For so many of us – particularly those of us who are women — it can be difficult to uncover our own authentic visions. This is especially true when others are constantly telling us who we should be or what we should be doing.
How do we unearth our true selves when we are buried underneath the expectations of others? We need to dig deep into our roots and rediscover what is important to us. Sometimes more intuitive processes help us discover (and rediscover) who we really are.
A friend of mine uses art to hear her own voice. She teaches other women to use a process called visual journaling to “excavate” their authentic selves.
In addition to art, I have found dreams can provide powerful insights into our true selves. As an example, years ago I repeatedly dreamed that I was sitting in a tree watching rotted fruit fall to the ground. Each time I had that dream, I woke up frustrated. I didn’t immediately understand why this dream kept reoccurring.
When I was having these dreams, I had a great position as a senior marketing consultant in a corporate environment. I had a company car, an expense account, and great opportunities for growth. My family and others kept telling me how lucky I was. When I even suggested another path, I was criticized.
Yet when I really started listening to my inner voice, I gained great insight. I felt like the fruit that was rotting and falling to the ground was the fruit of my life. Others were flooding me with their expectations. I wasn’t free to be who I needed to be. Others were telling me who I should be rather than who I was meant to be.
After searching and reconsidering my own passions, interests, and experiences, I made the decision to start graduate school so I could eventually teach speech communication at a community college.
Even though I had scholarships and paid my way through graduate school, I received a lot of criticism for my decision to leave a great job. Yet because I knew I was following the path I needed to pursue, the criticism of others didn’t deter me.
Listen to your dreams. Sometimes those dreams are messages from your authentic self.