One of the most sought after outcomes for people attending IOL programs; is to discover their sense of identity and purpose.
Understanding who I am and what I am here to do brings meaning to my life and ignites my sense of passion. It is what gives me a reason to get up in the morning ready to face whatever challenges or obstacles stand in my way. It is in the Exceptional Life Program that participants have an opportunity to explore their identity and purpose. I often take the opportunity in this program to look at my purpose statement and see if it still resonates strongly for me. Something I realized recently is that it is important for me to focus on me as well as others in my statement. Here is what I came up with; I am a courageous, worthy man of integrity, fighting for the freedom to be me and inspiring others to experience their true authentic selves through my gifts of creativity, intuition and wisdom.
This statement is built from an understanding of my internal character qualities, my values and my spiritual gifts. I’m afraid you will have to attend EL if you want more insight into how that understanding all comes together. However, once we put together these statements we take a moment to create a more spontaneous, intuitive statement. My spontaneous statement sounds like this; I am a spirit wolf, fighting for you and me to be free. One of the participants was so impacted by this statement that the next day he presented me with a portrait of a wolf that he had owned for some time. Thanks Jeff. He told me that the intensity of the wolf’s stare actually scared him. The thought crossed my mind that similar things have been said about me.
So; where does the imagery of the wolf come into my sense of identity? Well, it begins with my father. His name was Wulfi. It is an Estonian name and he and my mom gave it to me as my middle name. Sharing my father’s name reminds me that who he was and what he did with his life continues to live on in me. And, I am not the only person that continues to carry on my father’s name. My eldest son Nathan has Wulfi as a middle name and I also have a nephew whose first name is Wulfi. It is a testament to the impact and legacy my father left for us.
My father’s name is not where the story of the wolf ends for me. When I was in grade eight a friend of mine heard my middle name and thought that wolf would be a great knick name for me. For the next five years of high school it was almost the only name that I was known by. One of my friends still calls me wolf today.
A number of years after high school I was pastoring a church in Cache Creek B.C. A first nations man walked into my church one day, stepped into my office and declared that one day I would work with first nations communities and bring healing and reconciliation between white people and the native people of Canada. He told me that I had the spirit of the wolf in my blood and that I would be the leader of a new kind of pack. In the next few years none of his words really came to fruition. However, almost thirty years to the day after he came to my church I was back in Cache Creek running a five day program exclusively for First Nations people. When I had a few minutes break in that program I went to visit the church I pastored to discover that it was a deserted building but looked almost exactly as it had thirty years ago.
I told my wolf story to the group I was leading that week and before the program ended I was presented with all kinds of little gifts that centered on the spirit wolf imagery.
Here is a description I found of the spirit wolf; “Wolf has the ability to make quick and firm emotional attachments, and often need to trust their own instincts. Thus they teach us to do the same, to trust our hearts and minds, and have control over our own lives.”
Sounds about right; what do you understand about your identity and purpose?
Terry Lige is a Kelowna life coach and the founder & head facilitator of Inside Out Leadership. Experience life-changing breakthroughs in his transformational personal development workshops.