Your Soulpurpose path of growth

Why Soulpurpose?

The Soulpurpose process invites you to know your self. Each of us has our own path to walk. We may have lost track of it over time or let it take a back burner, but it’s always been with us. If you stop and notice what you can’t help doing, or being, or having, you will step that much closer to defining and being aware of what you value: who you already are, have always been and in what direction you want to keep going moving. As Martha Beck wisely said, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything”.

A bigger picture: Be, do, have, feel

We often automatically focus in on what we “do” and specifically what we do for a living to define who we are. It makes sense that we default to this parameter since our culture gives it so much emphasis. When we meet someone often the first question we ask is ‘what do you do?’

An interesting and often new perspective to reframe who we are is to focus on how we approach anything we do. I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking about finding or uncovering purpose and following our life path, and this way of viewing ourselves allows us dig a little deeper and get more of a sense of our essence as well as helping us define our values and real passion. You can be doing anything – banking, cooking, raising a child, leading a company, answering phones – and you’ll approach what you’re doing with your own style, values and, well, brain.

Or, as I did for such a long time, you’ll use a lot of energy to show up the way you’re expected to, trying to be something you should be. Which won’t work in the end and will inevitably lead to suffering. As an INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, feeling, perceiving type on the MBTI assessment) working in the American business world, which I can almost guarantee as a culture would be assessed as ESTJ (extroverted, sensing, thinking, judging), which are exact opposites: the former being a very right brained style, open and intuitive style and of course the latter very extremely left brained, or linear and factual. There is nothing wrong with either style, and it’s important to find balance with both. At the same time, we need to begin with who we naturally are and work from there. To fit ourselves into a box that’s so far from who we naturally are takes a great deal of energy that we could be using to share our gifts with the world.

How much change?

There may not be room for who you really are to thrive in a certain environment and that’s okay. It’s scary to step outside the boxes (of careers, occupations, and things we do that result in being paid and supporting ourselves). It may take time to figure out how to work out the logistics, or you may have to wait until you’re in a position to make a major change. But there’s plenty you can do now, outside of or in addition to what supports you, by expressing and getting to know who you are, engaging as often as possible in what you know you can’t help doing and being, shifting your job and career to align as close as possible to who you are, and keeping your passions alive in your life any way you can.

This is where your Soulpurpose path comes in…

Working with and playing on the Soulpurpose path provides an essential map for becoming the most unique and joyful version of ourselves that we are all capable of becoming: living our own lives and not someone else’s idea of who we should be, experiencing the joy of doing and being exactly what we were meant to do and be, and living balanced, embodied, authentic lives filled with joy and contentment. Within the framework of the Soulpurpose transformation process, you will discover and follow your own version of the Soulpurpose path.

There is so much within you waiting to be discovered and known!

A strong foundation

The great thing about the Soulpurpose approach is that I’ve condensed it down to the core of what works, what’s fun, and what will move you forward. The Soulpurpose process is based on a rich foundation of ideas from psychology, spirituality and personal development, as well as current brain science, trauma and attachment theory and using approaches such as somatic expression and art therapy. Why do you need to know all these concepts? The good news is that you don’t need to learn any specific theory or approach in depth, but it helps to have an idea of the foundations of the work.

If you want to know more, please take a look at the rest of this page and read my blog. I’ll be continuing to post more on these topics so please take a look and check back often!

To learn more about different ways you can work with the Soulpurpose process, jump to my offerings page.

The Soulpurpose Process

The Soulpurpose path of growth:

The tree is a symbol of strength, immortality and the union of male and female energy, wholeness, spirituality and potential. Jung chose the symbol of the tree to represent his idea of individuation which is the term he used for the process of connecting and balancing all parts of ourselves to become whole.

This journey involves working the three parts of the psyche, represented in the Soulpurpose model by three stages: awareness, expression and transformation, each containing 3 out of 9 steps as shown in the diagram below.

The soulpath model is influenced such models as the Joseph Campbell’s hero(ine)’s journey, Jung’s view of the psyche and process of individuation, the MBTI and Enneagram personality systems and the chakra energy within the body from the tradition of yoga.

The 9 steps of the Soulpurpose path of growth are grouped into three stages:

Awareness (consciousness): grounding, passion, strength

Expression (personal unconscious): action, heart, self

Transformation (collective unconscious): voice, vision and soul.

We could apply these stages to anything we want to bring into the world, from a new partner to a spiritual intention to a business idea.

To learn more, continue exploring each of these three stages and 9 steps below.

Awareness (consciousness): The ego, everyday reality, the familiar ‘waking’ world we live in.

  • Grounding: We root ourselves to the earth and get our grounding by making sure our material and physical needs are taken care of, such as our home, health, finances and basic needs. As with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we can’t focus on much else if we’re not taking care of ourselves or have to constantly worry about money.
  • Passion: We water the seeds and are driven forward by our excitement, love and the connection of our offering. We know we’re in the right place because we lose track of time, find utter joy with and get lost in what we’re doing. We continue to learn, and have new ideas as we prepare ourselves to ‘burst through’.
  • Action: We gather our strength to take action to emerge through the seed and ground, pushing our roots down and sending the taproot deep into the ground, gathering nourishment from the source as we grow intentionally and authentically upward.

Expression: (personal unconscious): Contains one’s individual story, drives and complexes, often repressed and unavailable to the conscious mind.

  • Strength: We gather and hone our strength to keep moving, stay the course and weather the elements – outside challenges and obstacles. We handle setbacks, including our own negative beliefs, doubts and inner critic. We continue to gather strength as we keep moving forward. We allow ourselves to grow in our own time and in our own way.
  • Heart: We continue to move upwards and form a center with heart. We know more and more what’s meaningful to us and as we move forward we feel connected not only to what we’re focused on but also the benefits it might bring to ourselves and others.
  • Self: We begin to become more ourselves at around the midpoint of the journey and start to branch out. We’re getting to know all the parts of ourselves and express our creativity through movement and art. We’re becoming uniquely our Selves without apology.

Transformation (collective unconscious):  An instinctual blueprint inherited as humans, influenced and experienced by all cultures.

  • Voice: We find and use our voices as we become louder, clearer and more confident, expressing who we are, what we have to offer and what we deeply care about. We are connected to our voice and we no longer accept being quiet or complacent.
  • Vision: We refine our ability to see and our vision continues to become clearer. We are able to see with new eyes through the ‘third eye’ which is connected to our intuition. This kind of vision allows us to see beyond the ground we walk on, to a bigger picture of unification, wholeness and purpose.
  • Soul: As we refine our vision and hone our ability to see beyond what’s in front of us, we continue to reach upwards and grow into our spiritual and whole selves, preparing to leave our unique mark on the world. We are connected to our higher selves and a higher power, no matter how we define it, and we feel the energy from indigenous people, nature and our ancestors.

The Soulpurpose path is based on the following beliefs:

  • We are each capable of healing ourselves and learning. Our brains can be updated with new information.
  • We need to access our right brain – our implicitly creative and knowing selves – in order to grow.
  • We all want to learn, evolve and grow. We never stop learning.
  • The Self is driven to become whole.
  • We are all creative. We don’t need drawing skills, dance skills, writing skill or any other kind of skills to express yourself!
  • Becoming our Selves should be fun!
  • Change begins with acceptance. Compassion and kindness serve to nurture and support ourselves and others.
  • Connecting the unconscious and conscious and balancing the parts of who we are is some of most important work we can do.

What underlying theories and tools support and inform the Soulpurpose process?

Enneagram: A personality system said to be handed down from Sufism that is often considered spiritual.

Myers Briggs (MBTI): A modern assessment based on Jung’s original personality structure, including introversion/extroversion, sensing/thinking, feeling and intuition which is part of consciousness.

Chakras: From Indian tradition, Chakras are the various focal points in the subtle body, representing each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body.

Jung’s psyche: The internal construct of our being that has a structure with different parts that serve different purposes. Jung believed that the psyche is set up much like the body to maintain equilibrium and grow.

  • Parts of the psyche:
    • Conscious: what we are aware of, our everyday existence and reality.
      • Ego: The center of consciousness that holds our sense of identity and existence. The ego serves as a intermediary between the conscious and unconscious.
    • Unconscious: Parts of us that we are not aware of but that exert strong influence on us if we don’t get to know them and balance them.
      • Personal unconscious: Unique to who we are as individuals and based on our personal experience and history.
      • Collective unconscious: Our shared experience of being human, often based on culture and instinct. Represented by archetypes with such themes as the great mother, fool or queen.
      • Archetypes: Part of the collective unconscious, universal patterns shared collectively by humans, such as the ‘mother’ or the ‘sage’.
    • Self: The realized potential of a human being, responsible for the drive toward wholeness and and growth. The Self embarks upon the process of individuation. Jung capitalized self to refer to the part of us that’s in charge and at the center of our being.
    • Persona: Represents the various exterior roles we play and leans heavily the positive and expected ways we were taught to be, rejecting and pushing what does not fit those expectations into the shadow.
    • Shadow: Rejected and denied elements of who we are that we are often not aware of and that exert often unintended and unexpected influence on how we show up and how we act.
    • Individuation: The process the psyche undertakes in its quest for wholeness, involving reclaiming and balancing opposites (such as the persona and shadow, anima (male) and animus (female) or parts such as anger and acceptance).

What are some of the tools and activities that will allow us to explore and express ourselves in this process?

  • Mindfulness: Meditation, self awareness, mindfulness, Hakomi
  • Expression: SoulCollage®, journaling, movement/authentic expression
  • Somatic experience: Yoga, breathing, music
  • Unconscious: Personal narrative and mythology, internal dialogue, active imagination, parts work
  • Whole self: Mind body and soul: including all parts of ourselves in our path of growth
  • Shamanism: Indigenous beliefs and practices, often connected to nature and the unconscious. Journey, visualization, ritual.

Our past relationship patterns literally change the functioning of our brain so that we keep what we need to function in and adapt to our earliest environment and the we lose the rest, in a process called ‘pruning’.

This always seemed kind of tragic to me, until pretty recently when neuroscientists realized that we can actually change how our brains are wired and get back what was trained away, through a process called Neuroplasticity.

We can teach our brains to fire differently and influence the way our brains function. We can let go of re-enacting past negative experiences as we’re blindly driven to resolve them (e.g. when you find yourself reenacting the past gain and again for example, when that guy who seemed so different from your father replicates the pattern of interaction between you, such as you pursuing him and him pulling away from you).

So how exactly do we go about this? How do we heal the past instead of recreating it over and over? Well, put simply, we find ways to connect our left and right brains. The memories of what we experienced before we could talk are stored on the right sides of our brains as implicit memory, which involves, creativity, imagination and non-verbal expression. Mindfulness, movement, intuition, the unconscious, myth, imagery, etc. helps us connect right brain memories to the left brain, which is logical and linear and adds verbal meaning and understanding to our experiences and frees us from blinding re-experiencing our past.

This is why the Soulpurpose process is focused on moving, imagination, personal creativity and connecting with the unconscious.

Do you love your life? Does it include all of who you are and is it driven by the most cherished and valued parts of you?

  • The Soulpurpose process takes some effort. But I consider it the fun, playful and creative effort that’s involved in discovering who you are.
  • By going through the Soulpurpose process, you will find more fulfillment and self acceptance, and be able to let go of the struggle to be something you’re not. It takes a lot of energy and tension to hold down and hold back who you really are, which might explain why you’re tired all the time. An added bonus to discovering and following your authentic path is more energy and better sleep!
  • You will let go of feeling vague emptiness and the constant sense that something is missing (most likely showing up for you as stress, tension, disconnect, depression, loss of joy and living in survival mode). Instead you will experience feelings of excitement, joy, enthusiasm, expressed as “I can’t wait to get to what’s next!” on your creative spiritual and fulfilling life journey.

Moving forward together

I actually forgot that I was moving. Part of allowing the experience of expressive movement work is to create a group that becomes a safe place to move. Your body leads the movement, rather than you “moving” your body so that you’re expressing what’s genuinely inside of you. I don’t know who said it first, but the body really doesn’t lie. This experience can only happen with a small trusting group who’s focused together on supporting what’s happening and enabling each other’s authentic growth to emerge spontaneously.

Theresa Soltzberg