No Full Stops

Musings on life, learning and soul searching…

The who, the how and the why 12 April 2012

Every so often I wake up amongst my full and sometimes frantic life wondering what on earth I am doing and how I came to be doing all this stuff. This is not to say that I am discontented in any way, but it does indicate that I have lost a level of connection and intention with myself, my path and perhaps even my purpose. It is both my belief and my experience that an awareness and acknowledgement of these three aspects of my life are key to my ongoing happiness. For me they form the who, the how and the why.

There was a time not so long ago that I didn’t even know who I was. I was just a person doing what was expected of me and what the people around me were doing. I was basically doing what I thought I needed to do in order to fit in and be happy. None of it actually made for a truly happy life and much of it took me further away from myself than I care to remember. It wasn’t until I really tuned in to what made me, and me alone, feel good about myself and about my life that I started to get to know myself. Through this continuing exploration I have made a firm connection with who I am. And I continue to evolve.

Finding my path was a natural progression of knowing myself. Once I knew who I was, it became pretty easy to see if what I was actually doing was in alignment with that. And many things were not. I made difficult decisions to move on from from certain activities and people. I began to seek out things to do, whether they be social, work or otherwise, that reflected the person that I was and the life I wanted to experience. All of this meant letting go of the known world of expectation and stepping into the unknown world of possibility. I didn’t and don’t always get it right, but I always learn something about me and my path in the process. And I continue to evolve.

Understanding my purpose is probably the most elusive for me. It’s reminiscent of the big and indefinable, “Why are we here?” But I feel it is absolutely critical to have some kind of an understanding of our own personal, “Why am I here and what do I have to offer?”  I’m starting to think that this aspect actually underlies the who and the how of us all, whether we are aware of it or not. I mean, something is motivating my vision of who I want to be and what I want to be doing with my life, and it is something bigger than  personal desire and reward. It is fundamental to my happiness in just being. And with this awareness… I continue to evolve.

So I wake up to the reality and realise that even when I am living my best life, it is in constant evolution. The who, the how and the why will never stay still enough for me to grab a hold of it once and for all. You just can’t hit pause on life in order to take a comfort break. Yet this is exactly what I have attempted to do when I feel lost in the frenzy of my own doing-ness. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve lost myself, my path or my purpose… It often just means that I have stopped paying attention. I get carried away with all the doing that makes up my life and forget to check in on how I am being in relation to the who, the how and the why.

So I know that I must maintain a constant connection with the who, the how and the why. I know that I must apply intention to how I am being within these three aspects of my life. And I know that I will never have a definitive answer to any of it. And I continue to evolve.

 

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Stop Bringing Me Down 16 December 2011

I was reading a blog this morning titled “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself”. It is a wonderful little list of insights that I have, for the most part, applied in my own life. Mostly. Have a read later via the link below and see how many you have got sorted and how many you should probably take a closer look at.

One that really stands out to me as a recurring lesson from my past is number 19:

“Stop letting others bring you down… Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.”

This particular habit of adapting and altering my expression of self has taken many forms over the years, all of them self destructive and ultimately ineffective.

Many times this has involved a complete compromise of being my best self. It has included a variety of dangerous behaviours, law breaking, unhealthy lifestyle habits, gossiping and basically just going with the flow of the group I was trying to fit into. And sure, I fit into those groups perfectly, at the expense of no longer fitting into myself. The reason this is so damaging to the self is that I stop liking myself and in particular because this has occurred largely at a subconscious level. Before I know it, I have become a stranger to myself, lost and wondering who I am and why I just never seem to be happy. I question the meaning of life, because I have lost my natural connection with it.

Ironically, during these times I often believe that the only happiness I feel occurs at the time that I am engaging in the very things that are taking me away from myself. I suppose this is because these are the times that I receive love and approval from the people I have surrounded myself with. They feel great that someone is accepting and reflecting who they are choosing to be, affirming that their expression of self is valid and right. Yet this all happens at the expense of my own expression of self and who I am choosing to be by default. This is exactly when I need to ask, ‘Do I love and approve of myself right now?’ This is how I can see that I am not honouring  my self and hopefully raise the strength to make a different choice.

Making a different choice, one that is true and authentic to my best self, often is an unpopular one. The people around me, assuming to know me better than I do, will often react unfavourably to a different me. They don’t seem to understand that the me they ‘know’ is a me that thought love and acceptance came from the outside. A lot of the time this is because they are also receiving their love and acceptance from the outside, in part through my friendship and compliance. If I can remember this, it allows me to move along my own path with strength and compassion towards any unfavourable reactions. And sometimes it means letting go of people or situations that just don’t fit with who I want to be.

I really don’t think that the changing tides of people and situations in my life is in any way a bad thing. In fact, I truly believe is a good and positive result of the changing nature of myself. It is one of life’s few guarantees… That as I change, the world around me changes, in both big and small ways. And when I think back to who I was being twenty years ago, ten years ago and even last year, I am grateful for all that has changed. It seems that as time goes by I get closer to my best self. And if I find I moving away from that, I just stop and observe, then make a different choice.

It is so easy to get caught up in the trillions of expressions of self in the world. But the only one worth losing and finding yourself in… is your own. Honour thyself.

 

Read 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself here.

 

 

 
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