Here is the first chapter in my new book on how to find your life purpose, higher purpose and personal mission. Take a read here or on Amazon by clicking on the Click to look inside image.
Chapter One from the Book Discover What You Are Here To Do, by Best Selling Author Nicola Grace
Our Life Leaves Clues
When I’m on the road speaking, I often joke about the story of my life as if I’ve stuffed up, done everything wrong and made wrong decisions that lead me up the garden path of nowhere. Part of my introductory speech often goes something like this – “I wanted to be a dancer so I studied history. I wanted to live in a tropical country so I moved to Wisconsin. I wanted to marry an American so I married a Canadian. I wanted to be married forever but I got divorced three years after getting married.” We laugh together.
Depending on what perspective I take, that story could be tragic or liberating. It could tell the story of me not ever really committing to what I truly want on the one hand. But on the other hand it could tell the story of perfection beyond my current understanding. A perfection that can only be realised on hindsight or with deep reflection on the true meaning behind all the outcomes of the decisions I have made.
Had I not learned history I wouldn’t have been able to make history as I did when I stepped up to save a billion dollar change agent industry from ruin. If I hadn’t moved to Wisconsin I never would have become the transformation facilitator I am today. If I never married my husband, the proud Canadian, I never would have experienced profound love.
We are constantly making choices. Each of those choices will often lead to a different outcome, sometimes the same outcome. Regardless of what choices we make we get regular feedback from life as to whether or not we are living on purpose and fulfilling our higher reason for being. I have found that no matter what choices we make, or where we end up in life we have never been abandoned by our Soul, that thing that animates us and allows Spirit to breathe life into us – the deepest part of our Self. That Soul sits there in every outcome, perceived good or bad, and it communicates to us providing us with clues throughout our life. In fact those outcomes might even be a clue from our Soul that we are on or off track.
That being said, the story of our life is a story of a series of clues. We all have a story. We all have clues we can follow. It’s our job to find those clues, learn to decipher them and then follow them. When we do that we will experience the best outcomes that are possible in our life. When we don’t follow them we’ll get feedback in the form of depression, despondency, irritation, frustration, personal dramas and sometimes even personal disasters. These types of feedback are clues we’re off track or there’s something for us to learn.
In this book you will learn how to read those clues. To help you with that process I have a free manual with discovery sheets and a mentoring session to accompany this book. You can go grab that gift at www.DiscoverWhatYouAreHereToDo.com and follow along with the processes in this book. Or you can scan the QR code.
My story has been telling me all along what I was here to do, but it took me some time to put all the pieces together. I have a very personal reason for wanting to help as many people as I can, find their Higher Purpose and Personal Mission in life, that you will discover as you follow the clues my Soul has left me in my life story.
I’ve always been an educator. I was born to teach. My life has left me so many clues that teaching was part of my Higher Purpose. It bewilders me why I ever wandered off that path as I have done on a number of occasions. Even in those times I have been an educator I use to think I was teaching the wrong subject matter and I had finer distinctions to learn. In fact I would say I started life out with a little confusion as to what to teach, but got it right in the end.
You see when I was five I taught the boys to use words they weren’t suppose to use. I’m pleased to say I’m a lot more inspiring now with what I teach. I started out my professional life as a history teacher. I went to university and studied history and education but during my final internship teaching at an all girls school, just six months shy of graduating with both a Bachelors Degree and Teaching Diploma, I dropped out.
I had a rather dramatic communication from my Soul it was time to move on and expand. In the middle of a class, teaching Russian History, I had to race out to the toilets to, well, vomit. As I was driving home from school that day a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me something was off. But I didn’t know what to do about that, so I went back to school the next day. At the end of the day, driving out of the car park, the front axel of my car broke and I had to get the car towed to the nearest garage.
Over a cup of tea with my mother, a Buddhist Feminist, gently she said to me, “You’re Soul is trying to tell you something. Perhaps this isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing.” I was confused because I thought I was born to teach. But the sinking feeling in my stomach was telling me my mother had a point. Still not sure what to do instead, I picked up my fixed car and went back to school to teach the Russian Revolution to fourteen year old girls who were more interested to know if I had a brother, and was he handsome and available.
Driving out of the car park that day, the rear axel of my car broke this time and I came crashing down to earth once again. I took it as a sign that teaching history wasn’t the vehicle for my Life Purpose or the next part of my journey. Apparently I needed three signs.
Not knowing what it was I was supposed to do I took off to go find myself by travelling through South East Asia and meditating with the Buddhist monks in Thailand. While that was an amazing, expansive and eye opening experience, I didn’t find myself. I found head lice instead, as one often does travelling through South East Asia. So I went back home to New Zealand and I decided I better follow my passion because it seemed like the logical thing to do. I didn’t want to end up doing something that would make me vomit again.
My passion at the time was contemporary and jazz dancing. I loved to dance. I learned ballet as a child and because I didn’t have the body type of a ballerina I never considered ballet as my purpose or career path. But like so many other little girls, my big dream was to be a prima ballerina. Contemporary and jazz dancing was the next best thing as that art form was far more forgiving of women with bodies beyond their skeletal structure. I auditioned for a newly forming contemporary dance and education company and got in. We toured schools performing and teaching dance, which I loved. Here I was teaching, only teaching something I was passionate about. But I didn’t feel fulfilled. Something was still missing.
Fast forward a few years at the young age of twenty five, I am sitting in a dance class in summer school of the London Contemporary School of Dance in England. I had a dream to audition for their school and advance my career as a Choreographer. Or so I thought. My teacher hobbled into the room with two walking sticks having had both her hips replaced. This particular morning I was feeling very heavy. Still jet lagged from the long trip from down under, I was also tired. I summoned up every last little bit of energy to sit up straight when the teacher said something like, “I always say morning class is like suicide. You die only to be reborn again.”
I caught a glimpse of myself in the wall to wall, floor to ceiling mirror as she said that. This light flashed from out of my eyes. The look on my face was unmistakeable. It was the face of misery. Tired, hungry and heavy at 115lbs, desperate to get down to 99lbs so I could be happy – I looked like I wanted to disappear from the planet. My teacher’s voice had faded out at, “you die”. I didn’t hear the, “to be born again” part. I only know she said that because I asked my classmate to tell me what she had said.
After class, once again I found myself walking out on my career. Only this time it was my dream career. The one I always wanted. I loved dancing. I still do. But I was hungry and miserable. I’d been a round peg trying to fit into a skinny rectangle and it wasn’t working.
Lost, with no idea what to do next, I went trekking with friends in the French Alps. We stayed in the village of La Grave and walked the trek on the beautiful La Meije Mountain. From our hotel the view was stunning, breathtaking and expansive. We set out on a warm spring day and on our return we stopped to sit and be still, enjoying the sun and this spectacular mountain with its stunning glaciers. We fell asleep snuggled up to the mountain. I fell into a very deep sleep. The best sleep I’d had in a long while. As I awoke I felt something breathing inside of me and through me. I heard a deep wise voice say on its out breath, “You will gain enlightenment here.”
Thinking that literally meant I’d gain enlightenment in France, I had nothing else to do and no other direction to go in, so I left London and went to stay with friends in a small village at the foothills of the Majestic Mt Blanc on the Swiss French Boarder. I spent several months of intense meditation, reading and contemplating, waiting for enlightenment to happen.
One morning, around 11am I entered into a deep meditation during which that breathing I felt on that mountain that day, was breathing through me again. This time I got a visual. I saw come up from deep within me a heart shaped ancient presence, and by heart shaped I mean the real beating heart. It had one single eye looking at me, that when I looked into it I sunk into this deep profound love. Such beauty, wisdom, ancient knowledge and divine vibration was steering right back at me. It occurred to me how absurd it was to ever doubt myself or think lowly of myself if this was inside me.
I came to recognize this visual image as a symbol for my “Heart Soul Connection”. That part of me that connects me to the Divine, to ancient knowledge and wisdom, to my blueprint for this life time, to love, to beauty, to joy, to bliss and to magnificence. That Heart Soul Connection, I have discovered, lies within each and every one of us. It lies within YOU. You have a Soul that is communicating to you all the time often through your heart – your feelings and desires. You just need to know how to understand its communication.
You would think after having an experience like that, that my life would be sorted from that moment on. That I would know what the purpose of my life was, what I’m here to do and what direction to go in, in any given moment. You’d think life would be sweet from this moment on – Apparently not the case.
My spiritual life and my professional life came into conflict with each other. All I wanted to do was study metaphysics and spiritual awakening, but that did not give me a means of financial sustenance. I wanted to eventually teach what I was experiencing and write books about it, so I thought I needed to do a lot more study, which meant I’d have to pick up whatever job I could to take care of the bills. And this is exactly what I did. For the next five years I went into a massive learning phase of my life. Professionally doing whatever needed to be done to pay the bills and meet my responsibilities. It was during this time I moved back to London and got a job in television.
By my late twenties I had ended up living in Sydney and it was here I wrote and published my first self help transformation book. I wanted that book to launch my career as an author and metaphysical spiritual teacher in transformation. In a round about way that’s kind of what happened, but not exactly – Certainly not exactly as I had planned it.
I had finished the national publicity campaign for my book, when I discovered I had leukaemia with an optimistic six months to live. I was facing the impossible wall of finality.
I woke up the morning after I received the news feeling really sad. At the lowest point, sobbing hard, just when I thought I couldn’t cry any more or feel any worse, I heard a small young girl’s voice and a vivid image of me when I was seven flashed in my mind. My little seven year old girl inside cried out in a faint and soft voice – “But I haven’t done what I came here to do yet. I don’t want to die.”’
I lost the plot at that point. The Hoover Damn of despair broke loose. I felt so disappointed in myself that I had let this little girl down. I had failed her. So exhausted I couldn’t express my tears or despair any more, my mind became really quiet. A stronger voice came up from the depths of my heart, and she said, “I want to live”.
That was twenty years ago. Through a series of profound awakening experiences and working with a Naturopathic Doctor I live to this day free of leukaemia. I knew my life had been spared because I had something to do. I had a Higher Purpose and it needed to be fulfilled. Still not being exactly sure of what that was, but knowing it had something to do with teaching transformation, I began teaching the process of transformation I had been through. That took me to a teacher’s academy for A Course In Miracles in America where I lived a life based on transformation, teaching and service. I became a teacher for A Course In Miracles International and traveled extensively facilitating awakening experiences.
Nine years later my journey took me back to New Zealand where I built a bricks and mortar business which was set up, supposedly, for me to teach what I love to teach – transformation. But as I was preparing the business for franchising I was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, and this time the death sentence was a thirty percent chance of survival past three years, if I had a good portion of my lower left leg carved off.
What! Loose my leg? Cancer – again? Was I just the unluckiest person in my family or what? The news hit me hard and as I began looking back at my life, I still didn’t feel like I had done what I came here to do yet. It wasn’t fair, I thought. Why me and why me again?
That was August 2005. And in 2006 I stepped up to do the very thing I was born for with both of my legs fully present and functioning. Stepping up, turned out to be the very thing that saved my life. In an indirect way it has saved the lives of many others. You see I launched a campaign that led a billion dollar change agent industry facing ruin, to victory. It was the natural health industry, an industry that has helped millions of people restore and keep good health. It was my raison d’être to do this very thing, to make a difference and leave a legacy. It wasn’t my intention to do all that at the time. I was just pissed off the industry was facing a life threatening challenge and was determined it wasn’t going to happen on my shift.
By stepping up to do this very thing I was born for, everything I had learned and been through came together to help me achieve what everyone had been telling me was impossible. I actually made history, though I may never go down in the history books for doing so. There’s that theme of history popping up. It was my knowledge and observation of history that helped me design this industry saving campaign. It was also my experience in transformation and working the Laws of Nature that together in harmony led a victorious operation. I taught the principles of how and why this campaign would be victorious to industry leaders and consumers. There’s that theme of teaching metaphysics and transformation popping up.
Part of the campaign needed some drama to get the attention of the media, so I staged a number of theatrical events to achieve that. Here’s where my years of experience dancing on stage and staging dance theatre productions got used. We were also facing impossible odds. For seven years this industry had been working hard to avoid the disastrous decision about to be made that would bring most of the businesses within the industry to a close. Seven years of hard work and in the eleventh hour, it looked like they would fail. I knew what it meant to face impossible odds. I’d overcome impossible odds when I faced my six month expiry date.
Ironically it was within six months, with my campaign strategy, that we all worked together to turn the tide, prevent the disaster, and the industry lives and thrives today. No one had achieved what I had done before me and no one has done it since, in peace time. That fact is what motivates me to help agents of change and social entrepreneurs transform big obstacles into even bigger results, so their missions to transform this world succeed. I shouldn’t be the only one achieving this type of success against all odds. The industry honored me with an award in my role as spokeswoman for the not-for-profit I founded to implement this campaign. It was a grand experience.
A big part of my success was that I was stepping up to do the very thing I was born to do. I was embodying my raison d’être. By stepping up to my Higher Purpose and Personal Mission I was engaging mighty forces, seen and unseen, that clamored forward to help me achieve my mission. Because I knew I was doing the very thing I was saved from cancer to do, somewhere inside of me I knew I couldn’t fail. I had certainty of the outcome and wavered not – not for one second.
At the beginning of the chapter I started out by saying that depending on what perspective I take my story could be tragic or liberating. It could tell the story of me never committing to what I want on the one hand, or on the other hand it could tell the story of perfection beyond my current understanding. That perfection I did realise in hindsight and with deep reflection on all my life circumstances and activities. I connected them together like dots on a page with the stroke of a pen to find the Higher Purpose for me being here. I discovered how my past had prepared me for my life’s work, and how I could take what I learned and share it with others. In this way I could help others connect their life events, make meaning out of their past and present, so their future can be lived on purpose, in joy and that they can reach the satisfaction of making a difference.
Your life has left you clues. Your Soul is communicating to you constantly. It’s up to you to decipher your Soul’s messages and be about being the magnificent self that you are. This book is intended to help you do exactly that.
I encourage you to write your life story and highlight the themes that come up from it. See how they connect. Throughout this book and the complimentary discovery sheets manual that goes with it I’ll be walking you through some processes of finding those clues and join the dots, so you can discover what you are here to do. I also have a recorded mentoring session with me that I’d like to gift you. You can use the manual to work along side reading this book to find your clues and follow your path to the very thing you were born for.
Remember to pick up those complimentary discovery sheets at: www.DiscoverWhatYouAreHereToDo.com