When you look in the mirror, do you still see the same woman you were in your 20s? Deeper than any physical changes, how have you evolved as a person? Have your goals and priorities changed over the course of your journey through life?
As a young woman, I had a definite vision of the life I wanted to lead. I would rise through the corporate ranks to attain my successful and lucrative dream job, while living with style in a vibrant urban center. I will admit, gulp, that I spent my 20s as a yuppie.
After several years in the workforce, I discovered market research and found a home and an expression for my highly analytical brain. Like a child on Christmas morning presented with a stack of gifts, I would gleefully dive into fresh data sets and magically extract meaning.
Fast forward to the dream job in my 30s, which taught me that surface glamour can lead to deep questions of integrity. A graduate degree in international business layered in my passion for diverse cultures, while a job in Hollywood led me to explore who I was and how my own goals in life had changed.
What followed was the real stuff that shaped the authentic me that was evolving. September 11th, a move to Manhattan and a deep dive into the world of yoga, self-discovery, integrity, and personal boundaries. These themes are outlined in my first book, Do You Think You Will Break?
Brene Brown, and her seminal first Ted talk, crystalized my self-knowledge further in 2010. When I heard her utter the magical phrase “Researcher/Storyteller,” my whole being resonated. I found myself in another person’s experience and knew the direction I wanted to take for my second act.
What are some moments in life that crystalized your own self-knowledge? Are there experiences you can recall that shifted your priorities, or clarified your vision?
When we take the time to notice what’s happening inside ourselves – beyond the harried narrative of our overactive minds – there is great clarity to be found. It opens us to a deeper self-knowledge, one that aligns more closely to the purpose of our souls.
Yoga and meditation are proven pathways to that inner journey. Others may resonate more deeply with running, or martial arts or some other creative venue that opens them up to flow. The vital next step is to record your insights in a journal and to make conscious the inner knowing you already possess.
Now, in my 50s, I continue my exploration. Transitions abound, natural and societal, which require grounded flexibility and resilience. The wisdom of experience has taught me to trust the process and know with certainty that I’ll navigate to the next phase with grace.
This week’s feature, Turning Self-Knowledge into Power, provides an exercise to guide you in finding your own clarity. Wishing you joy and peace on your journey!