Finding Our Sense of Purpose, a Place to Stand
I write to you while traveling in New Zealand. Exploring another culture I’m always curious about the soul of the people. The Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) have a term “turangawaewae” to express what all humans desire but few languages have a word for, the sense that our life is purposeful, fulfilling and that we have a place to stand.
I learned about turangawaewae when reading the story of a local painter and outdoor enthusiast. She takees multi-month kayaking journeys along the shores of New Zealand and paints what she sees in these remote parts of the coastline. In combining these two passions she she’d found her turangawaewae, her place to stand. The concept is defined as, “places where we feel especially empowered and connected… our foundation, our place in the world, our home.”
Finding one’s turangawaewae is a challenge for the majority of people I know. Even those with a clear and early artistic expression, talent or passion often struggle with feeling at peace creating space for it in their lives. Society conditions us that our purpose should be actualized in a job, financial pressures take priority over life balance, and we generally don’t receive any guidance from family, school or society regarding discovery of places we feel empowered and connected. We desire turangawaewae but don’t have a word for it in the English language or guidance to discover it.
If turangawaewae came easy maybe we wouldn’t value it or as someone once said, if you see a path ahead of you and each step to take, know that it’s not your path. It’s someone elses path. Your path only gets revealed one moment at a time, one choice at a time, as you live it. Suddenly you realize you’ve arrived somewhere even if you didn’t see that your experiences were adding up to somthing. You know its your turangawaewae because you’re at peace for longer periods of time, feeling empowered and on solid ground.
As I look back at my own journey to turangawaewae it was never a clear path. I was always curious about the spiritual world, what is unseen in the universe. From as early as I can remember I felt a deep sense of fulfillment from writing. As a young girl some of my sweetest memories are of writing poetry and prose among the grass and daffodils in our front pasture. But I often struggled with how these aspects of myself fit into what I was creating with my life and purpose.
I was attracted to self-reflect and heal incongruencies in my heart and mind as a teenager. This led me on a path of working with many spiritual, physical and psychological healing modalities. Then in my late 20’s I made a choice to learn healthier boundaries around my psychic experience, not even knowing how to define it at the time. I started clairvoyant training to help myself translate what I was experiencing and feel more at peace when in the the presence of others who were suffering.
Throughout my life I unconsciously empathically felt the energy or emotions of people around me. I often didn’t know when I felt bad that what I was absorbing or responding to in someone around me. For example, if I worked with a person who was depressed or angry, it would drain my energy.
For seven years off-and-on I took classes and regularly applied the tools for myself, becoming more and more clear on what I felt and what I was sensing around me. Feeling less and less drained or “off” from the energy of those I encountered. Eventually I was inspired to take the full clairvoyant certification training, again not planning to do something with it beyond using the knowledge to inform my own life experience and vanquish lingering doubts I had regarding my intuition.
The program had both a training and practicum component. Learning the tools, then applying them with other students or those who came to the school for student readings. I also began to share what I learned with friends outside of the classroom. I found it exceptionally fulfilling at the end of each reading to have shared what I had to offer to another soul as they were looking within to find more peace in their life.
In parallel I had been writing in the format of a personal blog for years when I found I was writing about self-reflective concepts, my passion for the soul’s experience and intuition. Combining these two expressions has brought me a deeper sense of inner-peace and fulfillment. Now over nearly 15 years after starting down the path of clairvoyant training and many more years of writing, I feel I have I had found my turangawaewae, the place where I feel the most purpose, empowered and connected both with my own essense and with others.
Thank you for sharing in such clear and understandable words something that we all want but often can’t define. It’s interesting that after Roger’ stroke I felt led to find us other living arrangements and found a place for us a Stoneybrook Lodge. I felt a strong love for many of the elderly residents right away and feel very much at home here after 3 weeks. I don’t know how long we will be here, but for now, being Roger’s caregiver and living among an elderly group of fine citizens (many of whom are over 90 years old), seems to be just where I belong.
I am so grateful to you for sharing your reflective journaling. I have only felt peaceful and at home in one place on this planet, and I have been trying to get back there for years.