Why Definitions Are Limiting You

7 Jun

I’m back in Bali.

Back amongst the green, the aroma of incense, the bright skies and cuddling humidity.

Not a bad view for a yoga space...

Not a bad view for a yoga space…

Being away from Australia, giving myself this time, always gives me the space to reflect.

I’m remembering a conversation I had recently with a lovely older friend of my parents.
“So what are you doing with yourself these days?” he asked.

“Oh, I don’t know,” I laughed. “Run around the planet helping people discover how to be more joyful?”

“Yes, but what is it that you DO?”

“Well, I run yoga retreats and teach workshops and classes,” I said. “I write articles. Sometimes I sing. And sometimes I work as a broadcaster.”

“So are you a journalist or a yoga teacher?”

“Both!”

“But what’s your discipline? What are you focussing your attention on? What are your goals?” He actually raised his voice at this point, as though I wasn’t hearing him properly.

I had to say to him that it was all those things, because for me, they’re all expressions of who I am. They use my skills in a way that feels meaningful.

You are Not your job

I’ve done some big “achievements”: I bought property at 25, was engaged, won some awards, had some really cool jobs, interviewed important people.

I was still pretty dissatisfied with my life. With myself, in general.

I also know I can go back to that if I want. I can set myself strong goals and work solidly towards them. I can be focussed and ambitious and can work 70 hours a week. Give myself a title, a definition. I know I can. I’ve done it. It’s sometimes still a struggle for me to stop working before something is perfect or complete.

I’ve just arrived back in Bali to assist on a beautiful retreat run by Melbourne yogi, coach and counsellor, Belinda Bailey. This woman walks her talk.

She’s gathered a remarkable group of people who are ready to dive deeply into themselves, to learn to set intentions and how to “juicily relate.”

When I’m here, teaching this stuff, or supporting someone who is, it takes me out of the world of “what do I do” and puts me into “what is needed in this moment?”

Chuck Palahniuk put it beautifully:

“I want out of the labels. I don’t want my whole life crammed into a single word. A story. I want to find something else, unknowable, some place that’s not on the man. A real adventure.

A sphinx. A mystery. A blank. Unknown. Undefined.”

Can you honestly say you’re just a teacher? Or a lawyer? Or an electrician? Aren’t you a son or daughter? Maybe a parent? A lover?
Patient? Kind? Happy? Sad?

We are able to choose ourselves in every moment. Putting a name to who it is that you are, based on what you do, can put you in a little box. Or maybe it can make you  feel like you’re standing on that little box. Do you judge yourself for your title? Are you judging other people because of theirs?

Forget What We are

So to answer the question truly?

My goals are to be happy, calm and centred.  To feel as though I’m making a difference in the world. My focus is to be connected, to love and be loved. To show people the ways I’ve been making that happen in my life – and show them how it can make a difference in theirs.

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5 Responses to “Why Definitions Are Limiting You”

  1. loveashx June 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    You are not your degree. You are not your job. You are not your title. You are who you say you are, you are your behaviour, your thoughts, your feelings your actions… It’s funny how so many people live unconsciously through a series of labels…

  2. agrippinamaior June 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Darling girl – how do you do it? Manage to capture exactly how I feel every time I read your blog posts. So typified by the fact when making this comment I had to decide which wordpress blog to write it under – my photography one, my thesis one or my editing one. xo

  3. breathethislife June 8, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I understand and empathize with your need to not fit into society’s cookie-cutter box definiation of “who we are.” I too deal in relationships without using labels. What I think that person was asking- as I have asked with similar frustration- is HOW DO YOU MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO SUPPORT YOURSELF?? The frame from which i ask (and I’m guessing that person did too) is that of curiousity for personal improvement. “How can I take your results and apply it to my life?” I have met many people who share common passions and work in fields I am interested in being apart of. As a person heart and lung challenges, it is difficult to travel, unteathered, to explore all that life has to offer. So excuse me if I think “easy for you to say” when reading your post about finding yourself. I’m not complaining as I have accomidated to partake in grand adventures yet, I am of the belief of the Nurture theory. If you want to change and better yourself, there is a stronger chance with a change of scenery. Without money to support a change in lifestyle, don’t expect a sudden change in mindset.

    • misscorellian June 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

      Whoa. There’s so much in this, but I’ll go through it one by one.
      I don’t really “need” to not fit into society’s definitions, I just find that I don’t. I don’t have a single, easy answer when people ask. He wasn’t asking about the money aspect, actually, more about my ambitions. Kind of a “What are you doing with your life?!” type conversation 🙂 But since you asked…

      How I have “enough money” is a question I’m asked all the time – I should write a post on it soon. But short answer? I live very, very simply. Tim Ferriss has some great more general answers on this but you can read about how I do it in this article: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/traveller-tips/endless-summer-how-to-live-in-paradise-20110906-1jvjr.html

      I disagree that you can only learn and grow by travelling.
      I write about that here: https://shinyhappyhealthy.com/2013/05/28/secrets-to-contentment/

      Some people describe it as “The Geographic Cure” – but the best thing I’ve learned about myself being on the road all this time? “Wherever you go, there you are.” You cart yourself and your baggage (emotional and otherwise) anywhere you go.

      I don’t know your particular circumstances, but I do know that it’s easy to use circumstances as an excuse to doing what you really want. I wrote about choice here: https://shinyhappyhealthy.com/2013/06/03/the-secret-to-living-the-life-you-want/

      And whenever I’m feeling like my particular circumstances are holding me back, I look at people who really, REALLY have the odds stacked against them, like Nick Vujicic who are out there doing big, juicy things in the world. http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org

      Helps with perspective!
      With love,
      Megan x

  4. Grace Hollier June 11, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    I love what you wrote Megan. I have found my identity in Christ. I am perfectly loved by him. He is my strength my coach.
    My purpose in life is to live it fully and reach out to others that come in my path.
    Similar to you Megan.
    Continue to inspire others!
    Love Grace

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