On a walk earlier today, I was greeted with this incredible view in front of me. The path I was on in the woodlands suddenly split into two and this is where nature presented me with a perfect analogy regarding decision making. I asked myself the question…what path should I go down? Which path aligned better to me? How do I choose?
Its funny how my thoughts got so deep within an instant…but I suppose…welcome to my world. I see nature around posing constant questions and answers which I love to share with the world…and hence I do what I do…for you.
Anyway, after pausing at the junction between these two-path’s nature has presented me with, I start reflecting on the decisions I’ve made in relation to mental, financial, career, spiritual, family, physical and social. And then it comes to me, perhaps the most helpful bit of advice shared with me when it comes to knowing what to do when faced with challenging decisions:
“When the voice and the vision on the inside is more profound, and more clear and loud than all opinions on the outside, you've begun to master your life”
When I read the above, the message I receive is the same one I receive when practicing meditation & yoga. It’s a sense of awakening to what’s on the inside vs what we have been distracted with on the outside. It’s taking the time to pay attention to the little voice inside whispering at you silently amongst the loud voices talking at you on the outside.
This then begs the deeper question: who am i?
At first it felt a bit undermining to ask this because it implies, I do not know myself. But have a think, perhaps ask yourself the question: who am I really? what do I believe in? what are my values? what’s important to me? …all of which I assumed I knew however never really took the time to ask myself silently.
A practical way of finding out your “who you are” & your inner values would be via x2 methods:
1) Awareness of Habits – By observing your tangible day to day actions / thoughts and capturing them down on a piece of paper to look for the common patterns. To do this, a series of questions you can ask yourself are as follows:
· What do I spend most of my time thinking about?
· Who do I look up to most? Wat is it about them which resonates with me most?
· What thoughts excite me?
· What do I spend my money on?
· Who do I talk to the most?
· What’s the narrative behind most of my self-talk as I go about my day?
· What topics of conversation would I say im fired up about and a “expert” in ?
· What do I surround myself with?
· What does the items of clothing & jewellery I wear say about me and my beliefs?
· What advice do I generally give out to people in need?
· What areas of my life am I most organised and disciplined in?
· What things do I “just do” without needing to be told / directed or managed?
· What am I natural leader / authority in?
2) Quiet Contemplation – Perhaps allow yourself to find a quiet space away from the stress / strain / noise of day-to-day life. This could mean going for a walk into nature or simply closing your eyes and sitting by yourself wherever you’re comfortable. The modality here really doesn’t matter, its whatever gets you into a state of deep clarity. Once you are at this state, encourage yourself to ask yourself the questions which you’re currently trying to find the answer to in your life.
It may seem counterproductive to ask yourself a question you yourself are seeking an answer to…however I’m a great believer in intuition or gut feelings. I believe if we create the space and environment for it to “speak up” then it may speak volumes.
As you try this, you may find it hard to differentiate the voices which may all be advising you all at the same time. I promise you…stay with it…and your inner voice will last the longest. The early voices which come first and sound the most eccentric or animated are probably those trying to protect you…so thank them but allow them to pass. Sit and wait…just hold the space and nothing more…and I promise you…it will come.
The above two examples I’ve shared with you are like two branches of the same tree. Both reaching in opposite directions from one angle however both stemming from the same point i.e. YOU.
If we look back at our lives, we can probably think of countless times where we didn’t pay attention to the “inner self” & seemingly relied on external feedback to act. I certainly have found myself down a path which I did not intend to be which felt like I’m constantly swimming against the tide. There is no worse feeling then being resented & unappreciated for simply being YOU. I think this is something we all crave in orders yet probably need to start with ourselves. And that’s why I’ve written this article for…to help illuminate the first step towards this…by asking the question: who am i?
Surely, we need to understand who we really are before we can love ourselves? Otherwise, what are we falling in love with…our persona? The identity others have given us which can easily be manipulated without our say so? How can we expect others to love and appreciate us if we don’t love and appreciate ourselves?
This then begs the question again: who am i?
….a question id implore us to keep exploring as time goes on to watch how it changes or deepens.
If your still reading this wondering how this relates back to the start of this article, you’re probably wondering which path did I take?
Well, truth be told I can’t even remember. The reason why I can’t remember is because I told myself no matter which path I choose along my journey, I choose to lead with my true self, I choose to simply be me in the face of any opportunity or challenge that may present itself.
“If you choose YOU…then know you choose well my friend” (A.Lakhani)
This simply analogy of choosing a path to walk down brought about a deep awakening within me that morning. It taught me that in life, we will make many decisions and be presented with many more…..however each one a opportunity to return to the “self” & ask the question: who am i?
In the same way light relies on the dark for its presence to be known, is the same way experiencing external chaos is necessary to find inner peace.