Lighting Our Paths

“Claim the essence of the phenomenon that is your life”
Maya Angelou

Phenomenon: something (such as an interesting fact or event) that can be observed and studied and that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully

Essence: the basic nature of a thing : the quality or qualities that make a thing what it is

Claim: to say that (something) is true when some people may say it is not true; to say that you have (something); to say that (something) belongs to you or that you deserve (something)

WOW! Quite the task!

We all have so many “hard to explain, interesting facts” that are “unusual and difficult to understand or explain.” My hunch is that to even see them, let alone understand them (which could take a lifetime), one must reflect. Reflection takes time…carving out some space within the day to day grind. But in order to reflect, there has to be a focal point, and a question.

But before moving forward with the “how,” it’s also worth considering that intricacies of our lives cannot always be explained. And for many, it’s not important to explain them. Maybe it’s more a matter of faith in the mystery of life, or some other personal reason. I’m down with that.

For the rest of us…

I want to understand. I dare to “claim the essence” so that I can contribute more and well…to actually live out the life I am capable of and am maybe even meant to live.

So, back to the how. Starting from a focal point then and asking questions about it….it seems a relatively straightforward way to start to figure out all the s#*t I’ve experienced.

With that knowledge I have decisions to make. I may want to do nothing and fell good about having more wisdom. I may want to share lessons with others who may appreciate it. For me, this blog is an outlet to begin claiming my own essence. Because I believe we are all trying to figure our s#*t out, so we may as well help each other along the way.

Getting to the question, I seem to either start with a concept/trait/feeling that I’m curious or troubled about, or I start with an experience I’ve had that I want to understand better.

Don’t know about you but I’m riddled with questions. Some petty and self-involved. Some big and bigger than myself. All important for me to ask. I trust that.

What happened to my self-confidence? At what point in my life did I become riddled with self-doubt and anxiety? Am I being a good mother? Am I a supportive wife? What kind of friend am I? Am I a dutiful and loving daughter? Do I give enough of myself to others, to the world? Why don’t I like to talk on the phone? Why did my second pregnancy wreak havoc on my mental health? What can I do to live my life according to my values? What do I REALLY value? Why won’t I do what I know I need to do to finally like my body? Why am I so vain? Will I actually ever like my body? Why does it matter so much? Am I really a compassionate person? Do I demonstrate compassion — does it come through in my interactions and relationships or do I seem judgmental or critical or harsh or intolerant or uncaring or something else entirely? Are we all just doing the best we can, as Brene Brown asks in her book “Rising Strong.” What’s happening to the world? Where do I fit? What can I do?

And so many more…

What are some of your own questions? Have you begun to “claim the essence” for yourself? If not, maybe it’s worth trying. Or maybe not. Or maybe not right now. If you are forging your path toward understanding, it would be SO COOL if you would share it. Here or wherever. Somewhere! The world needs you.

With love,