We’ve been talking about finding your purpose and passion after motherhood and I hope you are convinced that this is worthwhile to invest some time into this journey. So, what do we do now?
Finding out your purpose is a pretty big question! I wish it was as simple as taking a quiz that spits out the answer. You go through a process to discover it for yourself. I do however have a few thoughts to share with you that will guide you along the way. In the end, your purpose is very much like true love. You will know it when you’ve found it.
What Are You Passionate About?
Start by thinking about all the different things you are passionate about. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of your current work or career, a cause, a hobby, or anything else you can think of. Make a list and keep adding to it as you come across more ideas. Maybe it’s restoring old cars, redecorating your home, or sewing historical costumes. Or making chain maille jewelry or art journaling or writing. Write them all down because they may be the stuff dreams are made of. If they themselves are not the ultimate purpose, they may hold keys for you so don’t discount them.
What Do You Value?
Another good approach for coming up with potential “purpose” ideas is to think about what you really value. What’s important to you? What do you feel would make a difference? Maybe you value the right of every child to grow up in a happy home and make it your life’s purpose to raise foster kids or adopt. Maybe you value animal rights and make it your mission to raise awareness about the low number of wild giraffes in Africa.
We have been social creatures who rely on each other for millennia. Over the course of that time our bodies and brains have evolved to give us positive rewards for helping out and making a difference. In other words, it feels good to live with purpose and make a difference. It makes us happy.
I hope you’re coming to the conclusion that the key to happiness isn’t to own more. It’s to live a purpose driven life and making a difference in the world. It’s one of the reasons why minimalism is becoming so popular. When your life and mind isn’t cluttered with all the extra stuff, you feel calmer, more in control, and have the time and mental energy to figure out your own purpose.
A purpose driven life is one lived within our core values. It caters to our need to cooperate and work together. It strengthens our confidence and makes us feel needed and valuable. All of this leads to an increased feeling of happiness.
What Elicits a Strong Emotional Response?
Similarly, think about what makes you really happy, really angry, or really sad. Having something with a strong emotion attached is a good sign that you’re very passionate about it and that this particular cause or purpose is important to you. Maybe it’s passion on your love of playing piano, your passion for heirloom tomato gardening, or your burning desire to put a stop to human trafficking.
Sometimes, especially if motherhood has been draining or stressful, may not know our feelings. We have forgotten how to feel what our own interests or needs are because we have been so consumed with meeting everyone else’s needs. Gently, slowly begin to allow yourself to feel your feelings. Soon enough, you’ll learn to trust them again.
Last but not least, think about what you enjoy doing. There’s nothing wrong with finding a purpose that is also enjoyable. In fact, it’s important that you like what you do and are having fun doing it. If it isn’t fun, it’s much harder to put in the work and effort required to reach your goals.
Perhaps “fun” is too frivolous a word. Does something make you feel a quiet joy? Is chasing that joy enough to get you excited to jump out of bed in the morning? If yes, you’re on the right track.
I hope this has given you a few things to think about. Until next time, keep focusing on emptying the nest and building your life.
Here are the earlier posts in this series: