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Your Unfolding Path
January 2001

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Carol's Current Column

by Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.

Carol Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great inspiration to me!  In August of 1998, about four months after my father passed away, I read about one of Carol's workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the bookstore.  The themes of her teachings were familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before his passing.  Her books and workshops ignited my spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path, which led to the very creation of SoulfulLiving.com!  Carol's participation has been an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul level!  Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com

"Finding Your Life Purpose in Your Values and Your Needs"

"What is this thrall for houses? I come from a long line of women who open their handbags and take out swatches of upholstery material, colored squares of bathroom tile seven shades of yellow paint samples, and strips of flowered wallpaper. We love the concept of four walls. ‘What is her house like?’ my sister asks, and we both know she means what is she like."
~Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun

Happy New Year! Are you looking forward to making some changes in your life this year? Inevitably, the question of who we are and what is our unique purpose pops up when we feel bored, restless, or frustrated as the year begins. In this article I will give you a chance to do some self-analysis to help you get some insight about what you value and need—strong indicators about the purpose of your life. These exercises are adapted from my book, The Purpose of Your Life Experiential Guide which is being published in paperback under the new title, Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life (due in bookstores in March, 2001).

It’s Not a Job Title—It’s What You Value and Need

I believe that it’s a big mistake to think of your life purpose in terms of a job title. It’s much more complex than that. You were born with a purpose, a desire to experience and create certain things in this lifetime. Maybe you even have unfinished business with other souls—people in your family, friends, lovers, or people that you work with on projects. Life purpose can be partially detected in those things or ideas to which you feel very connected, or that you value highly.

What is it that you most value and must have in your life? Is your first thought, "I have to have my morning coffee!"? or, perhaps, "I must have good friends in my life." "I must have freedom. I have to work for myself." "I need to feel I’m making a difference in someone’s life." Or "I have to live near nature. That’s non-negotiable."

As we begin to focus more consciously on what our needs and interests are, we further activate the Law of Attraction. Remember, this universal law states that whatever you focus on expands. Therefore, to increase positive flow, keep looking for things in your life for which you are grateful, and which you want to attract. Let the daily irritations drop away from focus. Criticisms and retelling old problems and frustrations actually dilute the positive intention for the success that you really want.

Below is an easy and enjoyable exercise (you’ll need at least thirty minutes to an hour) to help you define what you are currently about and where you’d like to go. The beauty of this exercise is four-fold: 1) It shows you how many wonderful things you have already created or been given by life. Therefore, you may find that you are not so far from your goal as you thought; 2) Acknowledging your actual abundance and success builds trust and confidence in yourself; 3) Using symbols to represent your life matrix stimulates powerful, magnetic unconscious forces; 4) Delineating your life matrix helps clarify what kind of over-all path you are on. Therefore, when you look at what you have drawn on your page, ask yourself, "What kind of purpose does this person (you) seem to be fulfilling?"

Draw a Picture of Your Current Life Matrix

What you Need: White paper; pen or pencil, (optional, colored pencils or crayons), a quiet place where you won’t be bothered for about thirty minutes.

  • What I Love About My Life Right Now. In the center of your page, using simple little symbols and stick figures, draw in everything you really love in your life right now. Everything that is non-negotiable. Everything that you cannot live without. These are people, places, things that you already have. Everything in your life that you value--e.g., your children, your family, your friends, house, car, computer, colleagues, running shoes, church, books, trees, (include intangibles such as, love, health, freedom, security, and education). It’s important to draw them, instead of using words to jot them down.
  • What I Want To Attract. In the upper right hand corner, draw symbols of specific things or people you would like to have in your life--what you want to attract. Enclose these symbols with a large heart (so you can pump life-blood into them).
  • What I Want To Release. In the lower left hand corner, draw symbols to represent what you want to release, complete, and get rid of. Enclose these symbols with a pair of big wings (so they can fly away).
  • My Values. Now go back and put value words under the people, places, and things you really like that you drew in the center of your page. If you have drawn a house, don’t write house, but instead write down what the house gives you in value--e.g., "a warm cozy retreat from the world" or "a comfortable place to work, live, entertain friends and a good investment."

If you drew a picture of your computer, ask yourself what value your computer provides you--e.g., "link to the outside world" "educational information" "work station to create my livelihood without commuting." If you drew a picture of your car, what value is your car to you? Mobility? A statement of personal expression? Ability to get to your job and provide security for yourself? Freedom to get to the mountains for skiing? Ability to be responsible and take your kids to school in a car pool?

  • Write down on another sheet of paper all the value words of: 1) what you have in your life right now; 2) what you want to attract; 3) and what you want to release.

Recognizing Your Top Needs

What motivates you? Really. According to author Jose Stevens, Ph.D., (The Michael Handbook), there are nine basic needs which motivate us--listed below. Perhaps these needs are another way to look at what we call life purpose. If so, these basic, in-born drives would be so important that we could not help but seek their fulfillment.

_ Find your top three needs. Take a look at the following choices, and select three which most seem to describe what motivates you; in other words, which would be your three top drives? Write them on the same sheet along with your values above.

_ Find your primary need. From those three, select the one you absolutely must have fulfilled. This top need will be the one that shows up in almost every choice, in almost every way you interact in a relationship. This primary need is one core element of your life purpose. Write it below in the section provided.

  • SECURITY--Are you constantly thinking about how to keep things in control, manageable? Do you always look for options that give you an out? Do you always have (or think you should have) a back-up plan? Money in the bank for the future?
  • EXPANSION--Are you driven to create more of everything? Big dreams? Want to learn, learn, learn? Grow, grow, grow your business?
  • ACCEPTANCE--Are you always looking for those subtle signals that people approve of you or like your work? Do you want to be accepted into the major circles in your field? Do you flatter or people-please?
  • ADVENTURE--Are you constantly chafing at the ordinariness of life, constantly planning your next expedition? Taking risks with other people’s money? Leaping before looking? Do you crave to explore the unknown no matter what field of endeavor?
  • POWER--Are you constantly seeking to be in a better, more powerful position? Do you envy "the big boys?" Do you associate with wealthy or powerful people? Are you generally confident that you can handle most situations--better than others who you consider too timid? Are you impatient with slow thinkers?
  • COMMUNION--Do you participate frequently in gatherings of people? Do you gravitate to meetings, congregations, activist groups, like-minded people? Are you extremely empathic so that you can merge with others’ thought processes? Do you resist being alone? Are you an organizer?
  • FREEDOM--Are you always seeking a way to live by your own time schedule? Can’t consider 9 to 5 employment as a long-term option? Entrepreneurial? Sole proprietor or talented artist, writer, performer? Always express different ideas from the norm? Scoff at authorities and institutions? Don’t care what people think of you?
  • EXPRESSION--Do you overflow with creative ideas and expression in any form (speaking, writing, art, sculpture, music, doodles, jokes, life-of-the-party antics). Have you had several professional careers or businesses?
  • EXCHANGE--Are you passionate about ideas? Always giving out information, sharing insights, looking for like-minded people with whom you can exchange information. Are you always telling people about books you have read, great doctors you have found, good schools, recipes, or better ways to do things?
  • OTHER?--As you review this list, can you discover any other need that is not on this list?
  • What is your top need?

How My Top Need(s) Are Shaping Me

A Five-minute Writing Exercise

Have your kitchen timer or watch ready, along with your pen. When you are ready to write, set the timer for five minutes or look at your watch. Starting with the top need selected above, you are going to write, stream-of-consciousness-style on the subject of :

[MY TOP NEED] shows up in every choice I have made so far. For example.....(continue to write without trying to have any goal.)

-As you write:

-Allow whatever comes out to come out, even if it seems nonsensical.

-Use the words for your other two top needs somewhere in your writing.

-Keep your pen moving until the timer rings!

-After the five minutes is up, stop writing and:

-Notice what word you started with and what word you ended on. Is there a message for you even in these two words?

-Underline significant sentences that give you insight about how your top need is motivating you and shaping your choices.

Write Out Your Purpose Statement

Once you have collected a list of your values, three primary needs, top need, and underlined ideas in your free-form writing, what could you say about the purpose of your life?

Have fun with this, and have a great year. Every moment is a chance to express your love and creativity, whether or not you can "define" your life purpose. For more ideas and support in finding your life purpose visit us at www.spiralpath.com.


Carol Adrienne, Ph.D., is an internationally-known workshop facilitator and author whose books have been translated into over fifteen languages. Her books include The Purpose of Your Life: Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, and Uncommon Sense; Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life, and The Numerology Kit. She also co-authored with James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide and The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision--An Experiential Guide.


Order your own 22-page Life Chart online by visiting our website at www.spiralpath.com or fax us your name and address at (510) 528-2295 and we’ll send you an order form.


Click Here to Learn More About Carol Adrienne


Read Carol's Past Columns

December 2000

November 2000

October 2000

September 2000

August 2000

July 2000

June 2000

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

January 2000


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