“In the cross-eyed frenzy of our daily doings, it is easy to forget that we are not tireless machines. Every so often we must take a pause to breathe, rest, reflect, and restore ourselves to our natural settings.” – Aimee Myers Dolich
I was hanging out with a few friends this week and two simple questions were asked: 1) Where do you feel most yourself? 2) What makes you feel most alive? Everyone took a few moments of silence to think about these questions. If the question had been “Where do you work?” or “What do you do for a living?” I’m sure the answer would have come to us easily. “I’m an administrative assistant.” “I’m a teacher.” “I’m a musician.” These are easy and often asked questions. But 1) Where do you feel most yourself? 2) What makes you feel most alive? those questions take time. I think that even though those questions are not asked often, they are the better questions.
We are more than what we do. I am very good at administrative work, but being in an office environment is not where I feel most myself, and it is certainly not where I feel most alive. I feel most myself when I am with a group of people who feel free to be their true selves – any group of people where we can forget “social status” and not be afraid to be awkward or to accidentally say things that aren’t well thought out. If there is a safe place where I can be open and honest and passionate about the things I care for, that is a place I feel most like myself. I feel most alive when I am doing something that requires my focus to be on things greater than myself, but at the same time something that feeds my soul and makes me more of who I want to be. Traveling, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, going to museums – things like that make me feel alive and free. Those are the things that bring adventure into ordinary days.Those are the things that allow us to pause to breathe, rest, reflect, and restore ourselves to our natural settings.
Those two questions made me think about myself and it made wonder why I don’t do more of what makes me feel like me and what makes me feel most alive. It made me wonder why I commonly ask people about their jobs, and not about their passions. Maybe for some people, they are one and the same. Maybe for others, they are different. Most importantly for all, are those passions something that you make time in your life to do?
I hope that you are able to answer those questions. I hope you brave enough to ask the more difficult questions both to yourself and to others. I hope that you are able to add some adventure to your life today and do what makes you feel most alive.