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I spend a fair amount of time asking myself the big questions. Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with my life? How will I leave my mark on the world? If I’m not curing cancer, designing space shuttles, or ending world hunger, how will I make a difference? What’s the magic in finding my purpose?

Recently, I saw author Paulo Coehlo interviewed on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Coehlo has written over 30 books, the most acclaimed of which is The Alchemist. This lovely, little book is packed with spiritual wisdom about finding and fulfilling your life’s purpose. During the interview, Oprah told Coehlo that what she hears the most from her fans is that they don’t know what their purpose is. How, she asked Coehlo, will they know what their purpose is?

I sat on the edge of the sofa, eyes wide, like a little girl watching a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat. This was the question I needed answered. And who better to answer it than Paulo Coehlo, the man who wrote the magical guidebook on finding your purpose.

“Oh, they know what it is,” Coehlo replied coyly, the words lingering on his tongue. He said that deep down inside we all know what our purpose is, but some of us are just too afraid to fulfill it.

Where was the magic in that? I sat there shaking my head in disbelief. Sure, there are some people who know from day one what they want to be or do or create. But the rest of us? We juke this way and jive that way. We run madly toward what we think our purpose is only to fall and twist our ankle along the way. And sometimes, in that space of stillness and healing, our soul whispers to change course. Our purpose, it seems, is now beckoning us from another shore.

Maybe the magic isn’t in finding or knowing your purpose. Maybe the magic in the journey you take to discover your purpose.

Or maybe, your journey is your purpose.

It’s the friends you help. The compliments you pay. The love you make. The tears you cry. The hands you hold. The dogs you hug. The babies you serenade. The poems you write. The books you read. The food you savor. The wine you sip. The sandcastles you build. The snow angels you make. The gifts you give. The trees you plant. The flowers you pick. The magic you create. The life you live.

For most of us, our purpose isn’t one big thing like curing cancer or ending hunger. For us, our purpose is a million little things that add up to one big thing – purposefully squeezing every beautiful moment out of the life we were given.

Now that’s magical.




Karena Kilcoyne

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