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Life Purpose

This week-end I attended a wonderful workshop led by the wonderful Cynthia Winton-Henry. It was about discerning our life purpose. We danced and drew, sang and wrote and told stories – always good ways to learn anything!

Cynthia talked about purpose being a sort of beacon or guiding light that gives your life meaning – even if you aren’t exactly able to articulate it. Your purpose can be discerned partly by what you love to do. What resonates in you? Not so much something you need or want to achieve, but something you want to explore. Something that excites your passion, your excitement over and over. What do you long for? Our life purpose can make us restless. What do you want so much that it is threaded through your life, your body? Cynthia emphasized that it is not necessary to be exactly articulate about this purpose. You have it even when you can’t explain it! But if you can explain it, it becomes a good question for you to hold ... "is this the path of _______________?"

An odd way to get at your purpose is to look at what you do NOT want in your life. Make a list of the things that “peeve” you. And then see, what is underneath those things. What is it that you truly do want?

Your purpose is often different than your talents and your gifts. Those are important also – but they sometimes do not align with what you truly want to do with your life. One of my own gifts seems to be writing and making art. I LOVE doing that. And, I used to think that my life’s purpose was to foster creativity in myself and others. I still think that is VERY important. But, what I came to see over this week-end was that underneath creativity for me is FREEDOM. What I really want for myself and for all others is the capacity to be able to express our gifts, our creativity, our deep desires. And what makes all that possible is to have freedom – I think. That’s it for now anyway. Next year might find me with a different definition of purpose!

I encourage you to spend some time writing, drawing, singing, dancing your way to your deepest underlying longing, purpose!

Here’s something I wrote at the workshop about it all;

Unweave, unravel until

you find the place

of unknowing

where the bitter

can live beside

the beloved.

Where hope shines

like a lit candle

and the poetry

of your purpose

can be tasted.


what you already know.


into the sea

of a different

kind of seeing.

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1 Comment

Cynthia Winton-Henry
Cynthia Winton-Henry
Mar 27, 2023

Beautifully put, Penny! Thank you for your take on the workshop and your deeper purpose. How wonderful that your purpose and mine are part of the same bell choir!

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