Doing Your Soul’s Work

My sister recently suggested we each reflect upon some marketing questions since we are both small business owners, and because I am in the process of creating Emerge Movement.  She asked me questions like “what would help this experience be exactly what your customers want”, etc. You know, typical marketing questions that are all about fitting what you are selling into what the buyer is buying.  I had a rather visceral reaction to these questions and I couldn’t quite figure out why.

And then I came across Oprah’s backstage Golden Globes speech and I realized exactly why I had this visceral reaction.  Oprah is asked to share her wisdom to young film makers about how to make great films.  She says, “Do the work that comes straight from the soul of you.” And then she shares that the single greatest wisdom she has ever received…..

Can I get a drum roll please!  This is from OPRAH and she says the “SINGLE GREATEST WISDOM” is…

“the key to fulfillment, success, happiness, and contentment in life is when you align your personality with what your soul actually came to do…when you can use your personality to serve whatever that thing is you can’t help but be successful.”

Well, there you have it folks!  So now the question is what did your soul come here to do?  My dear friend and guiding angel in my life who died at the tragic age of 20 said to me at the tender age of 17, “Erika, I don’t know what exactly you will do in life, but you will inevitably work with people and help them.”  Now granted, this was one of those philosophical break it down sessions on the beach when you are 17 and everything seems so possible!  And his response so resinated with me. I followed this path of “helping people” to many social service jobs and eventually to Graduate School in Social Work. And as I refine this path and listen to what I love to do, I realize that my soul is meant to create space and inspire people to become their best self.  So if I align my personality to serve that, I would say that my personality is about engaging with people, listening to them, breaking it down (on the dance floor or in session), as I am energized by and in awe of people and their stories and their humanity, vulnerability, resilience, and strength.

So Emerge Movement is that process for me of aligning my personality of engaging with people with serving my soul’s purpose of creating space and inspiring people to become their best self.  And I am not interested in figuring out how to alter what I am doing to fit into what will sell or what is the next hottest trend.  In fact, I think when we try to alter what we do to fit into what other’s want, we lose part of our core self and the energy is often a “scrambling” energy. Our focus is “out there” and we scramble to fit what we have to what others want. This, of course, is the basis of marketing. At least, that is my understanding of what marketing is and why I had that visceral response to my sister’s question. So as I create Emerge Movement, I want to turn my focus inward and find out if I am continuing to be in alignment with what my soul is meant to do…and from that place, I know I will be successful because my core self will be in tact instead of fractured by trying and scrambling to fit it into what everyone else wants of me.

Of course, I recognize that if you are selling a pair of shoes, it might be useful to see what your customers really like. So obviously there is a place for marketing…I just think that balancing what we are selling and doing (whatever that may be) with what we came here to do or what we are best at – helps us to feel connected, alive, and in our most authentic self.

So, I invite each of you – friends, students, dancers, clients – to look inward and find out what your soul came here to do. And market away, my friends… from this place!