When I turned 27 I experienced what felt like a quarter life crisis. I felt anxious and nervous almost everyday and I didn't know why. The symptoms I experienced were knots in my stomach, tension, inability to focus, irritation. Sometimes it would even be difficult for me to be in social settings, it got so bad that even ordering at a restaurant was hard. I almost didn't know who I was anymore, I felt stuck and I was close to falling into a depression. It was as if all the emotions I didn't deal with before came up to the surface, quickly and at the same time. Sometimes the emotions were so intense that I couldn't do the day to day activities.
Prior to this experience I already felt nervous and anxious, but I thought it was normal. I would bury these intense emotions with shopping, traveling, going out with friends etc. I never took the time to work on my emotions and heal them because I didn't know how. It wasn't until one year my sister told me "If you ever experience sadness, anxiety for a long period of time, it's not normal, and it's ok to get help or see a therapist." When she told me that I felt some kind of relief and hope. I never thought of seeing a therapist or getting help because being vulnerable and seeing a therapist was never talked about when I was growing up. Mental health was and still is a taboo in my culture, especially in the older generations. I didn't think it was normal to get help, I thought if I get help I must be mentally ill or crazy.
I didn't give up hope, and instead of burying my intense emotions with external pleasure and going down the wrong path, I decided to question it and do everything I could to heal. I didn't want to feel anxious or nervous all the time, I wanted to feel at peace.
So I started my healing journey by seeing my first therapist, it was very conventional, it did help in a way, but I didn't see the healing I needed. I wanted an overnight miraculous change and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there, but it was costly. I was in a very vulnerable and desperate state and If I knew a pill or program could help me I would take it. As much as I wanted a miracle to happen, and heal overnight, God had a different plan for me, it would take a few years before I saw the changes that I prayed so hard for. I would pray day and night for help. I mean I was waking up feeling anxious and if there was ever a slight moment I felt peace I would feel weirded out. And wanted to feel anxious again. It's weird how the body works, right?
I tried yoga, I received prayers by the most respected pastors and healers, I went on an 11 day mediation retreat, 1 year coaching program(it was expensive), I saw naturopathic doctors, natural medicine, positive affirmations, TRE etc
Did it work? Yes it did, but it didn't happen overnight, it took a couple of years before I started seeing the healing I wanted.
While the emotions were intense, in the moment I didn't realize that they were preparing me for my purpose. That is the beauty of difficult times in life, sometimes we want to avoid them, resist them and wish they didn't exist. But our trials prepare us for our future.
While I was feeling anxious and nervous all the time, I was still determined to figure out my purpose in life. I knew I was passionate about health and wellness but I had a lot of self-doubt and I didn't have the confidence I needed to believe that it was my life purpose. I thought this can't be what I love and if it is how can I ever make a living out of it. I mean the sabotaging thoughts were REAL! It was very difficult to figure out what I wanted to do in life because I didn't know myself enough. I really had to dig deep and figure out what my values were, what I enjoyed doing, etc. The sabotaging thoughts prevented me from going for my dreams.
In my downtime I spent a lot of time doing personal work such as personal development guides that asked a lot of questions about my strengths, values, what I enjoy doing during my spare time, etc. I started to see a pattern and noticed that my answers were the same. That's how I slowly discovered my purpose, to serve the community and to help people heal. Health and wellness + serving the community, ok things started to makes more sense!
Once I had a more clear idea of what I wanted to do, I started taking steps towards pursuing my passion. But there was one thing I remember holding me back. I thought my life had to be perfect in order to start. I thought I had to be at peace to be able to follow my purpose. In 2016 I was living in LA, I got a part-time job as a "Health-Promoter" at a non-profit organization. I picked this job because I wanted to be involved in health and wellness and see if I liked the work. I remember struggling a lot. One day I was invited to a yoga festival in Joshua Tree, I thought why not, I will be volunteering and at the same time I can check it out. At the festival there was a TRE(Tension Release Exercise) class and it read "release tension and anxiety". I was all for it. While doing the class I remember my anxiety starting to ease away and I felt really calm afterwards. After the class, the teacher asked if anyone wanted to know more about the class to go to the front. I immediately went up, and I wanted to learn more about it and get certified in TRE and now teach others.
After getting certified I moved back to Merced, CA, during that time my father was ill and I decided to work in Merced to help take care of him. While I was helping take care of him the idea of starting a juice bar kept coming back. I had been wanting to do this since before I moved to LA. My real sign came when I won a juicer from a giveaway on Instagram. As soon as I got it I began thinking of testing recipes, then I thought about testing the market and promoting my menu on FB. I immediately got sales and knew there was a market for it. I slowly began gaining confidence, I realized that doing what made me feel uncomfortable strengthened my confidence. By conquering my fears it gave me the courage to conquer the next challenge. And I kept making the choices that would scare me and little by little I gained enough confidence to open my first juice bar in 2020.
It was not easy to discover my passion and life purpose. I had to do a lot of deep evaluations but I didn't rest and I kept searching. I thought that it was supposed to come naturally. Discovering your purpose takes work, it doesn't happen overnight.
Steps to discovering your purpose:
1. Discover your strengths:
Knowing your strengths will let you know more about what you're naturally good at. If you have trouble discovering your strengths, ask 2-3 people to describe what you do best. Sometimes getting an outside perspective can help us learn about ourselves.
Personality test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp
2. What are your core values?
Core values are important, they’ll help you determine what types of choices you’ll end up making everyday. Each decision you have to make in your life will depend on what it is that you value. By knowing our core values it can also help us determine what type of career we want, where we want to live, what types of things we want to be involved in, what we want to spend our time on, where our money goes, etc. Our core values are what keeps us grounded on what’s important to us.
Example of core values: integrity, commitment, reliability, communication, positivity, etc
A.)Name one of your deepest core values and why it serves you and the world.
3. Defining Your Passion:
Here are questions that will help you dig a little deeper so that you can learn more about what you like spending your time on.
What can you do over and over again without getting bored or weary?
Revisit your childhood. What did you love to do or play?
Make a "creativity board."- fill it with things you find yourself loving to do.
Make a list of people who are where you want to be.
4. Make a vision board:
Once you’ve learned your strengths, your core values, your passion, it’s time to put it in front of you where you can see it everyday.
Health & Wellness: Ex: I will start working out 3xs a week by doing strength training & cardio. I will start eating healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables. By eating these foods I will have the energy to think clearly and fulfill my life’s purpose. My body deserves to feel energetic and healthy.
Spirituality & Service: Ex: I want to develop a stronger relationship with God by praying every night, reading the Bible once a week, and attending church once a week. This is important to me because it will allow me to follow my intuition. Following my intuition will allow me to do the work wants me to do to serve other people.
Relationships: Ex: I want to have a stronger relationship with my siblings by hanging out with them once a week. Having a strong relationship with my siblings is important because___________.
Success/Business: Ex: I want to have a business of my own serving healthy food options where there are food deserts. Serving healthy food options to communities in need is important to me because everyone deserves to eat healthy no matter what background they come from.
Confidence & Personal Growth: Ex: I want to practice self confidence by telling myself kind words such as I’m strong, powerful, beautiful, etc. This is important to me because I want to feel confident in social settings. Being confident in social settings is important to me because I want to connect with other people.
Wealth & Finances: Ex: I want to own my own house in the next 5 years. I will achieve this by working on a natural product that will sell nationwide. Having a house is important to me because I can have my own rules.
Craft & Creativity: Ex: I want to express my creativity through painting. Creativity is important to me because it will allow me to come up with creative ideas for my business.
6. Mission Statement:
Write one and frame it! You are the designer of your life!
Write a mission statement for yourself. You are the CEO of your life. What would you like it to look like. Here’s what a mission statement should include:
Include what you want to achieve in life
Who do you want to become
How will you do it?
Include your core values
Something you want to look at everyday
Core values determine your mission statement
7. Long Term Goals:
Once you have a clear idea of what you like doing, then it’s time to start setting goals for your life. Brainstorm 10 goals in this facet of your life. These are your ultimate destination. These could be the accomplishments that could be in your eulogy. These are the goals that capture what legacy you would like most to leave with the world. After you’ve brainstormed all ten, prioritize your top three.