The pain, passion, & purpose connection

At the beginning of the summer I was able to sit down and have a chat with my friend Amy Banocy.  Over the past year, we have participated in an online emotional intelligence mastermind group together.  (You can find Amy on the web at

Learning emotional intelligence, and the continued personal development work with our mastermind group, has helped me gain insight into my passion and purpose. 

Often at the beginning, times of transition leave us feeling lost and stuck. I know when I left my marriage I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror.  I was not the same woman who had entered the marriage 10 years prior.  I was lost and needed to find myself again.  Fortunately, I was able to find myself and my passion.  I found what lights me up inside.  When I write, speak, and help others I feel completely on fire, so I knew I wanted to figure out how to help others do this as well.

I wanted to talk with Amy as helping women ignite their passion is her specialty.  Our conversation ended up being much more than just listing some concrete steps to help someone find their passion. 

When I first started regrouping after I left my marriage, my mentor asked me, “What are you most passionate about?”  I’m pretty sure my response included my children, cooking, and informed & empowered childbirth.  You may not know, but I trained as a doula and both of my children were born at home with a midwife.  I’ll tell those stories another time!

As a result of these answers, she told me, “People’s greatest pain is often their purpose.”  I didn’t say it out loud (because I was still lost and had zero confidence at the time), but I remember thinking “Lady, so you are telling me that all this crazy shit happening in my life right now is going to lead me to my purpose?”

I didn’t want her to be right.  If you are reading this, you know she was spot on.

Thus, when I sat down with Amy, the first question I asked was “Do you see a pattern of pain to purpose to connection?”  This led us down a bit of a rabbit hole to bring out the truth.

Amy has seen the “pain to purpose” or “survivor to success” story over and over again.  However, she says it doesn’t always have to be something traumatic, although it certainly can be.

For me, it was my toxic marriage.  For Amy, it was toxic work environments.

Amy believes it can be an event or ah-ha moment of realization that “pushes” you out of your safety and comfort to move you towards your passion and purpose.  This causes you to be consciously aware that changes need to happen in your life. 

Pain pushes us towards our purpose.

When writing on a certain topic, I often look up the definition of the word as I find the meaning and origins very insightful.


  1. An intense desire or enthusiasm for something. Synonyms: fervor, zeal, excitement, energy.
  2. The suffering and death of Jesus. Synonyms: pain, suffering, agony.

Isn’t that interesting? 

Pain. Passion. Purpose.

Everything on our life’s path is there for a reason.  These events, although sometimes traumatic, are there to help us learn and grow.

If you are hearing whispers, nudges, or loud and clear voices, I urge you to take the time to reflect and find that pain or push point.

Get out your journal and answer these questions, or take these topics to meditation.

What are you most passionate about?

What makes you feel alive inside?

What has brought you the greatest pain in life?

Is there a pivotal story or life event that has shaped you?

What have you “survived”?

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

The answers might surprise you into finding what you are passionate about!

Let me know in the comments what you discover.

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