Every one of us has been or will be faced with a moment or series of moments that make your soul perk up a little bit.  They are the moments that will make us think, “I am meant for so much more than this.” These soul-stirring moments may happen at any time and they come in so many different shapes and forms: your significant other dumps you, your boss chews you out over the most petty and mundane things, your best friend dies.

Sometimes, we have these moments at several different points in our life.

We keep having these moments until we get it.

“It” being that we aren’t living our lives to the fullest, that time is slipping through our fingers, and the fires that stir our passion are slowly dying from not tending to them.

For me, the first moment came when I realized my dream job, wasn’t my dream job. But I needed the money.

The next moment came when I let yet another man take advantage of my goodness and kindness and naiveness, leaving my heart broken.

The moment that woke me up? When I learned that my brother had committed suicide.

Okay, it wasn’t that exact moment, because first I had to process everything. And the truth of his suicide wasn’t told to me until many hours later. On top of that, his body was still being kept alive long enough to pray for a miracle and give my parents, his wife, his friends, my brothers, and myself the opportunity to say good-bye.

His spirit had already left, I am sure of that.

In the days and weeks that followed, I knew my life need to change. I took comfort in the fact that our last time together was an amazing meal. He was worried about money and I told him forget about it, he’s the baby and I’ll take care of him. We laughed and talked about what excites us and what the future held. I walked him to his car, where we hugged (him lifting me off the ground, like always) and said I love you’s.

I lived for him now, too. He was my twin born 15 months after me. We did everything together up until I left for boarding school at age 16. Even then, he’d find rides to my boarding school and I saw him almost every weekend. When I went to college, he would call me so that at least one person in our family would have his back in this argument or that argument with my parents. He endured things I wouldn’t know about until after his death.

More importantly, I realized I needed to live for ME now. Not for what was expected, not for what the world said was the thing to do, but for my soul.

I knew I had to figure out what I was meant to do, so that I could be there for his children whenever they needed me.

I knew I had to reach for the stars I once dreamt about as a child—that he and I would lay under many summer nights—because I didn’t want to die on the inside. I didn’t want my soul to commit suicide. From my brother’s death I found new meaning in life.

That all happened in the last few months of 2013.

I dived into deep self-study the next year. 2014 was a year of figuring out what my soul, my CORE self, wanted from this lifetime. It was a crazy, bumpy ride. I was going from a video gamer, TV junkie, Magic the Gathering card game playing hippie to, well, an eccecntric quirky hippie who was going to do something great. It was daunting and overwhelming. At one point, I wrote this in my journal:

There are these moments where I have no fucking clue who I am or what I’m doing or where my life is going. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I’m drowning in sadness, like my life is a nightmare and my nightmares are my life. Nothing in my life has turned out the way I dreamt it would…I don’t even know what I dreamt it would turn out like, but not like this. As if I’m incapable of love and happiness; incapable of succeeding and shining. There’s all these things I want to do, that I know I would love to do, if I could just drag myself out of whatever funk this is, whatever misery my soul sits in.

Damn depressing, right? Maybe you haven’t used those exact words in your own thoughts, but this sentiment happens when we are close to figuring it out, not far from it. I know it seems backwards, but the more we can examine ourselves, reflect upon what really matters to us, and how we really want to feel in this life, the closer we get to our core selves.

Through this past year of self-study, I learned three methods of diving deep and learning who I am at the core: online e-courses, books, and coaching.

Over the next three blog posts, I will dive in-depth on each of these methods, but for now I want you to think about moments in your own life.

Because all of this? It all started from a series of moments.The Lilypad

Moments I could have slept through.

Moments I could have shaken off and ignored.

Moments that I often did ignore.

I challenge you to look at your life now and your recent past. Are there any moments that your soul perked up at? Moments that you would call “soul-stirring” as if you could literally feel your soul squirming around and inside your body?  Moments that tugged at your heart, telling you, “There is a better way!”

Maybe you ignored those moments when they first happened, but you don’t have to keep ignoring them. You can say to them, “I see you. I feel you. I acknowledge you.”

Use those moments to reflect on how you really want to feel.

Figure out what’s really stopping you from feeling how you want to feel.

Ask yourself, “What makes my soul sing with joy?”

There lies the beginning of your answers; the start of living the life you are meant to live. Claim it. Don’t let the moment slip you by.