Self-Recognition: My kick start for 2017

Recently I received one of those gifts that is a timely reminder that the universe knows what’s what. A good friend of mine gave me a book. Books are always the perfect gift for me – I love reading about nearly any subject, and I’ve found insights hidden in the least obvious of tomes. This time around though, the subject matter is going to prove more challenging than usual to dive into. The protagonist is a royal pain in the ass, stubborn to the core, is their own worst critic – the kind of person who lives the 'do as I say not as I do' ethos.

This book is about me.

It’s up to me to write it, and that is an absolutely wonderful eye-opening premise.

How well do you know yourself? 

I’m willing to bet you are well versed in who you want to be. The person we are all striving to be is often the clearest picture we have of ourselves, it captures our aspirations or our faults. What about the person you are today? Who were you yesterday, ten years ago or when you were a child? Would those people recognize each other?

The Book of Me is a guided exploration through the deep (and not so deep) facets of your life.   The brainchild of Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder (published by sourcebooks.com), this book “is about recognizing who you were, who you are, who you wish to be.” The Book of Me is not about self-help or self-improvement. It allows you to explore self-recognition in a fun manner and safe space. The insights are pouring out as I write answers to relatively innocuous questions like: When are you most truly yourself? Is there something you daydream about again and again? What are you completely and utterly devoted to? This is a lighthearted approach that guides serious revelations. The 'guided' structure is huge for me as I am not someone who would successfully use a journal for more than a week. Now I spend 10-15 minutes each day learning more about the person I am and who I have been.

I have not yet attempted some of the more creative components that involve drawing -- if I was a police sketch artist no one would ever be caught -- but I am committed to completing every page. I'm hooked! What I have (re)discovered about myself in the first few pages are resonating deeply and is bringing clarity to my decisions and struggles in 2016. I see my nature to thrive in the extremes surfacing throughout my life and I have revisited a short story that captivated me decades ago, having forgotten the hold it had on my younger self. It was incredible to see the thread that connect those two storylines written out.  I look forward to unearthing more each day. 

Recommendation - 3.5 useful ways to leverage this material:

  1. Go it solo. I highly encourage you to try it out for yourself. I hope you genuinely surprise yourself; maybe you will spark a creative side you’d forgotten you had, or gain some insight into a path you have chosen or walked away from. Perhaps you will be inspired to pursue a hidden passion. (Use #1.5 -- I have found the time I spend in self-discovery is a great lead-in to my mindfulness practice) 
  2. Feeling courageous? Buy a copy for a friend or family member and share some of your results each week with your partner in self-recognition. If you can be honest with yourself, this is the next logical step.  Partner with someone you can trust and who has a sense of humour.   There is always room for more laughter!
  3. Expand your teambuilding approach. If you are looking for new ways to spark some creativity in your teambuilding exercises I believe most of the activities inside this book lend themselves nicely to a group setting. If you are willing to share, you can create a safe place for your team to follow suit.

Have you already started or completed The Book of Me? I’d love to hear about your discoveries in the comments section.