That’s the sum total of it: love. I’m glad you pointed that out. 😊

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Really enjoyed this - purpose is a topic I think about often and until recently very much felt the weight of 'out there'. I've come to appreciate the reframe from seeking a purpose to living purposefully - moving with a sense of intentionality. For me that's come through connecting to who I really am and who I want to be for those I love then focusing on the expression of that in the little moments.

Within that there's a sense of agency and it's alleviated the gravitas of 'purpose'. Thank you for putting this out in the world - it's such an impactful conversation.

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You're very welcome, Jesse. I love what you said here: "seeking a purpose to living purposefully". Well said.

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I understand the quest for purpose and also the answer.

We, as humans, are always looking for perfection in our lives. We seem to believe that if we achieve a better job, more money, we can buy better things, bigger house,

a newer car then we'll be happier, but, this is not the answer. This is not what God wants for us. God wants us to love Him and to love others. In this way we will love ourselves much more and this is our purpose. By living this way you will achieve happiness, trust, peace and success. God is on your side... trust Him.

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Thanks, Kevin, for your response.

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I cannot love this post more. I will read it a few times to let it really sink in. I am 56 years old this month and I am still asking the question, who am I?

“what you’re really looking for—and what you’ve always been looking for—is how to be the truest expression of your Self.”

⬆️ That!

Since childhood I have delivered the perfect child, sister, adolescent, working adult, and I have failed to express who I really am.

Not being myself has caused anxiety, depression, and failure in specific areas of my life. It make me sad to think about it now. I often think: Is it too late to course correct?

Sometimes I wonder if I am afraid or embarrassed by who I really am, so I keep that part of Corrie hidden from view. I am not even sure how to express all of me.

I love the analogy of burning the ancestral ships. Yep, that’s what I gotta do. Burn ‘em down , baby, and rebuild.

I recently posted in Facebook that I am working towards starting my life over - from a different perspective. I am going to let the real me be the architect and builder.

Thank you so much for this. It is what I needed to start off this weekend.

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I’m so thrilled this encouraged you! I think this journey of discovering who and what we are is the only thing any of us are really doing.

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Sep 30, 2023Liked by Kevin Kaiser

I agree, Maggie. Since coming to know Jesus Christ I have come to know and understand who I am, and my purpose - to glorify God with my life. This life is temporary- a vapour but we do have an eternal soul, and I am so grateful for God's redeeming love ❤️❤️

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I'm certainly drawn to The Rewilded Soul. My purpose, I feel, is to help others through writing. In books, competition is fierce. The sea of blogs and articles is dizzying (I'm here through a recommendation by Jeff Goins). Evidence of my writing having helped anyone is so sparse as to beg the question, "What's the point?" Yet one topic in particular on which I write is both important and in the news daily - nearly always presented incorrectly.

As a Self being a creature of mountains, woodlands, and waterfalls in pursuit of farming, ranching, and writing, I feel I am aware of my Purpose, but the goal of helping others has thus far fallen flat, with small bits of accomplishment here and there. Dislike of self-promotion is a common drawback for writers, many of whom prefer to live a quiet, introverted life. I know that it is not my purpose to give up in despair. Yet, I've been mired by the feeling that if I'm not making a positive impact, then what's the point. I should know better, yet I remain stuck.

Distraction in pursuit of "things" isn't a problem. I felt more connected with my true self when unemployed and living off the grid under primitive conditions, than I do now in the same location, on the grid with electricity, refrigeration, and central heat. Do we have to strip down to the bottom level of Maslow's Needs Pyramid in order to find connection to our True Self? (I’ve written about that, too.)

There's a difference between knowing or finding or being one's true self and pursuing one's true purpose, if that purpose extends beyond the self. Helping others may require an Other who is receptive to what you have to offer. If there's a wall of un-receptivity or naivete' or simple unawareness, the necessary connection can't be made. The It-Doesn't-Matter swamp grows larger yet another day. How does the self get out of that swamp and get beyond the wall of unawareness?

Thank you,


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Thanks for sharing your perspective, Paula. Over the years I've asked the same questions. I spent nearly a decade in entertainment management working with successful artists and celebrities who "made it" commercially.

When an audience loved their work, they felt purposeful and important. Whenever a critic panned their work, they often felt like their life was meaningless. Sometimes this happened within the same hour! Did their purpose evaporate? Did their audience (the Other) give them a purpose? If it did, what happens when the audience goes away, as they always do? Or what if the critic changes their mind? Did the artist regain their purpose?

I don't think there is a difference between knowing/finding/being our True Self and our purpose. We are our purpose, and it cannot be found Out There because there is no "it" at all. We are our purpose in same way that the purpose of a lion is to be itself. You might say it is a verb as much as it is a noun--it is "lioning" in the same way that you are Paula-ing.

We have been taught that isn't enough, though. We'd been told to look for our sense of purpose in what we do (even if that doing is helping others) and how others respond to what we do, whether in a supportive or critical way. It's simply not true.

The key, in my opinion, is to know your inherent worth absolutely. Only then, from that place of knowing, can you turn your attention to creating, serving, and building in the world. The difference is, you are creating from the abundance of who you are rather than a sense of emptiness that you look to others to help fill. I hope that's helpful. I can hear and feel your deep love for creating in your words. I hope you can find the clarity you desire.

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Thank you for your insight, Kevin - I really appreciate the time you took to respond! Your reply provided some clarity, and I hope I'm not too tired to be coherent.

It sounds as though some "letting go" may be involved. Being one's self and living one's true purpose is perhaps akin to giving a gift. When presenting a gift to someone, the giver must let go at the moment the gift changes hands. It is no longer any business of the giver what the recipient does or doesn't do with the item bestowed upon them.

My mother used to place conditions on some of the presents she gave, once even taking back a present she had given my daughter, after my daughter did something (I don't recall what) that my mother didn't like. Feeling deeply that this was wrong, I gave my daughter a duplicate.

In the case of this current topic, rather than giving a thing to a specific individual, we're gifting the world, the universe, with our self, with our expression of our purpose, to the extent to which we're able. That being - that expression of self - has value regardless of how it is or isn't received by an Other. While being, in the act of letting our essence out into the world, we let it go. Think of dropping a pebble into a quiet pond, or a minnow momentarily touching the still surface from below. That action, even as a gentle touch, creates a ripple - a waveform - that propagates outward across the surface of the pond.

The pebble or the minnow does not judge its self-worth based on the size of the wave nor on the distance it will travel. It may not know or care about the ripple at all.

The pebble or the minnow still is what it is and does what it does, regardless of whether it ever creates another ripple on the surface of the pond and regardless of the effect - if any - of the first one.

But by golly, I'd still like to have a positive impact during my lifetime in the world!

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Hi Paula. I appreciate what you have brought and this thread. I am diving in and slogging around a bit today in the midst of some of these questions. I have written about life's purpose and meaning and it is a strange place, to be dropping ripples of offerings into the world. At times I love it. At times, I feel I am still in the process of evolving what I write about...which is always true if I am truly growing I imagine... And at times, I wonder about my own wounding and how to heal it...how to value myself more and if this has anything to do with all that you and Kevin are writing about above. I find myself sitting with questions today, with a foggy brain, which I think you mention as well. I am aware that I am God's prayer. I am aware that there are subtle beings guiding me. I am aware that my writing does something. That those ripples are real regardless of whether it is obvious or not. I imagine sometimes it is the unseen, not-famous ripples that have the biggest effect. Just as I have learned that a more subtle healing modality, is often very powerful. I just followed you and look forward to seeing something you have written pop into my inbox. Maybe a post on writer/life brain fog would be helpful from you or Kevin? I got here through Jeff as well. And I notice Christian threads and themes a bit in some of the comments, which makes sense as I think that is part of Jeff's background. I volunteered today at a place in El Salvador that is Christian based. Sometimes, I just feel alone. My concept and experience of God, Jesus, Mary, Angels...is my own thing. I can see how comforting it would be to follow a traditional religious path and have a divine authority to oversee things for me. I do feel that, but not in the way it shows up here on Earth. I was remembering a Jesuit priest I loved as a child and how pure and beautiful and kind he felt to me. Some people at this place today felt like that. Later, I learned of things he had done that I do not resonate with . At all. There is something gritty about living an authentic life. And a mother who bestows and takes away gifts. Well, what a challenge to navigate such energy. What happens when we can't receive a gift because it is not trustable it is really given? How does that affect one's offering? I feel lately like I am wading through my root chakra, which I assume you will understand as I saw some people you follow when I signed up for your blog. It is not easy. It makes me sleepy. I want to add audio to my blog. I thought I would put it behind a paywall because that is what people do isn't it? Monetize things...as a stab at security. And you write about this regarding your off-grid life and how much more secure it felt without "secure" things. It is an enigma. I realize I saw Kevin's posts are offered in audio, for free, and that it feels so nice that way to me. And I am hiring a coach and starting to put money as well as time and energy into my own blog. It is an interesting journey. I just know, that from reading what you offered here, it feels to me that you are living a life of ripples that matter and I am glad they are coming through your writing, and to me through the comments here during day two of brain-fog in El Salvador. I hope in some way, you feel received in the best way, whatever that means.

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Ah, purpose, the bugaboo of the soulless self. I flagellated myself for years, lamenting the fact that I hadn't been granted one, when the real problem was that I hadn't learned to listen—or talk, to myself.

"You exist so you may know and be your Self." My own, very similar version of this is that purpose is "to be yourself as much as possible," something I've written about at length, in the context of the Grail myth: https://bowendwelle.substack.com/p/the-false-grail

I also love how Garry Shandling expressed this, in his *Zen Diaries* documentary:

“Your material is purely a vehicle for you to express your spirit. It doesn’t have any value beyond you expressing yourself in a very soulful, spiritual way. It’s why you’re on the planet.”

“Your style is ‘Garry’” “Be more yourself than ever. Don’t force. Just be Garry.”

“I looked in the mirror the other day and I thought, my God, I’m turning into Garry Shandling—and I did not see that coming.”

Just coming across your writing Kevin; we could have a lot to talk about!

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When " I let go "of the corporate world and from a job I was pressured into by my father, and let go of the "materialistic" view of life, I started to follow my joy and found I was being guided by "something bigger than me".

I welcomed what ever turned up in my life and followed it with curiousity...I let life flow through me, which brought me happiness as was naturally led to several places which felt like my calling.

I also tunned into my body and connected with the part of self which was light and free, and it felt like "home".

I have experienced, if you connect with the body, love and nuture it to superior health, you find you are able to release past emotional trauma. Being connected to the body, you are able to feel and tune into what is tense, painful and stressed, and by feeling into the those areas, you can release trapped emotional trauma and this makes your body feel lighter. You are able then to connect with the part of your self which is your true self, the real you, not the false self you designed that was the people pleaser, the conformist to others ideas of a perfect life. You are able live from a place of authenticity

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Brilliant perspective. Thanks so much for sharing this.

It's so true ... we learn from the time we're young what our parents, friends, extended family, community, and so-called authority figures consider to be the master blueprint to life. But it's often not until everything falls apart or we're thrust headlong into some kind of serious life-changing event that we learn the answers to our purpose do not lie outside of us - but inside. I am just now really learning this myself (at 53), as I find myself rebuilding and understanding myself yet again. I went through some very difficult times in my mid-twenties after a period of serious loss and trial - but this is something else entirely. There is a sense that the stakes are higher, there is less time, and the challenges are more intense. But this time I find myself on a much more spiritual path and I'm able to draw strength from what I've learned. It's becoming clear that what I've done (and who I've been) to get myself here will not get me to where I want to go.

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