Instinct, Guidance, and Your Life Purpose - Christine Kane

Several years ago – in the course of one year – I had two encounters with my gut instinct that ultimately showed me my authentic direction – or what Martha Beck would call my “North Star.”

First Encounter:

I was headlining at a big music festival.  After my set, I was hanging out backstage and the place began to buzz with a rumor of a visit from a legendary rock star. He was going to do an acoustic set after the final scheduled performance was over.

People went nuts.  This was HUGE!

Even though I tried, I couldn’t muster any excitement.

In fact, I had kind of an existential crisis.  A year or two before this moment, I would’ve died for this!  What was wrong with me?!

Well, for one, I was tired.  I had my heart set on driving to the airport and getting an early flight home.  And truth be told, I wasn’t THAT big of a fan of this very famous rock star.

So, amidst all the hubbub, I went out to my rental car, and I sat quietly.  I asked myself WHY I would stay.  And the ONLY reason I could find was this:

So that I could tell my friends about it and brag to other musicians and songwriters.

That was all I could come up with.

I decided to leave.

Not an easy thing to do.  There weren’t many people in my life who would’ve supported this choice. (In other words, I didn’t have a coach at the time!)

I drove a few hours back to a friend’s house, had an awesome dinner with her, and got an early flight out the next morning. With the exception of a few remaining critical voices in my head – I had a great time.

Second Encounter a few months later:

A friend and I were driving around my city’s downtown looking for a place to eat.  We were chatting casually while sitting at a light, and I looked out the window and saw Deepak Chopra.  I remember shouting, “Ohmigod! That’s Deepak Chopra!”  Without even thinking, I jumped out of the car and ran toward him. (You can read the rest of that story here.)

———–

These days people often ask me about the seemingly effortless evolution of my songwriting career into writing, coaching and mentoring women in their lives and businesses.

Even though it makes no rational sense, I tell them about these two encounters.  My own instinct showed me the direction I wanted to go.  It was just up to me to finally stop shoving my woo-woo audiobooks under the passenger seat of my car any time someone rode with me – and start sharing more of my own healing and work.  Which I did.

My ego hated me for it.

But my spirit has never looked back.

People often wait for their life purpose to be revealed to them by some oracle or divine voice.  In my experience, you ARE the oracle. You ARE the divine voice.  The trick is to trust yourself when you’re sending guidance your way.

26 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Dar J

    I’ve been following my “North Star” you speak of Christine for a while. My life doesn’t make much sense if I think about it too hard, expect too much, or get wrapped up in the emotion of it all. I made a decision recently after years of frustration, I have to stop trying so hard to evolve along parameters set either by myself or others; there is a preconcieved notion of who/what we are or should be. I’m learning I need to simply let go, follow my instincts. What I’ve found since is path to a purpose though I’m not clear on entirely what, why or where it is. I can tell you it is helping me survive, leading me to things I’ve never been interested in (history!), bringing new confidence where there was uncertainty and regenerating interest in things I’d forgotten I even enjoyed. This “pull” for lack of better explanation, intuition, is opening my eyes to things I refused to consider. In following, I not only think of myself differently, it has me venturing toward family/friends I don’t know (seems oddly clear in all the unknowingness) and places I’ve never been. Something tells me daily to forge ahead and just trust the unkown. I found my way here to your site as a result of working toward my “destiny” if you can call it that. How I have no idea, but i’m so glad I did. Mine is not to reason why….! I love the music. You are empowering women and I look foward to knowing more about your ideas, creativity and music. Its so easy to get wrapped up in all the chaos we forget about channeling into the gifts we were born with. I look forward to learning more.

  • Damien

    Hi Christine, I have only heard one of your songs; “I dont like roses” on the Putumayo label. It has become one of my favorite songs. It is one of the most beautifully constructed songs I have ever heard. I guess I can say this with some authority as I was a guitar maker for many years and am now a minister and theologian…Folk songs have a way of becomming predictable; but your rhyme and theological insight is fresh and unexpected…the haunting sense of loss after one has achieved goals and the question “is there such a thing as really breaking through (from memory) are thoughts that rank with the “how many roads” of previous generations. Thank you and God Bless Damien Ball

  • Sukie Baxter

    Wow, Christine. This is just what I needed to read in this very moment as I battle the inner doubt surrounding my decision on the direction in which I would like to take my life. Thank you.

  • Allison Johnstone

    I too am a woo-woo audio-book hider!
    Thank you for this.
    I’m going to be brave and leave them out – maybe its time for the world to see my woo-woo-y-ness!

  • Becky

    Hi everyone… thanks for a great post as always Christine. I just wanted to thank you for a previous post, or it might have been on one of your recent email updates… you wrote about flying first class and making sure you stay in nice hotels etc. Well… I’m not flying first class, but I’ve been thinking a lot about looking after myself as my time at grad school has been so stressful. Recently went for my first massage! And now have booked my flight from UK to USA with British Airways as it is my favourite airline, so comfortable and simple to understand their website, and I can fly from my home town instead of schlepping to London… even though it’s a bit more expensive. Means I will arrive to see my boyfriend feeling pampered and happy rather than harrassed and uncomfortable! Totally worth it. I’m learning to value myself on inside and out! xx

  • Marie

    Great post. I know where my passion resides – and my ego still has me working a billion hours in a respectible business job. Ego squashing spirit – but I know this is happening and am allowing it!

    Time to stop allowing it, I guess!

  • Sue

    “My ego hated me for it.

    But my spirit has never looked back.”

    LOVE THAT 🙂

  • Vicky

    Ah yes … I kind of think I got that – I was sort of relating on the level of going with instincts and feeling better for it but clearly a big part of me loves that random celeb encounter story. Hmmm… Thank you for all the inspiring articles – especially those which offer insight into effects of ego. It’s often lurking.

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks y’all! And yea, Vicky – the celeb thing wasn’t really about the celebs themselves – but really about what they represented within me and where I was at with each person.

  • Hannah Marcotti

    The most amazing discovery for me has been that as I have started coaching and mentoring others, my life has been blessed with mentors who inspire me, allow me to remain focused and trust the path I am on.

    You have been a gift to discover.

  • Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com

    Really interesting post Christine. You always manage to come across as such a genuine person through your writing.

  • Vicky – Acoustic Wave

    Thank you for your story about celeb encounters and the lesson you learned about going with your instincts. In my old media job I used to meet lots of celebrity types and knew how to handle the situation in a work environment but more recently, a non-work encounter threw me slightly….

    Last year, I was sitting in a cafe in Royal Deeside, Scotland, reading a book, minding my own business. This was during a break from a bespoke hospitality assignment at a holiday home – I was with my chef partner James (who’s also a singer songwriter) – he’d gone out to get groceries. While reading in the cafe, I heard a distinctive voice say ..”can I sit here please”. I looked up from the book…it was Billy Connolly. It was the strangest experience because there’s this weird inequality between you. You should to act like strangers – it’s the polite thing to do but it seems kind of false because you both know that you know who he is and you feel you know lots about him – via books, autobiographys, tv and so on. Anyway, I gave the man his privacy knowing that he was in the area staying at his holiday home. But, all the while, the opportunist in me was thinking…oh, we could give him our business card, it could lead to work. I resisted, I didn’t want to be so uncool or rude. In the end, he asked me about the book I was reading. James arrived. The pair of them got chatting about music. James gave him a copy of his album. We chatted some more, we listened to some great stories and we all parted company in the loveliest way and without anyone feeling like they’d been unnatural or pushy. We later learned from a local that Billy Connolly hates it when people do that “oh…you’re Billy Connolly thing” when he’s just trying to visit his quiet little part of the world. So, I guess we all got something out of the experience – and hopefully we are less likely to be ridiculed on stage at his next gig!! 🙂 I guess I learned that sometimes it’s best to go with your instinct to pull back a little and allow some space for …..well, whatever is supposed to happen naturally.

  • Christine Kane

    furiousball – great point! that’s why i have coaches!

    thanks everyone for the great contributions! kathy – i’m SO PROUD of all you’re doing!

  • furiousball

    I do agree with you, but I think you can still receive that voice as well as have it emanate from within yourself. That openness goes all ways.

  • Kathy Troidle Jackson

    Thanks Christine. Listening to your own instinct. Out of the head and into the heart. Thanks to your Uplevel Your Life program and working with my coach, it’s a revelation to hear the old ego yabbering on but realize exactly what it is and stay true to my heart/passion anyway. As a new self-published author, I am eager and exited and unsoured by publishing house rejections so far….just letting my creativity flow and writing down everything I can as fast as I can, joining writing conferences, the national Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, local meetings/critique groups, etc.

    I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 100 authors featured at this weekend’s Hudson Children’s Book Festival with my “White Dog Haiku.” It was overwhelming to be surrounded by such established authors and poets – and when I walked in to set up my ego said “Who do you think you are trying to pass off this little self-published book of haiku as a real children’s book?” My table was located between two celebrity, award winning authors, Hudson Talbott and Alexandra Sky. OMG. Their tables were filled with award winning titles and kids, teachers, parents were flocking to them. It would have been easy to feel embarassed about my table with a single self-published paperback title. But I stayed in the moment and talked to every person who came by. They were attracted by Islay Bear’s cute picture. I sold 8 books, talked to kids about their dogs and the haiku they are writing in school, and had some of the most inspiring conversations with Hudson and Alexandra. They encouraged me to keep going and build on my White Dog Haiku. Kids love poetry and schools are always looking for speakers to come teach a module – this was evidenced by the fact that 30 kids came to my haiku reading session and the steady stream of them coming to my table. Hudson and Alexandra pointed me to resources and offered their own help as mentors on my writing journey. Instead of being deflated trying to compare myself to others, I am even more energized at what I am putting out in the world.

    I just submitted my haiku to magazines and soon Children’s Book publishing houses. My first rejection came in very quickly from an online haiku magazine the other day. Ego tried to say “See, you have no business submitting anything to anyone, you have no idea what you are doing!” But instead of closing my notebook and hanging up the pen, I researched what they wanted in haiku. I read articles and trolled websites and wrote and wrote. I submitted some more that I feel really good about. No rejection on those yet – I will let you know when I get officially published. It’s coming any day now. I am an author!!

  • Alisha

    “… you ARE the oracle. You ARE the divine voice.”

    Yes! I am starting to realize this more and more each day. Thank you again for such a wonderful post.

  • Joy Tanksley

    Thanks, Christine. Thank you for listening to your inner wisdom and doing the work you are meant to do. My life coach introduced me to your blog about a year ago. Utilizing your wonderful resrouces (like word-of-the-year and your guide to vision boards) has helped me navigate the compex transition out of a career that has weighed me down for nine years and into my true life’s work. I am at the hardest part of the transition as I write this – leading two lives, doing both jobs at once. But only six more weeks of this! You just don’t know how much I needed this today. I am caterpillar soup right now! (And I know you understand this reference as a Martha Beck fan.) Again, thanks. You are such a beautiful soul. A gift to the world.

  • Laura

    This is so true!!!! I’m dealing with the ego vs. spirit in what feels like a public way as people ask me over and over why I am leaving institutional teaching (i.e. a regular paycheck) to pursue my dream of owning a prosperous business. Finally I have the courage to take my spirit seriously and I surprise people, sometimes even myself, with my confidence. Thanks for being the extreme encourager that you are!

  • Eden

    Ahhhh, to find what makes us tick! This is our work!! But, to share what makes us tick and
    show them our work! Ahhhh, it’s risky but worth it! How else will we find “our people”. Love this post and the comments so far!

  • Cristina

    As usual, your words seem to come at exactly the right time. During the past months I had been thinking hard about what my purpose is, trying to figure out what it is that I’m really passionate about. I guess that the hardest thing has been to let go of what I thought was my “only true passion” – art – and realise that
    a) I am allowed to have multiple passions, and to choose the one that feels right at the moment
    b) all my passions are important and are a part of who I am; dedicating myself to just one passion was a stepping stone, not the final destination
    I’m 40 y.o. and it’s scary to know that I’m changing my career again, while my friends and relatives seem to have found all the answers and have achieved so much more that I have (in terms of materials possessions and economic rewards). But I don’t see any other options – It’s either try again or act, and acting is just for theatre & films!
    Thanks for the reminder, Christine!

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks Alyson – and remember… The world we live in is filled with miraculous souls, love, abundance and awakenings, too. It’s all about what you choose to focus on. That’s a tough one sometimes – but trust me, it’s very true!

    Martina – I went through the EXACT same experience many years ago in a bookstore when looking at the new book of one of my favorite gurus. It wasn’t “bored” – it was just this knowing that I had moved beyond “needing” it. Truly liberating. Yay for you!

  • Martina

    Hi Christine,
    I have to tell you something what relates to what you wrote.
    After doing your seven week long Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program (now I´m doing a second round) I noticed many changes, many things happend, to much to tell here, but a (seemingly) random thing I want to share:
    If I go into a bookstore my first move is always to look up the newest in the self help section browsing my most beloved authors: Dyer, Beck, Sark and some more hoping they can offer me some new insights.
    Some weeks ago I visited my favorite bookstore and as usual I went to the shelfs I know very well and…. reading the titles I felt something strange:
    I felt bored, I was not interested, I didn´t know what I was looking for…. And than it dawned to me what had happened:
    I do not need these books anymore !!!!!
    Deep inside me I know already what I have to do to change my life. In fact I had started already to change, real change, never before experienced kind of change. This is so powerful, I felt powerful. In this bookstore suddenly I felt the power I have over my life.
    There is no one outside myself who can take care of myself as good as I can.
    It is true: some of these books are very good and they helped me a lot, but only so far…soon I felt left alone again and I had to go back to them.
    Standing between these shelfs I smiled, in and out. It felt as if a wide space inside me had opened up. The energy which I used to dive into this kind of literature was freed-up.
    I love books, I visit every bookstore I come across. Did you know most of them have also shelfs with cookbooks, childrens literature, art books, books about traveling….o so many more to explore. 🙂

  • Alyson

    Christine
    I love your words. They are so completely meaningful! I think it’s an amazing revelation to realise what nurtures your soul and listen to and follow your own inner voice. We live in a world of competitiveness, materialism and selfishness. It must be liberating to look deep into your soul and do what is truely good for you.