18 April 2013

Why not get to know yourself? III (by Shannon)

"The journey of getting to know yourself is something I am quite passionate about and will highly recommend and suggest to anyone who is seeking true contentment.  I will admit, it is not something that the faint of heart should take on.  Well, actually, the faint of heart will probably be one of the most beneficial of this journey, but truly it takes someone with the determination to see it through. Someone who accepts that there will be times it will be frustrating. However, I can honestly say, from my own experience, it is worth all of the toil, tears and questions, because who you end up with is someone you couldn’t imagine not being (pardon the double negative).


Journaling sometimes gets confused with sharing your thoughts in a diary, but keeping a fancy leather journal in your purse or on your bed table is a way of recording thoughts that pop into your head at any given moment.  Whether it’s an idea for your next dinner party, a quote that inspires you or a movie you want to see, keeping a journal is a daily reminder of what matters to you.  While it may seem insignificant at the moment, upon reflection, the pieces of who you are, what moves you and what you are passionate about will become very clear. As a way to jump start this, the next time you are at a bookstore or stationary store, browse through the many journals they have to pick from and treat yourself to the one that catches your eye.  You know doubt will be compelled all the more to fill it with lovely ideas and inspirations.

Read non-fiction

Ever the cheerleader of picking up a book, I now have found that it is with the non-fiction books I buy, borrow, or check-out, that fill me with energy and ideas to try something new, look at life a different way or assuage any doubts that I may be “the only one”.  Besides, the non-fiction market far surpasses the fiction in quantity, so there are seemingly infinite titles and areas to choose from depending on what you are curious about. Who knows, the next book you pick up may be the nudge you need to try what will eventually be your destiny.

Conquer your fear

Always wanted to sing in public, but never thought you could? Let a friend take you out for some karaoke.  Always wanted to dance like a star, but were afraid you’d trip over what you thought were two left feet? Sign up with your best friend for that dance class you saw advertised in the paper.
Always wanted to cook, but were too intimidated for ask for help? Sign up for that cooking class at Sur La Table.  The point being, if something continues to speak to you, to whisper to you, to pique your interest, but you’re too fearful to try, maybe that is exactly what you should be doing. A few months ago, I wrote a post on what exactly one’s fears mean (click here), and in all honesty, they sometimes are a treasure map to where we’ve always wanted to go. So respect and listen to that voice, that yearning. It may be smarter than you realize.

Test your strength

Quite often it happens that one learns their true abilities when they are thrown a curve ball that they hadn’t anticipated and simply have to act and not think.  For example, I have been trying to get rid of the last 10-15 pounds now for almost ten years, but it wasn’t until this past summer and ultimately, the day of my marathon, that I accepted the realization that I don’t need as much food as I originally had thought. When put in a situation where I needed fuel (morning of the race) and the choices were minimal, I choose the one protein I had (a protein bar), grabbed a small bran muffin and ate another protein bar during the race.  It was all I needed. The quality of food one consumes is much more important than the quantity, and ultimately, practicing that has tossed 10 pounds by the wayside.  Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Stop saying no, and attempt what you at one time thought you never could do.  You might just surprise yourself, and the results are well worth the challenge.

Accept yourself

Over the past two weeks, we’ve discussed the benefits of getting to know yourself and shared nine ways to achieve this worthwhile feat.  Too often, we allow ourselves to be so bombarded, overwhelmed and talked to about what we should be, who we should look like and what our lives should be patterned after, that we become convinced that we, as an individual, aren’t enough. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The reality is you are enough. You are amazing. And this journey of getting to know yourself will be more fruitful than you will have ever imagined upon the onset of taking on this challenge.  In accepting who you are, the peace of mind, the freedom from other’s influences and love of life will be the most amazing natural high, and I wholeheartedly suggest doing this for yourself.

If you remain vigilant, determined and respectful of yourself, the outcome will be a stronger, more loving and contented person.

So why not? Why not . . . get to know yourself?"

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