“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
~ Parker J. Palmer
If you want to connect with your identity, are you allowing your heart to speak or are you listening to the world to tell you who you are?
Finding and living out of our identity is easier for some than it is for others. There are numerous writers, poets and scientists who have naturally and progressively followed their passions. For example, consider Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau or inventor Thomas Edison. Their work served as an outward reflection of their inner thoughts and ideas. Eventually, their work became synonymous with their names.
For others, finding our identity and living a life that feels genuine and consistent with our heart doesn’t come quite so naturally — or easily. Perhaps we grew up around cultural beliefs and value systems that limited individuality or discouraged outside-the-norm thinking. Maybe we were groomed to follow in the footsteps of others or trained to satisfy a goal our parents weren’t able to achieve.
Conversely, we may have followed the winds of our own inclinations. Some of us may only recently have discovered that we’ve drifted far away from our home of self. Personal crises like sudden illness, unexpected divorce, financial ruin or the onset of midlife can cause us to ask: Who am I and how do I live in a way that gives me satisfaction and a sense of purpose?
The heart of my blogs, books and podcasts reach in to these types of questions. I believe that giving outlet to our inner self empowers and enlivens us and often brightens the atmosphere of our greater world. Finding outlets for our unique giftings and talents satisfies us and often inspires others to do likewise with their own.
While attending a Florida Podcasters Summit in Orlando several months ago, I was struck by the vivacious spirit of one of its presenters. A first generation Columbian-American, Patty Elizee studied engineering to please her parents and become a point of pride for her family.
But her heart still longed for something else and something more. After working a few decades in her acquired field of expertise, Patty decided to give rise to another career. And in doing so, she’s inspiring others to find their own. She’s a strong believer that the sum of our work, interests and life experiences can develop us into a unique brand that she cleverly refers to as “Brand You.”
You may be searching for a brand new career or merely a brand new you that resonates more closely with your heart. As Parker J. Palmer reminds us above, before we can tell our life what we want to do with it, we must listen to our life telling us who we are.
I hope my video conversation with Patty Elizee inspires you today.
Listen to your life telling you who you are, then be on your way to greater happiness . . . . from the inside out!
Maura Sweeney is a Podcaster, Author and Speaker
Her mantra is “Living Happy – Inside Out!”
Fan her on Huffington Post
Follow her on Twitter