Once I discovered my purpose, my life took off. However, finding my purpose took decades. But when I stepped on the path, I hit the ground running, not with my feet but with my fingers.
I haven’t looked back!
My purpose manifested in three ways: I became a Ninja Writer, creator and editor of Middle-Pause publication, and the host of the podcast STOMP! (Stronger Together On Middle-Pause). You may be confused, so let me begin with the beginning.
I’ve known forever I had a purpose. But what, when, where, and how to fulfill my purpose escaped me. I searched for it but if you're like me; life got in the way.
You know, family, work, relationships, all the stuff that stood in my path. My time and talents were needed elsewhere. However, more often, I was getting in my own way.
The event that got my attention, though, was a health crisis that put me flat on my back. I was bedridden at fifty-five years old from an advanced case of crippling osteoarthritis and sciatica.
Chronic pain parked on my doorstep and gained entry more times than I care to remember.
Here I was in bed, depressed, angry, and desperate. I absolutely did not want to vegetate in my sorrows. Then, one evening as I was meditating or feeling sorry for myself, I heard a still small voice, (the quiet kind you hear in your spirit) say, You have two hands and you can speak.
What the heck does that mean?
Suddenly, the thought occurred to me, I can write and I can talk! Okay. But what about? Inspiration was the first idea. I love to inspire people to do their best.
What’s next? This time I had to wait and trust the process of discovering what I wanted to write, and to whom I wanted to write. My niche and my audience.
During my waiting period, I did some soul searching. I took a deep dive into my psyche to discover the thing that causes me the most pain. Also, I looked at what drives me to act. The answer was obvious: other people’s pain. Deep pain can drive you to inspiration.
Inspiration gives you purpose. The desire to help others, lend a hand, march for social justice, etc. For me, the only action I can take is writing because disability prevents me from physical participation.
Therefore, I write.
However, I had no platform, resources, or grammatical writing ability. What did I do? I bought books, read articles, and viewed webinars about the craft of writing.
But I had no mentor. Before long, a series of newsletters about Ninjas appeared in my in-box. That is when it happened. Serendipity occurred! I opened my emails and in walked the woman who would change my life.
Shaunta Grimes, in her zeal and vision, taught me how to write and structure my posts through her workshops and one on one coaching. During one of our sessions, I implied I was frustrated because my writing had no focus.
Shaunta asked me who do you want to help? Instantly, I blurted out, “Women!” Then she fired back, why? I thought about that for a second and said, “To encourage, inspire, and empower women to lead fulfilled lives.”
She told me to take some time and figure out my niche since women was too broad of a category. That was on Friday. I came back Monday with the name of my publication and audience.
Middle-Pause was born!
Middle-Pause is a publication for the woman in the middle of her life, work, relationships, menopause, and mostly, of herself. I already had completed my vision statement, and now I had a mission statement as a vehicle to carry me toward my vision.
To help the woman in the middle of menopause, of life, and of Herself to showcase her articles through the publication of Middle-Pause.
It’s not complicated. I am part of the analog variety and needed to visualize my mission. Starting with a poster board I bought from the dollar store, I wrote my vision in the upper right-hand corner. Then I penciled in my mission statement.
To help you understand the difference, I’ll explain. A vision statement is static: it is something we aspire to. A mission statement is fluid: it is the place we work from. It changes as the focus, needs, and goals of your mission change.
Not long after, it became apparent that I needed help to manage and edit all the submissions I was receiving. I felt I did not have the technical ability to accomplish this, so I invited three other women to assist in the endeavor — Meg Stewart, Marilyn Flower, and Margie Pearl. Together, we built Middle-Pause what it is today!
However, I knew I wanted to do more, and Middle-Pause became the springboard from which our podcast, STOMP! (Stronger Together On Middle-Pause) arose.
I wanted to reach a wider audience — those who listened instead of reading. According to my findings, 50% of all homes are “podcast fans.” That’s over 60 million homes! Also, women are more likely to be multitasking while listening. I know because I have listened to podcasts while cooking, performing household chores, and taking care of grandkids.
I realized I needed to research why a woman listened to a podcast and what need I could fulfill. According to Edison Research, wellness/self-improvement tops the list for the content women want to hear.
My mission falls right into that category! Women in my audience are at the age where they are searching for meaning in their lives, having an identity crisis, experiencing menopause, etc. The list goes on and on.
I forged ahead and learned some things about podcasting, but I knew I needed help. I met with my team members and presented my mission to include a podcast. Margie jumped on board and took over that project.
Afterward, I created MiddlePauseMedia; the umbrella under which everything operates.
Today, we have a sisterhood of strong, committed women who celebrate, support, and empower one another to live fulfilled lives. Before I began this journey, I was lost. I had no clear vision and no mission upon which to act.
Now, we are a wave, a force! Like Shaunta says, our goal is world domination! To be a beacon for women who are searching for themselves.
Join us on our quest and walk into your future.
Debbie Walker is a great-grandmother, blogger, and writer with a BA in Psychology. Her vision is to encourage, inspire, and empower others to lead fulfilled lives. She is the creator of Middle-Pause Publication, and STOMP!, an upcoming podcast for women, and is writing a Breath Prayer Devotional. Stay in touch at email@example.com; follow her on Twitter; & Pinterest; listen to the podcast, STOMP!