In this edition of Caregiver Tip Tuesday, we look at some helpful tips for embarking on a journey of self discovery.
In my last blog I discussed the importance of developing a deep sense of who you are by learning to live consciously. I suggested that you are the CEO of your life and it was important for you to attend daily meetings with yourself (sometimes referred to as meditation) in order to begin this amazing journey of self discovery.
Life is a journey. It is not a destination. If you are to succeed in obtaining your needs, fulfilling many of your desires and learning how to thrive, it is important that you do not give up on attending these daily meetings. Remember, the path to self discovery is paved with conscious choices and the purpose of these meetings are to give you the time and space to just "be" quiet, still, waiting and listening for direction from our inner selves.
Before you begin any journey, you prioritize what's most important to you and consciously choose the type of journey you wish to take, based on your needs, wants and interests. I was fortunate enough to get away recently with a friend. We went through this process as we planned our trip together. We could have taken a cruise but both of us needed a major rest from "doing" and a major emphasis on "being". We chose our resort based on affordability to a certain extent - especially as we needed an extra long break from our daily lives, but we chose it as well, based on its versatility.
Every moment of every day we could consciously choose to "do" something or just "be". Focusing on this choice showed me once again how stress free and healing it is to live fully in the moment - in the present - not in the past worrying about things we cannot change or in the future, worrying about that which has not yet happened.
Therefore, as you begin your journey of self discovery it is of the utmost importance you use your meetings to carefully and consciously plan your journey so it meets your needs and fulfills you. As my friend and I used a travel agent to give us choices, you may want to use a psychotherapist or a life coach, or someone whose wisdom you trust to help guide you in the beginning.
Let's start with reflecting on who we are. I suggested, last time, we often think we know who we are, the person our parents, friends, extended family or supervisor say we are. Try this simple exercise:
Complete the following statements:
My parents think I am.......
My friends believe I am.....
My supervisor thinks I am .....
Is there a common thread in the way you see yourself and the way in which you perceive how others see you? What are the common characteristics? Do they resonate as being the absolute reality? Do you wish to retain these traits or change them?
As you do this exercise, you may want to meet with your "Board of Directors" ( Dr. Marlo Shapiro) These are usually good friends or trusted mentors who are nonjudgmental and supportive. Checking in with others will allow you to "reality check" your perceptions and insights. Reality checking helps you learn how to trust yourself - your inner wisdom - the core of who you are.
Hence, our second step is to become aware of the "what is" - where we are now. We can't be anywhere but where we are. Before we can move forward, we need to know and be where we are in the present. Do not judge yourself. Anyone who had walked in your shoes would be where you are.
You are totally loveable and acceptable just as you are.
Write that down and re-read it as often as you like until it becomes integrated into the tapestry of your being.
Until next time take gentle care of yourself.
Patricia Butler is a Physiotherapist, has had a long standing career in life coaching and development consulting. Over the years she has helped a number of caregivers and patients through various life altering situations. Her motto? "Don't wait for a crisis. The smaller the mountain, the easier it is to climb." Patricia will be blogging on a number of topics including life transitions, healing, communication issues, and positive lifestyles changes.