Category Archives: Step into Yourself-Step into Your Life

Discover Yourself through Discovering the World

Sitting here in homeport watching the sunrise over the ocean on a cold winter day, I dream of cruising in the warm Caribbean sunshine. I live in Paradise. I dive the dream of living at the ocean. I am blessed beyond anything I would have believed 10 years ago. And yet I dream bigger dreams now.

My dad instilled the love of ships and sea in my. The beach became my sanctuary when I couldn’t get out on the sea. It lets me imagine and see the possibilities that are out there beyond the horizon of my everyday life.

I have wanderlust. I long to see distant shores. To discover beaches in every port. More than that I long to see other places, to have new experiences, to meet new people. In learning and exploring the world and what others know and live I develop more of who I am. I open doors within my self that I never knew existed.

I become more of who I am. I step more and more into who I am. I am more understanding of others, and of myself. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself, to be comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown, to conquer fears, to discover what I am capable of, and who I can be. I become more of who I am.

Travel is the ultimate mindfulness pursuit. It makes me become present in my surroundings, with what I am doing, experiencing and what I see and hear around me. When you are out of your eliminate, out of your everyday routine you become more aware, more alert to your surroundings, more present to your experiences. It happens almost naturally if you let it.

Travel is transformational. Travel shifts my perspective. It shows me not only possibilities of life but it connects me with myself and with others.

When I travel with someone it allows me to experience them in new ways. To develop a closer bond, to appreciate our differences and share our experiences. It teaches us how to be together and respect each other’s space and time.

Travel is an inner and outer journey. It is in discovering other cultures, other places, other people and the world-even the world right outside your door- that you discover yourself in the process.

 

Storms of Life

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I had made a resolution once before to post every month but life gets in the way. Once I finished my memoir I spent time resting, then enjoying the summer life on the island.

Finishing a major project that had been years in the making was amazing. It made me not want to take on any major project anytime soon. I took on teaching some personal development classes. Mostly I reacquainted myself with the beach, the ocean, my friends and my community.

My sister and I were overdue for a Sisters Travel Adventure. Even planning that became a logistical adventure in and of itself. Finally we decided on a cruise to Cuba.

The cruise itself was wonderful. Experiencing Cuba amazing!  I spent a great deal of it following in Hemingway’s footsteps. The writer in me couldn’t resist. In doing so I was able to experience Cuban culture and experience the openness of the people. I discovered that they had a love affair with Hemingway way beyond my interest in seeing the places he spent his time writing and drinking! (That’s another blog in and of itself that I still haven’t taken the time to write)

And while on that cruise my life began to take a turn I didn’t see coming. As we explored Cozumel, I heard rumblings of a major hurricane heading for the east coast- the Carolina’s to be exact. The next day on the ship I heard people talking anxiously about this hurricane.

I met people who lived around me concerned about getting home and what they would do when they got there. I still wasn’t concerned but I was alert. Then I met a women who lived not far from where I lived, she had talked to family back home and she was  very alarmed about what they had told her.

I finally tuned in – when I am on a trip I unplug from my phone, the news etc. I watched the news and saw this massive storm heading straight for where I lived. So I went from vacation to evacuation.

The month of September just went by. It seemed forever before I was able to return home. And when I did life was off kilter as every one tried to pick up the pieces.I was lucky as the damage in my life was contained and manageable but it shook me up.

It sent me looking for my next step-my next project. I craved a new direction. So in the midst of clean up I made a decision to step into a new direction with my career.

That has kept me out of circulation as I restructure and rearrange my thoughts, my development, my directions and my projects. I am excited about this new avenue. I am trying to interweave and blend this new project into my life.

I actually came on here to see about making changes and restructuring my website and blog(s). And instead I find myself writing to you- here. I am not sure how it is all going to come together yet, it is still a work in progress.

I am good at turning corners, in fact  I crave the adventure of change, new learning, new possibilities, new discoveries, exploring new places and meeting new people. I guess that is why I love travel so much! And it is another travel component that is the new path I am adding to my projects.

One of the Amazing things about traveling is through discovering other places, cultures and meeting new people I have discovered and uncovered so much more about myself,  who I am and who I am capable of being. Stepping out of my comfort zone, reaching out and connecting into the world has taught me more about what lies within me.

I have seen my passion of travel be reignited several years ago and wanderlust has taken me by the storm! And more that just sharing my love of travel through my series Sisters Travel Adventures- it is time to take that a step further and help you Discover the World and Yourself through this amazing world of cruising and traveling!

It is time for you to Come Along on These Amazing Cruise Adventures or to Have one of Your Own!!

So are you ready to take to the Ocean of Possibilities and Set Sail to Discover the World!

 

Step Deeper into Your Dreams

Today is the day I take another step into my life – deeper into the sea of dreams, desires and journey into the next adventure.

My new book, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me is now available. update Memoir Cover

Sharing my story, my life with the world is scary exciting!

Writing being an author has been a long buried dream of mine since I was a little girl, but like I pushed aside my love of the ocean, I buried that dream because I was told it was impractical and unrealistic.

It took fifty years of my life to dig it up and resurrect it. It took almost another ten to write it and find the courage and confidence to rewrite, edit, and publish it.

After writing the rough draft, fear took hold. A friend suggested I test the waters and write a short book on my love of the ocean. That is how Dancing on the Beach came about. A collection of essays expressing deep love and connection to the wisdom of the ocean (501x800)

Rewriting my life story was a long emotional process. I would work on it, have a reader or editor look at it, think about the suggestions then finally rewrite. I went through four different versions and formats before I found the format that fit my story. In hindsight, it was the most logical choice but it took me a roundabout way to get there.

It is my way I guess, I never seem to approach anything in a linear fashion. I love jumping around here and there to see what side trips might be interesting or what I might see or discover.

When I thought about becoming a writer, I never thought about writing personal essay but it is where I found my voice. Writing my own life story wasn’t in the plans either but years ago a teacher had suggested that I write about my experience with dissociation. Years later as I was in the midst of my midlife free fall, other women I shared my story with asked me to write and share it when I arrived.

Truth is arriving at one point just sends me off to another point on the horizon I see. Life is like that. We are never meant to arrive and stay long term just for a while and then to move forward towards something more.

So I have shared my story in hopes it inspires you to free fall or jump into becoming your true self and share it with the world in whatever expression that is for you.

We live life in our experiences expressing our spirit in the present moment

Step Deeper into Your Dreams!

Experiencing a New Perspective of Yourself: Create a New Vision of Yourself

Now with your new understanding and perspective of yourself and of your life. Knowing more about yourself, what you love, your desires, and who you have become. We are going to expand that into who you are Becoming.

Armed with your discoveries about yourself, your loves, likes, what you don’t like you are going to begin to write the story of who you are and who you are becoming.

Being Authentic in your daily life with your choices and decisions, in how you act, how you express yourself. You should try out and experiment with new ways of being in the comfort of your personal environment, at home with yourself, then with family and friends.

Expect reactions when they see you acting and being different. Not all those reactions will be positive. Your family may balk when you change something about yourself or your day that they are used to. Though in life it is necessary to take into account people who we interact with, whom we love and care about, and how our behavior impacts their life. You must decide from within you if and how to adjust a new part of yourself when you are interacting with them.

This may be a very difficult shift for you. It’s ok. There is no clear-cut and dry answers. As a compassionate human being, you do not want to have your choices harm another. You will know if it is right to make an adjustment or not. You must listen to your heart and to your core being. The answers are always within you. You just have to listen and you will know.

When something is coming from your core being nothing and no one can dissuade you from being true to yourself except yourself.

So now we are going to interject some fun into the process!

 

Nurturing Authentic Fair and Style

So what’s your favorite color? Is your house decorated with that color? If not why not? Where could you add that color? By a pillow or paint a wall or a piece of furniture that color. Do you wear your favorite color? If not why not? Buy one item of clothing in that color.

Style and flair are important to add to your life. What is your style? Do you have a signature flair? Red is my color. My bedroom is full of red, sheets, blankets, table covers. I wear it often. A third of my wardrobe is red.

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing or style of clothing? I am a sundress girl. I have a collection of them. When I travel my souvenir is unusual a sundress. It helps that I live on an island at the beach. I get to wear them almost all the time.

What is your style? What makes you unique? Create one if you don’t have one. Choose one item, a signature item that says – this is Me! This is who I am! It can be a necklace, earrings, a scarf, type or color of shoes, an item of clothing or a style.

Wear it out every day for a week. How does it make you feel? Does anyone notice? Have you received compliments?

Add some style and flair to your home as well. Start small, add color or items that make you happy, comfortable, or peaceful and that you love for no reason other than you love it! Each time you change something in your home, redecorate or need a new item choose it not only because it is functional but because it suits you.

 

Authentic Self-Expression: Being You

As you get up each morning set the tone and quality of your day. Having a morning ritual that fuels your soul and spirit. Setting the tone, setting your intentions and being fully present will send you forward into the day with an open heart and mind.

As the day goes along stay mindful of what is happening. What choices you are making. Listen to yourself. Stay true to what you now know to be true about yourself.

Continue to foster your authenticity every day through as much of your day as possible. Recognize when you are not being authentic. Do not judge just notice.

It up to you to be who you are each day. It takes courage. It takes being vulnerable. Don’t hold back. Be real.

Activities to Foster Authentic Self-Expression

Embrace your uniqueness and express it.

Develop your inner guidance and act on it.

Take time to know yourself. Go back over the self-discovery questions ask yourself again and again as your answer will change as you shift, become more aware and grow into who you are becoming.

Continue to Journal and meditate as a way to bring inner wisdom to awareness

Align your words, thoughts, and actions together.

Avoid thinking in terms of “should” and “have to.” Replace with do I want to? Is doing this in alignment with my values and beliefs?

Be open to try new things. Say yes to things that interest you. Say No to things that will drain you or dampen your spirit.

Be willing to show courage when authenticity calls for it.

Expect that you will be challenged and be okay with this.

Accept that you are your own ultimate authority

Accept and live your life as a journey, always unfolding. Embrace the process. Trust the process.

Redefining Who You Are & Who You Are Becoming

Self Discovery: Getting to Know Yourself

Self-Discovery: Getting to Know Yourself

 This is a journey into the depths of yourself and your life. It is an excavating process. Make it fun- enjoy it.

If you stay present with it you will walk through the forest and see the light at the end of the tunnel. On your way you will probably get lost, confused, and discouraged but you will also be delighted, amazed, astonished, and excited about some of the things you discover.

This part of my process, I began in the middle of my chaos of confusion, depression and disillusionment with myself and life. I was lost and empty. I felt like I didn’t exist anymore. It was a start and stop process even when I stepped out of life to focus on the process, I still didn’t jump completely into it. I took small steps at a time. (You can read my full process in my soon to be released memoir, Through the Woods to the Sea)

 

Identity and Sense of Self

What is your identity? What is your sense of self?

We often identify ourselves using a combination of our

  • Occupations – teacher, doctor, engineer, accountant
  • Social relationships – colleague, friend, husband/wife
  • Family relationships – brother/sister, mother/father son/daughter
  • Avocations – musician, athlete, artist
  • Abilities/disabilities and attributes – funny, shy, reliable, good looking, kind, intelligent

It is a collection of these identifications, the roles we play, and our personality traits that we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to incorporate into our self-perception.

Who do you think you are?

We all have a story we tell ourselves and others who we are.

  • What roles do you use to define yourself?
  • How do you see yourself?
  • How do you feel about yourself?
  • What do you see in the mirror?
  • How would you describe yourself?

What is the story you tell yourself about who you are and why you are who you are?

The story I believed for most of my life about myself was that I was told I wasn’t good enough to be out in the world. So I hid myself away at home and became some stranger when I was at school and out in the world. Eventually the separation became blurred as did my identity and sense of self. I never had a sense of self or knew who I was. When I became a mother, I escaped into that one role and I went completely missing in action. I believed I couldn’t be myself because I wasn’t good enough to exist. So I became nonexistent.

 

Getting to Know Yourself

Walking the Paths of the Past: Excavating the Formation of Your Identity

Make a chart or take a piece of paper and label each stage of life: Infancy, Early Childhood, School-age, Adolescents, Young Adulthood, Adulthood or you can separate your life using years or decades: Years 1-5, 6-12, 13-18, 19-25, 25-29, 30’s, 40’s etc.

Write down what you remember or know about each stage of your life. Answer these questions for each stage. Write down anything that comes to mind. It may not be seem significant to you now but it may later.

  • What significant events, circumstances, situations occurred during each stage? Who were you at each stage of your development?
  • How did these events, circumstances or situations impact or influence your identity? Your sense of self?
  • What were you like during each stage?
  • What did you love/hate about your life? Yourself?
  • What activities did you love? List all the things you did that gave you joy, made you happy and had fun doing.
  • What were you good at? What did you excel at?
  • What roles did you play?

 

Looking back on what you uncovered:

  • What parts of yourself have you rediscovered during the excavating process?
  • Did you discover something about yourself during the excavating process that amazes you? Are you stronger than you believed about yourself?
  • What part of yourself is not being acknowledged?
  • What have you learned about yourself?

 

During the excavating process I discovered that I was a confident active fun little girl. I rediscovered things I loved, the weather, music, dancing, horseback riding, writing stories and poetry. I discovered that during the time I was missing in action that I became stronger inside. That I developed a determination to find a way back to life.

I realized that there in the books and movies I loved as a child was my inner self that I had been denying. They were my way of connecting and being myself in my imagination when I felt I couldn’t be myself in my everyday life as I child. I kept myself alive through them. When I was a teenager and into my adulthood I kept my essence alive through the stories and poems I wrote.

 So the first steps in reconnecting with the person deep within was is relieving those childhood loves. It was my first step to connect with who I had been. And became the starting point for becoming liking who I was and realizing that there was nothing wrong with her.

 

Self-Discovery Activities to discover more about Yourself

Connecting with your inner self is a deep soul searching process. It should be fun and exciting even in the moments of uncertainty and growing.

Pick one of your favorite activities you did as a child and do it again. See how it makes you feel now. What does it tell you about yourself?

Now pick an activity that you wish you had done that haven’t yet. Now plan a day and time to do it. How does planning it feel? Are you anticipating it with excitement or are you anxious. Once you have done it – How was the whole experience? What did you learn about yourself?

Do something you do not like to do. How do you get yourself to do it? How did you feel before you did it? How do you feel about doing it now? Would you do it again or do you still not like doing it?

Talk to someone who has known you for a long time. Ask them some of your self-discovery questions. Ask them to describe you as if they were telling someone else about you.

In returning to school and studying some of those childhood loves at an adult level I began to cultivate a relationship with the person I would have become. In studying mindfulness and present moment I cultivated a relationship with who I was in that moment – a mixture of all I had hidden away, lost and all that I had experienced as a disassociated person. I uncovered wonderful things about myself.

Yet until I found myself in the woods I hadn’t really thought about who I was becoming and who I wanted to be. I connected to the little girl inside and the person within the mother but I didn’t have a solid sense of self without the structures of my life.

 

Self-Discovery Questions

 Who do you want to be? What do you want?

 No one asked me those questions until Sr. Henrita asked me. My life was always about what I was expected to do or what others wanted. Having connected with the person I had hidden away and lost now I had to figure who I was now and who I wanted to be in the world.

  •  What activities do you love? Do you hate?
  • What makes you happy? Sad? Peaceful? Excited?
  • What excites and inspires you?
  • What new activities are you interested in or willing to try?
  • What are your goals and dreams?
  • What do you really want to do? Are you doing that?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What is it that wants to speak from your heart?
  • What do you want to contribute to the world?

Moving forward begins in the present moment but it helps to have a vision. It doesn’t have to be a clear ridged goal, but you must have a direction to begin walking towards. Take some time to think about those questions, explore them, and explore possibilities. Stay present follow your intuition and your heart. Each day, each experience you will discover more about who you are becoming.

You have come far, before you move forward it is time to take a breath, to marinate and blend what you have learned and what you know now with what your heart and soul know. Breakthroughs happen in times of mental relaxation.

Let go of anything you no longer want to carry around. Plan a ceremony or ritual where you symbolically let it go and release it.

Plan a Celebration – A Celebration of You. Plan it yourself. Plan it your way. Invite who you want. Or go out and celebrate you with you! Celebrate by doing something you have always wanted to do! Or just pamper yourself.

Conclusion

Stepping into yourself and your life is a path of perpetual movement and personal growth to come into alignment with your true self and authentic self-expression.

Next is taking what you have learned and begin to express that inner person in your everyday life.

To Experience a New Perspective of Yourself.

Cultivate Authentic Self-Expression.