Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself-
What are we seeking when we engage in self-reflection along our path to discovering our true authentic self? I asked myself this question during a recent cycling event, one where I had quite a bit of time to think about “things” in life.
Stumbling upon my path to discovering my authentic self has been riddled by a myriad of close calls, disappointments, pain and yes: Suffering. Years of engaging in destructive behavior seemingly crushed me as a person and still haunt me, even as I proof read this post.
Everywhere I sought help and refuge, I was continually told the way to discover “who we really are” is to simply scrape away all the dreck that has been heaped upon ourselves over the years. Sounds easy enough right?!? If life were only as easy as reading a $5.99 self-help e-book or a top 10 list to discover your true self blog post. The more self-help advice and guidance I marinated in, the more I began to notice how self involved I was becoming. I gradually became concerned only with what affected me or only with that which is useful to, or focused primarily on myself. I started to make every day life “things” that were not about me, about me, and I became blind to world unfolding around me … The more I looked inward, the more I tuned out. I stopped living life.
Each one of us has a self that is beautiful, flawed and unique. Each one of us are blessed with a complicated set of life experiences that no one else has. Our lives are an accumulation of experiences – both good, bad and the ugly. We are amazing – dynamic creatures, and we are continually a work in progress!
These experiences, however, are the very “things” that the searching to reveal our true authentic in a book or whatever, toss to the side as unimportant or distracting. My path to an authentic self, starts with acknowledging my woeful self-deception, that I am my own worst enemy and bringing my Son along to a few cyclocross races last season helped to shed light on what matters the most to me in life (more on this next week).
I hope each of you reading today have an amazing weekend, take care and be well!
The parts of me that used to think I was different or smarter or whatever, almost made me die-
Nineteen powerful words by David Foster Wallace that truly defined who I used to be.
Last night, while making pizza with my Son, I missed an entire meaningful conversation about the new Star Wars movie he was trying to have with me. I was completely tuned out, and not because I was engrossed in making pizza and snacking on tortilla chips, but because I was engrossed in a NPR news story being played through a small speaker attached to my gadget-thing.
Side Note: Men reading this morning, and ladies alike – because as cunning and sly as you may be … I enjoy taking an extra-long time in the bathroom with my iThingy, I use my small arsenal of “mindless” apps as a means to escape the stress and chaos that often seems to accompany me throughout the day.
These periods of mindless isolation normally do not last very long, usually until one leg falls asleep or NPR news starts getting all high-minded and political while preparing dinner. I genuinely welcome these temporary escapes from the daily grind, although, how much is too much? Honestly, I don’t have an answer to give you and I’d be surprised if anyone else does either.
Perhaps, maybe, it would be ideal if we reintroduced “intention” and “purpose” to our gadget use, even during the times when we are not using them. How cool would it be if we motivated each other to unplug at a time we are normally plugged in? Raise your hand if you are on your gadget minutes after finishing yoga class, in the restroom or making dinner?!? – notice my hands waving in the breeze – Just imagine the new sounds, the new encounters that awaken when we expose our true selves, to the very real world we call home …
Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear-
Shrouded in our arrogance, we often believe time is never-ending. When in fact, the end of time, or at least this time, this moment as we are experiencing it … Is the one thing in our lives of which we can be absolutely certain of. If I may ask you this morning, why then, do we insist on spending these precious moments consumed with how many followers we have on WordPress, or perusing the trending topics on Reddit, rather than being fully engaged in this amazing moment in our lives?
This morning I woke up earlier than I normally do. I found myself paying more attention to “something” else. Rather than being fully engaged in the fleeting moments lying before me … Moments that, for their own reasons, are even more precious than most … I had my face buried in the screen on my iThingy, lighting up a still dark room. A none too subtle reflection of my enamored face switching between the weather app and the fantasy baseball app, reminded me of unwavering attention to my virtual world, and my increasingly wavering attention to my true self. This moment prompted me to pause, set down my gadget, thinking about just how much distraction we volunteer for in our daily lives, and how much these distractions impact what we have come to consider meaningful in our lives (my fantasy team stinks this season).
Figuring out and deciding what to fill each moment during the day with, is truly, the most challenge part living a life, in the moment.
Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized-
Can we all agree that some of the posts here are rather cheeky at times, silly, wasted, pointless? Who wants to talk about authenticity, forgiveness, spirituality, mindfulness?
The best gift you can ever give those you love, and those who care deeply about you, is a healthy “you“. Sounds cheesy, right? Seriously, I thought having a chiseled body doing yoga and performing 1000+ crunches a day was well enough, but a healthy “you“?
Consider for one fleeting moment this morning what I am suggesting. If you are as healthy as you can be, in both mind and spirit, you will be the best possible version of yourself. Less time talking about failed run times, painful yoga sessions and more energy devoted to exploring the world with others.
We could talk about knowing our personal limit(s), making the best use of our time and energy while maintaining a healthy relationship with our body … But this topic is dull and painfully tedious?!?
Quite possibly the greatest gift you can ever offer yourself is not running a marathon or becoming a yoga teacher. Accepting yourself, right now, with no make up, pink bunny slippers and all, is so very powerful … Maybe not as powerful as doing 103 sun salutations in a row, but close enough?!?
When you offer your true, whole self to whatever(*), in both mind and spirit? … Boring stuff right?
* (I figuratively and literally mean whatever: relationships, sex, fixing a flat tire, running … whatever.)