How Living in Lithuania Freed Me Up to Pursue my Soul’s Work
I know, I know - the title.
If you're rolling your eyes at "soul's work," I feel you. What does that even mean? And what's with the flowery language, Eva? I'll explain.
I'm not someone that cares much about Life Purpose - not when it really comes down to it. I don't appreciate the purpose anxiety, and I certainly don't care to box myself into standards that someone else already set. It took me a few meandering years to get to this Bigger Picture place - to stop pressuring myself into My One True Life Purpose, as some might focus on finding their One True Soulmate.
What happens? You lose sight of the present moment that's right in front of you.
Living in America, I did my best to choose jobs that brought me some amount of joy, and most of all, afforded me the opportunity to experience a fulfilling life outside of work. But there was always that looming H word to consider: job-connected health insurance. (And I'm not the only one!) The relationship between employment and healthcare in my home country always felt like a job-lock nuisance (and even frayed out towards my many entrepreneurial friends), but what could I do about it? I wasn't ready to go off on my own and I appreciated the stability - but moving to Lithuania offered another path.
Here, I decided to go a different route. I signed up for an individual activity certificate through International House Vilnius and decided to use my natural writing talent to help others - proofreading, editing, and content writing. And my favorite part? I pay a minimal fee to access the same exact healthcare that Lithuanians get for free, easing my subconscious job-lock and creating some fresh air in my bones.
After living in one paradigm for so long, it was interesting to observe myself maneuvering through healthcare as a human right. It has truly lightened my psychic load, but it's also harshly reminded me that so many marginalized people have not been afforded this opportunity - left behind purely based on their location.
I think about this a lot.
Thanks to the Health Insurance vacuum's swift movements, I was left solidly with a blank canvas upon arrival in this country. I can confidently say that all of my past jobs have brought me to this very moment, one I can write in, share in, and create a safe space for women in, being of service. Would I have had the same bandwidth to do this in America? I really don't know. Through Girl Gone International, I also co-work weekly with other women around the world doing the same - I don't appear to be alone in this seismic shift. In other words, my soul's work - my sense of personal purpose - has been supported and satiated by this opportunity to create what I want, unhindered by others' financial interests.
And that, my friends, is a liberating feeling.
So, how do you "free up your soul's work?" In less flowery words, are there ways to evolve your career to be more in alignment with your personal values? (Yes, even within the dinginess of the American healthcare system! My personal values happen to be more European, apparently.) Can you create legacy in a 9 to 5? (Yes!) Do we put too much pressure on people to mine their life purpose? (I think so!) What if your soul purpose has absolutely nothing to do with work, but is more about being of service? I've found a way to combine the two, but at least in my case, it took moving a third of the way around the world to feel it in my everyday life.
How about you? If you've moved outside of America (or another home country), have you also experienced this cultural shift? It certainly doesn't take moving to another country to define work and play by your own compass - your own standards - so I'm curious to hear your feedback. And if you're a Lithuanian reading this, thank you for being so welcoming to this American. I appreciate this country more than you know.
And that's it for this week!
As usual, feel free to subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive a bi-weekly email from me on whatever's on my heart that day! And as always, I'll see you next time here at Into the Forests I Go - iki pasimatymo - see you soon!