What does "Purpose" mean to you?
I’ve been thinking about “purpose,” and what it means to do work in the world that’s aligned with your purpose. I hear that term a lot - it gets thrown around in the entrepreneurship and self-help worlds, but I’ve found it hard to grasp.
I know when I was stuck at my computer 8-10 hours a day in an office with no windows inside a warehouse earning my six figure salary selling things I didn’t care about to people I didn’t know, I sure as hell couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of work with purpose (insert vomit emoji).
I was on the merry-go-round and it felt completely purposeless. Get up, go to work, go to yoga (thank god for yoga), go home, do some more work/watch some brainless TV, go to bed, repeat. 10 freaking years. Some of us do it for 50 freaking years.
I’m so glad my feeling of stuck-ness got so bad that I couldn’t breathe any more, because I had no choice but to change it.
I’ve learned so much over the past 4 years, but I think the most important thing is this idea of seeking out purpose. Which now means listening to the things that light me up inside — things that scare me, excite me, bring me joy, even bring me extreme discomfort or an immediate “hell no” reaction - even the things we are averted to are there to teach us something. Things that light us up are guiding lights. They’re arrows pointing us in the direction we should go. Follow them and purpose starts to get pieced together.
Most of you know, but if you’re new here it’s relevant to know that I changed my life drastically in 2015. I gave up the cush career and followed my love of yoga to teach for $35/class in Los Angeles, one of the biggest (and also most saturated) markets in the world for yoga teachers.
I left a 5-year toxic relationship.
I recovered from a drug addiction.
I took over a yoga studio and became a business owner, and now run two businesses that really mean something to me.
I took enormous leaps of faith, jumped in head first (multiple times) even though I was scared shitless, gave myself no “Plan B” and just believed that if I took the leap, it would all be ok.
On the other side of that was a soul-deep freedom that I didn’t know existed. Whatever your particular situation, if I can make a change, so can you. I truly believe that and it fires me up to help you believe that you can too!
I started leading retreats because I wanted to travel, and I always loved summer camp growing up (why should adults not have summer camp!?!?), so I wanted to bring groups of people together for a week of fun and yoga and adventure. But since then it’s morphed into something much more meaningful. It turns out that bringing groups of people together for fun and yoga and adventure was just setting the scene for the bigger purpose to come to light.
Somehow, starting with our first retreat in 2016, many of the people who found their way to us were in some kind of transition and in need of that boost of self-confidence that only a week-long immersion into a bucket of love could bring. We saw such incredible growth from every person who joined us that I finally understood. All these tiny little things that had been lighting me up all along had led me to this big giant one.
It became very clear that our retreats are meant to help others change their lives in some way. And that my purpose of helping people break through the feeling of being a passenger in their own lives can and does speak to more than just me.
Over the past four years, we’ve witnessed:
people struggling in a career that makes them money but not happy, realize that the little passion project they never thought would work actually has real viable business potential - and leave with a logo, URL and instagram account ready to roll :)
people who had struggled with diet and exercise their whole lives show up to daily workout sessions and find the inner strength and motivation to continue working out when they got home. We got updates of continued workouts and weight loss post-retreat! <3
people recovering from the loss of someone very close, getting to process with the support of others while they began to make peace with their loss and gathered the courage to move forward.
people on the edge of major decisions about their relationships & marriages get really clear about whether to stay or whether to go, but either way, confident that they would THRIVE!
People have found the inspiration to create change in their lives, the courage to make the decisions that will lead to the change, and the confidence to know they’ve got this. They’ve ,quit the job, taken the offer, let go of anger and resentment, started their own business, got over their fear of heights (and insects), and believed in their power to change and to create their own happiness.
Over and over, people have gone home with a deeper sense of clarity, a new dose of confidence and a handful of new things that light them up. Some even with a renewed sense of purpose.
That being said, rule #1 is “you do you,” so there’s always room to just come and retreat and chill and have fun. You don’t have to be going through something to have an amazing time.
But if we’re honest, we’re all kind of struggling with something. There is usually a space in all of our psyches that we could spend a little time observing, nurturing and befriending.
What better way to work through some of the hard stuff than with a group of people who get it?
Taking time away for yourself is awesome. But taking time away for yourself with a purpose is even better.