What is My Purpose in Life?
It is so easy in life to think that one day our purpose for being here will be shown to us in bright colors and neon signs and all of a sudden we will know what we are supposed to do with our life and where we are supposed to go. What is more likely is that we have multiple purposes throughout our lifetime and they will come and go, and they may not be something that we are even aware of. The best we can hope for is to do things in our life that make us proud, that align with our values, that reflect who we are, and do the best we can in every aspect of our lives. Some people find their “purpose” in parenthood, some in spirituality, and some within themselves or serving others. Some people don’t need a purpose, per say to motivate them to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
One way to help get some clarity would be to try out mindfulness exercises. If you are feeling stressed and like you can’t figure things out, try sitting in a quiet space on the floor or on a soft surface. Close your eyes and focus on the rising and falling of your chest as you breathe in and out for one minute. Intentionally hold your breath for 5 seconds as you inhale and then let your breath fall as you exhale. You can also try the Game of Five which focuses on your 5 senses for about 30 seconds each. While practicing your intentional breathing, notice and focus on one thing at a time: feel the clothes on your skin or your hands on your knees, pay attention to what you hear in the moment, what do you smell? What do you see in the room you are in? Remember something you ate today and try to focus on the texture and flavor. The goal for mindfulness is to reduce stress and anxiety and become more aware of ourselves in our environment. According to Alfred James, mindfulness coach and author, “By becoming mindful of who we are, where we are, what we are doing and the purpose, if any at all, and how everything else in our environment interacts with our being, we cultivate a truer awareness of being.”
Your Relationships…Everything About Them
You’ll struggle with relationships, from the families that you were born into to the families that you try to create, including friends, significant others, and in-laws. You’ll struggle with this because people are not perfect and sometimes the people who love you might hurt you and you might even hurt the ones you love. The pain of past hurts can be hard to forget or even get through, but it is through this process that we learn what we need from others and what our limits are (what we can and can’t put up with). We learn to define our relationships and define our roles within them. It is completely normal to question the relationships we have and continue to build authentic, trustworthy, and beautiful relationships through trial and error. For many, this is also a time for autonomy from their parents and a journey into navigating the world on their own. This can be both a tricky and exciting new stage of their life.
One aspect that men and women deal with throughout their lifetime is sex and relationship differences. For many, sex is a subconscious primary focus during our 20’s and 30’s but it is also something we deal with throughout our lifetime. During our 20’s, hormones are in drive, exploration is in full swing, bodies are in their prime, and body image and self-esteem are slowly recovering from the dreadful teenage years.
Yet still, in the 1997 Body Image Survey by Psychology Today, 57% of women in their 20s were dissatisfied with their bodies. Rife with anxiety and unrealistic cultural expectations for both men and women of all ages, many are struggling to find ways to embrace their sexual selves. Low body self-esteem can make you feel insecure, shy away from sex, not fully enjoy having sex, or feel like your partner couldn’t possibly like you or find you attractive therefore you focus only on your partner’s sexual pleasure (which can commonly be misconstrued as an “action of love” since women sometimes express love by being more accommodating). Sex in your 20’s is all about establishing boundaries and learning how to communicate. This can be tricky since men and women are taught to communicate in different ways. Men are taught from a young age to suppress their emotions and act strong, whereas women are encouraged to express their emotions when they are upset. Knowing the differences in someone’s love languages and how people communicate to one another can help your relationship. Every one night stand, casual sexual relationship, or long term commitment is an opportunity to practice being assertive, learn what you like and don’t like, and how to communicate your wants and personal ethics. This practice in your 20’s can set you up for excellent bed-rocking throughout the years.
If you would like more information on mindfulness exercises or would like to participate in a supportive-women centered workshop on learning to embrace your sexual self, EMAIL ME! 🙂