I think it’s incredibly powerful to slow down and question the purpose of everything, to be sure that you have your own intent behind the activities that you are doing.
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Has your summer been restful so far? I love how the pace of everything has been slower, and I’ve been using the time to do a lot of soul searching. Unfortunately that usually leads to a lot of journaling and thinking, but less time writing and blogging. But I have been developing the habit of sharing small posts on Facebook.
I keep thinking I need to create a content schedule to help me get back on track with a regular posting schedule. But then I realize I am doing the foundational work of finding clarity about my identity and my mission and I’m finding that that just can’t be rushed.
If you’re finding yourself digging deeper into who you are and what you really want to do, I want to encourage you to embrace that process.
I think sometimes we have seasons in life where we wake up and realize we’ve been going through the motions, doing all the obligatory things, letting people and life just rush us along through everything.
I think it’s incredibly powerful to slow down and question the purpose of everything, to be sure that you have your own intent behind the activities that you are doing. And when you find yourself asking ‘why’, why am I even doing x or y or z, if you don’t find a satisfactory answer that lines up with your values and aligns with a fresh vision for your life, give yourself permission to stop doing those things.
Allow yourself to outgrow things that no longer serve who you’re becoming, or where you are in your life now. Sometimes even people, places and activities need to be downmoted in priority when you are deciding how to spend your time, money and energy.
And that’s okay.
With YouTube videos and online courses as a solid second, my favorite way by far to push myself forward in personal growth and finding my way in life, is to read books and capture my thoughts in my journal.
I’ve always prioritized non-fiction, personal development, spirituality, psychology, business. But recently I’ve heard several teachers and authors I respect encouraging us to also read fiction, biography, history, not just self-help. So I’m taking that seriously.
(And as soon as I decided to read some fiction, not knowing at all where to start, one of you recommended a book and offered to send me a copy. I’m accepting that my life is like that now. When you truly begin to seek and live in alignment with the goodness of the Universe and God’s divine purposes, and your own truth, when you are ready for the next thing, it just shows up. Our upcoming home purchase is a great example, I’ll be sharing that story in the facebook group soon.)
I’ve found that the right book always shows up next, whether it’s mentioned in a book I’m reading, shows up in amazon as similar to recent purchases, is recommended by a friend, or draws my attention when I’m browsing Barnes and Noble. I’ve come increasingly serious about paying attention and being open to what I might read next.
I started reading Mastery, by Robert Greene recently and he talks about how those who become great at something, go through the process of giving themselves a self-apprenticeship in a topic that captivates them. The way he talks about it makes me think of how James Hillman talks in The Soul’s Code about the way each of us has a soul that will draw us toward our destiny through interests that naturally and intrinsically fascinate and captivate us.
That’s been true for me with books and learning. I keep trying to find the common thread, the core topic that runs through all of the books and information that I love to read and share with you all.
I started out my membership focused on sharing from books, a book a week, in a methodical book-based way, but now that I’ve done that for a month, I found I needed to keep searching for a theme, something I could consistently speak to and be known for. Something that would organize my own thoughts and be a filter for what I share.
Through the books and authors and videos and personal life stories, whatever I might share, I want there to be a clear theme that I always help you with so that you know what you can always expect to get, and you can come check out my writing when you feel the need for that thing, and when friends are talking about that, you can recommend my stuff.
Way too many people are generalists, trying to cover too many topics. I’ve known that, and that I didn’t want to fall into the same trap. But it’s taken me years to dial down into my unique space, which I think is a testament to why so many don’t, because it is really hard. Steven Pressfield says in Do the Work, that when you ask yourself that simple, clear question of your work, “what is this really about”, he says that is the thorniest nut to crack.
My Core Theme
What I’ve got so far is this sense that everything I look at, I see spiritual depth to it. And sometimes that is my favorite part of an author’s work or of an idea, and sometimes it is the crucial thing that I feel is missing, that I think would take whatever it is, to the next level. It would add an important dimension to the discussion or to the application of the concept, whatever it is.
I was walking across the parking lot to the grocery story last week and I was thinking about an example and had this sudden, strong sense, of ‘yeah, that is important!’ and ‘why doesn’t everyone see this?’ As I was thinking about how I don’t see anyone covering quite that thing in quite the way I would, it dawned on me that that must be it. That layer I see is what I need to speak to.
So I’ve set my intention to look everywhere for that layer I see, to begin to define it, and get feedback from you all both about what it is – how to describe it – and how it helps you practically in your life.
I think the essence of it for me right now is finding the spiritual depth in everything and integrating that truth and feeling to whatever we are talking about – especially the practical, every day stuff.
Rob Bell would say (as he does in What We Talk About When We Talk About God) that it’s about marrying the mundane and the sacred, removing the false separation there, pursuing a holistic integrated approach to our lives.
This has gotten me thinking about the strategies that most helped me get to the point of finding that unique layer this summer, that focus that would really allow me to find my voice.
You’ve still got time left this summer to take advantage of the slower pace and extra down time to listen to yourself and reflect on where you are compared to who you are at your core and where you truly want to be.
A few things stand out as the most helpful and I wanted to share them with you.
3 Tips for Finding Yourself and Your Voice
1. Align with your future self
When I learned, with help from Morgana McCabe Allan, to take time to look into the future and envision my future self and then allow that vision to speak to me, I gained an immensely valuable tool that I want you to understand and utilize as well.
You can visualize who you are becoming, and when you really feel into that future reality, you begin to train your brain both consciously and subconsciously to look for ways to make it happen. And I think a really powerful practical application of this concept is learning to live in alignment with that vision now.
One example of that for me is really unplugging and relaxing (mentally not physically lol) when my husband and I took our 4 boys camping a few times this summer. Part of my future vision for our family is the freedom to have outdoor adventures. So when we do the version of that that we can afford to do now, I choose to fully embrace the experience, and be thankful for it and treasure all of the experience, being present and joyful, in alignment with how I envision my future self – who is of course more successful, wise and carefree – how she would enjoy her off time with family. I’m also doing this with my visions for being a writer, homeschooling my boys, and improving my physical health.
There is incredible power in considering who you want to be, and taking every opportunity to at least mentally begin to live in that reality. The rest of life will then get on board with your vision and conspire to make it happen.
2. Consider what you love
Another thing I’ve found incredibly powerful and informative is really diving deep into your desires. Allow yourself to go there.
What makes you truly happy? Which activities make your heart sing? What is it about them that you love? What is your favorite part of it? What are you precisely doing in that moment where you feel at one with your soul, at peace with the universe? When do you find yourself in the flow and losing track of time?
These questions are drawn from the line of questioning that Gay Hendricks uses in The Big Leap to find your zone of genius. They are also inline with the idea of having a soul, a true self, with a destiny imprinted on it. I believe that we each have a sense of destiny and knowing, that we need to uncover.
Do we discover ourselves or create ourselves? I believe it is one and the same. Our modern culture and mode of coming to adulthood causes us to lose a sense of self, of true identity and unqiueness. Through the process of coming of age we too often lose our sense of unique desire for that which lights us up. But at any time we can choose to recover it and begin to live in alignment with our core design. We discover who we truly are and create a life in alignment with the truth of who we are and how we are wired. Within your desires are the call of the divine on your life. A good resource for discovering your core desired feelings is The Desire Map, by Danielle LaPorte. Identifying how you want to feel, as well as which kinds of activities speak to you on a primal level, these kinds of self-discovery can help you uncover a sense of joy that you may have lost or muffled.
The point here is to take time to examine yourself and discover what makes you truly happy. What do you want? What brings you joy? What do you desire to have in your life?
3. Find the common thread
What do you always see in everything? What is most fascinating to you, and what do you see is often missing? What bugs you when it gets left out, and why is it important?
Once you’ve worked on understanding who you are and what you want, look around at the world around you and ask yourself what stands out to you.
What do you most want to speak to, contribute to, or change? Where do you see a need that no one is addressing, or where someone is helping but with a crucial component missing?
Begin to watch and think, and journal and take notes. Begin to keep track of those pieces that spark your interest, and they will start to form a common thread that will point you to a unique contribution that you could take great joy in devoting a season of your life to.
I’d love to hear if this was helpful and if you’d like for me to go deeper on this or related topics.
With all my love,
What I’m Excited About
- Ryan Holiday released pre-order bonuses for his Oct release, Stillness is the Key .
- Bo Eason is giving early access to his book, There is No Plan B for Your A Game , to those who pre-order it.
- I’m giving up desserts for good as part of who I’m becoming, and I’m about 2 weeks in and feeling good about the long term commitment.
- I’m wrapping up a training series I got from Gabrielle Bernstein about being a spiritual teacher and it was amazing.
- I’m adding amazon affiliate links to my book references in my blog posts, so that you can support me in this way if you would like.
What I’m Reading
Mastery, by Robert Greene
There is No Plan B for Your A Game, by Bo Eason
The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
The Science of Self-Empowerment, by Gregg Braden
A Course in Weight Loss, by Marianne Williamson
The Tapping Solution, by Nick Ortner With all my love,
News from My Life
We’re moving! Across town at the end of August, to be closer to my husband’s work and his family.
Next on Alicia’s Soul Adventure
I’m working on a new framework for it that is topic-based instead of book-based. Stay tuned! If you’re not a member yet, click below for more info.