You’re not lost! But caught in a world where mass media thrives on making you feel like you need to be more or have more (shiner hair, clearer skin, nicer shoes and more external things), which just ends up making you feel inadequate, it is important to take the time to find yourself so that you don’t get lost in the melee or the madness. Finding yourself, as Mary Oliver would put it, is about asking yourself “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
It goes deeper than the rehearsed answers about your career goals or current hobbies. It is about getting serious with yourself about what really makes you tick. The stuff under the surface and beyond what is cool right now. The things that make your body, mind and soul feel alive. Here we are not talking about the things you enjoy, but rather the things that make you thrive. Which are so unique to you that you could call them the things of your true soul nature. Because do you know that our souls grow weary of engaging in activities that inherently go against their nature? Sometimes we think we enjoy things because we have always done them, but when we get real and painfully truthful with ourselves they don’t actually make us feel truly animate.
The reason why we need to know what makes us feel alive is because the things that make us vibrant make us flourish in life. Finding ourselves, knowing ourselves and living authentically makes all the spaces around us improve. This includes our relationships, work life and more. In this state of being we get to enjoy our lives to the fullest. Considering we only have a limited time on Earth, shouldn’t living to the fullest be a priority?
Often, though, we don’t really take the time to dig into these kinds of questions about ourselves. Maybe we have an idea of who we are, or perhaps we have assessed who we are many years ago when considering our career path and haven’t thought of its value since. In particular we don’t realise that an evaluation of ourselves to find our true north is an important step in freeing ourselves of our own melodrama.
In his beautiful book The Untethered Soul Michael A. Singer writes that to free ourselves we need to find ourselves, but that “unfortunately, most of us are not that wise. We’re really not trying to be free of our stuff; we’re trying to justify keeping it.”
The greatest and most important adventure of our lives is discovering who we really are. It is a pilgrimage to yourself. It is reconnecting with your wildness because it is about learning to really connect with your body – your body being an antenna of your own truth which expresses all the ways in which we deceive ourselves.
There are a host of paths that will bring you to the truth of yourself and uncover the things that make you come alive. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are three ways you could use to navigate finding yourself.
It is powerful to spend time alone. It is how you learn to enjoy your own company and figure out what you like to do. Being alone affords us space to distance ourselves from the noise around us that clutters our minds. Another quote from The Untethered Soul comes to mind – “Consciousness is always drawn to the most distracting object: the bumped toe, the loud noise, or the hurting heart.”
Meditation is a powerful tool as it is about being with ourselves without distraction. Through this practice we start to draw our attention away from the confusion and towards the call of our soul.
2. Real talk with yourself
Have you ever asked yourself: “What would create purpose or contentment for me?” Or perhaps just asked yourself: “What would I really like to be doing right now and with whom?” With that we aren’t looking for answers about what your partners, parents, children or friends want from you. It is about what you truly want. To be able to answer these questions honestly we need to remove the noise in our minds about who we think we are. As Michael Singer says, “In order to be who you are, you must be willing to let go of who you think you are.”
3. Explore, travel, see and contemplate
In whichever way you tackle this step, it is about reaching beyond your comfort zone and gaining new perspectives. Our perspective on ourselves, others and events ultimately shape our thoughts, actions and reactions.
A children’s story called A Tale of Two Beasts is about a little girl and a small animal. The first part of the story is told from the girl’s perspective. She is walking through the woods and finds a strange little beast. She rescues him, washes him and shows him to her friends. She is surprised when he runs away. The second part of the story is told from the strange little beast’s perspective. He is happily swinging on a branch when he is ambushed by a terrible beast who takes him to her secret lair, makes him horribly clean and surrounds him with other strange beasts.
Perspective is fascinating and it will open your eyes to many new possibilities.
Taking the time to really examine yourself is the beginning of a great adventure as it is the doorway to new territories and uncharted lands inside yourself. When you know these lands you uncover things about yourself you never knew. Sometimes you uncover things you enjoy doing that you never imagined you would. When you know the things that set your soul on fire you can spend more time doing them, and this is a path to creating more joy, abundance and enjoyment in your life.