As we live into the first days of this new year, I’m reflecting on the past 12 months and nudging myself to connect to my own yearning for the possibilities ahead.
Amidst the deepening pain and challenges we face as global citizens in a changing world, I continue to ask questions about how to shape my life today in a way that will fuel growth, purpose and fulfillment for myself and for others. I’m wondering about my personal identity as a new mom re-emerging into my work in the world, wondering who I am becoming in the year since welcoming my daughter into the world. I’m wondering how my sense of self worth gets in my way and noticing how the mindset of “I’m not good enough” hampers my momentum, sense of wellbeing and even shapes beliefs about what is possible (or not).
The questions we ask ourselves can be guiding lights, pointing us towards new potentials, uncovering deeper meanings, and shaping the way we navigate the paths of our lives if we are willing to listen deeply to our questions and befriend the answers that unfold before us.
The Power of Questions
What questions are you asking? What questions do you hold? David Whyte poses, in his poem Sometimes that we will meet in our lives, “questions that can make or unmake a life, questions that have patiently waited for you, questions that have no right to go away.” Questions have the incredible ability to lead us closer to our truth and glimpse undiscovered potentials.
The Journey Inward
To discover the questions that are most worthwhile you must get both close and still enough to listen to the sound of your own inner voice. The path to self-discovery requires courage to meet ourselves and a willingness to listen, to marvel at the vastness within, and to stay open to what we find.
Avoiding Certainty, Embracing Uncertainty
Stop trying to get it right, beware of certainty, stay clear of final answers. Drop the myth that simple and final answers will be found, open to the journey of what you’re discovering, continue to commit to uncovering layers of your truth and allow those shimmers of truth to clarify your purpose along the way.
Micro Adjustments and the Shape of Tomorrow
Micro adjustments are more impactful than sweeping changes - and also more likely to last. Small, consistent changes in your daily routines can have a profound impact on your overall well-being and the alignment of your actions with your aspirations. These small actions, the details of your life today, will touch tomorrow. In this way, your present choices are shaping and making the contours of your future rhythms. To discover micro adjustments that are relevant to you right now, take some time to discover:
What are the daily routines that sabotage your vision?
What are the daily routines that support your vision?
As you practice discerning what elements hinder your progress and what propels you closer to your vision you’ll get a clearer sense of what actions support your momentum and depth.
Your Path with Heart
I’m tuning to the deeper voice within, listening and living closely to the thrum of a wise, kind, compassionate part of myself that allows both space and stillness to engage the questions that are close to my heart at this new year. Don Juan, the great shaman teacher to Carlos Castaneda advises him to ask the question “Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you."
Finding meaning in our journey is essential and the heart brings authenticity and purpose to our endeavors. May we forge our paths forward with heart—paths that align with our truest selves and lead us towards a both purpose and fulfillment, for ourselves and others.
If you’d like support engaging with the questions you are living, please reach out to see if coaching with me is a fit. I’m committed to support you to bring your current context into focus and develop skills to increase your wellbeing and resilience in the face of challenge and change.