Like many people, I have longed to answer two fundamental questions in my life: Who am I? And why am I here? It’s taken a long time for me to find the answers to those two questions. The quest began nearly 10 years ago and was sparked by a lot of pain, suffering and health crisis. My dis-ease as I prefer to call it now, led me along a path of self-discovery beyond my physical and mental pain. And it required a lot of education followed by countless hours of applied learning, introspection, yogic practice and a lot of time spent in nature, before I received my AHA moment.
The timing of that moment and the many that have since followed, were perfectly in sync with the healing that occurred in my body and mind. When I physically and mentally began to heal, I found myself in a space to re-connect with what some people call God, but I simply know as Spirit. It was in this period of healing that I had a life changing experience in India in 2018.
While meditating in the cave of a famous yogi in the Himalayas, I got my AHA moment. It was a pivotal moment in re-connecting with my spiritual and Higher Self. The moment of insight and connection catalyzed a shift within me that allowed me to further unravel many of the constructs that permeated my mind. As each one was dismantled and eventually dissolved, it became easier for me to listen to my body and follow my heart and intuition.
Where did my heart lead me, you may wonder? To a moment of deep reflection while in a forest in the summer of 2019. It was August, when I finally surrendered and accepting my journey and who I was. I remember in my quiet mind asking Spirit what my purpose was.
The answer came with surprising clarity. I felt awakened and enlightened to the long sought after knowledge that was in me all along. Fact is, I just needed to heal; to be whole to hear HER answer. It was there all along, a whisper that I always knew. It had just been a matter of diving inward toward my authentic self without expectations or judgement; with complete surrender. When I did, I felt the veneer of my life shatter and life become exquisitely clear.
I felt liberated from the shackles of social conditioning and my own ego’s creation. A sense of peace flooded over me as everything that I had ever experienced made profound sense. To sum it up in the simplest of words…it was my homecoming.
You’re probably wondering what was the answer? What was my purpose? What was the soft but clear whisper that I heard? It was what I had always known but denied on a higher level. To be a sharer of knowledge and wisdom. Many people conventionally call this vocation teaching. But what I was called to do was more than stand and deliver information.
I was called to be a teacher like the many teachers who taught me. A teacher who sits with, shares, holds space and supports others on a deeper transformative level; where self-inquiry and interoception are the main teachings and self-empowerment, self-worth and personal transcendence are the real learning.
My purpose, yes is to teach but in a way that is holistic and connective through shared human experience and sisterhood. To teach as I am meant to means to connect with women, promote agency and share knowledge learned not only from science. But from my own lived experience and the wisdom traditions and their many healers and truth speakers, many of whom helped and inspired me to this very moment in time.
It has been a long journey looking for answers, that I can with certainty say I have been on since I was a child. I was born a soul seeker. I always knew that the answers were inside me, but it took a lifetime to heal and learn how to tap into my intuition and hear my authentic voice to connect with my true Self.
When you are searching for the answers to these questions, it comes when you are ready. Up until 2 years ago, I simply wasn’t ready to listen to the answer. Instead, I was resigned to ignore all the signs and worked against all of the affirmations that were guiding me along my path; trying to make convention fit my unconventional values, beliefs and life.
Why do we ignore our intuition and the messages of our life? Because, once you know who you are and why you’re here, you’ve got to do something about it. If you don’t, it eats you up mind, body and soul. You feel like a fraud, having been given divine insight and revelation all people seek, but few people attain or receive in this life, let alone pursue.
Finding your purpose, means it’s time to shit or get off the pot. If you ask for the answers and you get them, then you better be prepared to do something with them. Which boils down to two things; having faith and facing your fears. Finding your purpose and then living it, is the greatest test of faith there is. It often requires us to take a leap into the unknown and face our deepest fears.
Fear is what keeps us from living our purpose and living the life we dream of. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of perceived insecurity, fear of judgement and fear of failure. It has been two years since I surrendered and received the blueprint of my life. It’s taken two years for me to figure out how I am going to live with purpose. Which really means it’s taken me two years to confront my fears and to have faith.
So here I am.
What are my fears you may wonder? Simple: to put myself out there as I am and as I am meant to be. To be seen and heard authentically, and to share my innate wisdom, gifts and talents in an unconventional way. Some may not understand this fear, but I know I am not alone.
For too many years, I spent entirely too much time beating myself up, trying to be everything everyone else wanted me to be. I chased everyone else’s goals but my own, and the goals I thought were mine weren’t. They were just the product of conventionalism and perceived security. Fear tries to shelter us, but when you realize your truth, you see the world entirely through a different lens. You are awakened and transformed. You’re called to show up in the world authentically and to stop playing it safe.
So here it goes, I am confronting my fear and putting myself out there. My name is Joanne Smith, but you can call me Joanne Freeborn: a name that is more reflective of who I am. Freeborn from self-imposed limitations and aligned with my mind, body and spirit which gives me the strength to live my purpose. And my purpose is to guide, support, empower, lead and teach other women how to align their lives, find their answers and to live authentically in a world that needs more teachers, healers, lightworkers, and life changers i.e. EMPOWERED WOMEN.
If you are interested in stepping into your journey perhaps you will join me in one of my upcoming offerings and face your fears and align your life. For more information, visit: www.alignedhealingarts.ca