I developed a little phrase for my value based intention for work. And no matter how busy I am, I commit myself to living out my value. Any time a client steps in my office, I commit that I will be –
Kind, supportive, and seeing the inner light.
I can’t always control how much time I have. Or how busy or free I will be. But when I meet with a client, I can always make sure that I am kind to them, that I am supportive of them, and that I am looking for the inner light within them.
And if I can leave my day, knowing that I committed to this value, I can leave feeling good about my day. It’s not about outcomes. It’s about asking “Did I live out my values fully, given the present circumstance?”
The more you live each day committed to the values that align with you, the more meaningful and purposeful your life will feel.
Adding What Will Bring Value & Purpose
When we are talking about present moment purpose, this is not to say that you can’t add anything to your life, that will add that purpose more.
The key is focusing on adding things to your life – that you can add now, in the present moment. Not one to two years down the road, or when some circumstance changes.
When I got serious about living my “live meaningful” life, I realized that there were three words that stuck out to me, and felt really important to me. I have many values and many things that I enjoy – but when I thought about what I truly wanted in my “live meaningful” life, three thoughts came to mind:
I realized I needed to find ways to embody these things in my own life. To be looking for opportunities to embrace these things in my life currently, and to also be adding things to my present life that would help me live in such ways.
At times, I recognized that I was putting too much pressure on areas of my current life, because of the lack I felt. I have a creative mind and wanted to be able to engage in creative pursuits, I wanted to feel like I was truly helping others in their life, and wanted to feel like I was always growing and learning new things.
I would try to force my job to feel this way at times – but then get frustrated when the work wasn’t creative, or I wasn’t helping people in the ways I thought was best, or that my job wasn’t helping me grow or learn new things.
This of course, led to the desperate fantasizing of the future – not the good kind of future anticipation – but the kind where my present situation was NOT OKAY and it needed to change immediately or I would be NOT OKAY.
And then I started this blog.
I didn’t quit my job. I didn’t move across the country. I didn’t re-arrange my entire life and everything in it.
I simply found something that I could do now, in the present moment, that incorporated my values of creativity, helping others, and growth.
It took the pressure off my job for a bit. And once I had found fulfillment elsewhere, it allowed me to take a second look at my job, and begin to incorporate my values there too…but in a much gentler and realistic way.
If I ask you, what are your three values – what are the first three things to pop into your mind?
Is there anything you could start doing today, that would incorporate those values?
And what are some values you could live out in your daily life, starting – today, tomorrow, and next week?
Valuing & Sharing Your Experience
I have talked about this concept many, many times on the blog, and I will probably keep talking about it, because, it really is that important.
But, a large part of embracing present moment purpose, is valuing the experience you are having right now. Showing up fully to it. And asking yourself –
Why am I having this experience?
How is this experience teaching me something?
What lesson am I being taught right now?
What could I spend time reading about, writing about, or listening to – which would help me learn more from the experience I am having?
And how could I learn from this experience, so that I could then share it with others?
How could I help others because of the experiences I face in my own life?
I am not telling you to stay in a bad situation. But, if you are in a situation that cannot be changed yet, why not show up fully to it? Maybe there is a purpose in it?
A purpose for you – to learn and grow.
And a purpose for others – that you will be able to use your experience to help others.
Maybe, just maybe, there is beautiful, lovely, amazing purpose in your life right now.
Maybe you are here for a reason.
Every Moment has a Purpose
I believe every moment has purpose and is precious. A moment of quiet can be a space to reflect on your gratitudes. A moment of stress can be a chance to work on your mindfulness skills. How can you find purpose in each and every moment that comes your way?
It starts with the moment. But beyond the moment, how will you find purpose in your life today, tomorrow, and next week? Not the life that you will have a year from now, but the life that you are in right now.
I believe we all have a present moment purpose that we can live out in the circumstance that we are in.
We can live it out everyday in each and every moment we are in.
I encourage you to reflect on what your values are – what is a phrase that encompasses how you want to show up at your job or with others in your life?
What are three values that come to mind? Is there a way you can add these three values to your life more?
How can you show up more fully to you present circumstance by accepting that there is a lesson that you can learn and/or share with others?
Not sure where to start with all this? What resonated with you the most as you read this article?
That is a good place to start.
May you be presently purposeful.
- Although dreaming of the future is not off limits, pretend just for a moment that you are here in your current life forever. What would you do differently? How would you invest more?
- Reflect on what your values are – what is a phrase that encompasses how you want to show up at your job or with others in your life? (For example, mine was “kind, supportive, and seeing the inner light” for when I met with clients). Think of something that can be a phrase that reminds you of your values and purpose in a specific situation.
- What are three values that come to mind? (For example, mine were creativity, helping others, and growth). Is there something you can add to your life that would incorporate these values more into your current life?
- How can you show up more fully to you present circumstance by accepting that there is a lesson that you can learn and/or share with others? What is the lesson you are learning right now? How could you share it with others or help others because of it?
- What resonated with you the most as you read this article? Based on this, what is your intuition directing you to do?
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