the story behind the purpose...
You may ask how I came to find my purpose. I can tell you that my own experiences and wayfinding brought me exactly what I needed to find my inner truth and purposeful path.
For years, I found myself seeking a better way—a way full of joy, inspiration, passion, fulfillment and vitality. I felt stuck, depressed, stressed to the max, uninspired, and frustrated.
I lived passively—attempting to please everyone around me. I accepted an uninspired life. I ignored my truth to live according to other’s standards. I sought other's approval and acceptance to gain a false sense of worth. In other words, I found myself living a life that was far from authentic.
I escaped this uncomfortable reality through food, relationships or shopping (my personal drugs of choice —though there are many). All this time, I stuck to the little known fact that my life carried more purpose. I yearned to impact others in a meaningful way, and eventually this whisper turned into a roar I couldn’t ignore.
I’d heard the call and life became harder and harder to live half-lived, half-heartedly and fearfully.
I felt like I was starring in a role where the movie ceased to feel like my life. I felt like a fake, like my life didn’t “fit” who I really was and I hadn’t the slightest clue how to fix any of it.
So, I stayed put. As a result, I got sick, depressed, weary and lost. My spirit was run down; my soul had left the building after I lost sight of my longing to live an authentic, fulfilling life.
I finally hit a brick wall in the winter of 2014 when a series of unfortunate-yet-blessed events knocked the proverbial wall down. I saw this storm as my window into a new way of life where my heart and soul called the shots and my authentic truth led the way.
God turned my life upside down, but as Rumi said, "How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?" I didn’t recognize myself or my life any longer, which in hindsight was a blessing considering I was acting in a movie that didn’t feel like my life.
In a few weeks time, the eye of the storm left chaos in its wake. I left my corporate job in advertising, said goodbye to my beloved Grandpa, cancelled my wedding and found out my sister had cancer. Or in other words: the script to my true-but-messy reality. No matter how awful it was, it was mine and I got the biggest gift life could offer me: a chance to find the true self that I’d buried to live a life that didn’t feel authentic, fulfilling or inspiring.
The sudden magnitude of grief and loss cracked my heart open so fully that I finally started to see the real me: a broken-yet-beautiful disaster. I discovered my brokenness was the path to my purpose—that life gave me exactly what I needed to star in my greatest story yet.
the spiritual journey begins...
I began an inward journey of self discovery that became a treasure hunt for truth, joy, meaning, authenticity, assertiveness, peace, purpose, passion, power and fulfillment. My spiritual seeking started with studies of Jewish Mysticism, Buddhism and Contemplative Christianity, where I uncovered the mysteries of spirituality:
Within each of us is the essence of God which grants us to direct access to everything we need for complete and total fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness.
- Karilyn Owens
Shortly after the eye of the storm rolled through, I set out to take every class, seminar and workshop within reach. I read every book I could get my eager hands on (including Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser). I made it my mission to awaken to the truth of who I am, why I am here and what to do about it.
With my newfound awareness, I started the second phase of my seeking where I went within to uncover the blocks that prevented awakening to my true nature and the fulfillment, peace and happiness I desired. During this time, I was put to real life tests to grow in wisdom and awareness of where fear was blocking the love I yearned to give and receive.
This is the point in which I started to explore my unique purpose—to fulfill my mission to serve with my God-given gifts. I found an Assertiveness Coaching certification that both strengthened my authentic truth as a spiritual light worker and leader and put necessary boundaries, self care and truth-telling into practice.
I spent the next two years learning what it takes to step out fully into a purpose of service. Before I could successfully serve others, I needed to get on dry land—that is, give myself the sacred space to allow my healing transformation to unfold.
I discovered there is a huge amount of growth involved when we determine to set out on a purposeful path in service of others. Until I stepped into full alignment with my true self, I felt powerless to help others do the same.
On my journey, I experienced more loss and difficulties that only furthered my self discovery and healing. My sister's cancer diagnosis took her life two years and two months later. This unexpected loss was a turning point in my story; the eye of the storm that hit two years earlier never ceased to create unbelievable havoc.
This tragedy forced me to face anything and everything that was hidden below the surface—including unresolved grief, hurt and resentment from the past. The finale of the storm had plans to bring me to my knees so I could learn how to walk through anything life throws my way (even if it means crawling).
The passion that revealed itself through the earlier part of my spiritual journey was a saving grace when I lost my sister; I painted my way through my grief. I wrote through my feelings. I deepened my yoga practice. I punched my way through my anger at the boxing gym. I learned what it takes to overcome even the worst of life's lemons.
Seeking a Higher Power gave me a window into the mystical qualities of the world beyond our view. Inconsolable grief brought me to my knees where I experienced the tangible Love of God.
find your passion and purpose will find you
During this grief-packed time of healing, I realized that my passion for caring for others is a part of my specific soul's mission.
Finding my truth has been a treasure hunt, but I know for sure something I didn't know before I set out on this spiritual path: everything in life has a purpose and our soul is no exception. Aligning with my authentic truth was really about coming into contact with my spiritual essence and then setting out on a mission to serve others.
Once I discovered my mission, I had to bravely step out to serve others. Today, I express my soul's purpose to care for others and share my unique gifts, but sharing sacred space with others as they navigate life-altering transitions is still my favorite part of my mission.
I love to write, teach, paint and design, but being there for others at a time when they need a soul companion to walk through life with is what I was born to do. It's why God put me through the darkest trenches of life, so I could sit with others in their trials and actually mean it when I say, "I've been there, too. It's all going to be ok."
If you are enduring a storm at present and feel like you could use support through your journey, I encourage you to reach out to me. There's a reason you are reading this; allow me provide a sacred space for your soul.