What does ‘purpose’ actually mean? What does it look like to discover it? How does it feel to realise the ‘why’ for your life?
To most I imagine it comes with a sense of deep satisfaction, a feeling of fulfilment or perhaps an excitement and anticipation for what’s to come in your future.
As I walked home from visiting the safe-house that day, passed the smart houses of a trendy street, I reflected on the conversation I had just had with the woman I was meeting.
To me, it evoked a feeling of freedom. An awareness that I am unique and have a distinctive journey to go on. A journey that is specific to me and nobody else.
But this did not reflective of my conversation with Katie*.
We had sat in the Visitor’s Room of a safe house for trafficked women, for a 1-1 appointment. In front of me was an intelligent woman with a natural gifting for leadership. Had circumstances been different, I began to wonder what her life would look like now: what job would she be doing; what skills would she have developed; what passions would she have discovered?
As we began to unpack the notion of purpose Katie* began to cry. Daring to dream for the future was a vulnerable and overwhelming concept for her. She described the disordered and muddled head space that she entered when she thought of her purpose. So many thoughts and ideas, disappointments and hopes would run riot in her mind, making it difficult to pinpoint what was really meaningful to her. Even more so, where and how would she even begin to take the first step into that future?
What an amazing privilege it is to sit in that space with someone. To listen to their cries of frustration yet affirm and call out of them their hopes for the future. The Day 46 programme empowers woman not only to identify their ‘why’, but start to create practical next steps to achieving it.
Her body language shifted, she smiled as she looked at me. For the first time in that hour, her face lit up. For Katie, that ‘why’ was working in a particular line of business. Katie is now doing some voluntary work in that specific area of business and is applying to a business course to further develop her skills.
*Not her real name
By Olivia Taylor
Day 46 Facilitator
Day 46 is an innovative 8 week learning programme designed to support survivors of trafficking and modern day slavery beyond their ‘45 days’ of statutory emergency care. It is a unique blend of eight face to face confidence, identity and employability workshops which comprise of group sessions, 1:1 coaching and mentoring and where possible, a bespoke voluntary work placement or training opportunity. This comprehensive package helps survivors develop greater resilience, independent living and employability skills.