Saturday, October 31, 2009

Finding Your Truth & The Authentic Life

Finding your truth and living an authentic life. It sounds hard, just by the sound of it. It sounds like alot of soul searching and then rigid rules by which to live your life, almost. But the only truly hard part of this is the first step, and it is also the scariest part. And it doesn't have to be about rigid rules or absolute truths, either.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

That being said, there are a number of definitions for Truth. Lets look at them.

  • The quality or being true; as: -- (a) Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been; or shall be.
  • Conformity to rule; exactness; close correspondence with an example, mood, object of imitation, or the like.
  • Fidelity; constancy; steadfastness; faithfulness.
  • The practice of speaking what is true; freedom from falsehood; veracity.
  • That which is true or certain concerning any matter or subject, or generally on all subjects; real state of things; fact; verity; reality.
  • A true thing; a verified fact; a true statement or proposition; an established principle, fixed law, or the like; as, the great truths of morals.

Now, there is a difference between that which is deemed an absolute truth, such as murder is wrong, and finding your own truth. This is because when one seeks their own truth, they seek their own path. And to pave the road of this path, one must find their own metaphors and meaning in life, which are those things which hold great meaning to them and give them strength.

There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.
~~Alfred North Whitehead
For one person this may be deity, by whatever name the person chooses to apply to it. For another, it might be the more universal appeal of an idea like a higher power. And still yet, for others, it could be any of a number of other things, like placing faith in themselves and their capabilities.

Saying this does not take away from the value it holds for the person in question. It only says that there are as many truths/paths as there are people. And no one way holds the absolute truth, no matter what it promises. Each offers a unique perspective worthy of acknowledgment and study, even if it is not your own.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.
~~Harvey Fierstein

Finding your truth means defining yourself: who you are, what are your goals and dreams, what are you willing to do to realize those dreams, what are your limits. It forces you to ask yourself what is important to you in your life and what exists in your life that you have no need or care for. This includes relationships, jobs, hobbies, activism, religions, political affiliations, and anything else we place a value on, whether monetary or otherwise.

Once it forces you to face these things, without looking at them through the tinted glass of other people's perceptions, it also asks you to choose what really matters to you so that you can begin to focus on those things. This is your truth and this is living an authentic life.

It doesn't have to be what a religion tells you your life has to be. It doesn't have to be set by the ideal of some else's life. It only ever has to be true to you and what you believe.

Are you a moral person, by nature, in your life? Then be moral. Are you a religious person in your life? Then be religious. And live by the ideal set for you, if that is what you choose to do. The important thing is that you choose it, and not allow it to be chosen for you.

So find your truth and live an authentic life. It's easier than it sounds. It's simply the first step, the idea of facing yourself and the possibilities of change, which cause one to push away from it.

The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
~~Morihei Ueshiba Quote from The Art of Peace
In the idea of helping you find your truth, I will offer you some tips on self discovery which can be found here: Self Discovery: How To Find Yourself. It is well worth the time of reading it.

As well, I'd like to offer a few helpful tidbits to remember, when you begin this process, which were found here: Find Your Truth

  • Every decision, large or small, brings consequences.
  • Work to become more mindful in your choices, no matter how insignificant the choice may be.
  • Know your goal or vision of where you want to be in your life.
  • Align your choices to reach your goal.
  • If you slip off the horse, get back on and keep working at it.


The Authentic Life

Living An Authentic Life
Finding An Authentic Life

Finding Your Truth

Finding Your Truth To Capture True Power
Establishing Your Truth
Finding Your Truth: Living A Soulful Life
The Power Of Choice

Self Discovery

Self Discovery: How To Find Yourself

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Silent Prayer

This is interesting to watch. It is a video about self awareness and self discovery. And it is about the promises of what those things can bring to a person. It is much food for thought. ^_^

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vision Quest & Spirit Guides

There are many ways to know people....and many ways to learn about yourself, as well. One of these is by understanding what spirit guides are and what their forms mean in relation to you. So lets start with one way to find your guides, through a visualization technique, and go from there into the world of spirit guides, in all of their guises. And hopefully you'll learn a little bit about yourself in the process.

Please understand, though, that vision quest is not the only method by which one can discover their spirit guides. Sometimes there is a special animal that one has an affinity for which might also be a guide, without realizing it. And sometimes we meet our guides in our dreams. While I offer one technique work with, there are many avenues with which to work. So find what works best for you and what makes you the most comfortable and work with it. ^_^

Seeking Spirit Guides: Vision Quest

There are a number of techniques for vision quest, which is basically seeking out your spirit guides. But I'm going to offer a simple and easy technique to do this. It is a meditative visualization. And the key to letting it happen is to let go of your own control of the vision and to just let it happen while relaxing into it.

Vision Quest Visualization

Lay down and close your eyes. Relax and breath. Visualize some sort of hole into the ground, such as a cave or a rabbit hole (like that in the tale of Alice in Wonderland). Go into it. Allow yourself to walk or fall, depending on what you choose, until it opens up into a wooded area.

Step out into the wooded area, taking note of sounds, smells, colors, textures and everything around you. Come to a clearing in the woods, where at its center, there is a stone chair. Sit in it and wait patiently.

What you are waiting for is your guide to come to you and acknowledge you within the vision. It could take the form of an animal, a person, or even an inanimate object. And there might be other things that come along in the vision, which walk on by you without acknowledging you in any way. This is no reason to give up. So be patient.

From here each vision tends to become personalized so I leave the rest to you.....

Animal Totems/Spirit Guides

There are many forms of spirit guides, from angels to ancestors to animals. What we are going to focus on here is the animals. This is because animals play a large part in our lives. They help us discover and understand aspects of ourselves better, from the past, present and even from the future. They aid in self awareness and creativity. And they are powerful teachers. So to realize what animal medicine you carry, is to recognize a part of who you are ~ possibly a part that was invisible up till that moment. So lets look at the different types of animal guides there are, and some of their meanings.

At the end of this discussion you will find links to more information on the numerous topics covered in this blog.

So the first type of animal guides come from the Native American Zodiac, which are birth totems:

  • Red Hawk, corresponds to Aries energy, dynamic and striving towards the future;
  • Beaver, corresponds to Taurus energy, sensual and aesthetic;
  • Deer, corresponds to Gemini energy, attentive and cautious;
  • Woodpecker, corresponds to Cancer energy, domestic and caring;
  • Sturgeon, corresponds to Leo energy, powerful and desirable;
  • Brown Bear, corresponds to Virgo energy, planning and strict;
  • Raven, corresponds to Libra energy, balanced and fair;
  • Snake, corresponds to Scorpio energy, devoted and erotic;
  • Elk, corresponds to Sagittarius energy, spiritual and searching;
  • Snow Goose, corresponds to Capricorn energy, tenacious and persistent;
  • Otter, corresponds to Aquarius energy, clever and communicative;
  • Puma, corresponds to Pisces energy, hidden and otherworldly.

The second type of animal spirit guide is the messenger. All animals, including birth guides and other types, carry a message with them. Its buried in their form, their general behavior, their coloring, and everything else that has to do with them. But messengers are generally animals that come into our lives during a particular period of time, crisis, event, or while making a decision, in order to help guide our choices and actions.

So when you are in crisis or seeking guidance from above, and you ask for help and/or answers, sometimes those answers can come in the form of an animal. But the event seems to insignificant, to random, or to haphazard to truly be noteworthy enough to pay attention to. And the person asking, is left feeling like they went unheard and unanswered, when it was they that bypassed the answer offered because it wasn't obvious enough for them.

As an example, I will offer you this. When I was 16, I was out in the backyard smoking. Now I know all the stuff about children smoking, but that's not really the point of this story. As I sat there a bird landed in front of a window and then quickly took flight again around to the back of the house. A few minutes later my mother was looking out that same window at me....and yes, she was mad. But within that story there was also a message. And as silly as it sounds, it was as though the bird was warning me I was about to get into trouble if I didn't move. And guess what? I did.

So look, listen, and be aware when you ask for guidance, because answers can come from any direction, if your willing to open yourself up to them. The answers will be there regardless, though. So pay attention. ^_^

Now the third type of animal spirit guide is the lifer, or the life long animal companion ~ which serves as a teacher, a guide, a protector, a friend, and support. Any animal, from insect to mythological creatures can be a guide, and I could detail all of them I could find here, but that would take up more space than I wish this blog to. So what I will do is introduce you to mine, and show you how they relate to me. And then offer you some websites to help you find the meaning of your own guides.

My guides are the black bear, the tiger, the spider, the red ant, the snake, the vulture, the red tailed hawk, the raven, the bobcat, the deer, the rabbit, the groundhog, the dragon, the white wolf, and a number of others that escape me at the moment. I will only list the meanings of a few key totems, since there are so many. And then I will show you how they are all interwoven to paint a picture of who I am.

Bear Medicine: Bears in general teach us to slow down and reserve our energies. Bear medicine also has to do with awakening from within. Bear teaches us that life's answers are no further than your own subconscious. There is no need to look outside of yourself when bear is nearby. Bears are also climbers and can teach us how to reach new heights. Bears love honey and teach us to appreciate the sweetness life offers.

Spider Medicine: Spider is the weaver connecting the knowledge of the past with the possibilities of the future. Notice that the shape of the body loosely resembles the sign for infinity.

Also notice that the center of the web is always small (you), and the web ever expanding (your possibilities).

Spider cautions us not to get locked into the illusion that has made you what you think you are. Our behavior, and our belief systems, and our view of ourselves is locked into an illusion of who we truly are that was created for us by others; usually starting as a small child. As we grow, our life becomes a reflection of those illusions, and those of us who do not follow that pattern are "rebels" or "black sheep" or other terms that imply non-conformity.

We are locked into that illusion because it has become our "comfort zone", and it is our fears of the unknown and untested which keep us in that zone. It is far easier to live in the hell we know, than to stick our mental and emotional toes out into the world and chance discovering that there is another way which may be better for us.

Spider is telling us that the possibilities for each of us is only limited by our own view of ourselves. Notice that the web constantly grows, outward, still connected to that small center space. It is always reaching, always expanding, never satisfied with the status quo. When something of value get caught in the web, it is taken back to that small center and utilized; never wasted. It may be stored for later use, but it is never wasted.

The next time you come upon spider weaving its web, stop to really look. Notice the beauty and symmetry and balance; the careful and intricate design. Spider is telling you to have the courage to reach out and create your own tomorrows; to break out of the illusion that has you locked in a time-step, and discover who and what you truly are.

Raven Medicine: "Those who carry Raven Medicine also carry a heavy responsibility to Spirit. Raven is the messenger of magic from the great void where all knowledge waits for us. He is also the symbol of changes in consciousness, of levels of awareness and of perception. He carries the mark of the shape-shifter. He is the carrier of healing energy from distances.
Those of you who have asked for messages of light and healing and prayer . . . have asked for raven medicine.
What all of this means to us in the modern-day world is that raven medicine gives you the ability to get inside another's head and heart, and to understand them from the inside out, so to speak. You can "become" that other person because of the depth of your understanding of them, and it is not necessary to be in their physical presence for that to happen.

Spiritual healers and counselors who are skilled in their abilities are using raven power for they have a depth of understanding and empathy not shared by all. Because of this power, they have the ability to actually alter another's perception and behavior. They are able to work real magic in bringing peace, healing and understanding to others.

Here is the heavy responsibility, and the dangers, in raven medicine. As with all things, these powers can be used for dark purposes. It enables the carrier to manipulate and coerce others into doing their will to the detriment of the other.
This medicine can be used for selfish and self-serving purposes for the ego and greed of the carrier. Because of the power of the levels in understanding others, a practitioner of the black arts can use raven for destructive purposes.
If you carry raven medicine, you must always use it in the light for the highest and best interests of others. You must use it for the good and well being of others, and never for your own selfish motives even though you may be tempted when times are bad. Raven medicine demands that you walk in the light in all things. That's heavy with responsibility for your own thoughts and deeds.

Work your magic in the light -- you are Raven.

Tiger Medicine: This powerful big cat represents power and sensuality.

The tiger, a solitary, silent hunter who stalks, rather than chases its prey, represents our quest for the silent peace of the soul. It symbolizes removing all distractions from the mind and being purely focused on the present moment.

This silence does not mean an absence of sensation. Sensuous Tiger reminds us that in the quieting of the mind, we become more deeply aware of both our own unique vibrations and their source in universal energy. In experiencing our energetic flow, we can discern where we are blocked and use vibrational healing tools to release blockages.

Deer Medicine: gentleness, caring and kindness ~ Deer blend very well with their environment but are very sensitive to every sound or movement. Often twins, even triplets, are born in the spring. Does and bucks live in separate groups until the mating season. The white-tailed deer are moderately gregarious, and family members forage food together along with other family groups, giving the appearance of a large herd. People with Deer Medicine are often described as being swift and alert. They are intuitive, often appearing to have well developed, even extrasensory perceptions. Sometimes their thoughts seem to race ahead, and they appear not to be listening. Deer's medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch, ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance, understanding of what's necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland spirits, alternative paths to a goal. The gentleness of Deer is the heart-space of the Great Spirit which embodies His love for us all. Deer teaches us to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds, to stop pushing to get others to change and to love and accept them as they are. The only true balance to power is love and compassion.
Now as to the meaning of all of these seemingly random animals in relation to me. Bear means power, introspection, and healing. The Spider means seeing beyond illusion within the web of life and changes within life. The Raven, like the Hawk or the Eagle, is a messenger of Spirit and carries a message of mystery, magic, and empathy. The Tiger means power, passion, and sensuality. And the Deer means gentleness, caring, and kindness.

What all of this means, when put together, is that there is a journey of awakening and awareness happening. And it is a journey of self discovery and strength. It is about finding my own power and my own place in the world. It could get alot more detailed than that, but that is its most basic meaning. Each is a piece of a puzzle and the puzzle is me. Just as each guide, that is yours, is a piece to your puzzle. The more guides you acknowledge and get to know, the more you learn about yourself.

So here is where I offer you links to websites about animal guides and what not. I hope this helps you on your journey. And I wish you the brightest of blessings. ^_^


Vision Quest & Shamanic Journeying

A Vision Quest Overview (pdf format)

About Shamanic Journeying

The Path of the Feather: A shamanic journey, medicine wheels and spirit animals

Native American Zodiac

Animal Totems/Spirit Guides Medicine

***A tip for animal spirit guide searches online. When you search, take the animal's name and add it to keywords such as "_____ medicine" or "______ animal guide" or "_____ animal totem".***

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Choice Of Empathy; The Choice Of Love

What is love? There are many definitions of love, of course. But in this case we are looking for a more universal type of definition, so we will not focus specifically on the romantic aspects of this topic. So for our purposes this definition of Love will do: To have a feeling of love for; to regard with affection or good will; as, to love one's children and friends; to love one's country; to love one's God.

Now lets look at what an Empath is. There are many definitions, but the most basic definition is simply this: a person who has an acute or highly developed sense of empathy. And Empathy, as defined by one websites glossary is: The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.

To truly understand what an Empath is, which is important to this particular discussion so bear with me here, we must retool this just a bit. An Empath is someone with an acute or highly developed sense of empathy, which simply put, means they are people who are highly sensitive to the emotions and emotional states of others. This does not mean that they will share empathy with another person, even if they are sensitive, because the offering of empathy is a conscious choice, where as, being highly sensitive is a state of being ~ which is a struggle at the best of times to maintain, much less control.

But I digress, to understand this discussion you must first understand the differences between an Empath and the gift of empathy. And you must have a universal definition of love, that isn't limited by close ties and romantic relationships.

So now that we understand that there are those that do and those that don't, and some that want to but can't....we can move on to the real point of this blog.


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
~~Chinese Proverb
Now that we see that Empaths don't have the corner on the market of altruism, it can be said that every person is capable of it, that is offering love and empathy to others, even if they choose to turn a blind eye.

What's interesting about the quote above is that it sets giving into categories, and holds one up as better than the other. And while, in the long run, it speaks to a truth of patience and teaching which helps the person develop independence, it also speaks to something else. It lessens the value of the act of offering a man food for the day, which incidentally might be what sustains him until he can stand on his own through learning to fish.

And what that says is that each act of love, empathy, and kindness has value, whether it is long term or short term value. Each has an important place with its own value, and should not be compared. Because if you think about it, on the road to learning to fish, you have to eat in order to survive.

Moving away from the quote, its the same thing with acts of love and shows of empathy toward others. No one can be all things to all people. So we do what we can, where and when we are able. And that's a powerful thing in and of itself.

And it doesn't have to begin with strangers for it to be love and empathy or for it to be altruistic. Nor does it have to be a large offering for it to be an offer of support. Offer a smile to your partner. Offer a hug to your child. Say hello as you pass someone on the street. Hold a door open for someone. And appreciate the beauty and power of those small and seemingly random things, because they all play a pivotal part and have ripple effects we aren't aware of.

That being said, you don't have to be a martyr, or give all of yourself, to another person or to a cause, in order to make a difference. You just have to be you. The choice to give or not to give, to empathize or not to empathize, to love or not to up to you. And the choice of how much you give, is also up to you. ^_^

So here is something to think about....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Sociological Look at Deviance, Buddhism, and Success

Success, Deviance, and Budhism.
(and sociology)

These terms may appear to have nothing in common.

See, in sociology, there are two terms: goals, and means. Your goals are your life's goals, which for most Americans, is money, success and women. And lots of each. Deviance occurs when the means to reach those goals are not sufficient. An equation is used to determine the risk/benefit value of each situation, and the choice is made.

Yes. It looks exactly like this.

The person in the position analyzes the potential gain by being deviant, and the potential risks. If the gain is worth the risk, then that person will be deviant. If it is not, then that person will use conventional means to meet those goals. It works a lot like the movie Fun With Dick and Jane. Dick was fine, working towards his goals. When he lost his job, he still used conventional means until the risk/benefit equation was thrown off balance. Then, he went deviant.

No further caption required.

But take a second to think about this, where do our goals come from? See that guy up top, that I posted earlier? He's a buisnessman. He's got the suit, breifcase, and "heh heh, I got dis" look. As I stated earlier, the typical American view of success is having more. More of what, you ask? More of everything. A bigger house. A bigger car. A bigger rhino.

Or a bigger rhino-car!

See, more is relative. The only way to have more of something is to compare it to something else. Most middle-class Americans look at the big corporate businessmen and say they have succeeded. They won the game. They have much larger houses, a much larger paycheck, and the top-of-the-line cars. Yet they still embezzle money, they still give themselves fatter bonuses, and hoard all the cash. Do they not see that they have succeeded? Of course not. They don't live in middle-class neighborhoods. They live in wall-street CEO neighborhoods, where everyone has a gold-plated rhino car. They see their success as inadequate. They need that extra dollar so they can buy another private jet. All because that ass Jim down the road has two! And so, because they cannot reach their goal of even more success, they resort to deviance. Instead of robbing liquor stores, they cheat investors out of money.

"The plan is simple. We cheat the liquor store, and rob the investors!"

See the problem here? Everyone is defining their goals based on everyone else. Did you know that in buddhist countries, poverty is high, yet the happiness levels skyrocket? Also, did you know that countries which switch from Buddhism to a more Western economy/culture report higher profit, yet a significant drop in happiness?

It's all about goals.

Buddhism asks you to find your own value. To stop putting so much weight on the opinions of others, and instead find an opinion of yourself. In this way, your goals are no longer determined by others, but instead by you. If you have food, water, and shelter, you are set. Everything else is a luxury, not a neccessity. You don't need to get that new car, because you already have one that works fine. You don't need that new house, because you already live in one that is perfect. If you have your goals met, and your neccessities taken care of, life is good. Failing to meet goals causes depression. Meeting goals causes happiness. And guess what?

You can set your own goals.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Journey To An Empath

When I was 15, I discovered I was an Empath. There were no teachers to guide me. There were no books that spoke on this subject, at any length, even from a psychological stand point. All I had was a random definition I found in a book and bits and pieces of information I had pieced together from other books, which considered Empathy and Empaths to be at the bottom of the totem pole of psychic gifts. One even suggested it was the developmentally challenged form of telepathy.

At the time I had alot going on in my life; from school to a change of religions to abusive boyfriends to depression and self hatred. So I set the idea of being an Empath aside, save for the random search through book stores every once in a while, which always left me empty handed. But it was always there in the back of my mind, all the same.

When I was finally able to get online I did alot of research on many topics from religions to history to psychology. And then one day I decided to look it up again.....that word Empath. There still, at that point, wasn't alot to be had. So over another few years of random searching, at odd times, more and more started cropping up about this subject. There were metaphysical descriptions of it. There were psychological descriptions of it. There were human descriptions of it. Point is, all of them were amazing.

Through one of those searches I came upon a new budding website called Empath Community where I stopped in the hopes of learning. And it wasn't long before I found others like myself and I had some really deep friendships.

At the time there were very few teachers there, ones willing to offer information to help me along my path. There was Elise and a few other kindred spirits, but the learning process itself was left for me to do. So I went back to all of those perspectives I had found at random, and began reading them in earnest, in order to better understand what kind of gift Empathy truly is, not just for an Empath, but for anyone.

And what I discovered was that there are two types of people beneath the term Empath. There are those that are hypersensitive to the emotions of others. And then there are those that carry that one step further, by offering empathy and compassion to others.

For either type its a struggle, because hypersensitivity doesn't just mean that you are sensitive to others, it means you are sensitive emotionally. It means you are prone to heightened emotions yourself, which consequently can be hard on those around that person, as much as it is on them.

I learned that people like this are often times prone to being shunned, ignored, bullied, abused, and just generally treated like crap. And I also learned that people like this are also prone to have a low opinion of themselves, as well. (Just to mention, this fits me from head to toe)

There are the commonalities and then there are the unique and beautiful differences that each one of these people bring to any place they enter into. Because, while its true Empaths or Highly Sensitive people, aren't necessarily enlightened beings, they do tend to be compassionate and understanding souls who genuinely care for others.

My life has generally been a downward spiral into hell or a brutal climb up, to which I am still climbing. But no matter where I am, who I'm with, or what I'm doing, I know I'm not alone in this world.

There are more of us out there than even the awakened Empaths are probably aware of. A vast array of global Empaths, from every walk of life, living, loving and sharing with those around them, and yes, sometimes struggling as well.

So whether your one, by yourself, or you have a network of people supporting you, never doubt that you are not alone. We're all in this together. All you have to do is want to see it, for it to become clear. ^_^


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Can You Find An Empath In A Crowd?

Let me ask you a question. Do you think you could pick an Empath out of a group, or even someone who was just empathetic/empathic toward others? Let's see.

A Father And His Child

A Buddhist Monk

A Superhero

A Stockbroker

A Politician

A Mother With Child

A Firefighter

A Lawyer

A Therapist With Patient

The Obvious Answers

The choices should seem obvious based on their titles and their jobs, right? A firefighter risks his life for others. Mothers and fathers are caretakers. Monks are supposed to walk with compassion in their hearts. And therapists are supposed to show empathy and understanding to their patients. And superheros are the ideal of altruism, saving people from danger without the need for reward.

While lawyers are often times seen as money hungry and aggressive. Stockbrokers are seen as money and power hungry people. And politicians are seen, often times, as people who do not keep their promises and who are in league with big business over the little man.

Does that about sum up your own assessment of these character images?

The Less Obvious Answers

The truth, though, is much less obvious. Everyone has the capacity to be empathetic/empathic toward others, despite their title or their job, which includes the title of Empath. And there are good and bad, within each category. Not all mothers and fathers are ideal parents. Not all lawyers are how they tend to be perceived. And not all politicians care more for big business than for the little man.

The point is perception. Even the pictures chosen where specifically chosen to make you think very particular things about each category. A mother loving her child is an act of empathy. While a stockbroker on the phone with money in his hands makes you think he is more inclined to want money and power than to help people.

So before you look into a crowd to find an Empath, think about looking into a crowd to find those who are empathic/empathetic. And look deeper than the surface to find your answers. Because people are multifaceted beings, which means they are more than their titles and positions. They are human beings, all, who deserve a fair assessment, not based on the surface alone.

And on that note, what do you imagine people see in you, when all they see is the surface? Think about it.

So, like finding Waldo in a crowd.....

Can you find the Empath in a crowd?

Monday, October 19, 2009

What We Do Matters

This blog is going to be a little bit different, because I got a reminder today of something very important.

Alot of times, in the jagged worlds of those who doubt themselves, people assume they don't matter. They end up believing their words and their deeds have no effect on others. And for this reason, they feel like they are invisible.

On the other hand, there are some who help who also feel invisible, because their words and deeds go seemingly unnoticed by the larger population. And it can leave them questioning themselves, saying things like "What's the point if no one is paying attention?" or "What's the point in trying when no one else cares?"

The point isn't which category you fall under, but that we all come to the same crossroads sometime in our lives to question our motivations, words, and actions. And we all ask the same questions, despite where we stand in life. "Do I matter?" "Can I really contribute something worth while to this world?" "Will anyone see and validate what I've done and who I am?"

The secret is that there is already someone there watching and validating you. And that person is you, if you let yourself. For you see, it is a wonderful thing to be validated by others, but it is even more amazing to be validated by yourself. Because that eliminates the often cumbersome doubt which tends to surround and suffocate the heart, even when there is no one else around you who will validate you.

So when you ask yourself the question "Do I matter?" or any of the other questions, answer the question, as well. Answer it with a resounding yes.

I know that doubt first hand. It used to make me wonder what was the point in getting out of bed in the morning, much less doing anything. It used to make me ashamed of the flaws I saw within myself, because I believed everyone else would be as critical of me as I was. And it used to make me feel so guilty for achieving something beneficial and good, that I would inadvertently end up sabotaging my own success over and over again.

What we do, what we say, and how we behave impact all of those around us from family to strangers, because we carry it with us where ever we go. When I felt like a gigantic void, who didn't matter, I attracted people to me who treated me that way, further validating that feeling within me. Now I still attract those kinds of people to me, along with a plethora of other kinds of people, but they can't tear down what they had no hand in building in the first place. Who I am and what I know about me isn't based on the good or bad opinions and emotions of others. It exists outside of that place, and those voices will either compliment the view I have of myself or not, but either way I will not doubt, because I can not control the way they see me.

It is important to recognize how meaningful validating self is, in order to realize that what we do, what we say, and how we behave DO matter. And just how much even the smallest gesture of kindness can have on the world around you and the people within it.

So think about it. ^_^

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Empath Vs. Empathy

When I was younger I quite literally drowned in both my own emotions and emotions of others. I had no understanding of what was happening to me. Let me give you an example.

My boyfriend at the time, whom I was engaged to for a very long time, told me he loved me. I knew, beyond a shadow of doubt that while yes he did love me, it was more of the comfort of what he knew than a real passionate love worth spending your life together over.

How did I know that? Well, if you had asked me that question then I would have faltered and doubted myself, as to the reason I felt this way. And if you had compounded that by asking me something like 'Isn't it you that was actually getting cold feet and not him?', I would probably have hedged even more.

But even then I knew, as I said, beyond doubt, that what we had was a comfortable companionship that wasn't going to last the rest of our lives. I could feel it when he said the words 'I love you'. I could feel it in how he treated me. I could feel it when he hurt me, be it intentionally or unintentionally. And I could see it as his eyes wandered to other people.

At the time, I could find no rhyme or reason for this. I knew the truth within myself, but I had no way, short of asking him directly, to know what he thought about it. And when I asked, he denied it.

But slowly we began to disengage from one another, until finally we both went our separate ways. And as much as I love him, even now, it was the best thing we could have done for one another.

But the point isn't me and my ex-boyfriend. It was those unexplained feelings I had, some of which I was sure were mine and some of which, without consciously knowing, I was sure were his, as well.

So have you ever had an unexplained moment of knowing, in which you simply felt what the other person felt, without rhyme or reason? Was it random or with someone you were close to? And with time, did you find that those feelings, from that one moment, were validated in some way, making you stop and go back to reevaluate what had happened based on the idea of being an Empath?

The Empath

One site defines an Empath as possessing the ability to sense the emotions of other sentient life forms. Another site defines an Empath as feeling strongly what someone else feels. Another site defines an Empath as an individual who is particularly sensitive to the psychic emanations of his or her surroundings with occasionally a psychic ability to sense the emotions of others, as opposed to telepathy, which allows one to perceive thoughts as well. Occasionally empaths are also able to project their own emotions, or to affect the emotions of others. As a result, empath is a term coming into common usage to refer to a person with a feeling expanded sensitivity or clairsentience.


One site says Empathy is a sense of shared experience, including emotional and physical feelings, with someone or something other than oneself. Another site says Empathy is the ability to emotionally relate to another individual's emotional state. Another webpage sites Empathy as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.

Empathy can also be broken down into two subcategories: Emotional and Cognitive Empathy. Here is a look at each of them.

Emotional Empathy occurs when you feel physically along with the other person, as though their emotions were contagious. This kind of Empathy makes someone well-attuned to another person’s inner emotional world.

Cognitive Empathy is having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand them,which requires the consciousness of our egocentric tendency to identify truth with our immediate perceptions of long-standing thought or belief.

Empaths & Empathy

Now to say that all Empaths exhibit empathy and that anyone with empathy is an Empath, is like saying, if all ravens are crows, then all crows are ravens. This is because one is a subset of the other, but doesn't necessarily encompass the whole of the group, because just as all crows are not ravens, all Empaths do not exhibit empathy.

But here is the catch to that statement. People who are Empaths, are predisposed to showing empathy, more often than not. They are also structured in such a way, that if they choose to do so, they can pinpoint where random emotions, which are not their own, are coming from. And they are, generally, capable of expressing empathy to others. But this, like any project, is a conscious choice and must be worked toward in earnest.

The title Empath is not a validation of being different. It only says the person, in question, is highly sensitive to emotion. But when one is both an Empath and empathic, the idea of the Empath takes on a whole new sphere of meaning. This is because it becomes a conscious choice, as much as a naturally occurring instinct from which one is bombarded by the random emotions of others.

The Goal

What is the goal of every untutored, impaired, or beginning Empath? Quite simply put, to rise above the issues of drowning in other's emotions in order to have a genuine sense of themselves, as well as, the ability to help others. But understand, this is simply one goal that most, but not all, aspire to. There are always exceptions to every rule.

First they seek out community, for validation and Q&A. Then they seek to understand what they are going through, with the support of their peers. Then they begin to believe in themselves, as people and as Empaths.

So in saying this about Empaths, empathy plays a HUGE roll in the life of developing themselves into a healthy person and Empath. Its inescapable. One must learn to take conscious control over this gift, because of the weight it forces the Empath to shoulder, in order to find some balance within their own lives. So as much as one seems to have nothing to do with the other, they do indeed go hand in hand. Otherwise it can be categorized as a disease, curse, or a punishment from which the person who is an Empath feels persecuted and isolated.

This is not an easy feat, and nor is it something that will happen overnight without doing the work associated with rising above oneself and out of one's box.

Think about it, because no matter how many elements of these two dissimilar ideals are apparent, they still go hand in hand upon the path we tread ever forward upon. ^_^

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Clouds

A pair of siblings, brother and sister, where laying in the grass one hot summer day. They were looking at the clouds to see what things popped out at them, when suddenly the girl turned to the boy and asked, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'

The boy appeared to give the question serious thought before he said, 'I dunno. I wanted to be a superhero. But I don't wanna wear tights while rushing around to save people and stuff.'

The girl giggled as she sat up to look at him. 'What's wrong with tights? Mom makes me wear them when I wear a dress.'

The boy scrunched up his face, pretending to be disgusted, and said, 'That's so girly. Blech!! Anyway, I gave up on that dream because when I searched on the internet, the only superheroes I could find were cartoons.'

Their mother, who was hanging laundry on the cloths line a little bit away from them, came over and plopped down in the grass next to them. She smiled at her son. 'You know you don't have to wear tights to be a hero. You also don't have to have superpowers or magic, to be a hero in someone else's eyes.'

The boy sat up and looked at her, confused, 'Then what's the point, Momma? That sounds boring.'

The mother smiled gently at the child. 'The point isn't what you wear, what your name is, or what powers you have. It's about putting yourself out there in order to help people. Those kind of heroes come in every shape and form. And they are just as special, in every way, as the superhero cartoons you love.'

The boy laid back down and looked up into the sky. And the images that stood out to him in the clouds, were different than before. Where once there was a superhero flying across the sky, there was only him reflected back and all of the endless possibilities that existed for his future.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Look At Ego

Defining Ego

Have you ever wondered what Ego is? There are different ways of viewing it. Here are some of the most prominent ways of seeing Ego. But it should be noted that these are not the only definitions, only a select few.

The first definition is taken from the book Handbook of Contemporary Psychotherapy, by William T. O'Donohue and Steven R. Graybar, which talks about the Freudian view on Ego.

Sigmund Freud defined ego as the part of our personality that maintains contact with the external world through perception; integrates inner and outer worlds; remembers, plans, and evaluates; and responds to external experience, especially the experience of conflict. The ego mediates internal conflicts between the instinctive impulsive id that relishes and enjoys conflicts and the conscientious, controling superego that is frightened by it and continually strives for settlement, generally through avoidance, accommodation and compromise. Ego, then, is the central point from which we perceive, interpret, experience, defend against, and settle conflicts.
The next definition is Pre-Freudian but still based in Western Philosophy. This definition is sited here: Ego

Ego: In the history of philosophy and pre-Freudian psychology, the word ‘ego’ (Latin for ‘I’) has usually meant the ‘self’: the rational, autonomous subject of consciousness, which, at the same time, is the object of the individual's self-consciousness. At least since the end of the Renaissance, the notion of the self has been fundamental to human identity. Whereas Man had previously been represented as an entity connected with and dependent upon a divinely ordered cosmos, the meaning of humanity came, by the Enlightenment, to be located increasingly in the interior of individual human beings, characterized by reason and by autonomy from the outer cosmos.

Another definition, which is taken from Glossary of Zen Buddhism - An Introduction to Zen Thought by George R. Yool, sites ego, from the Buddhist perspective, as:

Ego: The individual or self; in Buddhism the ego is an illusion, which helps to perpetuate all illusion.

Another site offers a number of definitions on Ego. They are sited here: Ego


1. self; feeling of I, me, mine.

2. subjective made of consciousness that differentiates itself from the objective world.

3. identity maker, giver of names and forms.

4. architect who identifies, between the primitive impulses of the id and the demands of society. (Freud).

5. Higher self, individuality, soul; that which bends every effort to quicken vibration and to force the off rebelling lower vehicle of personality to respond and measure up to rapidly increasing force. (Bailey)

6. futile effort to secure happiness and maintain itself in relation to something else watcher of egolessness (Trungpa)

7. veil between the self and God in Hinduism’s.

8. succession of confusions producing an illusory sense of self in Buddhism.

9. the evaluating and judging principle. (Joseph Campbell) (NAD)

A Simplified View Of Ego

What is Ego, beyond all of the different definitions? It is the sense you have of yourself , as a person, in connection with the world around you.

To illuminate this, lets look at an example. Imagine a Geisha, if you will. A Geisha is someone who exemplifies Ego. She is the embodiment of what is considered elegant and beautiful, to the Japanese culture. And this is seen in the way she dresses, in the way she wears her makeup, in the way she dresses her hair, to the way she moves and behaves. She is, in essence, a living doll who is trained in the arts, literature, music, and other topics of conversation that might be of interest to the people around her.

But this is merely a mask she wears, no matter how much she or they might wish it to be otherwise. Because she is a living breathing person, beneath all of the artifice. She is aware of herself. And she has opinions, thoughts, and feelings, like everyone else. Which says that beneath the mask of the Geisha, stands a real woman.

It can best be said in a quote from the story Memoirs Of A Geisha that says: ~ It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for Geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances. She sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows. The rest is secret.~

Like the Geisha, we all wear masks to hide and/or protect the real 'us' which exists when no one else is looking. It is simply not as obvious in us, as it is in the Geisha. That mask we wear is reactionary to the world around it. It is a piece of us that is never truly defined, because it is mutable and changeable, depending on the people we surround ourselves with, our experiences, and the situation at hand, in any given moment.

Ego, in this line of reasoning, is the face we show to the world. It is the sense we have of ourselves in congruence with the outside world and all of its different influences upon us.

The Nature Of Ego

Now the questions arise, as to the nature of Ego. Can one have an over-inflated Ego? Can one have a low sense of themselves (low self esteem, low self confidence, low self worth), and it still be called Ego? Can one have a warped sense of Ego? Is Ego illusion and can one exist without Ego, as defined by the Buddhist beliefs? And what is a good balance, if one does not hold to the Buddhist precepts of the eradication of Ego?

The Over-Inflated Ego

One who has an over-inflated ego is considered to be egocentric, and is often times associated with Narcissism in extreme cases. Narcissism is defined as an exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself and is categorized as "self-love that shut out everyone else". In this view, the person shuts out the world around them, save for how others interact with them, because they are at the center of their own focus.

A good way to see it is that the world revolves around the person in question. And anyone outside of that sphere, that which revolves around and pertains to the person with the over-inflated ego, is unimportant.

The Little to No Worth Ego

The person who exhibits this type of Ego, tends to have low self esteem and no sense of their own value, as a person. They tend to be those who are easily used by others and tend to fall into cycles of abusive relationships. This is because there is a lack of self awareness, instead of an over inflation of it, and it is expressed outwardly toward the world as a person who is needy, easy to use/abuse, and who will take it, no matter what 'it' is.

The over-inflated ego tends to focus on self, whereas, the 'little to no worth' ego tends to focus on the outside world. This is because their value is grounded in the outside world and based off of the validation of others ~ be it gratitude or abuse. It is completely reactionary to the people around them and the esteem they are held in by those people.

This, like the over-inflated ego, is a type of ego.

The Warped Ego

Simply put, the two types listed above are warped egos, shaped by some deficiency in care or traumatic experience from the formative years to adolescence of a person's life. And these two types are expressions of what the child's mind wove around itself to survive those experiences of the past.

Illusionary Ego

Lets look at the meaning of illusionary. It is an erroneous concept, belief, or perception of reality. When you add this word onto the term Ego, it is an erroneous concept, belief, or perception of self.

While all of the types listed above exist conceptually, they are also illusionary, just as Ego in itself is an illusion. Like the Geisha, we spoke of before, it is a mask which hides and/or protects the true self that exists beneath it.

Thus, in the Buddhist idea of the eradication of Ego, it does not presuppose the actual obliteration of Ego, but more like the integration of Ego into the totality of the being.

Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight.
~~John Bradshaw

Ego, in this instance, is considered a separate entity from the whole of the person. It is the mask which covers that which we hide away in 'closets', call our 'demons', and are afraid to show the world due to possible censure and derision. So Ego, is the thing that keeps us from being whole and self aware. Thus obliteration, or integration, is key to finding 'enlightenment'.

And whether Ego exists or is merely illusion, is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. This is because the 'true self' exists whether there is a mask hiding it away or not. The point is to get beneath the mask of Ego to the heart of who you are.

The Balance

There is a balance, that can be sought and worked toward, without all of the philosophy, definitions, and what not, to cloud your path. That balance is a simple equation. It is an equal balance of self worth (ego) and the ability to exist and share with the outside world.

You don't have to put your mask away completely to live a healthy life. But you shouldn't live in fear and doubt of sharing who you truly are with the outside world, for whatever reason, either. There is no shame in being proud of your accomplishments. There is no shame in being proud of and liking yourself for who and what you are, despite what others say to the contrary. And there is no shame in admitting your flaws and if you so desire, working toward a better way of doing things.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It doesn't have to be so black and white. Its about you and what you want, after all. So keep that in mind as you travel upon your path. What do you want?

Think about it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Moral High Ground

I watched a discussion this evening about manipulation. The dominant opinion was that any form of manipulation is bad, without regard to situation or the people involved. Thus, this was the 'moral high ground' opinion of the discussion. While others argued that there was more to this debate than a clear cut, black and white wrong or right answer. But since this was the minority opinion being held up for examination and was found lacking, the moral high ground was victorious in the debate, even though no opinions were really changed by the conversation. But I will come back to this later on in the discussion.

Lets look at some definitions:

Moral High Ground: A position or point of view which is ethically superior or more reputable, in comparison to others which are under consideration.

Moral High Ground: If people have/take/claim/seize, etc, the moral high ground, they claim that their arguments, beliefs, etc, are morally superior to those being put forward by other people.

An Empath is a person who has an acute or highly developed sense of empathy. Empathy is the capability to share your feelings and understand another's emotion and feelings, which is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes".

The Moral High Ground

It is very easy to take the Moral High Ground in any given situation. But what this means is that you place yourself above others in order to judge them, based on their thoughts, ideals and opinions. And in judging, if you find their responses lacking in any way, you attempt to correct their wrong way of thinking, by overlaying the wrong thinking with what you deem to be the right way of thinking.

It is easy, in theory, to come up with black and white, clear cut moral and ethical ideals. But during day to day interactions, how often do they truly get applied? It is much more difficult to put into practice, than into theory. So it is very easy to claim the moral high ground as one's own, during a debate, and harder still to put into practice. This is because life is not black and white. Nor is it clear cut. Life is a vast series of grays where in, people make choices, both good and bad, which affect the world around them, as much as themselves.

Now, we come back to our example of the discussion on manipulation. When you put this in context with the moral high ground within a discussion on manipulation, where certain people declare that any form of manipulation is bad, you end up with something interesting. You end up with people enacting the very thing they are disclaiming. Because to attempt to force the moral opinion that manipulation is bad on others who do not see it in the same way is, in itself, a form of manipulation. This is because manipulation means: keep in line, control (others or oneself) or influence skillfully or shrewdly, usually to one's advantage. So in trying to convince others to see the same way they do, they are attempting to manipulate other people by orienting the conversation toward their point of view.

The Empathic Moral High Ground

The thing about empathy that most people often times dismiss is that it begs the person, who is expressing empathy, to understand the person they are offering empathy to, without judgment and/or prejudice. And this can not be done from the moral high ground. Because to truly understand another person, one can not look down on them, from the moral high ground, and offer them empathy at the same time. You must stand side by side with them, as equals, to truly grasp where they are coming from.

And that is a key component to being an Empath. It says it right in the definition of empathy: the capability to share your feelings and understand another's emotion and feelings, which is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes". When you are able to put yourself in another's shoes and understand another's emotion and feelings, you have the capacity to offer empathy. And this can't be done from the moral high ground, as you look down on those you see as having negative or differing view points to your own.

The most the other person can hope for in that scenario is pity, not empathy. But more often than not, they end up with judgment, prejudice, and derision. And that helps no one.

Another point to mention, about the moral high ground, is that when one takes this stance, they close themselves off to other ideas, which may or may not be of equal value to their own. They stop the learning process and stagnate their own growth.

The Moral Empath

There is a difference between someone who takes the moral high ground in discussions and someone who follows their own moral/ethical code. A moral person knows right from wrong. And the person who stands atop the moral high ground, tends to believe that everyone else should share their personal moral set. A moral person lives by their moral credo, enacting it in daily life and in every interaction they have. While the person who claims the moral high ground as their own, tends to have problems practicing what they preach.

A Moral Empath almost never sets out to hurt, manipulate, or use others. That should be understood as a given. But its not most of the time, particularly when those who take the moral high ground feel their opinions being threatened.

So find your moral and ethical beliefs. Live by them. And do the best you can with what you've been given. And leave the moral high ground to those who have yet to find their own way. Because there is always more than one way to view a situation. And there are many different moral/ethical beliefs that are of equal value, even when they differ from our own. ^_^

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Self Discovery: How To Find Yourself

This is a quick discussion about finding yourself. In it, you will find some steps to finding yourself. If any of them resonate with you, please feel free to use them. If not, that's alright, as well. ^_^

How To Find Yourself

  1. Start with a clean slate. Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Remove vice from your life. Smoking, over-eating, and over-drinking will prevent you from functioning at your peak. Remember, you can't drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rearview mirror!
  2. Now that you have a clean slate and you realize some people still think you stink: Forget about what everyone else thinks! You cannot please everyone. While you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist to fulfill other people's ideas of who you should be, you'll never know your true talents. "He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." - Raymond Hull
  3. 'Find solitude'. Get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.
  4. Ask yourself every question in the book, questions that are difficult, that dare to look at the big pictures, such as:
    • If I had all the resources in the world - if I didn't need to make money - what would I be doing with my day to day life and why? Perhaps you'd be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don't hold back.
    • What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted? Would you regret never having traveled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? This question can be particularly difficult for some people.
    • If you had to choose three words to describe the kind of person you'd love to be, what would those words be? Adventurous? Loving? Open? Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Realistic? Motivated? Resilient? Don't be afraid to pick up a thesaurus. Don't be afraid to choose words that are considered negative. Sometimes your traits that others don't like become useful only in emergency situations or are valuable to the job you are meant to perform. If you do have a truly negative trait work on redirecting that energy to something positive. Exercising compensates for many bad habits and there are hobbies for almost every vice. Pole dancing is becoming a hobby! Don't wash your clothes much? Try camping.
  5. Write down your answers. Beyond your time alone, it's easy for these thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again.
  6. Act upon your newly discovered knowledge. Do the things that you want to do! Pick up those water-colors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa, Mt Kenya, a walk at Nairobi Safari Walk. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you've decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.
  7. Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That's the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over. It's not going to be easy - it never has been for anybody - but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you'll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you are yourself, everyone will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, you will always feel good about yourself.
How To Find Yourself

Step 1: Know what you're looking for.
Finding yourself can be an enlightening experience. When you find yourself, you truly understand who you are, what your motivations are, and what makes you tick. You'll be more productive, and you'll have a philosophy or belief system that can carry you through the rest of your life. In essence, finding yourself means determining what makes you different from everyone else.

Step 2: Relax.
Don't panic just because you don't know what makes you ‘you.' Many people don't. Do not try to force it; you must take your time when trying to find yourself. Before you can find yourself, you have to disregard what everyone else thinks. Many people try to find themselves because they are tired of following the crowd. If you keep following everyone else's ideas of who you should be, you'll never truly be able to find yourself.

Step 3:Find a quiet spot.
Many people find it easier to find themselves once they find solitude. Away from the distractions and expectations, you can truly think about who you are as a person. A road trip or solo vacation can also be helpful. You should feel independent and self-sufficient once you're free from distractions. Once alone, contemplate your life and where you want it to go.

Step 4: Develop your moral compass.
When trying to find themselves, some people read philosophy or explore different religions. When finding yourself, you'll take a personal journey into your mind, developing your own moral guide. This can take the form of organized religion or many different ways of reasoning. Once you find this, stick to it no matter what, making it truly a part of who you are.

Step 5: Explore yourself.
What kind of person are you? If you had to choose three words to describe your personality, or the one you want to have, what would they be? You can think about these answers, or write them down. In fact, when finding yourself you may want to keep a journal to record your thoughts.

Step 6: Explore your interests.
If money was no issue, what would you do with your life? Even now, how do you want to spend your time? Explore your interests to find out what makes you tick. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it, or hold you back. Do the things that you want to do, and don't be afraid that you can't do them. Especially think about those things you may eventually regret not doing, like studying abroad or learning to paint.

Step 7: Know when you've found yourself.
For some people, finding themselves is a lifelong quest. Others reach a point in their life, perhaps college or a "midlife-crisis" of sorts, when they feel the need to explore what makes them tick. So how do you know when you're done exploring? Nobody can answer this for you; most people continue to find out about themselves for their entire lifetime. Once you find yourself, you'll feel much more connected to who you are. You'll be better prepared to handle whatever life gives you. However, keep in mind that finding yourself is not an easy or instantaneous process. You may even run into some dead ends along the way.

How To Find Yourself

Step 1: Learn to put your needs first. This can be difficult, especially if you have a spouse and children. Obviously you can't complete forget about your family's needs; however, you can put aside some time for yourself everyday.

Step 2: Take a break. Schedule some quiet time to be alone with yourself. Put away thoughts about work, family obligations and all the other stress in your life. Focus on you. Think about what you'd do with your life if there were no obstacles. Decide how you would spend your time if money wasn't an issue.

Step 3: Imagine what you'd like others to say about you once you're gone. Think about the words you'd want them to use when describing you. These words say a lot about the type of person you want to be.

Step 4: Remember times throughout your life when you were happiest. Think about what you were doing and who you were with. Identify what about those experiences made you so happy and satisfied.

Step 5: Use a journal to record your answers to these questions and any other relevant thoughts. Keep journaling on a regular basis. Go back and review the discoveries you have about yourself. Over time, you'll start to understand what makes you happy and what type of person you want to be. Then, you can go out and be that person.

Beautiful Quotes On Self Discovery

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates. ~Thomas Szasz, "Personal Conduct," The Second Sin, 1973

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. ~Dr. Alexis Carrel

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions. ~Author Unknown

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong

No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~Anaïs Nin

There are... things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Notes from the Underground," 1864

It's terrifying to see someone inside of whom a vital spring seems to have been broken. It's particularly terrifying to see him in your mirror. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. ~St. Augustine