More From Our Series on Building a (Courageous Woman’s) Life
Okay. All packed? Ready to Go?
Maybe not – but you’re getting close. :)
Hopefully, you’ve done your homework; including a little journaling, a little self-exploration. Over the past few weeks I’ve asked you to really take some time and think about the things that make you happy. We’ve explored favorite memories, recalling times in our lives when we felt joyful or content. We’ve thought about subjects and activities that tend to stir our interests.
We’ve allowed ourselves to just THINK about a secret wish that makes our hearts pound.
And we’ve told the gremlins of self doubt to get lost.
I hope these exercises have been helpful to you, that you’re starting to develop clearer ideas about who you are and what you want, not what everyone around you wants.
In short, I hope you’re learning a little more about what matters to you.
If you missed those posts, or haven’t had the time yet to do the exercises I suggested, I encourage you to go back and do that now. Taking the time to explore intentionally, and think consciously, about the things that get you going, is crucial to creating the life you want.
KNOWING YOUR STYLE
For example, based on what’s come to you as you’ve thought about this so far, which of the following do you think you’d prefer?
Doing something on your own, with a small group, or joining the crowds in energetic public spaces?
Spending time with family or close friends that you already know, or venturing out to meet interesting new people?
Engaging in quiet, thoughtful activities, or more active, physical activities?
The challenge of intellectually stimulating work, or the pleasure of light entertainment and play?
Doing something Indoors, or outdoors? In an urban setting, or rural?
Enjoying activities and events close to home, or exploring places far and wide?
Activities that are carefully planned and structured, or more loose and spontaneous?
Handling the planning yourself, or following someone else’s lead?
These questions, if you think about it, are just about the setting, form and structure of the kinds of things you enjoy. Notice – I didn’t ask you if you preferred art, for example, or sports.
Because some artists would rather be in downtown Manhattan, touring top of the line galleries, while others would rather be by themselves on a porch, painting the birds they’re watching in the back yard.
Some sports enthusiasts would be more at home on the 50 yard line of the Dallas Cowboys’ packed stadium, while others would prefer a serious workout, solo, with their favorite horse in the back pasture.
See the difference?
The answers to questions like these, of course, are rarely so black and white, as you may enjoy variations on all of these at different times. For example, I’m a strong introvert, so I have to have a certain amount of time to myself or I can get quite cranky. On the other hand, I can enjoy a crowded street festival or a UT football game (with 107,000 of my neighbors) as well as anyone.
But being more thoughtful and aware of what generally works for you, can serve as a foundation when considering activities or interests you’re more likely to prefer. Knowing yourself just makes it a little easier to choose new things to try.
And friends, we all need to try new things every now and then. Even the smallest pond needs the flow of fresh water to stay healthy. And we, likewise, need the flow of new experiences, new ideas, new awarenesses, to stay fresh.
Otherwise, your mind, your life, becomes stagnant, stale, stuck. And who wants that? :)
So, now that you’re beginning to have some ideas about the format that most likely suits you best, it’s time to spread your wings a little. We’ll talk about how to do that next time.
For now, let me hear from you. What have you discovered about yourself through this process?
Any aha moments?
Photo Credits: by Micah Sheldon on Flickr