Living your Purpose

Living in Purpose

By Maria Mar(c)

Some time ago, in the middle of a ceremonial poem, the audience singing and dancing around me as we shifted from fear to harmony; I had a flash of recognition.

“I am living my dream!”

I realized that I was living the vision I had as a little girl. I had become my dream!

Maria Mar in a ceremonial poem during a Poetry Botanica's performance.

Maria Mar (center) with Corazon Tierra and Tanya Torres in a Ceremonial Poem.

There are few blessings in life as great as living your purpose. When all your talents, personality, life experience and values come together in a service that helps others AND makes you feel fully alive, then you have achieved great success.

Would you like to live your dream? To find and realize your soul’s purpose? Read on.

Offering to All our Ancestors, ceremonial art installation by Maria Mar

Ceremonial art installation by Maria Mar honoring diversity and All Our Ancestors.

At the beginning of my adult life, as a college student, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. Was I in for a surprise!

It was clear that I was an actress and poet. It was also clear that I had a passion to help people.

“Easy,” I thought. “I’ll study drama and psychology.”

But no matter how many psychology courses I took, I was not satisfied with that approach to human suffering. You too, may have taken courses, classes and training in fields that you loved, only to find yourself disappointed.

That dissatisfaction is your ally. Focusing on what’s missing as a loss is your mistake. Focus on what’s missing as an opportunity. This is the uniqueness you can bring into your field.

No matter how many dramas I starred in as a shining talent in the drama department, and later on in the many companies I worked with, I felt a deep dissatisfaction with the distance between life and art, audience and actors.

If you passionately feel that the field or area of expertise you are pursuing does not serve the people well or lacks some essential dimension, then that is precisely what you are here for: to add this dimension. Step up to it.

The mistake that many passionate women do is that they focus their passion on rebelling and complaining about what is wrong. Their anger becomes an Inner Enemy of their Success(tm). If they would focus instead on creating a service or experience that would satisfy that lack, they would become leaders in their field.

Back to my story. There was absolutely no way that I could have known then what I was meant to be: an artist-shaman who creates healing and celebratory art ceremonies. I had not even heard the word shaman back then, and at the time I had no spiritual inkling. I was rebelling against a Catholic upbringing that had failed to answer the fundamental questions of my soul.

At that time, in my hometown, we were not taught that spirituality and religion are not necessarily the same thing. I was missing knowledge that would take a long time to get to me. There were trends in psychology that had not yet started. There were theatre movements just beginning. I joined many of them and eventually created my own methodology.

It takes a while to know what your talents are and how they fit together. Firstly, many of us have been cut off from the vast dimension of our talent and genius. Secondly, many of us have suffered disappointing experiences when we searched for answers and values. The process of finding your purpose needs to address these emotional and spiritual wounds, so that you emerge with those broken places as your stronger places.

There comes a time, however, when you’ve lived enough or seen it all clearly. At that time, your Soul will pull your spiritual skirts, urging you to stop seeking and start gathering.

If you are at that moment in your life, here are three questions I often help my clients answer:

Maria Mar on a ceremonial poem celebrating diversity and ancestors.

PBS-featured artist-shaman Maria Mar in a ceremonial poem on honoring diversity. Artist-shaman Corazon Tierra besides her.

1. What is it that I love to do, that I do with such delight that time stops while I am at it, and that I would do without any pay, just for the pleasure of it?


The answer to this question will probably be a mixture of things, such as: writing, helping people solve their problems, dancing and enjoying the ocean. Look at these things as one. What is the picture that comes up? In the case above, it could be creating a summer camp at the beach where people come together to deal with their problems through writing and dancing. There you are!

Audience dancing and placing offerings in the altar during the collective celebration.

Audience members in a ceremonial poem participate dancing and placing offers.

2. What uniqueness do I bring to this service?


In my case, I bring this uniqueness to the art field: I return art to its original function as a healing ceremony for the community. I also bring a uniqueness into the human service world: I bring shamanic female-wisdom based tools and insights to help people transform their lives, and I help them do it through their creativity. Even as a poet and fiction writer I bridge the distance between art and daily life by providing inspiration, guidance and support for real life through a combination of non-fiction and fiction writing.

What is your uniqueness? (Remember those areas of dissatisfaction.)

Maria, drummers and audience member in a poetry ceremony.

Audience members enjoy the poetry, dance and drumming in the Three Muses with Music performance produced by the Poetry Botanica in Camaradas Restaurant, East Harlem.

3. How can I offer this to my people while I make money from it, so that I renew my energy and keep on giving?


This question often brings you face to face with your issues about money. If you have an Inner War going on between polarized aspects of your life, such as:

  • Money vs. Spirituality

  • Creativity vs. Prosperity

  • Charging people vs. True service or goodness

  • Making money vs. being good

  • Power vs. goodness

  • Authority vs. democracy

They are all going to come out. Seek help. You need to put an end to your Inner War or you will sabotage yourself and your mission.

Know this. The Universe is right now giving you the experiences, questions, emotional wounds, dissatisfactions, problems, ideas and talents that you will need to fulfill your purpose. Life Mother does not waste anything. She does not create anything that does not have a purpose. that includes you. Enjoy each experience in your life and embrace is as part of your training.

At the end of each stage or experience –be it a trip, a relationship, a class or training, a job or a project or process– take time to reflect, write down in your journal what you have learned. What made you full? What kept you dissatisfied? Why? What have you learned? How have you grown? Who are you now?

You will begin to see how each twist and turn of your life is weaving the Sacred Design of your soul’s purpose and life mission.

Once you know it, go do it.

Light and Love,

Maria Mar

The Dream Alchemist

Maria Mar(c)

You can use this article in ezines, blogs or article banks as long as you include my name and copyright mark and the paragraph below, and send me notice:

Maria Mar is the Dream Alchemist, an inspirational poet, speaker, coach, author and spiritual teacher who helps women create the life of their dreams. Visit her at http://www.catchthedreamexpress.com

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