This here is a tale of how purpose unfolds, is built or created through ongoing twists and tweaks and acute listening to what makes us come alive.
I started a hair salon despite my general loathing of the beauty industry. In part my motivation was rebellion. I wanted to bring depth and community to the salon experience and to people’s relationship to their own aesthetic expression.
Beauty, as an industry, is so horrifically superficial and while many may retort with ‘duh, it’s the beauty industry, that’s what it’s all about’, I call bullshit. Beauty is anything but superficial. Beauty is about expression, art, radiance and connection between light and the beholder.
And that’s why our salon’s promise was to create a comfortable environment where our client’s would be listened to and understood, aligning their interior expression with their external aesthetic.
We weren’t out to just replicate the fashion or make our client’s look like their favourite celebrity, we were out help people express the qualities that they had stirring within them, through their look.
While I loved this work at the time, it’d take some radical circumstances to get me behind a stylist’s chair again. But what’s most fascinating for me to look back upon is that my purpose then was as my purpose is now- only wearing a very different outfit.
My art, my work during this time was aligning interior expression with external aesthetics. As the salon grew in its success and staff, this purpose expanded.
I became very interested in the creative expression of each stylist, aiming to create a company culture whereby each stylist could really express themselves fully, bring all of who they were to their work and help shape the culture and the workplace such that it truly supported them in loving their work.
It was during this time, in my early twenties, when I discovered Integral Theory, which reduced to a point for the purpose of this post, is a map to explain the entirety of the human experience. What was so exciting about this for me is that it gave me language for so much of what I was trying to do- in particular a map of our interior and exterior selves.
Fast-forward a decade and I’d built and sold the salon, consulted with business owners (with a piqued interest in their values and culture- interior aspects their company) and was trained as an Integral Coach™.
Over the past few years my coaching practice has grown in a way that almost has a magical quality to it, which I attribute to being so aligned with my own sense of purpose. That is, bringing what most wants to be expressed from deep within my being to the work I’m doing in the world, as I help others do just that.
What I find super cool is that to look at my work history from the outside, they may look like different jobs: Hair Stylist, Business Consultant, Integral Coach™- and the actual observable work is quite different, but the same thread weaves through them all- closing the gap between what stirs within and what gets produced in the world.
Over the past year I’ve worked with upwards of 50 one on one clients and as I continue to pay attention to what energizes and excites me about this work I can feel my direction for what’s next refining. And again, the same thread runs through.
I love to help people tune deeply into their sense of calling and bring that out into the world. More and more, I see people become deeply fulfilled and be of great service as an emphasis is put on bringing the spiritual dimensions of who they are into the most practical aspects of life.
And this is how I see that some of the complex problems of our world may get solved. As we develop ourselves to bring all of who we are to our life’s work, to show up for the events of our lives and the needs of this world with as much of our unique selves as possible, we end up with more skin in the game and expand our individual and collective creative potential.
The most exciting part of my work now is working with people on a mission, leaders with a cause, people who want to get shit done and produce extraordinary results on behalf of all of us, in service of this whole glorious planet and all who inhabit it.
The purpose that gets to be expressed now, as before, is closing that gap between our interior Selves and our exterior expression and manifestation of that Self.
Back in the day, when my first career took off, how I would have articulated my Life’s Purpose would not have been how I see it now. Many of us look to answer that question by looking at what we should be doing, what work or industry we’d feel most fulfilled in. But I see purpose as an expression of Self, the form of which is malleable. Being able to articulate or point to what our purpose is can only happen as we’re living it, as we say- yes, this.
Our Life’s Purpose isn’t found, it’s woven with a common but unique thread as we move through life with our attention on being who we really are.