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FEATURE - July  2015 - Kansas City

The Joy of Living From Your Soul on Purpose 

by Rima Bonario


“When you live from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” Rumi


This past weekend I was asked to facilitate 60 teens aged 11-18 through a daylong introspective workshop. My task was to invite them to find and express one of their soul’s deepest longings for this year, a goal, a purpose that they wanted to express, and the intention with which they wanted to express it. It was a daunting task to undertake, and I wasn’t at all sure how it would turn out. Fortunately, as an experienced facilitator, I have learned that I can trust my self and my soul to show up and do the work.


It was a true joy for me, and together we built and shared a connection of safety and joy.


There are many ways to experience joy. In my book, Who Have You Come Here to BE? 101 Possibilities for Contemplation, I share this teaching on joy:


“The letters of the word joy, stand for Just Open Yourself. Open yourself to the beauty, the wonder, the love, the very presence and sacredness of life all around you. Revel in the tiniest treats, be buoyed by the boldness of color, and be transported by the sweetness of fragrance. Slow down. Breathe. See. Know. Celebrate the wonder of it all and feel joy well up from within with unstoppable speed and overflowing abundance. Joy is a state of being achievable anytime, anywhere.”


My favorite way to open myself and allow in the awesomeness of the world is to support people on their quest for joy.  Helping people find and live from their soul’s purpose is my soul purpose. And when I am on purpose, I am in joy. My joy and my soul purpose are inextricably linked. How about you? Do you know what brings you joy?


Do you look at your life and see that it looks pretty good, yet wonder why you don’t feel more joyful? Perhaps you’ve had that nagging feeling that “something is missing,” but you don’t know exactly what the missing something is. Perhaps it feels as though there is a film or a veil between you and your joy.


If you are experiencing a joy drought at the moment, I recommend taking these three steps to increase your experience of joy:


1. Sacred Questions

Take some time with a journal and a cup of hot tea or a glass of wine to ask yourself these questions and record your answers. It may not be comfortable, but it will be worth it. I call them the Big Five:


  • What makes you laugh?

  • What makes you cry?

  • What do you long for?

  • What do you need to release?

  • What is your sacred gift to others?


Reflect on your answers. Notice what paradoxes and contradictions emerge. Notice what feels empowering. Notice what surprises you. Notice what makes you squirm to see it on paper. Notice what builds energy, and what drains it. Notice if you feel called to make any changes in your life…and then make them.


2. Sacred Action

Try these actions steps from Who Have You Come Here to Be? 101 Possibilities for Contemplation:


Practice Feeling More Joy: Make a standing date with joy each week. Set aside a few hours to experience beauty. Perhaps you head to an art museum, or out to a woodland path. Perhaps you lie down on the grass under a tall tree, or cozy up to a fire with a cup of coffee. Use this time to open yourself to the beauty of life before you, to slow down, to breathe, to see, and to know. With practice this kind of joy-filled seeing can become as natural as breathing.


Use a Daily Joy Affirmation: I release any and all blocks to experiencing joy. I open to beauty and wonder of life. Joy is my natural state as I look with unfailing eyes on sacredness of all life. My life is filled to overflowing with joy.


3. Sacred Purpose

Commit to uncovering and living your soul purpose. Find a process that supports you in digging deep: Creating a vision board focused on the goal of finding and living your purpose, keeping a purpose journal and writing in it every time you are inspired by someone living on purpose, adding pictures and drawings, finding a book or attending a retreat focused on exploring who you are at a soul level, and what gifts you have to give the world.


Once you have a sense of what your soul is calling you to be, focus first on a series of micro-changes. That means tiny steps, shifts and decisions that make micro-progress toward embodying your purpose. When you have enough of these under your belt, consider taking a bigger step, or even a leap, that brings you into greater alignment with your soul, your self.


So what about it? Will you take up the challenge and get your joy on?  I can think of nothing more powerful, more healing, and more needed on our planet right now than you in your joy.

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Rima E. Bonario, Th.D., writes and teaches about personal and planetary transformation. She holds a doctorate in Transformational Psychology and works with individuals and groups to surface and heal unresolved wounds, reclaim wholeness and unleash SOULpurpose. To learn more about her work visit or call (913) 608-8805.



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