At this point, it’s tough to go a day without seeing at least half a dozen inspirational quotes pop up on your Instagram feed. Most are fun and encouraging, and some may even provide you with the boost you need to slay your day.
But every once in a while, you’ll scroll past a profound quote that leads you to actually pause, think, reflect, and maybe even shift your perspective on life. An example that distinctly falls in this camp is “what you seek is seeking you.” It’s simple yet undeniably mystical; it’s also oddly comforting to understand that the things you most want also want you.
Just like any other art form, the quote, written by 13th-century Persian poet Rumi (yes, the one Beyonce and Jay-Z named one of their twins after), can be interpreted in many different ways. Some relate it to the law of attraction and calling in your desires. Others say the wisdom lies in the notion that the things we want to achieve, have, or be are not meant to be difficult. And another group, like Toronto-based life coach and meditation teacher Sabine Buhlmann, believes the meaning behind the quote is all about following your life’s purpose.
“Everybody has a life purpose. Whatever is seeking you, that’s what you seek. That’s what’s calling you. That’s your life purpose.” —Sabine Buhlmann, life coach
“We are all here for a reason,” Buhlmann says. “Everybody has a life purpose. Whatever is seeking you, that’s what you seek. That’s what’s calling you. That’s your life purpose.” In other words, living by the principle of “what you seek is seeking you” is about listening to your intuition, pursuing your dreams, creating your ideal reality, and knowing that the things that call to you are calling you for a reason. They are part of your purposeful path in this lifetime.
Once you begin to follow that path, Buhlmann says, you’ll experience more joy, fulfillment, and flow. “Your energy will shift,” she says. “Things start happening and magically fall into place. It’s like a light is shining.” Buhlmann shares some practical tips below.
Read on for 6 tips to find your purpose, Rumi-style.
1. Listen to your inner voice
“Everyone has an inner GPS,” Buhlmann says. “It’s that wise inner voice that talks to us. When we have a desire, it’s coming from a deeper level. It’s kind of like a longing. It’s seeking you.”
In order to hear the inner wisdom, you actually have to be quiet and listen. The best way to listen? You guessed it: meditation. “It is a great way to connect to that inner calling or what is seeking you,” she says. “You’ll have more clarity and more access to your inner guidance system.”
2. Follow your joy
“When you experience joy or passion, that’s always a sign that you’re aligned with your purpose or what is seeking you,” Buhlmann says. “Joy is an indicator of that inner calling.” If you’re struggling to find your joy, she recommends drafting a list of 20 or more things that make you happy.
3. Pay attention to the signs
When you’re on track with seeking the things that seek you, Buhlmann says the universe will send you signs to let you know that you’re on the right path. You might experience funny coincidences, meet the right person, find the perfect book, hear a song that gives you a message, or get a genius idea out of nowhere. “It’s kind of like something is guiding you,” she says.
4. Trust the process
The Rumi quote is imbued with a sense of trust and belief that the things you are seeking are meant for you and in time will find their way to you. So a key part of living by the principle is trusting the process, which, in this generation of instant gratification, is no easy feat.
“Sometimes you have to go through obstacles but when you start believing and trusting, then it can find you because in your heart you’re already aligned with it on an energy level,” Buhlmann says.
5. Clear the blocks
If you feel like you’re seeking your purpose in every way you know how but things still aren’t flowing, it might be time to examine what’s blocking you. Buhlmann says sometimes it’s fear or limiting beliefs. Or, it could just be that you’re focusing on the bad instead of on the good.
“From an energy point of view, you’re blocking the thing off instead of letting it in,” she explains. “You close the door and you’re focused on the obstacle instead of seeing opportunities.”
6. Don’t worry about the how
When you have a big desire that maybe feels a little too big or even impossible, it’s easy to get caught up on the how. It might even be what stops you from going after the things you want in the first place because it doesn’t feel realistic unless you have a strategically mapped out plan.
But, according to Buhlmann, don’t need to worry about having all the answers in order to make progress. “You don’t have to know how to get there,” she says. “You only have to know the what. The how will be shown because it’s seeking you.”
The most crucial aspect is to be open to receiving the help and little nudges and clues for your next steps. “When you are open, it will find you,” she says. “We can’t even imagine how big that help can be.”
So there you have it: Rest easy knowing that the things you seek (your purpose, your desires, your dreams), are working just as hard to get to you. It just takes a little trust and a sprinkle of patience.
Just don’t confuse purpose with workplace success—doing so puts you at risk for fulfillment fatigue. Also, if you ever feel deflated after meeting a goal, you’re not alone.
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