I’ve been teaching my Soul’s Calling™ Coaches in training this summer and digging through some important concepts that I want to share with you!
This one is all about your programmed purpose versus your soul’s purpose – how easy it is to slip off track and be purpose adjacent, and how to find your way back to your soul’s path with a simple 6-step self-coaching method.
It’s a little longer than my usual posts, so I hope you read all the way through!
The other day, I was self-coaching. That’s what Life Coaches do when they are trying to figure out what's bothering them (and they can’t get anyone else to coach them). It’s really important to get out of your own way. So, as much as possible, I try to dig into my feelings of angst or discomfort, so I can discover what is really going on and fix it rather than letting it fester.
I decided to try a technique from the book The Art of Empathy – conscious complaining.
This technique, described by Karla McLaren and invented by Barbara Sher, the Godmother of Life Coaching, is a great technique to help you understand and feel your feelings.
And it’s easy. You whine and complain out loud or in writing for a limited period of time. It helps to release the misery that you’ve been coping with. In my case, once I’ve consciously complained, I tend to get clear information about what’s not working in my life – and once I know that, I always know what to do next.
I decided to spend 5 minutes recording on my iPad (because I’d mislaid my iPhone….again) and complain about what was wrong. I had no idea what was wrong, I just knew that I had little motivation or desire to get anything work-related done. Yes, it’s summer. Yes, I’ve been enjoying hanging out – but something else was going on – that felt uncomfortable.
So, I complained. It took about 3 minutes for me to uncover what was bugging me.
So, what’s a programmed purpose? It’s the purpose we assume by default, not by choice. We’ve all been programmed to believe certain things and to behave in certain ways.
By our families.
By our culture.
By our gender.
Your programming is the set of rules of living that you follow. And it’s completely made up… usually by somebody else. It’s completely normal to be programmed. We all are. Because we’re human, we need to be taken care of for years before we can survive alone. We learn the rules that we need to follow to get loved, get taken care of and get our emotional needs met. We learn things like “Money doesn’t grow on trees. You need to be seen and not heard. Work first, play later. It’s better for girls to be pretty than smart. Don’t be an angry Black woman.” You get the gist.
These rules become our unconscious programming and they are designed to keep us safe, so that we can survive and thrive.
You came here to express YOU, to share the gifts that are inside YOU, to help to raise the vibrational frequency of the world. You came here to add love to the world by being unapologetically YOU.
In the best scenario, after you’ve grown up emotionally, you let go of that old programming and discover your own best life rules.
But in our western society, that doesn’t happen. We have rules for every, single part of life and we’re expected to follow them. We have rules about the stuff we should have – and we are told we should consume and buy as much as possible. We have rules about work, about being a parent, about being single, about what a vacation is, about the kind of car you should have. I could go on and on.
The hardest part of discovering what you came here to do (your life’s purpose) is that you have to let go of the rules that you’re living by that don’t belong to you – and risk being rejected or criticized and risk feeling vulnerable and unsafe.
This is terrifying.
If you’re a woman, you have heaps of programming about who you’re supposed to be. (Be quiet and polite. Your job is to meet other peoples’ needs.)
If you grew up with a narcissist, or in any situation where you felt unsafe, you have double heaps of programming about who you are supposed to be to be safe. (Don’t disagree out loud. Your needs are unimportant.)
If you’re highly empathic and you sense what people need from you even without them telling you, then you’re likely programmed to following other peoples’ rules – without ever thinking about what’s true for you. (You are invisible.)
If you grew up marginalized, like me, being a Black female in a white society, you have even more programming that tells you who to be in order to be safe. (Don’t make waves. Don’t call attention to yourself. Fit in.)
Programming is sneaky.
It hides. You aren’t consciously aware of it unless you dig to find it.
Luckily, you can’t program your emotions. Your emotions will express your truth. And emotional discomfort – frustration, anger, sadness are big signals that you may be purpose adjacent. To start to uncover your programming, you’ve got to stop coping with what you don’t want.
But there’s a crazy paradox. You’ve probably been programmed to deny unpleasantness and push away uncomfortable feelings. That makes it SO hard to discover what you really want!
But don’t fret – you can learn to feel. It takes practice. That’s why it’s so important for you to self-coach, get coached and get supported.
When I started self-coaching about why I had no motivation, I had to be brutally honest with myself. I started out consciously complaining about what was making me miserable, and this is what I discovered. I’d started designing a new program – creating something that EVERYBODY would love and that EVERY woman needed – and I was trying to put up a webpage... and I couldn’t do it. I totally lost my motivation to do any kind of work.
And because I’d consciously complained, I could release the misery and access what I really wanted!
So, I asked myself, what did light me up?
I got a clear answer - helping women to make the emotional, spiritual and mental transition to shift from what they were doing in their last life chapter, to becoming a Life Coach in this new one.
And then I remembered that I love Life Coaches and people who are called to do this work!
I love the fact that there’s a profession where you can put your emotional intelligence, your self-help book smarts, your intuition, your empathy and everything you’ve ever learned on center stage and make that your job.
I love the fact that you don’t have to relegate your incredible intuitive gifts to the background and only be valued for your logic and analysis.
I love that the coaching profession celebrates the divine feminine archetype things like - leading from behind, being grounded and connected to Soul and the earth, caring and creating sisterhood, but never rescuing or dominating.
And I love helping Life Coaches to claim their life’s work.
Because the world needs us.
This clarity of what I love, made it clear to me that the program I was trying to create was purpose adjacent and so that’s why I wasn’t motivated.
I’d shifted over to my programmed purpose and away from my soul’s purpose. Complaining and allowing my feelings, was the doorway in to this discovery. And I found my feelings by consciously complaining for less that 5 minutes!
Here's to noticing when you're purpose adjacent!
P.s. Early bird registration is OPEN for our signature retreat in Pismo Beach, Unlock Your Unique Genius right NOW! Grab your spot TODAY and you’ll get the early-bird rate. Find out more and sign up HERE.
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