Everyone at some point feels a little lost. Some people experience it, feeling like they’ve been on autopilot, stuck, anxious or bored, and living a life devoid of meaning.
You might have given so much to others that you felt like you’ve lost yourself in the process. Who are you at your deepest core?
That yearning for more in your life and the ultimate question of ‘Who am I’ don’t have to go unfulfilled. You can get your meaning and your answers.
Many people swear by travel to find themselves when they feel lost. They plan exotic adventures to India, South America, Africa – even Mt. Everest.
A travel adventure can be rejuvenating, and open you up to new perspectives, that’s for sure. But you don’t have to run away to Bali to find yourself or do anything else drastic.
The problem with traveling to find yourself – besides the investment in time and money and stressing over packing – is that wherever you go, there you are. And so is your mindset.
No matter how far away you are, you cannot escape yourself.
Sometimes people find their true selves on the other side of an experience like serious illness, divorce, or loss of some kind. A profound life change can force you to consider what’s vitally important in your life and create a foundation from which to make your future decisions.
Others choose to work with a coach to facilitate the process of discovering who they are and what they’re meant to do. The work I do with clients around uncovering their heart magnets, strengths and purpose can have a profound impact.
In the end, though, you have to do your own inner work.
Your answers are not 1,000 kilometers away; not even 100 kilometers away. They are probably in your backyard and right at your fingertips.
Here are my top 3 practical places to begin the journey of looking for yourself, that don’t involve packing or travel of any real kind:
1. Near a body of water.
You are born in water, and your body is made up of 75% water. You are deeply biologically connected to it.
Have you ever noticed that your brain prefers blue? Water increases your ability to focus and calm down.
So, find harmony and peace by visiting your local beach at sunrise. Feel the magnetic pull of the earth, listen to the waves ease your mind.
If you're not near a body of water, is there a stream or babbling brook? Or download some music with waves or sounds of streams. Connect to Mother Earth. Connect to your original self.
2. On something tall.
Climb a hill, ride an elevator to a rooftop, or safely stand on a table or tall structure. See your life from a new angle, even if you’re just a little way up.
If you’re really high up, you’ll notice all the activity below that you might have ordinarily missed. You’ll see the majesty of the clouds and the distant landscape. You will recognize your place in the world – the bigger picture -- and suddenly see the map that leads you where you want to go.
3. On the mat.
Perhaps the best place to find yourself is by being with yourself, your thoughts, and your breath. You don’t have to do this on a yoga mat; you can sit on a chair or anywhere else that’s comfortable.
Firmly plant your feet on the ground. Breathe and feel your life force, your humanity. Let your thoughts come and go, without judgment. Give yourself the kindness and compassion that you give to others so easily and allow yourself to simply be. This is the essence of mindfulness meditation.
Finally, inquire and reflect on the answers to questions like:
- Who am I?
- What activities do I enjoy?
- What lights me up?
- Who are my role models?
- What’s important to me?
- What do I stand for?
- What do I truly want for my future?
Ask the universe for answers and see how it whispers to you in those quiet moments by yourself.
When you discover what matters to you most and who you are, you will open your heart to incredible opportunities and immense joy. You’ll finally trust yourself and make decisions from your centre; the one that knows you best.
Of course, finding yourself is a lifelong journey, not a destination. Regularly connecting your mind, body, and soul near water, at some height, and through mindfulness meditation and inquiry will keep you headed in the right direction.
Lisa Petsinis is a career and life coach who works with resourceful individuals who want to find their calling and create a life they'll love. Visit her website to learn about her services, contact her for a breakthrough coaching call, or sign up for her newsletter for even more advice.