My Journey of Self Discovery
I’m really into self-discovery – why I don’t know, because so far I haven’t unearthed too many good things about myself – but then, I know all the good things about me, so I guess that’s why nothing exciting is appearing there. My journey of self-discovery commenced 4 years after my marriage breakdown. At the time, I was working for an employment agency that ran motivational workshops. The Presenter of the programme was moving on, and I was fortunate enough to take over the role from her when she left. This meant I had to learn about the programme by participating in it!! This was a lucky thing for me because I was going through my breakup and feeling less than alright about where my life was. Part of the workshop required completing some personality tests – admittedly, a thing I wasn’t big on. However, away I went, filled in the forms and got the feedback. Well, the way she presented my good points and not-so-strong points to me seemed to switch on some lights in my head as to possible reasons why my marriage didn’t work out. More importantly – it gave me some places to start to improve myself. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t that I turned out to be the horrible person I had imagined, but it gave me a sense of knowing myself for the first time. I became enthused and inspired to discover more about myself. After about six months of discovery –with a newfound sense of myself, I decided to change jobs myself – and go off and discover other new things about myself. I became more motivated once I understood how and why I reacted to things the way I did. I changed my attitude and changed my job. This turned out to be an amazing experience for me and more discovery. I met THE most amazing person I have ever known. Over time, it has only become apparent that how you see things isn’t really how they are. In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective people – he points out that the map is not the territory. My first impressions (my map) of this man were arrogant, stubborn, know it whose self-confidence was a bit overwhelming at first. Turns out – once you get to know someone (the territory) they aren’t as they first appear. Opening your eyes to their experiences and understanding can assist your personal growth. I revamped my initial assessment of overconfident, arrogant, uncompromising so and so to words like a determined, proud, inspirational, amazing, awesome intelligent man. Changing my attitude also opened my eyes. When we first met, I thought he was cute but not the kind of guy I wanted to go out with. You know, he was easy to chat with, had interesting viewpoints, and made me feel good. After spending time (8hrs a day x 5 days a week) working with him and seeing his approach to everyday challenges, I became intrigued with his attitude. Somehow he managed to get me to fall for him – was it the gorgeous George Clooney eyes, that smile, or just the intelligent conversation and quick wit? This man was incorrigible and a pleasure to be around. It was his patient persistence that hooked me. You see, I had never met anyone who had had to deal with a life threatening, changing experience before. Seven years earlier, he had fallen out of a tree and broken his spinal cord. He became a quadriplegic. He often said he “fell” for me – because we would not have met had he not had that experience. It’s funny where life takes you. Spending time with this amazing man influenced my personal development immensely. At the time, for me, little things were mountains…. Impossible to climb over. Yet this remarkable man had everyday challenges much bigger than mine – and they didn’t seem to be a drama. It made me reassess my reaction to many situations. Now I can only guess as to how he may have dealt with that life-changing, in so many ways, experience, but I’m sure it had a lot to do with discovering an inner strength that you may not even know is within you. I probably sound very lovesick – but this man taught me much about Inner Strength. A strength you aren’t even aware of until you face some life-threatening adversity. – I believe then and only then does your focus on particular goals become more centred. Consider if you will – after you break your spinal cord – and you have to rely on others (or machines) to do everything for you – it may be fair to say you could get a little down. Imagine learning to breathe again – the pain of teaching your body how to respond – and the tenacity it takes to keep doing this – because contemplating your other option is unthinkable. Every day had uphill battles, from getting out of bed, showering, dressing, eating, and moving around – do you know how annoying stairs can be when you are in a wheelchair? Even though most everyday things were challenging, they didn’t appear to get to him. Sure he got annoyed sometimes, but he took it all in his stride. He just found a way around. Every challenge had a solution of some kind. I owe a lot to that man for increased self-awareness and personal development. My path to personal growth has been long and twisted (a lot like me, I guess), filled with many emotional experiences. I have been fortunate that my inspiration to nurture myself has come from knowing people who influenced me – either with the knowledge or through personal painful experiences. Personal Growth and Discovery – redefining yourself – is an ongoing experience. We don’t just get to a point in our lives and think – good, that’s done. There are no “jobs” that are ever finished. Even after you build a house – you tweak it – repaint walls, add rooms, knock out walls, new floor coverings etc. As your tastes or times change – you add new furnishings too. It’s ongoing – like mowing a lawn – you have to go and do it again a week later. Or ironing – that never seems to be finished!! Even in nature – the process is ongoing. So then is Personal Awareness. Finding a programme like Beyond Freedom Evolution and the Polaris experience is assisting me in my quest for personal enlightenment even further, without me having to suffer to cultivate awareness. I believe had someone presented me with this (as I am you) years ago – I would have been able to discover my inner self and be a different – more satisfied, enlightened person a lot earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a ways to go – but at least now I can do it with the knowledge that the community I am part of will be there to assist me in the least possible painful way. I no longer have to experience heartbreaking circumstances to assess them and grow. Each person’s experience and development are unique to them – yes, we may be pushed out of our comfort zones (that’s why painful experiences exist – to point out that we have become complacent about who we are). Still, with this programme, the painful experiences (presenting yourself in public, speaking out, goal setting, focusing etc.) are done in such a way that they are exciting and non-threatening.