The end of searching (even SOUL-searching)

The idea of soul-searching has been on my mind lately. Along with passions, finding your purpose, and vulnerability.

As I shared last week, I’m giving myself permission to expand. And as you can see, this week’s Soul Workout is not in the usual video form. I sat down to write out some ideas and ended up writing A LOT. It felt so good to write. You only ever limit yourself and I certainly don’t intend on doing that, so writing this week it is!

For years I’ve done “soul-searching” and to be honest, I really don’t like the word searching. Devotion on the other hand, well that word fires me up. Words. Your words. They’re very powerful. So are your desires.

I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m constantly searching for something “out-there”. Searching for my purpose, passions, for my ideal business plan, a relationship, money, joy, the worlds best sourdough bread, a job, my next adventure….what I’m going to do with my life!

What if the constant seeking is really a reflection of your lack of joy now? Ouch.

I thought about that question above and knew it to be true. We live now, hoping for a future that’s different. This whole wait-to-live thing is a bit of an epidemic these days. But instead of feeling guilty (because that certainly isn’t helpful), I started to become curious.

Curiosity led to me the realization that maybe what I’m really searching for is for someone to tell me that it’s okay to stop searching. Maybe in those moments of longing for something out-there, I’m really just searching for the day when I no longer feel like I have to prove myself to the world. Liberation.

TheEndOfSearching

I know for absolute certain that I have a purpose. I’ve known it ever since I was a little kid. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had this desire to create and share, whether that’s a meal, a yoga class or a Soul Workout video.

My purpose is to heal my own mind, and to be a light in this world. That is why I am here and I intend on being used by something greater than myself. In our society, I think the tendency is to try and search for the way our purpose is going to manifest and then call that our purpose.

For example, my purpose might manifest through this blog, a yoga class I teach, writing Miracles and Munchin’, giving someone a hug, riding my mountain bike or dancing in the street. But my purpose is not to be a yoga teacher or a blogger. Follow me?

When you start to associate your purpose with the way it manifests in the world, you also start to label yourself. For a long time, my label of choice was “spiritual teacher”. I’m not trying to say that labeling yourself is a bad thing, because labels do help you describe what you do now, but don’t allow your labels to define the direction you take your life in the future.

I used to want to know exactly what I was going to do with my life right now. This second. I wanted to know how my purpose was going to manifest and just go forward with it already. “I am a spiritual teacher. I am a yoga teacher. Okay that’s what I am going to do the rest of my life. Lets do it.”

Sure, that mentality feels secure, but it leaves no room for expansion. As you probably know, when we step away from secure in the traditional sense, there’s going to be vulnerability. Loads of it.

I’m learning to associate vulnerability with excitement, not fear. And that makes a huge difference in my willingness to plunge into the unknown.

I’m trying trust more and plan less. For me, true security is being connected to my Inner Guide. I’d simply much prefer to go through life feeling guided and having the inner knowing that I will always be okay.

You don’t need to search out your purpose. Your dreams are going to happen. Exhale. You’re already a light in this world. You’re here. You’re doing it. When I say that you don’t need to search, I’m not implying that you should just sit back and do nothing.

The end of searching is about accepting that you’re not going to see the whole path right now, feeling the vulnerability (aka excitement) associated with that, all while having faith that you will be guided to everything you need. It’s about giving yourself permission to continually expand and try out new labels.

Most of all, it’s about remembering that you are enough right now. There is nothing to prove. I need a constant reminder of that one myself.

Open. Flow. Devote… This is the end of searching as a way of life. Who’s with me?

With love,

Signature

 

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Comments

  1. says

    This post really hit home for me. These issues are ones I struggle with OFTEN. I completely agree that the “waiting to live” mentality is an epidemic that many suffer from. As an education major, I was always being told how great the retirement and pension was for teachers. I’d think to myself, ‘I don’t want to wait until I’m 65 years old to enjoy my time and my life! You’re all crazy!’ yet I felt like the crazy one for thinking that way. And I absolutely think that the “seeking” is a reflection of a lack of joy in the present; why else do we seek things out? But Amanda, how do you calm the voices in your head when you find yourself worrying about your purpose, your future, or what your life is supposed to be…? Not feeling like I’m where I’m supposed to be haunts me almost every day.

    • Amanda says

      Hi Nicole, so I think there needs to be a balance between feeling secure in the traditional “I can take care of myself” sense and also pursuing things you love and are excited by now (not to say that pursing things you love can’t be secure). There are two kinds of secure as I briefly mentioned above. The worldly secure from some sort of job, and the security from trusting your Inner Guide and following guidance – the deep inner knowing that you will be sustained doing something you love. I’m working towards the latter. But in the meantime, it’s perfectly okay to have a job that provides you with security, while you’re in the process or re-defining security and following your heart.

      Don’t focus so much on “is this what I’m going to do the rest of my life?” (I’ve found personally that that keeps me stuck not doing anything) but rather, really dial into what excites and inspires you now and start doing it, even if you don’t know what or if it will turn into anything. If you don’t feel secure, it’s hard to get the creativity going (again, this is my personal experience). I think once you start taking action towards something you love doing now, that will alleviate some of the worrying. For me, starting this blog was one of those action steps. I still have no idea where this blog is going to take me, but it’s something I absolutely love. It makes doing the other not-so-fun things a whole lot easier as I’m making the transition to running a blog/business full-time. Everything will unfold once you start.

      Doing what you’re doing now (and not totally loving it) has brought you to this moment of awareness. That was its purpose. So it’s where you’re supposed to be in this moment, but maybe not where you’re meant to stay. Think, if you didn’t love your job, but didn’t hate it enough, you would never get to the point where you say, I’ve had enough. There is something more here and I’m going to explore it, now.” That’s why, when people reach their limit, big changes are right around the corner.

      Hope this helps a bit Nicole! Thank you for your comment. This is such a massive topic and I think I will be elaborating on it in the coming weeks. It’s something I’m personally working through.

      With love,
      A

  2. Shannon says

    I love, love, love this blog. It is exactly the perfect thing for at this time as I am just coming to those same realizations and the synchronicity of it is lovely. It’s great to really resonate with you :)

    • Amanda says

      Yay! Thank you so much Shannon. I love hearing comments like this because it makes me feel more connected and like I’m not the only one in the world experiencing these things ;)

      • Shannon says

        Amanda, do you have any advice or ideas on how to meet like minded people in our physical location? I’m struggling with that at the moment.

        I’m surrounded by acquaintances who have no interest whatever in this kind of “stuff” and they just go out drinking at the bars all weekend long.

        I’ve pulled away from that because it is not for my highest good but it’s scary that I’m essentially losing those friends and not finding friends to replace them.

        I made the choice that I would rather be alone than hang out around people who make me feel lonely and whose hobbies don’t resonate with me anymore.

        I’d love to hear how you have met like minded people.

        • Amanda says

          Hey Shannon,
          So this is something that I also went through at one point, and as I continue to grow and expand, I understand that my friendships and relationships are going to continue to shift. I’ve started to accept that. I went through an in-between period too, where I no longer really felt fulfilled going out to bars all weekend long, not that that’s “bad”, it just wasn’t me anymore. I’m the kind of person that would rather mountain bike all day long and be asleep by 10pm haha. But I still hadn’t found friends that liked to do other things. So one thing that really helped me was setting the intention to experience new friends and people who could be supportive in the direction I was headed. Once you set that intention, the Universe puts it into action. Have faith in that. You just have to be willing to maybe put yourself in new experiences or say hi to a stranger. Just today, there was a mountain bike trail day in town and I went to it by myself. I wanted to not only give back to something I love and use often, but also meet other mountain biking enthusiasts. I was standing awkwardly by myself when I first got there just waiting for someone to come up to me. Then I took some action and finally said hi to this girl and we ended up chatting, exchanging numbers and have plans to go riding together at some point!
          I know this is a super long answer, but I think it really comes down to becoming open to meeting new people and then taking some action steps to make those connections. Also, I made a video a while back titled “What if your friends and family aren’t supportive of your ‘spiritual’ path?” that you might find helpful: http://youtu.be/nKm5INcHiSg
          Thanks for your comment Shannon!
          Amanda

  3. Pixie says

    Hi Amanda :) I really struggle with the whole purpose thing and how I can serve. It screws with my head, I tell ya!

    Amanda, you’re amazing, keep doing what you’re doing.

    X

  4. says

    I am so in line with what you are writing about here. It is good to know that what we’re looking for is already within…when we give up the busyness of trying to find it and drop into a quiet, mindful place…..there it is. Great blog, Amanda…

  5. Julee says

    Amanda thank you so much for this post. I have been on a year long uphill climb from a very dark place. Been feeling so lost. 2 failed marriages, son grown and gone, illness and feeling that I have lost my purpose. Hid myself away in the depths of my despair for months. You just reminded me that it is not what the world brings us but what we bring to the world that elevates us and gives our lives meaning. You are a light in the world. Thank you for reminding me that I can be one too.

  6. says

    Hi Amanda :)

    Yes. I love this blog. I had identified with a spiritual seeker in college. And an unstoppable search happened for me. But this led me to my teacher/guru a few years later who told me to stop searching. That everything I was looking for is right Here. He gave me the tools to see what is Here beyond the story of “me.” And with time I began to really listen to his simple pointing. When we stop paying attention to the thought-clouds and pay attention to the eternal sky (our true nature) we see the peace and fulfillment that is Here, always. We no longer have to look for anything outside of ourselves. Nothing is missing. And we see that everything and everyone is a part of THIS. We are all connected in this Love. This is the freedom that my teacher pointed me to. That I am already free! Always have been and always will be, no matter what dreams or nightmares have been on the surface. And I share this simple invitation with anyone who resonates with it. :) This is a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing yourself in this way.

    In Love & Gratitude,
    Tathina
    (tathina.com)

    • Amanda says

      Thank you so much Tathina for commenting! “I am already free!” That is a reminder I always need. Thank you!

  7. Alexsandra says

    Hi Amanda and all the readers,

    I identified with this text about “end the soul-searching”. After many “espiritual” books, videos, meditation and yoga classes I was trying to attain enlightenment. When books and classes were driving me crazy, I decided give me a break and really put in practice just one teaching from my favorites “espiritual person” such as: Eckhart Tolle – asking “What problem do I have right now?”. This give me, even for a second, to feel relief; Byron Katie – asking “Is that true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true?” and from Pema Chodron, when my mind wanders off, I just come back and notice I was just thinking and say to myself “Thinking!” and I come back to blush my teeth, for example. I used to label I was a advanced in spirituality but I gave myself a break in the name of peace!
    Sorry for my mistakes in English, I am learning.

    Best Wishes,
    Alexsandra

    • Amanda says

      Hi Alexandra! Your English is great ;) Thank you for commenting. I love Byron Katie’s work too! So powerful and happy to hear you’re feeling some peace!

  8. Mariana says

    Hi Amanda!

    I am truly amazed by the way I saw myself in your words! I’ve been having the same thoughts and realizing that I have to stop planing everything and labeling myself, and just go where I fell I want to go right now! Which doesn’t exactly have to be the same thing every single day, or the same thing for the rest of my life.
    Every since I was a little girl I made plans, like long term plans, like what my job whould be, and how I would do to pay for my house, how many kids, which car, etc, I always liked to have everything figured out and decided way ahead, and I think it goes without saying, nothing (or almost nothing) went according to planed. But today, to the surprise of “past Mariana”, it’s ok, and even better! Because I realised that I can’t reduce myself on being only one “thing”. I always wanted to do so many different things, but unfortunately the modules of society got to me and I was convinced I had to choose only one thing to do with my life, forever! Now I believe that I can do a lot of things I love, and like you said, my purpose manifests through them!
    It’s a relief and a joy to see that more people sharing some of my feelings! Thank you so much for putting it out there! And I’m sorry if I wrote too much, I got inspired!

    Mariana

    • Amanda says

      No such thing as writing too much Mariana! Thanks for commenting. Pretty much nothing has gone according to my plan either haha It really makes me smile because looking back, I realized that a lot of things have gone better than I planned. As I always say, less expectation, more exploration! So great to connect with you ;)
      - A

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