The Joy and Challenge of Finding Your Purpose

I love this article (below) on the secret to a long and happy life… which, to paraphrase the article, is…. To do what you love, or more specifically what brings a sense of meaning and purpose. It seems like a simple equation: Do what makes you happy in order to be happy.

But somehow this gets all complicated for us, doesn’t it? Worrying what others will think, how to find what you love, how it all fits with making a living, and all that practical stuff.

The article has some good hints and inspiration. They talk about a Japanese philosophy called “ikigai” which loosely translates as sense of purpose, or doing what you love, or following the call of your heart. The article contains some fruitful yet simple questions to ask yourself to help you find your purpose in life. I’ll provide some tips below too.

A helpful excerpt from the article:

It’s not as easy as that sounds, of course. ‘Modern life estranges us more and more from our true nature, making it very easy for us to lead lives lacking in meaning,’ García and Miralles write. ‘Powerful forces and incentives (money, power, attention, success) distract us on a daily basis; don’t let them take over your life.’
Instead, they advise, follow your curiosity and intuition, which are the paths back to ikigai, as is self-awareness. Find the activity you love, surround yourself with people you love, and stay true to that internal compass.
~ David G. Allen, CNN, in “Ikigai, the Japanese path to live longer, happier”

I know what they’re saying is true. But it’s not so simple, is it? “Internal compass,” huh? I’ll explain. That’s one of my favorite topics.

image - happiness

Happiness is not all about rainbows. But in this case, a rainbow did make me happy, and I danced with it. For me, following the happiness that appears is so key. Those moments of trusting and following instincts add up.

“How do I get one of those Internal Compasses?”

From what I’ve seen up close and personal as a coach, most people, in Western cultures, have a very hard time understanding what is their internal compass and how to hear it.  Continue reading

Managing the Whirlwind of Feelings in a Whirlwind World

Dear Val: “Sometimes feeling all this stuff in the world and in my own life, and the people around me can feel like too much. All these feelings moving through me…. Sometimes I want to hide under the covers. But I also care. I’m not sure how to find the right balance sometimes.” ~ A highly sensitive introverted woman.

I’ve heard many versions of this same concern. As a sensitive introvert myself, I get it. I have now designed a life that doesn’t usually overwhelm me, even with all the feelings inside and around me, and that is so different from in the past. It still happens that I feel overwhelmed at times, I mean, this life, yowza! Whoa. But I can see that my choices and some daily habits are making it so much easier. #Grateful

If you’re like me and well, like all humans, you’re feeling a big range of things— from gratitude and love, to confusion or loss— all in this one moment. Seems strange but that’s life I think. And yet…

What if it feels like too much?
AND it’s also worth asking:
What if it opens you up to something wonderful?

I’ll share how I think of it.  Continue reading

My 15 Favorite Books for Caring Introverted Women

[image of reading a book]Like many introverts, I love books. There’s so much richness in there! When I see a shelf of books, I see each book as a little world I can explore and savor.

I’m very picky about which books are worth reading. I start a lot of books, and put them down if they aren’t engaging or useful in some way.

When I find a book I love, I can get a bit evangelical about it. So, indulge me in my sharing some favorites that I think other caring introverted women will enjoy.  Continue reading

Most Popular Posts on My Blog

These 12 posts on my blog have been the “greatest hits” so far. I put a lot of my heart and insights into these.

These posts cover my usual range of topics so they give you a good sense of what I’m about: introverts, soulful self-employment, marketing, confidence, fear, communication, and leaps of faith.

  1. Self-employment Ideas for Introverts
  2. Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls
  3. Being Introverted Is a GOOD Thing! The Truth About Introversion
  4. The Introvert’s Path from Pain to Confidence
  5. Do You Confuse Extroversion with Confidence?
  6. Why You Get Tongue-Tied About Your Work and What To Do
  7. Is It Self-employment Induced ADD?
  8. You Are Closer Than You Think
  9. Your “Worst” Trait Could Be Your Superpower
  10. The Self-Employment Leap of Faith
  11. When Something Feels Too Big for You, Say Yes
  12. 1 Easy Step for Getting New Clients Now
  13. Do You Like the Sound of SOULpreneurs?

If you want to stay in the loop, be sure to subscribe below.

Someone Who Actually Understands Balance

Oh my, I barely have words to go with this video. Please watch it and let the inspiration and artistry sink in. Be sure to watch the exquisite ending. Wow!

What metaphors or stories does it bring up for you?

While I watched, at first I couldn’t breathe as I saw what was happening and I didn’t want anything to fall. Yikes, how will it all balance? (Like life!)

And then I just let her inner strength and calm presence find its way into me too.

While watching, part of me had a good laugh at the elusive Balance we all crave and struggle to find. Is she the only one who gets how to balance? Nearly everyone I meet says they want more balance in their lives. How do we find it? Continue reading