Changing the context of your life is probably the most important shift you can possibly make. What is the perspective you hold of your life? Do you see yourself as interesting, capable, and adventurous, or do you see yourself as struggling and unsuccessful? Which context would serve you best?
How do you shift how you view yourself?
It’s very tempting to identify yourself by your circumstances. At 82, I could put my life in the context of simply being an old person moving through the aging process. But that’s not who I am, nor who I want to be. How do I change how I see myself? How can I change the context of my life? What can I do to change my perspective?
How do you identify yourself?
The core to changing the context of your life lies in changing how you identify yourself. How you identify yourself shows you how much you love yourself and how much you respect yourself.
I see myself as an experienced woman on a deep spiritual journey. In order to gain fresh insights, I write about my discoveries. I study the work of thoughtful authors to increase my understanding, and I practice principles I admire, such as unfolding and mindfulness. That is not necessarily how other people would define me. Those are definitions I give myself based on what I know is going on inside.
Look closely at how you describe who you are and how you contribute. This is a major clue to how you see the context of your life. For most of our lives, we identify ourselves as our job rather than how we contribute to the lives of those around us.
Up until a few years ago I identified myself by my job as a Content Development Coach. When I stopped doing that, I had to search for how to identify myself. If you are not your job, who are you?
How do I change how I see myself?
Look deep inside. How you see yourself, how you feel about your value to others and how you want to be in service all contribute to the context of your life. You have total control over each of those areas. Cultivate who you want to be.
I value my self-sufficient individuality and I have to watch out for loneliness. I want to feel relevant and at the same time I have a burning need to go exploring on my own spiritual journey. I need to find a balance there. Every day I fight not to see myself as simply another old woman in a senior center. I am NOT my surroundings. I am NOT my body. I am NOT my circumstance.
What do you value? What do you want to change? How can you change the context of my life?
Have the courage to be different
“Being different is what makes you who you are. It means you’re daring to live your own life, on your terms, with your values. It means you have courage to stand out from the mainstream. It means you’re interesting. Hug those differences, be grateful for them, own them. Be proud of them.” – Leo Babauta, Zen Habits (www.zenhabits.com)
As we continue our personal journeys, we become more alone in our uniqueness. We gradually and continually change the context of our lives. What is most important to me is the introspective journey of exploring my essence and cultivating my spiritual life.
What is the quality or part of yourself that you value most? How do you see yourself? What is the context of your life?
What can you do to change your perspective?
Make a list of your strengths. Make a list of the compliments and acknowledgements you receive from others, for that is a reflection of how you are seen in the world. Write down adjectives you feel describe you. Notice how positive they are; or how negative. Choose to cultivate only the most positive of images. Notice the strength of your inner cheering section —“I can do that!” “I deserve that!”, “You go, girl!” Accept yourself.
Value your uniqueness. Love yourself. Appreciate how you differ from others. Cultivate your individuality. There is no one else like you.
Learn to recognize your value
Notice how your smile or comment or participation brings joy to others. Look at the edges of your sphere of influence to see the subtle changes you make in the lives of others. Listen for your positive reflection in the faces of the people in your life. You have impact. Become more aware of how and of how much.
You touch more people than you realize
I write to figure things out for myself. I post what I write. I speak to people through podcasts and videos. I have no idea whose life I touch, what insight I inspire, but I know that every life I touch turns around and contributes to others. You touch lives by simply being.
Change the context of your life and change your impact in the world!
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