In these in-between times of pandemic, we each need a reason to get up and moving and sustain ourselves across quiet days of isolation. Purpose can be an animating factor.

Purpose, suggests Kira M. Newman isn’t something we find. It’s something we “can cultivate through deliberate action and reflection.”

 “A crisis of purpose is often a symptom of isolation,” writes Jeremy Adam Smith at Greater Good Magazine. Smith suggests you connect with a caring community and listen to what other people say about you as ways to identify your purpose.

Purpose is not something static. It waxes and wanes and changes across your lifespan. It’s not something monolithic that you discover. Rather, it’s something you create at the intersection of your talents and the world’s needs. Growing and adapting a sense of purpose is something that helps us thrive and survive as we age.

Purpose can be a particular challenge for those of us who deal with ongoing health issues. Physical ailments may limit our abilities and dim our sense of possibility. The good news is there are no limits on imagination.

What brings you joy? What aggravates you? What situation around you would you most like to change? What gift would you like to give your community? Asking yourself such questions can help you tap into your purpose.

I like to think of big P and little p purposes. It may help to articulate long-term (perhaps lifetime) goals and also smaller, shorter term goals. For example, I am here to cultivate a sacred, compassionate, creative life and today I’m writing a blog post and making a telephone call. Both are purposes. Both bring and take energy.

Cultivating purpose, like cultivating a tomato, requires patience and persistence. You need to nourish it, give it what it needs to grow, and remove weeds (random busyness, mental or physical illnesses, etc.). Just as you check and tidy a garden, you can revisit and revive your purpose.

If you are feeling lost or lonely, it may help to renew your sense of purpose. Make a phone call and have a conversation about purpose. Open your journal and consider the questions above. Imagine a meeting with a Wise One who tells you how you can best serve this moment. Your purpose awaits.