Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
"Finding Your Life Purpose in Your Values and
"What is this
thrall for houses? I come from a long line of women who open
their handbags and take out swatches of upholstery material,
colored squares of bathroom tile seven shades of yellow paint
samples, and strips of flowered wallpaper. We love the concept
of four walls. ‘What is her house like?’ my sister asks,
and we both know she means what is she like."
~Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun
Happy New Year!
Are you looking forward to making some changes in your life
this year? Inevitably, the question of who we are and what is
our unique purpose pops up when we feel bored, restless, or
frustrated as the year begins. In this article I will give you
a chance to do some self-analysis to help you get some insight
about what you value and need—strong indicators about the
purpose of your life. These exercises are adapted from my book,
The Purpose of Your Life Experiential Guide which is being
published in paperback under the new title, Find Your
Purpose, Change Your Life (due in bookstores in March,
It’s Not a Job Title—It’s What
You Value and Need
I believe that it’s a big mistake
to think of your life purpose in terms of a job title. It’s
much more complex than that. You were born with a purpose, a
desire to experience and create certain things in this
lifetime. Maybe you even have unfinished business with other
souls—people in your family, friends, lovers, or people that
you work with on projects. Life purpose can be partially
detected in those things or ideas to which you feel very
connected, or that you value highly.
What is it that you most value and
must have in your life? Is your first thought, "I have to
have my morning coffee!"? or, perhaps, "I must have
good friends in my life." "I must have freedom. I
have to work for myself." "I need to feel I’m
making a difference in someone’s life." Or "I have
to live near nature. That’s non-negotiable."
As we begin to focus more consciously
on what our needs and interests are, we further activate the
Law of Attraction. Remember, this universal law states that
whatever you focus on expands. Therefore, to increase positive
flow, keep looking for things in your life for which you are
grateful, and which you want to attract. Let the daily
irritations drop away from focus. Criticisms and retelling old
problems and frustrations actually dilute the positive
intention for the success that you really want.
Below is an easy and enjoyable
exercise (you’ll need at least thirty minutes to an hour) to
help you define what you are currently about and where you’d
like to go. The beauty of this exercise is four-fold: 1) It
shows you how many wonderful things you have already created
or been given by life. Therefore, you may find that you are
not so far from your goal as you thought; 2) Acknowledging
your actual abundance and success builds trust and confidence
in yourself; 3) Using symbols to represent your life matrix
stimulates powerful, magnetic unconscious forces; 4)
Delineating your life matrix helps clarify what kind of
over-all path you are on. Therefore, when you look at what you
have drawn on your page, ask yourself, "What kind of
purpose does this person (you) seem to be fulfilling?"
Draw a Picture of Your Current
What you Need:
White paper; pen or pencil, (optional, colored pencils or
crayons), a quiet place where you won’t be bothered for
about thirty minutes.
- What I Love About My Life Right Now.
In the center of your page, using simple little symbols and
stick figures, draw in everything you really love in your life
right now. Everything that is non-negotiable. Everything that
you cannot live without. These are people, places, things that
you already have. Everything in your life that you
value--e.g., your children, your family, your friends, house,
car, computer, colleagues, running shoes, church, books,
trees, (include intangibles such as, love, health, freedom,
security, and education). It’s important to draw them,
instead of using words to jot them down.
- What I Want To Attract.
In the upper right hand corner, draw symbols of specific
things or people you would like to have in your life--what you
want to attract. Enclose these symbols with a large heart (so
you can pump life-blood into them).
- What I Want To Release.
In the lower left hand corner, draw symbols to represent what
you want to release, complete, and get rid of. Enclose these
symbols with a pair of big wings (so they can fly away).
- My Values.
Now go back and put value words under the people, places, and
things you really like that you drew in the center of your
page. If you have drawn a house, don’t write house, but
instead write down what the house gives you in value--e.g.,
"a warm cozy retreat from the world" or "a
comfortable place to work, live, entertain friends and a good
If you drew a picture of your
computer, ask yourself what value your computer
provides you--e.g., "link to the outside world"
"educational information" "work station to
create my livelihood without commuting." If you drew a
picture of your car, what value is your car to you? Mobility?
A statement of personal expression? Ability to get to your job
and provide security for yourself? Freedom to get to the
mountains for skiing? Ability to be responsible and take your
kids to school in a car pool?
- Write down on another sheet of paper
all the value words of: 1) what you have in your life right
now; 2) what you want to attract; 3) and what you want to
Recognizing Your Top Needs
What motivates you? Really. According
to author Jose Stevens, Ph.D., (The Michael Handbook),
there are nine basic needs which motivate us--listed below.
Perhaps these needs are another way to look at what we call
life purpose. If so, these basic, in-born drives would be so
important that we could not help but seek their fulfillment.
_ Find your top three needs.
Take a look at the following choices, and select three which
most seem to describe what motivates you; in other words,
which would be your three top drives? Write them on the same
sheet along with your values above.
_ Find your primary need.
From those three, select the one you absolutely must have
fulfilled. This top need will be the one that shows up in
almost every choice, in almost every way you interact in a
relationship. This primary need is one core element of your
life purpose. Write it below in the section provided.
- SECURITY--Are you constantly
thinking about how to keep things in control, manageable? Do
you always look for options that give you an out? Do you
always have (or think you should have) a back-up plan? Money
in the bank for the future?
- EXPANSION--Are you driven to create
more of everything? Big dreams? Want to learn, learn, learn?
Grow, grow, grow your business?
- ACCEPTANCE--Are you always looking
for those subtle signals that people approve of you or like
your work? Do you want to be accepted into the major circles
in your field? Do you flatter or people-please?
- ADVENTURE--Are you constantly
chafing at the ordinariness of life, constantly planning your
next expedition? Taking risks with other people’s money?
Leaping before looking? Do you crave to explore the unknown no
matter what field of endeavor?
- POWER--Are you constantly seeking to
be in a better, more powerful position? Do you envy "the
big boys?" Do you associate with wealthy or powerful
people? Are you generally confident that you can handle most
situations--better than others who you consider too timid? Are
you impatient with slow thinkers?
- COMMUNION--Do you participate
frequently in gatherings of people? Do you gravitate to
meetings, congregations, activist groups, like-minded people?
Are you extremely empathic so that you can merge with others’
thought processes? Do you resist being alone? Are you an
- FREEDOM--Are you always seeking a
way to live by your own time schedule? Can’t consider 9 to 5
employment as a long-term option? Entrepreneurial? Sole
proprietor or talented artist, writer, performer? Always
express different ideas from the norm? Scoff at authorities
and institutions? Don’t care what people think of you?
- EXPRESSION--Do you overflow with
creative ideas and expression in any form (speaking, writing,
art, sculpture, music, doodles, jokes, life-of-the-party
antics). Have you had several professional careers or
- EXCHANGE--Are you passionate about
ideas? Always giving out information, sharing insights,
looking for like-minded people with whom you can exchange
information. Are you always telling people about books you
have read, great doctors you have found, good schools,
recipes, or better ways to do things?
- OTHER?--As you review this list, can
you discover any other need that is not on this list?
- What is your top need?
How My Top Need(s) Are Shaping Me
A Five-minute Writing Exercise
Have your kitchen timer or watch
ready, along with your pen. When you are ready to write, set
the timer for five minutes or look at your watch. Starting
with the top need selected above, you are going to write,
stream-of-consciousness-style on the subject of :
[MY TOP NEED] shows up in every
choice I have made so far. For example.....(continue
to write without trying to have any goal.)
-As you write:
-Allow whatever comes out to come
out, even if it seems nonsensical.
-Use the words for your other two top
needs somewhere in your writing.
-Keep your pen moving until the timer
-After the five minutes is up, stop
-Notice what word you started with
and what word you ended on. Is there a message for you even in
these two words?
-Underline significant sentences that
give you insight about how your top need is motivating you and
shaping your choices.
Write Out Your Purpose Statement
Once you have collected a list of
your values, three primary needs, top need, and underlined
ideas in your free-form writing, what could you say about the
purpose of your life?
Have fun with this, and have a great
year. Every moment is a chance to express your love and
creativity, whether or not you can "define" your
life purpose. For more ideas and support in finding your
life purpose visit us at www.spiralpath.com.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D., is an
internationally-known workshop facilitator and author whose
books have been translated into over fifteen languages. Her
books include The Purpose of Your Life: Finding Your Place
in the World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, and Uncommon
Sense; Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life, and The
Numerology Kit. She also co-authored with James Redfield, The
Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide and The Tenth
Insight: Holding the Vision--An Experiential Guide.
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