Eight Baby Steps To Knowing Your "Self"
Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you believe in? What engages your passion? What brings tears of gratitude and joy to your eyes? Do you know, or have you lost yourself? In my work as a professional coach, I've helped many people rediscover themselves. The first step on the road to rediscovery involves spending time with you, which is why I liken the process to dating yourself.
When you began dating your last partner or the person you share your life with, didn't you move heaven and earth to make time for them? When you were with them, didn't you go out of your way to get to know them? What if you were to take a similar approach to rediscovering yourself? Here are some "baby steps" you can take to get reacquainted with yourself.
Writing your thoughts on paper can be profound. The process of journaling can support you in learning about what you're afraid of, what you're passionate about, and what you aspire to.
Buy yourself a beautiful notebook, and a pen you enjoy writing with. Find 20 quiet minutes in your day, and steal away to a comfortable place in your home. Begin your process by writing as if you were talking with yourself. Write about how you're feeling, what's bothering or exciting you, or the day ahead of you, or answer questions from books or personal development programs you've been reading.
Remember that your journal can be messy and illegible. It's for your eyes only, and doesn't need to be presentable. Enjoy the process of establishing a connection with you through the written word.
Meditation is not about attaining a state of emptiness while sitting in the lotus position. It's about observing yourself in the present moment. Find 10 quiet moments in your day, and sit comfortably. Your goal should be to "empty" yourself of any anxiety or worry. Focus on your breath, and allow the thoughts that enter your mind to be there. Acknowledge them, but don't focus on understanding what they mean, or solving any problems. Just allow yourself to be still.
There are numerous studies documenting the physical and emotional benefits of moving your body. Exercise can be a meditation in and of itself. If you're the type of person who has a really hard time slowing down, this may be a great way for you to begin committing to time to be with yourself.
Walking is a moving mediation. It allows you to slow down, and notice what's going on around you. If you usually move a million miles per hour, walking can allow you to focus on being fully present, while indulging in the movement you find so vital. It can provide you with an opportunity to mull over something that may be on your mind, or simply to notice the beauty and bounty of what surrounds you.
Though not a common "vehicle" to self discovery, driving can prove to be an interesting process, especially if it's difficult to find a quiet place in your home. Fill your tape or cd changer with your favorite music, and hit the road to an unknown destination. See where your "self" leads you..
A day spent wandering boutiques, a stolen hour in a bookstore, a mid-afternoon matinee, a journaling session in a coffee shop, or an afternoon being pampered at your favorite spa. These are authentic outings, and indulging in activities like these is similar to dating yourself. This is where you take time to be with you, with no purpose in mind other than sheer enjoyment.
What did you love to do when you were a small child? Did you scrapbook? Did you take dance classes, or write short stories? The authenticity of childhood interests cannot be denied. Revisit the things you used to love to do as a kid. You will be amazed at the passion within you, just waiting to be rediscovered.
Investigate and research things you find intriguing. Do you have a friend who spends her time in ways that you envy or admire? Did you used to dream about being great at something? Did you used to wish for your family to support you in the pursuit of a special talent or interest? Give yourself the permission and the support to explore it now. Who knows where this new path could lead?
The approach you take is not important. The fact that you make the time to reconnect with yourself is. Try a little of each approach, and see what works for you. Have fun, and continually explore!
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This material is excerpted from "Life Fitness", written by Kimberly Fulcher (firstname.lastname@example.org). Copyright 2003. All rights reserved
Kimberly Fulcher is a professional coach, author and speaker, with 12 years of experience in human development. Kimberly published her first book "Self Care For SuperWomen" in early 2004.
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