True understanding of what “finding yourself” means can really be a challenge. As a culture, we speak in broad phrases, and comprehension is often lost along the way. I listened to a podcast yesterday, where Malcolm Gladwell pointed to our American ways of rewarding those who do things quickly, always timed, the hare vs. the turtle. He said he is a meandering thinker and if his work was held to a merit system for efficiency, we wouldn’t enjoy and learn from it as we do today.
I apply this theory to finding ourselves on the road to authenticity. Two quotes have caught my attention recently that take this to a level of better understanding for me.
From the Daily Calm app. The subject is individuality.
“One of the gifts of meditation is the chance to listen to our ideas, desires and beliefs way below the surface… that deeper sense of individuality. The more we meditate, the more we learn who we truly are instead of living in reaction to the expectation of others around us, we’re able to honor that authentic voice deep within.”
Another quote came from the TV show “A Million Little Things.”
“Do I only fight for my own happiness when it aligns with everyone else’s?”
Think on the common theme from these two sources. We blow through our days, interacting with others and taking very little time for ourselves. It’s only in the later where we find how we feel about things. Otherwise, we are more focused on how we fit in and if those around us are happy with our behavior. In our fast paced world, it’s imperative that we seek out quiet and reflective time. There we find what feeds us and can live a more complete life.
Anxiety is caused by unexpressed anger. Stop and read that again. When we ignore our own needs and wants, we get angry. It isn’t socially acceptable to act out so we keep it in. This causes anxiety which can make us short-tempered, edgy and reactionary. When it occurs, I recognize this in myself and take time to figure out what just made me snap. Mediation means many things to me. It can be a car ride with certain music, a walk, adult-coloring books, yoga, sitting in a quiet place and listening to my thoughts and letting them find organization.
Slow down. Find your version of mediation and go with it. That’s a reward system we should all subscribe to.