I recently started dive training, together with my daughter. It was something I was curious about for years and considered doing at different times. At first it was time and money holding me back. More recently, it was other priorities and interests that took my focus.
So I dove into other areas. Academics, research, and study into psychology and interpersonal relationships. I dove into culture and travel. I dove into many other interesting fields.
I also dove into myself. Over the last ten years, it became more and more clear to me that I would never reach calm waters through external searches and actions. The more I achieved, the more storms and turmoil within.
Achievements couldn’t calm me, because they were empty ways of trying to prove my value, when what was really needed was to recognize my own intrinsic value as a human. I needed to look at myself clearly.
Certainly flawed, definitely imperfect, but absolutely of value and worthy of love and respect. Thankfully I had it from my husband before I found it for myself, but once I could look at all of me, not the social media me, not the achievement me, but the worst pictures and times of me, and feel compassion and love for that person, the waves started to calm and the storms eased.
Working with my own unique mission and purpose, seeking actions and goals that align with it, has done more for me than any achievement I have had.
Working with others who are on similar journeys has been incredibly fulfilling. Each of us has some unique purpose to fulfill, but all too often, we don’t make the effort to identify it. Perhaps we avoid it. Because we won’t find it until we really dive deep into ourselves. Until we explore the dark and scary places that we try to deny and avoid. Until we can accept our whole selves, good and bad, strong and weak, courageous and scared.
For many of us, we need professional help. I did and have. Several different doctors and therapists over the years and I encourage you to seek that when you come into your darkest places. But sometimes we need a community as well. A few others, whose journeys aren’t the same, but we can meet as fellow travelers and share our trials and tribulations.
After reflection and experimentation this spring with my Guided Interpretation to the 7 Habits, I’ve decided to change my original approach. Initially, my strategy was to try to offer the class at a very low price, to reach a lot of people. But from the group we have now, I’ve realized that the true strength and value in the class is the community of the people in it. The journeys that we share and the support we give to one another along the way.
From now on, my work with the 7 Habits will be in small groups. So we can have that community. So there is a safe place. So we can dive into the material, our lives, and support a few select others who are crossing our paths at this time.