What Is Soul Purpose?
Think of your soul purpose as a mission statement for your life – in other words, what you could achieve by your actions, by your very presence on planet Earth. For example, my own mission, my soul purpose, is “to recreate connection with self and others by bringing people to an understanding of their deepest desires, and I do this by running shadow work workshops.”
So my right livelihood, the way in which I strive to bring my soul purpose to fruition, is to coach people in ways to express their gifts more fully (using shadow work). Through shadow work, people can begin to bring their deepest emotional wounds into the open and heal them. This way, they can express their natural gifts and talents and hopefully achieve success…. as well as finding their soul purpose.
Finding Your Soul Purpose – Video
A trained facilitator can help people overcome limitations and find their souls purpose by running healing circles and personal emotional process work workshops like these. These are “time outs” from life where men and women can dive deep into their childhood emotional wounds and get the healing they need.
However you see this, one thing is clear: your right livelihood feels good not simply because you enjoy it, but also because it is an expression of the deepest essence of who you are. It is both a job you enjoy, and a way of bringing your greatest gifts and the most profound aspects of yourself into the world.
And when you do this, the world will respond by presenting you with coincidences, openings and opportunities which help you achieve that – and perhaps also offer a way to make a great deal of money.
Video – Right Livelihood (Thich Nhat Hanh)
There are two things which are really important here.
First, don’t fall prey to the idea that you have to choose between your right livelihood and a job with a decent income.
That’s only a limiting belief, and it’s best ignored. I call this stepping around the belief and choosing to do things differently. That is the premise of the King archetype – that you have a real choice about how to live your life. (Read about this idea here.) However, if you can’t ignore it, then PLEASE do some shadow work to resolve and dispel your limiting belief. The simple truth is that without shadow work, all your aspirations may well come to nothing.
All that said, there’s another way of thinking about right livelihood. This is based on a belief system which says the only obstacles to having a job which is both fulfilling and allows you to earn a decent living are the ones you create. And of course, if you created the obstacles in your life, you can just as easily destroy them.
Even so, your right livelihood doesn’t necessarily have to be a full time, money-earning, wage-paying job from the day you find it.
Your right livelihood can be something you do part time on weekends or evenings, maybe, as you learn the skills and abilities necessary to become an expert in that field. This, of course, is a great way to overcome limiting beliefs. You learn gradually about the reality and extent of your abilities.
Eventually, if you have a clear intention, you will find that your right livelihood can indeed become the way you earn your living and become abundantly prosperous and successful in what you do.
Making Money With Your Right Livelihood
I know a lot of people find this hard to believe. Craftsmen and craftswomen, artists, writers, musicians and so on, generally feel that their gift to the world, their right livelihood, is to produce beautiful music or objects or paintings.
But often they tell me that there’s just no money in their work. They believe they must choose between fulfilling their hearts’ desires or making money. (Interestingly, I find they often choose to be fulfilled and happy but poor.)
I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of how the world works here. As far as I know, there are no spiritual laws which limit how much money you can make!
Truth is, your income is always capped by your own limiting beliefs. These are all the shadow beliefs you hold, consciously and unconsciously, about yourself and about your relationship to money. By far the most important of these is what you believe you’re worth.
Although many artists, craftspeople, and other creative folk believe there’s no money in what they do, I know of artists who have become multimillionaires on the proceeds of their work. Many others are certainly doing very nicely, thank you very much.
For example, take the example of Katie Marks. She’s achieved extraordinary success making beautiful and individually designed coffee mugs.
These are mugs like you’ve never seen before, and they sell for up to $420 each on Instagram. Her stock sells out each time she releases it. Kate is doing very nicely, no question about it. So what makes her different to the rest of the pottery community? Or, as one member of the pottery community wryly observed on the ceramicartistnow.com website in reference to Katie’s work, “What in God’s name are we doing wrong?”
Is Katie exceptionally talented? I don’t honestly know, but I think she would probably deny it. She says, “I have always loved clay. It’s been my medium of choice since I was a little girl. Even though college wasn’t an option for me, I knew I wanted to learn the art and craft of clay. I took one class at my local community college and I was hooked.”
She then found a potter’s wheel on Craigslist, bought it and went on to teach herself how to throw pots. Perhaps her biggest break was finding a guy she describes as “an incredible production potter” who became her mentor, and from whom she has learned “everything from glaze chemistry to kiln firing”.
If you think selling a coffee mug for $420 the minute an online auction opens is a rare achievement among potters, you’re probably right. But the point is this: if Katie did it, so can anybody else. Think abut that for a minute. If Katie did it, so can you. Or something similar.
She didn’t have a privileged background, she didn’t have financial backers, she just had the determination to succeed and some business acumen.
Her current successful business model is to make a batch of work, announce a sale on various social media platforms, and then watch the money pouring in as her work sells out in 15 minutes or less.
Her mugs are generally between $75 and $125 each, but in many cases they have gone for between $200 and $400. Rather snootily, one ceramics website observes that her pottery “lacks the functional craftsmanship and carefully considered elements that traditionally determines quality in ceramics.” (Does Katie care? I doubt it.)
Of course – as the writer goes on to point out – Katie is a lot more successful at making money than even the top percentage of the most skilled potters. They are, well, just pottering along in life. So is she just very clever at working out what the general public want?
Possibly. But I think the real issue is that Katie doesn’t have any limiting beliefs about her work. And this is where the importance of finding and working through your limiting beliefs comes in. The limiting beliefs you hold, are, obviously, the things which hold you back. They are the unspoken beliefs you hold about yourself which are out of conscious awareness – in other words, which are held in your unconscious shadow.
As may be clear by now, your Shadow is the part of your mind which holds 99% of the mental imagery and beliefs about the world which are effectively your daily “operating program” or in effect the computer program which runs your brain, completely out of your awareness. What is in this “program” determines how you live your life: limited or not limited, area by area.
Katie’s certainly not limited in the way traditional ceramicists seem to be. They all seem very clear about how a coffee mug must be designed before it can qualify as a real mug. Amazingly, they also know how it must conform to certain standards to be regarded as a “quality” piece of porcelain. And best of all, they are sure they know the maximum retail price for a “proper” coffee mug! This is a perfect example of a LIMITING BELIEF system at work!
(I also suspect they also have a lot of limiting beliefs about how much money they, as individuals, might be able to make in this profession.)
I’m sure you can see how all these limiting beliefs are standing between them and the kind of success Katie has achieved!
She’s seems to have by-passed these beliefs about how things “should” be done, perhaps because she was never a part of the mainstream ceramics movement. I suspect she’s never been told that potters don’t make much money, either.
And without any of those restrictions, Katie is well on the way to becoming extremely rich as she pursues the craft which, as she herself says, “I have loved from the very beginning.” Life purpose, sould purpose, mission, or just pure fulfillment? Does it matter?