WELL / AWARE Show 035: What Defines You?
You ever really stop and think about that? Just do it with me for a sec, see what comes to mind. You might envision a list of personality traits, achievements, a mental resume, your book deal, the day you came out, your instagram following—there’s no wrong answer. I think the interesting part is whenever we’re asked about defining moments it’s always the “big ones.” (You can’t see me right now, but I’m doing air quotes.) I think about this a lot because whenever I have a guest on the show, I’m trying to figure out how to help them tell their stories. And it makes sense, by the way. I love big moments, personal growth, celebrations, and what not. But the stories that are most fascinating to me are the ones that preceded the big day. When did you know you’d quit your job one day and start your own company? What shift happened internally or who inspired you to create an imprint on your soul that you’d actually act on? When you look at these mini memories, they are without a shadow of a doubt, moments that had your undivided attention. And if you thread them together, it might look like a timeline of minutiae! But they’re not. To make that mental shift is sometimes so much bigger, scarier, and more vulnerable than unlocking the actual achievement, or the final product or big goal. Even if the moment was fleeting, you had to be an open channel: totally receptive and truly present. When you take a moment to reflect and notice the commonalities of the moments behind what defines you, you’ll see that they’re not so trivial. You’ll see how how being present shapes the future. Staying present isn’t easy. If it were, we’d all be walking around enlightened and awake. If you’re afraid, or if being totally present is hard, know that hardship is fertile ground for growth. Being somewhere else, anywhere but the present, is robbing yourself of the full experience, of what life has to offer. It’s a practice though! It’s not about being perfect and present all the time. I’m certainly not. It’s about coming back to. About reminding yourself what it is you’re here for, and what defines you. That’s it! Thank you all so much for listening. If you like the show, I’d love for you to leave a review on iTunes. Shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and find me on Instagram @wellaware_, and until next time. Be well! Photo by Maya Moverman