Ever wondered why we are here on Earth, or exactly what our purpose in life is? The journey of self-discovery is a life-long expedition. Whether you decide to live a life of ignorance or embark on this journey, one thing is certain, when we dig a little deeper – underneath the surface – our whole existence opens up for self-enquiry. We are reminded that we came into this world alone and we will inevitably be leaving this world alone one day. So ask yourself, what is the point of all this?
We find our habits, behaviours and personality traits (otherwise known as our identity) or what we identify as our “self” is merely a collection of past experiences which have shaped who we are today. Much of our identity comes from childhood experiences, influenced by pain, loss, hurt or trauma, which continue to gather momentum as we grow older, collecting more memories and hurt along the way.
In some cases, these lessons seem cruel and meaningless – they are experiences you would not wish on your worst enemy. Yet here we are, living this life, persevering along our path, and for what?
I tell my clients that within this lifetime, we can have many transformations, if you like, many reincarnations in this one body. We are not the child-like mind we were at five or ten years old, nor are our beliefs the same as they were then, or in our teenage years, young adulthood and up to our present life stage. Our experiences have allowed us to grow and adapt, expand our mind and our sense of existence. We may find upon reflection that we have radically changed our whole belief system over the decades, in how we view ourselves, and the world around us.
When we can understand that these experiences are simply that, experiences specifically tailored for our own evolution, seen as neither good nor bad, but as obstacles to overcome in ones’ lifetime, then we need not allow these experiences to truly define who we are in the present moment.
The effects of self-discovery include happiness, fulfilment, clarity and maybe even enlightenment! However, this journey is not always an easy road. It includes fear, confusion, misunderstanding, doubt and literally re-visiting all your choices in life.
If you are interested in finding ways to strip back these layers, yoga and meditation are great tools to begin the path or self-discovery. We can also turn to the assistance of a good mentor or counsellor, to bring clarity to these personality traits we may be carrying around with us which are only holding us back from discovering our true existence.
Michelle Nolan, Holistic Counsellor and Yoga Therapist