I’m the big 5-0 today and reflecting on life so far. I’ve learned a lot of stuff over my 50 years, and have loads left to learn I’m sure, one of the things I’ve been considering is who I am. This can be a tough question. When someone asks me to describe myself the typical answer might be a list like this:
- Yoga teacher
- Massage practitioner
- Kidney patient
- And on and on
But these items are not who I am, they are all things I do or roles I play. Who I actually am is a deeper, more complicated answer. For example, while I teach yoga, It isn’t my identity. However, when I consider why I teach yoga I might get further to the truth of who I am at my core.
I have a deep interest in sharing knowledge and helping others to be better versions of themselves. I believe strongly in looking after my physical body and my mental health. I want to encourage that in other people as well. Why do I want to encourage people to take care of themselves? Because I care. I care about people and their interactions in the world. Yoga is one of the ways I show I care. So I am a caring person at the core. I don’t always seem like I care, and there are times I say I hate people. You see, even though at my core i am caring, I’m not perfect. None of us are. And that’s ok.
When I look at other things that I do, they mostly boil down to my core values of caring, loving, being compassionate, being non-judgmental, being kind and sharing knowledge. All that I do does not stem from these values, but those things that do are the things that feel most authentic to me. When I veer off that track and get out of my authenticity, I end up unhappy, stressed and unmotivated. It’s not a good feeling and one I’d like to avoid. As I’ve been planning for life after transplant, I’ve had my core values on my mind a great deal. It’s important to plan on aligning with my values in everything I do as I move forward. That’s where real growth will come from. And as I now have 50 years in this planet there’s no better time is there?
You don’t need to wait until you’re having a life changing event or a milestone birthday to make the changes you need to in order to align to your values. That’s a reflective journey that can take place any time and all the time. As we move forward in life we may find that our values change so it’s important to keep reflecting on this.
Want to make a big difference in someone’s life today? Start with yours!