“With every passing year, your job is to get better and better at being who you are.”
I’m not sure who said this, but I love this quote because it reminds me that the most important outcome in life is getting to know and learning to express our true selves. Beneath all of the layers of self-doubt, fear and adapting to please others, there is you.
Throughout my life, I’ve noticed that certain things bring me closer to myself, and others take me further away. Despite this awareness, there are times when I find myself doing the very things that distance me from myself either out of attachment, instant gratification or experimentation, only to realize that I have gotten off course and need to re-route. And this is all ok, it’s all part of the adventure and the magic that is life; the journey of getting to know ourselves.
Illuminating our true selves is a dance (and sometimes it feels more like a trudge). We do not arrive there one day and remain there forever, rather we journey to and from, coming home to ourselves over and over, only to leave again. Whether we have been off course for minutes, hours, days, months or years, we can come home in an instant.
You might be wondering: How do I know when I am getting better at being me? You know when you feel ease, joy, well, healthy, aligned, peaceful, compassionate, loving, and comfortable in yourself. This is your true essence and the things, thoughts, people and circumstances that foster this essence are also making you better at being you.
Make a list of the thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, circumstances and even people that have had the impact of distancing you from yourself in 2018. This is not meant to be a judgement on anyone or anything (especially not on yourself), it’s just an opportunity to learn about yourself so that you can approach your life with more awareness moving forward. Next, list what and who has helped bring you closer to yourself this past year.
Just as a seed does not need to have a plan or think about how to grow into its full expression as tree, with the right conditions and nourishment, we too can grow into our full expression without much force. We do this by allowing our intuition and our body to guide us; by hearing and feeling the signals we are getting about what is right and wrong for us and then aligning our thoughts, beliefs and choices in accordance.
This is a skill that we are all born with. Babies and children are excellent at listening to and being themselves. For most of us, this innate skill is conditioned out of us as we learn that the mind has all of the answers and that we should care more about others than ourselves.
Some of us spend our whole lives holding on to the wrong things, people, jobs, places, etc. because we think (or are told) that it is the rational or “right” thing to do. Others of us learn that crumbling in the wake of change and letting go is not to be avoided, rather it is at times inevitable and necessary. Sure, re-routing, letting go and feeling can be uncomfortable and painful for both us and others, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart so that we can be rebuilt anew and in greater alignment with ourselves.
Being with ourselves as we peel back and confront the layers of who we are is often uncomfortable, which can cause us to run, but it is the running (distracting, avoiding, clinging) that takes us further and further from who we are. As we enter into the new year, I challenge you to run toward yourself, not away.
How will you get better at being you this year? How will you commit to getting know and even befriending yourself on a deeper level? What will you strive to see in yourself that you never have before? Will you take the leap and do the work to see the exquisite beauty that is you, exactly as you are right now? How will you explore new ways of behaving, thinking, believing and being that bring you closer to yourself and the immeasurable value and power that you hold? Make a list of what you can let go of and what you can do more or less of in 2019 to bring you closer to yourself.
How we chose to think about life and ourselves can make or break our day-to-day experiences and encounters. I chose to view life is an experiment, a magical gift, a fabulous adventure of learning and growing, of falling down and getting back up, and of coming home to myself over and over again.
This year, I encourage you to add this to your list of resolutions: Cultivate unwavering love, respect, trust and closeness with myself.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be YOU.
Do you need support?
This work is not easy. It has taken me years of commitment to myself and working with coaches, teachers and healers to know what coming home to myself feels like. This is why I have designed a brand new MindBody Coaching Program designed to bring you closer to yourself than you have ever been before.
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About the Author
Allison Andrews, M.Ed, Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Certified Health Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher
Allie is the Founder and Program Director at OmBody Health. In addition to coaching thought-leaders, executives and professionals to maximize their impact and quality of life, she and her team empower organizations to develop work cultures that foster employee health, happiness and engagement.