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  • Do you desire a life where you know and live your inner purpose? That instead of floating through life you know exactly what your true desires are and living to your fullest potential? Do you feel like what you are longing for is just hidden under the surface and once you discover it there will be no holding you back?

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My whole life I’ve been searching for my life purpose. One time I thought I was to be a missionary to the far places within Africa, I once thought it was to design beautiful interiors, I also thought it was to take beautiful images of women and help them see their beauty. Those were all part of the journey, but were never my purpose – they were the vehicles for me to drive while slowly revealing what it was.

The funny thing is, it has been sitting in front of me, always asking me to pay attention to it. Always asking for more. I could never understand why I couldn’t turn down the noise.

For the past 8 years I have been working at it, developing it without even knowing, going down many different paths but somehow always leading back to the same result.

I always assumed it needed to be complex, something no one else would be able to do. But instead my life purpose is something so simple, it’s no wonder I didn’t see it.

The greatest thing, is how right this feels. The moment I identified what my life purpose was, this peace completely washed over me and I was able to sink in deeper to my truth.

Here it is:

Write for other’s to read, to enjoy, to be inspired.

Does it surprise you?

I was finally able to answer why I haven’t given up, even when I’ve gone seasons without publishing a post. It finally made sense, why when I was in those seasons of not publishing, how blogging was always on my mind, how my heart yearned to publish another post.

What if no one ever reads anything I post?

I’m okay with that. When I push publish a blog post that I’ve been writing there is a softness in my heart that goes deep and expands to every inch of my body. It’s like my body has been given permission to exhale all the pent up energy it’s been holding. Pressing publish is the most freeing action of the process.

What if a million people read what I post?

That terrifies me, honestly, it does – but it doesn’t matter. My life purpose is to keep blogging and share my life, what is on my heart, and to inspire myself and other’s to go after their dreams.

What does that mean now?

I’m not sure where it will take me, but I’m much more open to sharing now. Everything was calculated and researched before this revelation. Now I’m excited to pour out my heart and share as much as I possibly can.

It feels so good to tell you this!

It also feels good to know what my life purpose and also a relief to know that it isn’t complex or difficult to pull off. That a million other people can do exactly what I do, and it’s okay if I’m just apart of the blogging community. I don’t need a banner flying or a parade down the street proclaiming my life purpose.

It’s okay that it’s a simple thing – I love it this way!

I wanted to tell you first before I share this publicly on my blog. I am always thinking of you when I write a post or when I don’t.

I’m not telling you this to make myself feel better, or say ‘Look what I did!’. This isn’t my intention at all. I’m sharing what is on my heart, as if you were sitting in my living room with that cup of tea you’re holding and you had just asked me what has been on my mind lately.

And since we’re sitting together, sharing. I’m curious, have you discovered what your life purpose is? Was it standing in front of you the whole time, was it a relief to have it revealed to you? Are you still wondering what it is? Do you have any inclination what it might be?

I would love to know, please share.

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  • June 10, 2014 - 10:27 AM

    Joanne - It’s really awesome that you’ve figured out what your life purpose is and I love that it’s so simple. Sometimes I know I tend to think that my life purpose has to be something life changing like “world peace” or something along those lines. But it doesn’t need to be that way. It could be as simple as just being a wife or being a mother. Or anything. Just depends on what season in life we’re in. I’m still trying to figure out what my life purpose is. I’m praying that once I figure it out, I’ll feel content and at peace with it. I might already know what it is but still feel a tug somewhere…..
    Thanks for sharing your life purpose. :) ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:39 PM

      Lesley - Yes Joanne, I completely agree. Your life purpose can totally change depending on what season of life you’re in…or it can stay the same!ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 11:00 PM

    Tanja - This is very interesting… Would you say inspiring others to follow their dream is closer to your purpose and blogging is just a way to do that? Or would you say the blogging is the actual purpose?

    In our case, if we weren’t photographing people, but doing something else, our “why” (or purpose) would stay the same… Photography is just one way to do it. It’s about what you want to be remembered for… The thumbstone exercise our coach gave us was very good for that: “what do you want people to remember you for?” Do you want to be remembered as “Here lies Lesley, she was a great blogger.”?

    I’m just hearing the voice of our coach in the back of my head when I read your post… He’d ask: “Why do you blog?” “Why is it so important for you to inspire others?”ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:37 PM

      Lesley - Tanja, thank you for asking! I’ve given it some thought and still think that writing/blogging (however you want to say it) is my life purpose. I can’t promise that I’ll inspire anyone with my writing, I’m writing for myself mostly. If my tombstone read at the end of my years “Here lays a great blogger, Lesley Stefanski” I’d be okay with that – thrilled actually!ReplyCancel

I wake up and enjoy moments of yoga while the sun streams through our bedroom window. These moments alone, while Isla and Mister gets ready in the other room, prepare my mind and body for the day and I find so much delight in them. Once I am finished he hands me my morning latte and kisses me on the lips. I still get shivers and long for him, even eight years later.

Around noon I am walking around the house singing to Isla when Mister walks through the door. I hand her to him as he pushes me out the door to spend time alone – he’s booked me a surprise massage as an early Mother’s Day present. I drive slowly, soaking up how my body responds to being alone and realize that when she is with me I feel more confident in myself than ever before – I miss her. As my body relaxes under skillful hands of my massage therapist, I finally begin to turn of my mind to just be. The smell of lavender takes over the room while oil is soaking into my skin – I find myself completely relaxed and feel the kinks and soreness from my body being removed.

We drive away from the city towards the suburbs with fresh ice cream in a paper bag. As we enter my childhood home my youngest brother greets us with a huge smile, ‘Happy Birthday!’ we exclaim while handing him the ice cream. As we share stories and laughter over the home made pizza I realize that this spring it has been eight years since I made the decision to leave the philosophy of my youth and trek out on my own. As we celebrate my brother turning 24 I flash over my 24th year: the tears it brought, the hard decisions, and what became the most magical meeting of my life that has lead me to living a life I truly love.

Finally at night we do our nightly routine – I crawl into bed first and then a few minutes later he crawls in after me. He pulls me close and we cuddle under the blankets his body wrapped protectively over mine. We lay there until one of us gets too warm then we both kiss and move to our own cool sides. As we settle in he says his nightly ‘I love you’ and I ask him if he remembers the first time he said that to me. We lay there in the dark holding hands remembering that autumn evening where he told me with so much confidence and truth that he loved me.

Friday morning I find myself connected again to my mat and the sun, after Isla has gone down for her morning nap and Mister has already left for work. I stretch and pull my body into poses it hasn’t been in for quite some time and I feel it resist but mold itself just as I need it to. While Isla naps I tidy up the house and just enjoy more time alone. I find myself with my notebook and my pen finds the page again – writing and writing about anything and everything. A fear comes out…it’s about social media and I find myself once again wrestling with the privacy of my life and feeling like I need to be more open.

After a hot shower I prepare myself for the day before my dad comes for a visit. It has been years since the two of us spent anytime alone and I anticipate our day together. I place Isla in the pram and before I can even buckle her up, he’s standing at the end ready to push her away. We make our way to Gastown before settling on Nelson the Seagull for lunch. He tucks Isla and the pram right up next to him all the while commenting on the ‘very odd decor and eclectic customers’. As he enjoys his sandwich he is is astounded that lavender is used in cooking and baking and we laugh and enjoy each other’s company while taking sips of water from our mason jars. We have a lovely afternoon and continue our conversation on the seawall with take away coffees in our hands while he enjoys pushing Isla past all the other mothers and grandparents enjoying the sun.

After my dad leaves, Isla and I spend time just relaxing before putting her down for the night. When she has her final cry I open my laptop and write my thoughts out and am so happy with what has been released from me. I love being a Mother, and it feels so good to finally say it.

Mister comes home late but I’ve had such a lovely day of conversation with my dad, Isla being as sweet as can be, and writing as much as I can that I am in the best of moods. I prepared him a dinner of freshly baked salmon, a large salad and roasted asparagus, I see the love and pride in his eyes as I dress the table for him and present the meal. As we finish the evening off with a glass of dark red and listening to my new favourite piano composer we talk late into the night about love languages and communication. We fall asleep with our cups of love completely full, over flowing.

Saturday morning I wake up to the sounds of Isla talking to us from her room. I roll over and realize she let us sleep in a half hour and thank her, then roll back over hoping Adam will get her – it’s my mother’s day! He continues to sleep on his side of the bed so I hop out and sweep my daughter out of her bed and into my arms. I wouldn’t be celebrating this day if it wasn’t for her, so I willingly prepare her bottle before feeding her from my breast. As she suckles, tears well in my eyes that she is mine, that some how out of everything I’ve done in life God has decided that I’m enough to be blessed by her. I find myself spending a lot of time near her, wanting to soak her up as much as possible. Thankfully she loves to cuddle that she willingly obliges.

Mister prepares me a healthy breakfast, even though he wanted to go out to buy fresh pastries, I asked that he just prepare with what we have at home. I wasn’t in the mood for sweets and I also knew he had not planned his time appropriately and didn’t get me a card. It hurt, to deny him and myself. After breakfast I continued to get more antsy as I realize that he doesn’t have much planned. He does his usual Saturday morning tasks so I go to my sanctuary, my bedroom. I find myself in the bathroom trying to hold back tears. I try to rationalize the emotions I’m feeling – postpartum hormones, period hormones, expectations I shouldn’t have hormones. In the end I just know, I want to be celebrated. I don’t need lavish gifts just time and effort put in so that I feel special and that my day is special as well. He finds me in our bedroom, and I know he can feel my mood as he is much more attentive by rubbing my back or pulling me close on the bed. As we cuddle I hear him start to breathe deeper and the tears come again, running down my face while they pool around my ears. When he asks what I’m thinking I find my courage and tell him that his work takes too much of his mental space, that when he can’t plan his time correctly so that he has everything he needs to celebrate me, it makes me feel like I’m not worthy of his thoughts. I feel horrible telling him this, what if he has something amazingly planned for the afternoon?! But he doesn’t.

I shake off my sour feelings, there is no use in dwelling on it and decide, that no matter what, it will be a lovely day.

We drive out to South Granville to do some window shopping. I desire to have Isla as close to me as possible so we carry her in our arms in and out of stores and up and down the street. Every where we go she is admired as she smiles largely for strangers; I can see that she completely makes their day. I am so honoured and proud to call her mine. As we walk around West Elm we find the perfect settee for our office, the settee we have been searching for for months, the couch that put me into labour four months ago when we walked around the city in search of it. We make the decision to purchase it and I am astounded, here I am purchasing an item from West Elm! I’ve always felt too poor or not cool enough, yet there I am. We continue our way into Anthropologie and purchase two more mugs so that we all have a mug with our first initial and one with our last name. L.A.I.S. – I.S.L.A!

He prepares me a fabulous dinner of roasted honey glazed duck and a heirloom tomato salad. We finish off the evening on our new settee watching the latest episode of Mad Men and Game of Thrones. As I fall asleep later that night, I feel completely loved and cherished, despite how I felt in the morning.

On Sunday morning, officially Mother’s Day, I carry Isla around the house and he presents me with my Mother’s Day card. ‘To someone special on their very first Mother’s Day’. It’s perfect. My phone alerts me all day as I receive message after message of good wishes from friends and family. I feel loved, cherished, adored.

We head out, once again, to Surrey to celebrate my mom. I present her with a beautifully wrapped present in chocolate colored paper with a white satin bow. Anticipation floods me as she slowly opens it and when she sets her eyes on it I can see her hold back the tears. A beautiful quote on cardstock: When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew – Arrigo Boito and then next to it a framed picture of me holding three week old Isla. Simple, yet perfect for her.

Later in the evening I throw a wide brimmed hat and my large sunglasses on and I take Isla in her pram to head to the field to watch Mister play in the evening sun. I lay a white muslin blanket on the ground for us to sit on and am filled with so much awe and pride as Isla sits in my lap completely content to watch them play up and down the field. Out of the corner of my eye I see other teams look at us, we are stylish and put together sitting elegantly in the middle of sweaty gym bags. I see the other women who came to watch their husbands and am thankful that I take the time to look feminine, even on the soccer field. I feel that I am living out the best version of what Motherhood means to me, not because I have to but because I want to and it feels good. Oh so good.

What if there was no inspiration to guide you or to hold you back from your dreams? What if you live your life just doing things because you want to do them, not because you saw them in a magazine, on a blog post, been told that this is what the celebrities are wearing, or saw a picture on Pinterest? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and wondering what would my life look like if there was no inspiration. Would my life look any different? Would there be less stress in my life? Would life feel more dull? Would the feeling of desire still be there?

I’ve taken breaks from social media to give my mind time to just be, to soak up life around me instead of the life within Facebook or Twitter (I continue to be active on Instagram as it’s more personal for me). I’ve seriously considered removing everything from my life that makes me long and desire for things other than what I already have.

However, once I really started thinking about it I realized I’d have to remove pretty much everything from my life and live in a tiny bubble – never leaving my home.

My life would definitely be more dull.

That is not a life to live, removing myself from everyone and everything in it. There is a reason why I’m filled with inspiration daily and a deep desire to constantly live a lifestyle that truly makes me happy.

I find inspiration everywhere. Novels and non-fiction. Blogs and magazines, Pinterest and Instagram. Brick & Mortar shops as well as online stores. I find inspiration in nature as well as when I go to the theater to listen to the symphony. When I walk down the street I’m inspired by how people dress and communicate with one another. When I travel to a different country or when I sit at home staring out at the city I live in. It’s all there, inspiring me to live life beautifully.

I can’t remove inspiration from my life because there would be no life to live.

Inspiration should light a fire and build a desire in you to work for what you want, not leave you feeling down or depressed – don’t allow your inspiration to be tainted with your inner critic.

When I’m inspired I have to analyze if I’m inspired because it truly speaks to me or because I feel like I should like it, sometimes one gets lost and then I find myself going after something that I truly don’t desire or need. It’s a fine balance and the more I learn about myself the easier it is to know when I’m truly inspired and when to say ‘that’s nice, but not for me’.

Do you struggle with being inspired and your inner critic? Have you figured out what you truly desire out of life and know when inspiration hits it’s perfect for you?

I would love to hear if you’ve ever thought of getting rid of inspiration and just living life without influence.

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After days and days of sun, the rain came. There is something refreshing about waking up to rain hitting the windows and feeling like you don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to. It’s as if the pressure to explore and leave the house is lessened to just enjoy your home while drinking lattes and listening to classical music while candles flicker.

May has become the month of change and getting things done. I’ve revamped our whole kitchen, created grocery lists and am cooking even more delicious and healthy meals than before. It’s also been the month to dedicate myself to a yoga practice, so every morning before Isla goes down for her morning nap we spend time together on my mat and she watches me go through my routine. She smiles at me in plank and gurgles to me in downward dog. As I finally rest in Savasana I thank my body for continuing to be strong even though it’s still recovering and sore, my prayer is that these moments together inspire Isla to live a healthy and inspired lifestyle.

Isla wakes early, too early, so we listen to her talk to herself before she falls back to sleep. 30 mins later she wakes again. I am exhausted from being up multiple times with her that I breathe a sense of relief when Adam gets up to tend to her. I wrap myself in my white sheets and drift back to sleep.

We feed and play with Isla before her morning nap. Just a simple blanket on the floor and the three of us smiling and enjoying each other’s company. Once again I find myself on my yoga mat releasing the tension of a sleepless night and breathing strength into my body. Eventually she begins to fade and Adam asks for cuddle time with her so he takes her into our bed where they both drift off to sleep. I prepare myself a healthy breakfast and enjoy the silence and time alone. Not too long after I realize I need more sleep, so I tiptoe into our room to join them.Adam and I cuddle close together on one side of the bed as she takes over half the bed. Before I drift off to sleep I recognize how precious these moments are…where we have no place to be, no task to complete, no family to entertain.

Lazing around the house we watch the rain pour down upon the city, thankful for a warm home to relax into and enjoy. By mid afternoon we’re a bit restless and think the rain has let up so we prepare for a walk through Stanley Park. We hop into the car, head-to-toe in lulu gear. As we pull of out of the parking garage we realize the rain is falling just as hard and traffic is horrible. We change our plans and head to Granville Island instead. Adam asks if it’s okay, with me being in workout gear, to head to the market instead of doing something active. I adore how sensitive he is to my desire to always be feminine and elegant.

A sense of calm and peace has enveloped me. Maybe it’s the sense of routine, or the fact that I feel like I have my feet under me, or just that I’m actually enjoying motherhood. I’m not sure, but I accept it and am thankful for it none the less. One early afternoon I prepare a delicious and healthy meal…something I couldn’t imagine myself doing even a month ago. But there I am cutting vegetables, sprinkling salt and pepper, and dressing the table. I am fully embracing my role of wife and mother – nurturer to my family of three.

One day, I turn around and realize that she is able to stay up for 2 hours in between her naps and I feel like my little newborn has slipped away. I find myself holding her close, lingering as much as possible beside her crib, cuddling her in the night when she has screaming fit, and being more at ease with her. I’ve realize my love for her was not at first sight but was a constant ember, growing stronger, that has now burst into a flame that is licking around every inch of my body completely consuming me, and I love it.

There is an evening at home, quiet with classical music playing and a babe sound a sleep, and him at soccer. I enjoy more time alone. After a long lingering shower then draped in a lush white towel I lay on our bed to write. It’s hard to believe that I now have time alone and how quickly the newborn phase passes, and really how it all does get better.

As the week winds down him and I have a night out and sit in red plush seats at my favourite theater in the city to listen to Carmina Burana. A full orchestra and choir serenade us with German beer drinking songs. The first movement moves me so deeply that tears well up around my eyes. By the end of the second act we’re all on our feet clapping hard, smiling, and yelling bravo, bravo!! And then, we step backstage to see the tear down of the evening watching musicians mingle with opera singers and the choir. I am mesmerized by the lights and the talent surrounding me. This is enjoying life…everything about today is about enjoying life.

After I wrote How is Motherhood, a friend of mine sent an email where she asked me very sincerely and honestly:

What story do you want to tell?

When I wrote my How is Motherhood post, I wrote it from a place of still trying to figure out my response to the question. I was unsure of the answer I needed to give and the answer I wanted to give. But she simplified it for me, there are no expectations except for the story that I want to tell, and I get to decide how beautifully honest it is. And beautifully honest is what I’ve decided my story is.

Becoming a mother has been one of the most mentally challenging experiences I’ve gone through. When I found out I was pregnant I felt completely detached from the little baby growing inside of me. I knew there was a piece of me that loved her, and when we were told she might be sick I knew I loved her more than I was willing to admit. But I still felt like I wasn’t supposed to be doing this, this wasn’t my dream. When she was born, it wasn’t love at first sight (I had prepared myself for this) and when I looked at her there wasn’t a moment of recognition either. My thought was, ‘there you are, and here I am – let’s do this, I guess’. There was a lot of hesitation and a bit of anticipation.

Then there was the newborn stage, those crazy six weeks of intense crying that seems to get worse with each week that passes. I knew she would cry…but this was something else. Thank goodness someone told me it peaks at six weeks then starts to back off, I had an end in sight to work towards. In between those cries there were sweet moments of just staring at her and cuddling her tiny little body next to mine. Wrapping a itty bitty diaper around her waist and feeling like it was too big for her (new moms, tuck one of those diapers away for a keepsake, you’ll thank yourself later). And in those moments I felt that I can do this, and I can enjoy every moment of the good and bad.

I had assumed, because I had never wanted children, that I’d hate every moment and I had prepared myself for the worst case scenario possible. I had never dreamed of this and knew that raising a baby isn’t easy, that our life wouldn’t just be the two of us, our time and attention would constantly be pulled between our wants and what she wants, that traveling and staying out late will become less spontaneous and more planned, and the endurance, the fact that it never ends, will take a toll on me and my relationships.

But there I was, actually enjoying the simple sweet moments and the hardships of a baby while loving being a mother. It took me awhile to allow myself to admit, that I truly loved being a mother and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I do feel like I was born to be a mother, day in and day out. A lot of what I do in intuitive and from experience of helping raise my brothers. There are hard moments and some days I do want to run away as fast as I can, but somehow I always find myself pulling her close to my chest to breathe in the sweet scent of her instead.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to take it moment by moment. When I was labour, it was a moment that I knew would end and it helped me get through. When she cried from her digestive issues, I would hold and cuddle her because I knew eventually, perhaps momentarily or an hour from now it would end. When she would sleep on my chest in the first early weeks, I would soak it all up as I knew one day she wouldn’t fit there anymore. When we started sleep training, again, I knew some day she would be able to fall asleep on her own. When breastfeeding was horrible and painful, I cried as I fed her through the pain, because I knew one day she wouldn’t need to suckle from my breast any more.

Each day is somehow filled with sweet joyful moments that shine away the moments of desperation and confusion. Once I started to take away the noise of advice from baby books and expectations of others I’ve flourished into the type of mother I want to be.

This is my story of Motherhood. Something I never dreamed of wanting, but has become the best dream come true I didn’t know I needed.