What, exactly, does it mean to live with purpose? And who decides? And who who decides what your purpose happens to be? In my work I regularly ask people to pull out their phones and pull out their calendars and bank account app (those of us who aren’t quite there pull out our calendars and checkbooks). I can take one look at your time and money expenditures for the past three months and tell you what’s important to you … what you value … what your values are.
And, oh my, how a lot of folks hate that little exercise. They want to argue that it’s not an accurate way to assess one’s values. Often I have to explain that values are what we live, not necessarily what we want. I would love to tell you I value being healthy but if you look at me closely you might see that I value good food I don’t have to cook – and if you were to look at my checkbook and calendar, you would see they reflect that (= charges at restaurants and appointments at those restaurants with friends).
You’d also see I haven’t quite yet achieved the habit of healthy eating, let alone being healthy. I have to confess it’s not been on the top of my list and if I’m going to take seriously living well through my LOACA years, I’d better get away and do a little redressing of my values and redirection of my priorities.
I’ve found, too, that those who pushback hardest are those who don’t like their evidenced values or who otherwise wish, or had been thinking, they were living the life they wanted others to see. The words real and authentic are words we toss around a lot these days, but I want to draw us back to that word, that thought, that idea, the concept of purpose … being and living out the person we were created to be.
Few argue that we are here for a reason. We’re not here on Earth by mistake. Each of us has a Purpose. We were born with it; but life and living can co-opt and often steal our Purpose, or at least our pursuit of it. Are you living as the who you wanted to be when you were a little girl? You may not be doing, nor ever had the opportunity to do, what you said you wanted to do when you were a little girl. [And that makes me think about the way that question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” links our being to what we do, not to who we are.] But are you being the best of that little girl? Have you grown up to be the best version of you, or are you still growing in to you?
What’s your purpose? How are you living it out? How are you living into it?
Are you living life or is life living you?
Are you ready to get on with it? Are you ready to become, be, and live out the who you really are, the you who was with you when you entered into this world?
It may sound ironic that I’m talking about birth here on a page for women whose child-bearing years have come, or are coming, to a close. I read somewhere that in some respects our menopausal bodies are like our pre-menstrual bodies in that we’ve become free from the cycling that comes with monthly cycles. I like that. And I like to think, too, that we can reclaim and regain the wonder and fun and dreams that childhood was designed to hold. A lot of us had to grow up too quickly; we lost our childhoods at much too young an age.
But here, in our LOACA years, we can draw on the wisdom and courage we’ve been acquiring across all these years. We’re ready – at least our most innermost being is ready and has been waiting for us – to get on with it, to take charge of our lives, to catch and create opportunities, to access all our life wants to offer us, and to age without getting old. It’s time, Ladies!
What will you do this month to move a few steps closer to living most fully into or out of your purpose? Head on over to our Facebook Page and let us know!
Kris Tenny-Brittian is a 60-year old LOACA who loves to see people smile and hear them laugh. Her purpose in life is to equip, empower, and encourage others to be who they were created to be. She is Mom to three adult humans and three Old English Sheepdogs; Grandma/Momma to three Grandboys who are 9.5, 14, and 15 years old; and Wife to Bill Tenny-Brittian. Professionally, she’s an ordained minister; spiritual counselor/ coach/ consultant; adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She’s spending this season of her LOACA years entrepreneuring; throughly enjoying the time she gets with her Grandboys and her children (whom she spent too many years sacrificing on the altar of “professional establishment”); and learning how to incorporate the art of LOACA Living into her daily life. And, oh, she almost forgot: she’s loving being the CEO of LOACA Life, LLC!