What is life without a big picture?
I like to call it a blur. It’s like we’re somewhat blind and wandering aimlessly to some destination without a pair of glasses—without clear sight.
We’re in motion. We’re doing. But are we seeing the entire view in depth and experiencing it in such a way that it sticks? Can we hold the full weight of the big picture in our hands? Or does it escape our grasp every time?
Truth #1: Seeing and living our big picture is more accessible than we realize.
Seeing the big picture is an ongoing experience for us to live and breathe. It’s a journey of growth rather than an end goal. But to really access this experience, it takes the strengthening of our own foundation to support it and make it stick. One that breathes and feels like us. One that flexibly allows us to thrive in expansive ways.
Truth #2: To build and strengthen our foundation in support of living our big picture, it starts with clarity, the internal compass that brings a solid definition to our being.
Clarity allows us to understand who we are, who we are becoming, our whys, what we do, and how we go about our lives, especially amidst chaos. It helps us find our way. And even when our big picture is fuzzy, clarity helps us redirect ourselves so that we can make our way toward where we want to be. It helps us make well-informed decisions. The more we gain clarity, the more focus and momentum we can achieve toward gradually manifesting the big picture we want. Beyond our foundation, clarity can be built into every intention and action we take, so we are showing up in our lives with increased impact and purpose.
Clarity enabled me to shape my life in powerful ways and own my big picture.
Looking back at my teenage years, I wanted to climb the corporate ladder within engineering and business, make six figures, buy a two-story house, marry a good man, be a good wife, have two or three kids, make a great mother, and adopt cats and dogs. End of story.
In my 20s, I thought I was on track. But the truth was, I was so fixated on the outcome of this big picture that I lost touch with myself and my ability to connect with my life. I was worried about the future, attached to the past, and not rooted in the present.
So, I walked away from a long-term relationship and a solid technical marketing career. Binged on alcohol, shopping, clubbing, food, travel—you name it. Ran from the seeping childhood wounds as they trailed me like Paparazzi.
I denied the fact that my identity was in shambles. My internal world and external world didn’t mirror each other. It was as if the Grand Canyon had been placed there between the two. I didn’t feel like myself, didn’t get excited over the things that used to light me up. Didn’t feel safe with many people. Didn’t want to show up when I felt like an enigma to myself and the ones I was closest to.
I found myself walking into a life and leadership workshop hoping to make sense of my mess.
I wanted to find clarity for my life and change it in ways that felt the most authentic for me. To be present with myself and not just “do” things because of my insecurities, or because they were expected of me, or because they were always done that way. Feeling as stuck as I did, I knew I wanted to reach out to the people and communities who resonated with me and held my space in honor of me and my journey. The ones who wouldn’t minimize the power of my intuition, who didn’t think they knew what was best for me. The ones who wouldn’t use fake positivity to bypass and pretend everything was okay. The ones who’d really meet me with where I was.
In that workshop, I woke up to myself in such a way that I was enraged with myself for not knowing some essential life skills sooner. It was like a dam of suppressed emotions gushed out of me. I grieved over my losses and I struggling to let go and accept what is. Yet, I was immensely grateful to be freed.
My everyday numbness started to thaw. Little moments of joy started to come back.
Gaining clarity invited more curiosity and connection, giving me more courage to believe in my path. I dug deeper into my whys, desiring to close the gap between my external and internal worlds. To understand why my energy and time went to particular people, places, and things. Why certain activities fulfilled me more than others. Why certain themes kept recurring in my life.
Experiencing the big picture no longer felt like fluff to me. It became accessible. The more I practiced gaining and moving with clarity, the more I manifested my big picture. It was actually bringing me fulfillment.
Fast forward to now, I am dedicating my life to helping others move the big needles of their lifestyle, career, and businesses so they can manifest their big picture. To really own it and live it with clarity, connection, and consistency.
We can gain clarity through self-practice and considering these important things:
>> Take a look at what is going on inside of us. What are we feeling on an emotional level? What about our bodily sensations? Where are we stiff? Do we feel energetic or drained? Do we feel like our mind is running the show or are we at peace in the present? How would we describe our stress? Notice the way we answer these questions. Imagine we are playing the witness to what’s happening, as if we are in a movie watching our own inner world. Sometimes we’ll find that the mind loves to talk a lot—so much that it drowns our feelings and sensations. What is it saying? If the mind chatter gets becomes too much, focus on the sensations and observe the feelings that come up.
>> Take note of the actions we take throughout the day and the intentions behind them. What are we thinking and feeling as we take those actions? If the outcomes of these actions were intended for others, how did it land according to us and them? How well did it serve to benefit both sides?
>> Describing our big picture is important. Not just in how it looks or functions, but also in the way it feels. How would we describe a day in the life of our big picture? What would we sense and feel as we experience it? Take note of that too. How can we access feelings in our present life?
Gaining clarity in the safe space of others is also just as powerful:
>> Tapping into our motivations and leveraging our learning styles is important. And sometimes, we could use a little more guidance to move forward. Do we like to learn from someone’s experience? Do we want someone to help us arrive at our own answers? Do we need to dig into the past, or are we fairly rooted in our present and looking to move forward? Do we want to experience change at a visceral level rather than talk about it? Consider professional coaches. Therapists. Yoga, qigong, or spiritual teachers. Counselors. Mentors. The list goes on, and there are plenty of healers who are committed to helping us find clarity.
>> Take professional coaching for example. It’s just like when we learned to crawl, walk, and run. Only now, we are exploring different lenses to change the way we experience our life and understand what motivates us. It’s like going to an eye check-up. They’ll have us compare our vision through a number of lenses, asking a series of questions. One or two? Three or four? Which lens is clearer? Which one feels better?’ Now if we apply this analogy to our life, what resonates and how can we motivate ourselves?
>> If we want to experience things at a visceral level, yoga and qigong can teach us how to reconnect with our physical and emotional bodies so our mind doesn’t just leave them behind. We become aware of how stress and tension show up in our bodies and we can calm our nerves through meditation and awareness practices. It’s to sit and be present with ourselves. There’s a wealth of yoga teachers, qigong teachers, and somatic experts who are gifted at teaching this.
Take the initiative to achieve clarity and build on it. It is a muscle that allows us to respond rather than react.
Clarity can help us reinvigorate our lives with more meaning, expansion, and authenticity. Regardless of where we are, it is something that can change our life when we achieve it. The big picture isn’t something to search or chase. It’s an experience that we can design, dressed in our thoughts, senses, and feelings.
Hints of it are already there inside of us. Listen to those parts and see how that voice expresses direction. The more we listen to our inner voice, the more we align with who we really are.
And once we’ve experienced it, there’s a deeper level of ingenuity in how we show up. One of being, rather than doing. As we embrace our inner seer, more things will fall in place.
So when we’re not quite there—start with clarity.