INSOMNIA AND THE SEARCH FOR MEANING

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In my career as a psychiatrist, almost every patient I’ve seen has complained about insomnia.

I’ve read about the topic up, down and sideways. There are countless reasons for sleeplessness coming from the research community. And countless treatment recommendations.

Here’s one cause of insomnia that no one talks about but I’ve felt is often at the heart of the problem:

A LACK OF MEANING IN LIFE.

Maybe you’ve spent many nights tossing and turning with valid worries about creeping debt, whether your marriage is salvageable, how to save your children from self-destruction, whether you can ditch a dead-end job and survive financially . . . and the list goes on. The worst part of this is that people assume this is normal! It isn’t.

After years of stewing about problems, and coming up with some solutions, have you ever wondered, “Is that all there is?” Perhaps running on the problem treadmill for so long is feeling stale, empty and lonely.

Perhaps even leading a “successful” life is not bringing you the joy and fulfillment you’d hoped for. Your usual perks for working hard, like a round of tennis, shopping with friends, or dinner and a movie, don’t give you the same thrill anymore.

In decades of trying to help people, I’ve seen many come into my office with their symptoms and conflicts and then leave some time later usually having unloaded the heaviest of this baggage. They feel better and cope better.

But what I’ve seen is that many are still disconnected from their amazing talents, gifts and unrealized dreams. I also see this out in the world at large.

When your life is not aligned with connecting with your gifts and offering them to the world, your energy stagnates and other symptoms like depression, anxiety and over-eating can surface.

Imagine if you were to lay your head on your pillow at night feeling fulfilled in the knowledge that you’d brought the best of yourself to the world that day and helped in a meaningful way. How do you think you would sleep?

My life’s purpose is to help women discover and implement their purpose. To take out the treasure that’s been buried inside for so long, dust it off and contribute to making something wonderful of your life and your corner of this world - in whatever way is aligned with you.

I’d love to help you find the meaning, fulfillment and joy you were meant to experience. And perhaps a peaceful night’s sleep.

With Joy of Purpose,

Lucille

DISCOVER YOUR LIFE PURPOSE - BY DIGGING FOR YOUR GOLD

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For eons, human beings have been searching for gold on this planet. Gold has had an incredible allure down through the ages. Wars have been fought over it; indigenous peoples have been enslaved and decimated as colonizers pursued it; many people and parts of this planet have been poisoned in the act of mining it; and fortunes have been made and lost based on the price placed on it.

The search for gold has come at a horrendous cost, but how much value has this metal actually brought to humanity? Practically speaking, its uses in industry and technology are limited.

But there’s another source of “gold” that exists where most people don’t look: inside themselves.

And once discovered and properly “mined”, it can provide benefits beyond measure.

And what is this “gold”? It’s the light and love that is at the core of each one of us. Did you know that buried inside of you is some skill, attribute, talent, or passion that could bring value to this world? To find this gold is to discover your life purpose.

TERESA’S STORY

Teresa (not her real name) was a psychiatric patient of mine whose lifelong anxiety disorder had grown to unmanageable proportions by her late 40s. She could no longer function in her corporate job and ended up on long term disability.

Nothing in her life experience would have led her to believe she had any gold in her. The youngest of 3 children in an immigrant family, she was never appreciated as a person in her own right and, instead, was slotted into the role of the “baby” of the family. Her only purpose was to marry and have children.

Teresa’s mother behaved much like the wicked stepmother in children’s fairy tales. She used Teresa as a target for her irritability. Teresa felt nothing she could do would ever be good enough. To try to cope, she developed a pattern of working extremely hard to try to eke out any tiny bit of approval from her mother. Guess what that yielded? More criticism. And Teresa’s anxiety and insecurity continued to grow.

THE JOURNEY TO FIND MEANING IN LIFE

With no family members in her corner, all Teresa had was a burning desire to find purpose and meaning in life. She learned to hide her desires and dreams from the inevitable derision of her family. And, miraculously, lugging her burden of anxiety along with her, she managed to become the first member of her family to attend university and complete a degree.

Trouble was, she then started a corporate job with a boss who was just like her mother! Rather than look for a better job, Teresa just kept working harder to prove she was good enough, repeating the pattern she’d learned at her mother’s knee. Years of enslavement to this pattern led to her becoming functionally disabled with anxiety and panic attacks.

DESIRE IS KEY

As Teresa and I worked to relieve her of the anxiety, her desire to be more and do more came to the surface. She knew she had a passion to discover solutions to other people’s problems. As a doting aunt of two young nieces who had multiple challenges, she focused on finding ways to help them. This led her to start working with children in schools as a volunteer teaching assistant.

Amazingly, in classroom settings where students were out of control and teachers were burning out, Teresa shone. She became very creative at settling kids down and engaging them in learning. She’d spend her spare time researching the latest findings on educational methods for gifted children. When she had no techniques in her toolbox, she’d think up creative strategies on the spot in tough situations.

Yes she was anxious. But her passion overruled her anxiety. She’d found her joy in life.

LOVE AND LIFE PURPOSE ARE ONE

Teresa loved the children she worked with. She would beam and giggle while recounting stories about their hilarious and unpredictable behaviour.

And the children loved her. They knew she truly cared for them. She made them feel that they mattered and they could succeed. Just walking through town, she would often get accosted by some beaming child calling out, “Ms. T.! Ms. T.! Hi Ms. T.!”

YOUR GOLD IS WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED

Finding her purpose in life turned Teresa’s life around. It fuelled her to keep developing and expanding her golden gift.

Whatever your limitations in life, like Teresa, you can find the gold within you.

Finding your life purpose begins with observing your passions, interests, skills and abilities. These are like the gold nuggets scattered around the opening to the goldmine that lies within you.

If you choose to go in and explore, you will find a rich vein that is waiting for you to mine and share with the world.

And the beauty of this experience is that the more you mine, the more riches you find. There are no limits to what you can create and contribute once you commit yourself to this amazing journey.