I read an article recently by Deepak Chopra in which he directs us on how to create a life of true fulfillment. He recommends we cultivate clarity by asking soul questions: Who am I? What do I want? Why am I here?
I began meditating on these questions during my daily quiet time, when I’m lying down in Gigi’s twin bed, coaxing her into an afternoon nap that we both desperately need her to take.
These questions have given me an enlightening direction for my contemplations. They refocus my attention on what matters most to me: family, writing, health.
These questions peel away the layers that aren’t authentically me: beliefs caught from society, agreements formed with lies, assumed constraints birthed by past failures, expectations imposed by someone else.
The trickiest part is separating what belongs to you and what doesn’t. I’ve done this over and over again in my life. I’m going to throw out a few questions that I’ve asked myself and others, both silently and aloud.
Did you choose your career because it called to you, or because it would provide a good living?
Do you spend your free time on activities that fill your soul, or do you spend it numbing that aching feeling, that little voice whispering that you’re doing something wrong?
Do you attend sporting events because you like to watch the game, or because you get a free pass to drink as much as you want?
Do you numb? Are you sure? What are you trying not to feel?
Do you consume food and beverages that nourish your body and make you buzz with energy, or do you eat what other people like (or think they like), perhaps out of convenience and habit?
Do you make time for your loved ones, or do you avoid them to avoid discussing how you’re really feeling?
What do you really love to do?
What do you not love to do?
Put yourself in the shoes of your child self and remember. What makes you feel alive? What do you want out of life? Who are you underneath all of those layers?
If we don’t ask these questions, if we don’t keep them in the forefront of our minds, we might never become who we were meant to be. And that’s more frightening than the answers.