We each have a unique soul-calling in this life, but most of us have a hard time hearing it because of what counter forces tell us to be! Counter forces can include parents, friends, siblings, bosses, coaches…even our culture. There are counter forces surrounding you in the environment you choose to live in, and some can be extremely opinionated and loud.
This week’s Fit For Service Challenge was to explore these counter forces in our life and reflect on how they have impacted the decisions we make in walking our path towards our life purpose.
For me, as I was working through this challenge this week, it came to surface that my biggest counter force honestly is…me. More specifically, whether I choose to move forward with a purpose based out of love or fear.
That’s not to say family, friends, coaches, and colleagues don’t have any influence – both positive and negative – on my path to purpose. It’s simply that I have practiced for a long time to chase my purpose and dreams with passion, tenacity, and hard work – in spite of what anyone else tells me to think or do.
Foundation for My Path to Purpose
When I look back on my life and the messages my parents gave me while growing up in terms of what I “should” do, there was only one thing they said:
“Do what makes you happy and be responsible.”
I am so fortunate to have a mom and stepdad that allowed me to pick and choose my path in this life without limits, preconceived intentions, or even limiting stereotypes. Just because I was a girl, in a lower economic status, or pick any other label that could have been placed on me from a young age – these did not factor into limiting beliefs of who they thought I could be.
Now, they also saw me at an early age making some pretty “adult” choices and they stepped back and allowed me to receive the learning from each of them.
Finding Purpose: Serving My Community
The first time my soul started calling out to me in a big way like never before was in 2009. At that time in my life I just broke up with a man I had been dating for over 4 years and ended up filing bankruptcy due to poor choices from this relationship.
At that time, I was a personal trainer and a nutritionist. I LOVED what I was doing but I kept saying that I felt like something was missing from my life. I felt disconnected from Las Vegas and I wasn’t happy in my current environment.
I took myself on a soul seeking journey to Manhattan Beach that year and sat on the beach with my journal to ask the BIG question, “Please God, angels, show me a sign and guide me to my next path in life to help me feel like I have a purpose!”
It was on a Sunday afternoon and I was about to leave Manhattan Beach. I saw there was a healthy living festival so I decided to check it out before I left and sure enough that one decision impacted the next 9 years of my life!
I walked up to a booth that said “Growing Great! Inspiring Children and Adults to adopt healthy eating habits! MY EYES and HEART swelled with JOY! “OMG this is what we NEED in Las Vegas,” I thought. This is what’s been missing! And then it began! The woman standing inside that booth, Peggy, became my mentor from that moment on.
She lived on the beach, had the idyllic family that I have always wanted for myself, and lived and breathed everything that I believed around health. I soaked it all in and stayed a curious student for years to come.
Because of this serendipitous meeting and shift in my life, I was given the opportunity to be one of the founding catalysts for a garden and nutrition organizations in Las Vegas called Create A Change Now. In 2011 I was made their acting executive director and I couldn’t have been more happy! I had found my purpose in the world at that time in my life.
I was changing children’s lives with the tools and resources that they needed to learn how to live a healthy life. All of which I never had growing up. It filled my cup for so many years.
Now don’t get me wrong…it was HARD ASS work but it gave me pure fulfillment in my heart.
With my background in health and wellness and all that it meant for me on my own personal journey, this had become a huge piece of purpose for my life during the time I was the Executive Director. But little did I know in the years to follow, my heart started to pull me in another direction that I was in a deep desire for…a family of my own.
Finding Purpose: A Family of My Own
In 2018, I made the decision to leave the nonprofit for personal and professional reasons. At the same time, I had just gotten out of a 4 month relationship that was aligned on all levels with health and wellness, but emotionally, it was very disconnected. When we parted ways I started to feel that same pull at my heart that I had back in 2009!
How could this be happening again?!
The same pull to ask some heavy life questions.
So I did what I do in times of uncertainty. I asked for a sign and/or guidance while in prayer and meditation and BAM. Sure enough it showed up in the form of a family.
I met an amazing man and his beautiful daughter. For the next 11 months, I worked 5+ jobs to pay off my debt, build a new business around EpicLuv health and wellness programs, and get on a plane every other week to California to build this new relationship with an incredible man and his family.
Unlike my time at the non-profit, early on I struggled with my purpose around this new family. The back and forth wore on me – and us – in so many ways. I was beyond happy when I was with him and his daughter but I felt scared and pulled at the same time.
“How can I make this work?” I asked myself. “How can I afford to live in CA?”
I was flashing back to 2009. The very thing that drew me to my mentor – living on the beach, having a family, doing work that filled my cup – was hitting me in the face again. This time, I had found it for myself!
But low and behold, my biggest counter force appeared: fear.
I got SCARED as shit and DENIED my ability to become my own hero in this journey and make it happen!
Finding Purpose Through Love or Fear…Your Choice
Not soon after the fear started to take hold of my relationship, life slapped me in the face in a way I was completely unprepared for. Loss and impermanence appeared in a dominating way when my Las Vegas roommate died suddenly from a motorcycle accident. Then, 4 weeks later, my significant other and I broke up.
My purpose for the family I had gained – both in my relationship with my significant other AND in my relationship with my roommate – had shattered in a matter of weeks right in front of me.
Now what Melissa?!
Well here is the truth: no matter what we think our purpose is in life, we will be pulled in different directions by many counter forces. And we can make our choice on which path to follow out of love or fear.
Here is what I have learned in discovering what is my truth is moving forward with my true purpose:
- I can and I did: I am the only one that can create the life I have always dreamed of. I found a place to rent on the beach in San Clemente, CA, will volunteer at a local farm, and shop every week at the farmers market. This has been a dream of mine since 2009 and it is finally coming to fruition! I made it happen. Me alone. And it’s all happening starting next month. My current intention: to be more in my feminine energy, create more, and allow life to flow.
- Be of service: I will continue to be of service to my community in any way it helps the collective as a whole! This looks like EpicLuv wellness programs and the possibility of working for a nonprofit around rescuing Elephants. (FYI Elephants are all about family!) Again, more in my alignment of what I am creating!
- My truth: I want and am ready for a loving companion and family. I needed to experience the last 11 years to create the space for this! I am hanging up my busy workaholic hat to create space to have a loving partner/companion.
So what is your truth?
What is your purpose?
Get curious in your heart and know that it can change, evolve and grow into phases you couldn’t have imagined!