Living With Purpose With Eloise Skinner

Paul Harrison

Welcome to the daily meditation. My name is Paul Harrison, and joining me today is Eloise Skinner, an expert in living with purpose. Hi, Eloise. How are you doing today?

Eloise Skinnera

Hi I’m doing well. Thank you so. Much for having me.

Paul Harrison

It’s my pleasure. So to begin with, let’s just discuss precisely what you do. I know you have various websites and things. What is your, what is the? Work that you do.

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah. I mean, as you said, it’s quite buried. So one of the things that I do is work in the field of purpose or existential analysis. And I’m training as an existential therapist. And so I do a lot of work with helping people find a sense of meaning and purpose. And I have a business that does that. Kind of consultancy work and also a book that’s related to that. And then I do a few other other things as well. I work in the field of education a lot with students. Who are finding their first? Areas and have a business, a startup that’s focused on that and final thing is sort of teaching. So yoga, Pilates and fitness things and meditation as well.

Paul Harrison

So let’s just discuss purpose. Of course everybody wants to live with purpose, but I believe there are specific ways in which having a sense of purpose also helps our our well-being. So what would you say are the main benefits of knowing your per?

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah, I think it’s obviously a really individual journey for everyone. But I would say maybe some consistent themes would be just having more.

Speaker

Of a.

Eloise Skinnera

Sense of being grounded in the world. So sometimes in the existential sort of literature, the academic side of this work, they talk about a sense of fundamental trust or fundamental. Belonging in the world, and that’s something that sort of finding a sense of. Purpose can give you this. This ability to just be in the world in a very settled way and you know that can manifest in various different ways. You know, obviously things like anxiety or you know just being having a sense of not really belonging in a community, those sorts of things. They can sometimes be helped by finding a strong sense of personal purpose.

Paul Harrison

Mm-hmm. Yeah, certainly. I remember when I found my purpose being with meditation. I certainly some suddenly started to feel a lot more grounded and a lot more alive, so I imagine that’s. As you say, the main benefit is sort of belonging to a community and you run a community, don’t you?

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah. So I have a business called the Purpose Workshop and we sort of do workshops with lots of different people, individuals, but also with corporates, with organisations and also with charities. So it’s really about, you know, giving people a sense of. Practical tools that they can use to try and find their purpose, and we work a lot with schools and young people, people who are coming to that point of transition where you come out of education and into the working world and you’re trying to figure out like what a moment to be doing, what you know, what should I do with my time and my life. And so doing workshops where you have a lot of people working through those topics together. That would be really helpful.

Paul Harrison

Mm-hmm. So I’m. Sure. Amongst our listeners are probably plenty of people who are wondering what their purpose is and doing a bit of self discovery and perhaps you can advise them what are some things that people could do to help find their purpose and then live by it.

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah, I mean. Lots and lots of different ways and it will really depend on you know what you like to do as a person, I think one of the most important things about purpose finding is that it’s enjoyable. And it feels like like you said, something that makes you feel more alive or more grounded and not something that feels stressful or like, you know, a chore that you have to carry out to, you know, figure out what you’re meant to be doing. So for a lot of people, if you’re into things like journaling or making notes, there are lots of different exercises that you can go through with yourself. Like listing out all of your values or, you know, drawing different. Sort of. Brain like brainstorms or mind maps and things like that with different values. Maybe writing a mission statement, maybe just doing some journaling around questions of purpose and meaning, that sort of stuff. And then on the other hand, if you’re someone who likes to work more with other people, if you’re more into. Sort of group work and communication and. That sort of thing. There are lots of different conversations and like discussions, you can have even just informally within a group of people sort of asking questions about purpose, values, mission, passions, that sort of stuff. And then the final maybe thing to mention is that if you wanted to do this work more formally, there is existential therapy, which is a whole branch of psychotherapy. Where you work with the therapist to really talk about some of these issues in more depth. So there’s all sorts of different approaches to it. And I think the key is just finding something that you really enjoy doing and making it a part of almost like a well-being practice, you know part. Of your self-care.

Paul Harrison

So you mentioned mind maps earlier. I’m actually really interested in that. That’s although I’ve done certainly very many different minds techniques over the 20 years I’ve been meditating, I think I’ve never really done a mind map. Could you just explain precisely? How that works?

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah, I mean, that’s more like a journaling tool, like a journaling technique. So it’s less kind of on the meditation side, although you could always integrate these tools with meditation. But I guess what I meant by that and you know this is a word that’s maybe used differently in a lot of different contexts, but it’s usually just a process of like getting all your thoughts down on paper and then structuring them in a. Way that kind of. Feels intuitive or natural to you, like diagrams or you know whatever you wanted to. Do in terms. Of like getting your thoughts down, I think it works. Best you know, for people who are quite visual learners, if you’re someone who likes. To learn by. Looking at certain things on a piece of paper and then drawing like, it’s almost like a visual map of your thoughts can be quite helpful.

Paul Harrison

Umm so it’s kind. Of you’re putting your thoughts down onto paper in a in a sort of creative way. So you’ve been how long have you been working in this field? I I know you were previously a lawyer and then you became you got into finding purpose and living with purpose. How long have you been? Doing this now.

Eloise Skinnera

I mean, it’s been a gradual journey into this work. So officially I left my legal job at the beginning of 2021 and that was when I started the purpose workshop. Like, you know, right after that. But I had already been doing my existential analysis training as a therapist before that because it’s a very long course and I’ve been trying to. Do that in my vacation time from my legal job. And and you know before that, like in the maybe in the decade before that was my own sort of personal purpose finding journey. So I had done things like existential therapy as a client myself. So you know, to really being on the process of learning about this field of work and understanding it as a, as a kind of explorer myself. And as a seeker and then sort of transitioning into the teaching role after that.

Paul Harrison

So with all your experience, both with yourself and now that you do it professionally, what would you say is the most rewarding thing? That you that you’ve experienced, whether it be through with yourself or with one of your students or clients, what’s one really rewarding moments that you remember?

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah. I mean, one of the most rewarding things, this isn’t a moment in particular, this is more like a general. Thing, but one of the most rewarding things is that a lot of people find their purpose by sort of giving back in some way. And it’s so incredible to see that come out of so many different people’s journeys. Obviously not. You know, it doesn’t have to be that that’s the case for everyone, but for a lot of people, when they really do this work over a long period of time and they really. Go deep into their own. Motivations and ambitions, and the things they want to achieve. It’s usually bound up with the sense of giving back being of service, working with other people, you know, showing your gifts to the world and sort of contributing in some way to make a world a better place, make our world. A better place. And and that is incredibly rewarding to see because I don’t think it’s really spoken enough about in sort of. Public consciousness when we talk about finding purpose, we think of it as quite an individual journey or something that we just do by ourselves to figure out. You know what we want to do. But the reality is when people do this work over a long period of time, quite often it leads to a sense of. Giving back or being in community and that is really rewarding to see.

Paul Harrison

Mm-hmm. So I like to give a 5 minute sort of challenge or exercise to our listeners, something that they can do once once they’ve finished listening to this episode. Well, 5 minute challenge or exercise, do you think would really benefit our listeners?

Eloise Skinnera

Yeah, I I mean, there’s so many and and. You know, I think again it comes down to you, what kind of thing you prefer to. Do but one. Sort of simple exercise that you could do right now is a value based exercise, so a lot of the time and purpose work when we start, we go right back to your core values as a person and what you kind of believe in your main sort of principles and stand. And your main building blocks of life. Almost and. And not many. People take the opportunity to kind of map out their values. I don’t think we talk about it that much in terms of, you know, having these values that are core to who we are. And so a simple exercise is to make a long list of all of the values that are most important to you as a. Person they could be anything. From, like ambition, honesty, integrity. You know, giving back community being, you know, being with other people, whatever it is, relationships, that kind of thing and you’re just listing out all of these. It doesn’t have to be any technical definition of what a value is. Just like your central. The things in life that are most important to you, like the qualities and characteristics. And then after you do that without judgment or analysis, you just make a long list, go back through that list and see if you can pick out any consistent kind of categories or themes that keep coming up again and again. And again so. Whether that’s like intellectual curiosity or whether it’s like. Being community or giving back or you know whatever it is being created like loads and loads of different options. And then just see if you can pick out like 3 or 4 main themes that are kind of your main values and that’s kind of the five minute exercise, but you can do so much more when you have those values. You know you can start to figure out maybe jobs or careers that align with those or relationships you can use them as kind of the building blocks for other purpose finding exercises. Goal setting for all sorts of things. So that’s a 5 minute starting point.

Paul Harrison

So I’m just gonna do a quick recap. I. Think we’ve we’ve spoken. About quite a lot of things in this episode.

Speaker

So I’m just.

Paul Harrison

Going to do a recap for our listeners. So firstly, finding your sense of purpose can really help with your mental well-being because it grounds you. Helps you to know why you’re getting out of bed in the morning. They can also do things like reduce anxiety and stress and produce a sense of belong. Thing, there are many ways in which you can find your purpose, such as mind mapping and the one exercise that Eloise would recommend that you do after this episode is to write down all your values. And then go through them all and look for themes. What are the shared themes between the different values that matter to you? And what can you discover by that? So Eloise, it’s been a real pleasure. Could you just provide your details for our listeners who might like to get in contact with you so they can do more work with you perhaps to help find their purpose?

Eloise Skinnera

Sure. So you can find me in all sorts of different places on the Internet. My website is Eloise skinner.com and if you put my name into Google, Eloise Skinner and you’ll find all my socials as well. So I’m on Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, where I don’t do anything particularly professional. Dated, but sort of having some fun over there if you wanna come and join.

Paul Harrison

Excellent. Well, thank you so much. It’s been fantastic and to our listeners until next time stay sensational.

By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations.

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