Who I really am was a big question for me because I needed use that as my anchor for how I wanted to live my life and the stuff I wanted to do with it.
What was interesting for me was how this question “waterfalled” into other things I needed to establish, like Friction that turned into Clarity. Like Start, this required me to look at myself as the core of everything I wanted to manifest externally. All of it tied to my Mental Map.
I had to take account of all of it, then decide what to preserve going forward. Even the crappy stuff was given much thought, to receive the gift (and there always was one) that I needed. All of it makes up my soul's fingerprint, unique and I'm thinking, eternal from the new legacy I choose to live now.
It wasn’t something I did overnight, maybe because I tend to be a slower thinker, like a crock pot on low heat, and I am finding that I’m totally ok with this notion of identity being added to as time goes on. It was like slowly moving the multiple images in a 3D movie closer and closer together, incrementally, until the image was the clearest, most vibrant HD image ever...my identity.
There are exercises that others use like, going back to your childhood and think about what made you happy. For me, I needed a longer story, based on every joy and tragedy, to help me define who I am.
I believe that every experience in my life has been a vital component of who I am now. Things that once made me happy have lost their luster, things that hurt me deeply gave me a gift of gratitude when I changed my perspective. Each one indicating something about what’s important to me and my essential identity.
In a funny way, my identity, initially compiled of individual experiences and external definitions, is morphing into something less defined and more universal. What that means, in a weird way, is the more I become, the less defined I become, living out concepts like empathy, connection, raw honesty.
From that, I then chose the bare essence of the gifts of each, carefully selecting only those things I love so much that I'm thrilled with giddiness that I get to keep the "bestest of the best." It's like that for me, taking it ALL in, accepting it as a gift, then willfully keeping the gifts. This simple exercise allowed me (no one and nothing else) to claim who I am.
Things I did:
- Wrote out my life in a chronological timeline.
- Thought about what experiences were the most impactful? What components made it light? If the component was heavy, why was it a rub? If the latter, what was the gift (the flipside of what this hardship's lesson)? I have always find one and cherish is fully.
- Distilled all of that into their bare essence:
For example, demoralization and constraints, so heavily prevalent in the past, really meant freedom was important to me. I need to be free, as they say - that's who I am. And to be free, I needed to do the opposite of the fear that kept me small, so courage is a big deal for me. I've grown a pair, so to speak, in order for me to live expansively and endlessly. Joy is a big one for me...it's my name, after all, but now, rather than a project purpose, it's something I've claimed for myself.
You get the idea.
- I loved: Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming The Life You Were Meant To Live