Finding your purpose in life

Who hasn’t thought about their purpose in life?

I thought I had finally found mine, but how do you know when you have? I found confirmation in, of all things, an article in Natural Awakenings, that I picked up at a grocery store. One of the headlines on the cover caught my attention: “Sure Signs That You’ve Found Your Calling.”

The author, Dr. Lissa Rankin, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute and author of The Anatomy of a Calling, listed these six signs. (I’ve paraphrased what she wrote.)

Dr. Rankin: You realize you’ve been training for this since birth; that all the disappointments, regrets, and screw-ups have been preparation, teaching essential lessons so that you can become who you’re called to be.
Me: Screw-ups, disappointments? I can certainly identify with that! I had never thought of them as building blocks for my calling, but I can see now that they were.

Dr. Rankin: You sense ease.
Me: Hmmm, in each career I’ve had, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable. But ever since I started focusing on writing fiction, I have felt more at ease. That’s not to say it’s become easy, just that I feel this is what I should be doing with my life.

Dr. Rankin: Your health may improve.
Me: I’m 50, so little things are starting to creep up on me, but I do feel better physically overall.

Dr. Rankin: You feel strangely peaceful, despite reasons to be anxious. Even if others think you’re crazy, you’ll be centered in peace, relieved that you finally know what you’re called to do.
Me: Okay, I do have a self-diagnosed anxiety disorder (LOL), but I can honestly say I do feel relief and at peace now that I know my calling. It doesn’t matter where or when I’m published, and I don’t care one whit if anyone thinks I’m wasting my time. I’m enjoying the process.

Dr. Rankin: The universe rolls out the red carpet. Just as you’re ready to give up, something happens — maybe money or something else you need comes in or shows up. You’ll know you’re on track, even if it’s not quite clear what you’re on track to do.
Me: I’m truly blessed to now have the freedom to pursue my writing with all my energy.

Dr. Rankin: People find you. Few of us can fulfill a calling alone. When you’re aligned with your life purpose, the right people will find you, if you’re courageous enough to be vulnerable about what you’re being called to do.
Me: This one really hit home. When I decided to dedicate my heart and soul to writing, I started meeting people — like my fabulous editor, Bridget Boland — who have become my tribe. I now have a wonderful, supportive network, and everything feels… just right.

What about you — have you found your calling? If not, maybe it’s not the right time. I wanted to write a novel earlier in life, but there were things I needed to deal with first (getting past some difficult circumstances, not to mention the mistakes I’ve made on my own). I feel like everything in my life has led up to this moment, and I plan to write as long as I am able.