Finding Your Purpose

Finding Your Purpose

What should I do with my life? What’s my purpose?

Do these questions sound familiar? Deciding whether the path you’ve chosen is the right one, or figuring out which is more important—money or happiness—can seem daunting. So how do you know when you’ve found your calling? Or even, what’s the best way to begin?

Life purpose and career coach Melissa Carvalho had the same questions. During March of 2020, while the pandemic began to change the lives of many, Melissa was working from home which left her with a lot of time to reflect. She embarked on her own self-discovery journey during this time by reading many books on purpose and found herself surrounded by a lot of important information. Combined with her master’s degree in counseling, she branched out and shared her knowledge via Psychology Today. From there, her side business bloomed, and since then she’s helped guide many people to find their passion and purpose in life. Oh! She is also an incredible yoga teacher of 14 years, so she combines movement into her coaching whenever she can.

In May of 2023, Melissa hired a book coach and got to work writing what would become, Purpose Forward: The Ultimate Career Starters Guide to Finding a Career (and Life) Of Purpose which will debut March 18, 2024. She quickly found out how difficult it was to balance her strict writing schedule and her full-time job/life schedule, so she’d write at night after her kids were tucked into bed. Through this process, she discovered a few things about herself. One, she was more creative at night, and two, she loved the creative writing aspect of the process, but was glad to have someone else to edit. She finally finished writing in mid-October and her book is currently out for final editing.

After meeting with hundreds of clients over the years, Melissa concluded that when people began to search for a career path, or even switch their current career, they approached it from the “left side of the brain,” meaning, a logical and methodical way of thinking. While this is important, Melissa quickly found out that her most successful clients approached their search from a creative and artistic aspect. As someone who coaches through a combination of practical and holistic practices, she took her findings and methods over the years and compiled them into this book. From the moment you open the book, you’ll find pages full of ways to discover what your calling in life may be. The book leads you to write your own life purpose statement based on your discoveries. Melissa makes sure to add many interactive aspects as well, such as QR codes that lead to mini meditation moments, a chapter on the importance of self-care, and spaces within the book to write your own answers to questions and reflections!

Melissa believes and teaches that you need to be “in a well-rounded place of wellness to do well.” That said, she also includes practical tips for the reader, such as how to conduct a successful job search and interview pointers.

Currently, Melissa plays a huge role in Smithfield’s community. In the spring and summer, she teaches yoga classes at Deerfield Park and offers yoga/coaching retreats. She has an event planned on May 1, 2024, at Playtime from 6:30-7:30pm, which will include mindful meditation, light movement, and a discussion on chapters of her book. She is in the works with local yoga studios for events soon.

Melissa wanted to extend a special thank you to three important people, who without their help, the book wouldn’t have been possible. First her husband, John Carvalho, who was the first person to comb through her manuscript and stood by her side the whole time. Second, her therapist and coach, Coral Brown, a local yoga teacher with national recognition, showed her the true importance of creating and having a life purpose statement. And third, Dan Tortora, her book coach. Who kept her on track and pushing through?

Finally, I asked her about her future in book writing. She excitedly told me she had so many more incredible ideas that she looks forward to pursuing. Congratulations Melissa! Smithfield is so proud of you and all the amazing work you do!

Information on her book and any events Melissa hosts can be found on her website

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