Ten years ago (just after I finished High School), I started to really struggle with finding myself, my purpose, and figuring out how I could contribute to making the world a better place. Because I really wanted to.
But I had no clue how.
So I did the ‘next best thing’, i.e. I started studying Psychology in the pursuit to find what makes us humans behave and think the way we do. First a Bachelor Degree in Heidelberg, Germany. Followed by a Masters Degree in The Netherlands. Next on the agenda: a reputable PhD position in Switzerland.
Higher. Better. Faster. More.
The thing I didn’t notice: I was unconsciously running away from myself – my passions, my desires, my basic human need for belonging. I was chasing external validation over internal satisfaction.
Almost five years ago, I reached a point where I had created a completely distorted relationship with myself that left me feeling depleted, unworthy, and longing for a different way that I didn’t entirely think was possible – not in the way our culture operates.
My life looked “perfect” from the outside. But I was silently suffering deep inside. I was running low on energy while being paid for a job that I hated. My eating disorder, that I had struggled with as a teenager, returned…. My body was eventually close to giving up – forever.
I’ll spare you the details here, but you can feel free to read more about what happened next on my blog: how my dad came to ‘rescue’ me, how I quit my job, ended up in Mama Bali, attained my first Yoga teacher training, started studying holistic nutrition and eventually created my soul mission: About the Good Life!
I started About the Good Life because I was curious.
About myself, others, and the world.
(Re)discovering your purpose starts with curiosity
Curiosity meant the willingness to look deep within myself and get familiar with whoever was hiding under the habits, patterns, and conditioning I picked up while growing up.
It was then that the real journey started. And it was then that I learned: Being human is not hard because you are doing it wrong. It is hard because you compare it with everyone you think is doing it right. The truth is, we are all doing it right, you just need to change the idea that we are supposed to do it like anyone else.
So I stopped saying yes to things that didn’t light me up. I stopped trying to fit into the mold that society told me I had to fit into. I finally stopped pretending that I was ‘fine’ and able to ‘do it all alone’!
And instead, I reached out for support and let myself be guided on a deeply transformative journey of self-discovery. I let myself be vulnerable and got really, really honest with myself.
A lot has happened to that little girl. So many tears have been lost. So many moments of questioning everything – including herself. I am not who I used to be and I am not yet where I want to be. I am still on my journey, but today, knowing that I don’t have to ‘do it all alone’ gives me so much peace.
Who I will be in a month? A year? A decade?
But today, five years after I almost lost my live, I can finally say that I am not afraid of the unknown anymore. I am not afraid of external change, because I have finally found a home within.
And that is a beautiful place to be.
Our entire lives we search for meaning, for answers, for something to show us which way to go, a map drawn out just for us. Our moments of inspiration is the map. These are the markers, the landing points for us to explore.
Your purpose is nothing you ‘find’.
It’s nothing to suddenly stumble upon. It’s something to harness, cultivate, and re-discover – moment by moment.
And it changes, as you change.
Your purpose is you – being you, for you, as you are, now.
Albert Einstein was once asked to explain his genius. His answer: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
Curious and passionate people rarely find life boring because there is always something new to explore and discover. Maintaining a sense of curiosity allows us to bounce back from life’s everyday trials, knowing that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn. Any event can be turned into something fascinating by looking at a situation through a different lens, or giving your attention to something you would normally miss.
I believe that each of us carries some wisdom waiting to be discovered at the center of our experience, and everything we meet, if faced and held, reveals a part of that wisdom.
Your purpose is formed, not found.
Your purpose is created, not stumbled across.
It is fluid, yet deeply rooted in your inner state of being.
I believe that when we allow ourselves to drop into and listen to our inner wisdom, everything around us starts to shift.
The world around you is like a magnificent library, filled with fascinating stories and useful information. Stay curious.
You, my dear, are the purpose.
Start believing in you.
I sure do.
What I’ve discovered through personal experience is that being lost is where we learn so much about who we are and what we want. We stop following the blueprint we were given or modelled and finally start to ask ourselves who we are and what it is we trulywant to do with this one precious life.
It’s an uncharted territory. That’s why it feels so scary for us. But the truth is: sometimes we need to get lost to ‘find’ ourselves.
I know too well that the shedding of the old and waiting for the new is probably the most scary. You feel lonely, lost, as if there is something wrong with you even. It’s just like taking an airplane from one country to another. You’ll lose grounding during the transition. But just as you get on that plane because you know it will take you to new land, so too will this journey bring you to a new place, new ground, and one where you’ll be grateful you made the journey for. Hang in there my dear. You are worth this journey. And there is much wisdom to be found. Here. Now.⠀
Sounds way too overwhelming? Don’t worry…
That’s exactly why I created the Total Transformation Program – a 12-week program designed based on my own experience on that turning point of my life years ago. In it, I teach the process I learned and continue to implement into my daily life for how to harness the power of your inner wisdom by taking you on a journey from your head to your heart and through your body so that you can remember, embrace & embody all of who you are.
With so much love, Nila
Ps: If you are looking for a simple, yet effective, tool to cultivate a more nourishing and loving relationship with yourself, feel free to have a look at the GOOD LIFE Journal that I created for people like me and you 🕊