I was recently reading an amazing book about stress. What it is, it’s affect on the body, mind and one’s experience of life.
It was amazingly informative.
It was also written for teenagers.
One of the best parts of this book was an exercise to help the reader “find the real you”.
As a teen, I certainly remember the angst of trying to “find myself” … trying to find my voice, my confidence, my passions and my place in this world.
There’s an entire phenomenon called “gap year” especially designed for teens to do just that…. Or, in my day, it was the year of backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels. (Do teens even do that anymore?)
We were supposed to “find ourselves”, start careers, marry and have kids… in that order.
But I didn’t give much thought to the “… “- the timeframe after having the required kids.
After becoming a mom and after getting through the trench-years of newborn through toddler (where, let’s face it, I couldn’t seem to find a moment to go pee by myself let alone have time to find the REAL me), I felt the same feelings as when I did as a younger woman.
I felt lost and disconnected from myself.
I didn’t really know who I was other than “Mom”.
So, when reading this book for teens and contemplating the exercise titled “Finding the REAL You” I found it just as transformative and important to me as a 44-year-old stay-at-home mom as it would have been for my 20-year-old self back in the day.
I feel we as moms undergo such a transformation after becoming Mom and experiencing the “in the trenches” phase of motherhood that we could use a bit of self-reflection and re-evaluation of who we really are – now- in this moment of our lives.
We may be totally different then our BK (Before Kid) self-OR maybe we are very similar with a few minor adjustments. Whatever it is, it is worth it to take the time for yourself and find out.
Here’s the exercise (from Transforming Stress for Teens by Moor, McCraty et. Al.)
1. Find a quiet time and place
2. Take 5 deep cleansing breaths
3. Write down the answers to the following questions:
What makes me come alive?
What are three times in my life where I recall being the BEST ME? (Having the best time, being in the zone, feeling success/satisfaction)
What are five uplifting and inspiring things about me? (Feel free to ask your friends and family if you find this hard. Text them or email them).
What values / qualities do I respect in others? (you’ll find that you possess these to…you can see if they match up in what you find out in the previous question).
Imagine your best version of yourself. What words come to mind?
It may not be feasible to take a gap year from motherhood or bum around Europe (although, DAMN! That would be AMAZING right about now!) but you CAN take a moment to find the REAL you.
Once you do, use that information to help you:
CRAFT your life
INFORM your decisions of the trade-offs you are prepared to make
DISCOVER how you want to spend your time
REVEAL the priorities you want to set
DETERMINE the boundaries you wish to establish
CLARIFY the relationships you value.
Use it to RECONNECT with your REAL self – not just your mommy-self – and RECHARGE your life!
I’m here to help you do this important work. Contact me and let’s get started.