This is out last review from Roberta Allen’s book The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself. I took a good hard look at these because I think this last section has probably been the most poignant to me. So let me jump right in…
1. In the last 15 exercises, did any of your answers surprise you? Why? Yep!
#43 Whole in One — What makes you feel whole? I think for the first time in all my searching over the years I realized I may never find an answer to that question. C.S. Lewis’ quote had a great impact on me: If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. I’m still trying to process this. After so many years of trying to find that missing piece of my puzzle, I almost feel the need to grieve over this idea of not finding an answer.
#51 Movin’ On — What keeps you moving? I think I would have expected to answer that questions with a dozen different things. Fear, however, was not one of them. I was an awful realization for me to know how much of what I do day in day is motivated by the simple emotion of fear.
#53 Legacy — What would you like to leave behind? Same thing with this one. Of all the things I could wish to leave behind for my kids, self-love was not something that would have come to mind without some serious thinking about it. And it is, of course, not something that I’VE accomplished yet.
2. & 3. Is there any exercise that felt more charged than others? If you’d like, carry on with that post and share your additions with us. / Were there any exercises that felt incomplete to you? If so, complete them now. Stop when your energy is spent. Then please share them with us.
#52 Finding my way — Where are you going? Where would you like to be in five years? This prompt felt very charged to me because it was the most immediate of all of them. And for that reason, also incomplete. This is an on-going struggle for me, and at the moment I don’t have the energy to tackle it again. But I will later.
4. What insights about yourself (if any) came to light in these last 15 exercises? Again I’d just just have to say #41, #51 and #53. (See explained above.)
The other prompts that kind of stuck out to me were:
#39 Lost — If you were lost, what would help you find your way? I recognized years ago that the answer to this one was to learn to live in the question. I quoted Rainer Maria Rilkes’s suggestion: Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves . . . Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. That’s the only way I know to keep from getting lost, to look for the next question.
#42 Of Two Minds — What divides you? This one was a conundrum for me because it causes a great conflict in my soul. Do I want to grow and mature into whom I’m meant to be, or do I want to keep peace in my immediate relationships at all costs?
#48 Sacred — What do you hold Sacred? I think this one captured my attention because I’ve always looked for the sacred outside of me in rituals and surroundings, but I’ve never looked for it inside of myself. This was a very new concept for me.
1. Who might benefit from what you have discovered? I think EVERYONE could benefit from doing the prompt exercises in this book. Socrates once said: The unexamined life is not worth living. I believe that’s true because because without being able to understand yourself, how can you grow and mature and understand others? And who wants to be 12 all their life???
2. What actions might you take now that you wouldn’t have taken before? For me the two things I feel I have to keep working on are loving myself, and learning to live in the moment. I think those are the two things that will bring me the most peace in my life by removing a lot of the anxiety.
3. What can you now accept about yourself? That I’m not the immature brat I thought I was, and that I deserve to put myself first sometimes.
4. What else would you like to know about yourself? Hm… This is a hard one. Maybe what things I could do to really leave a mark on the world?
5. Now that you’ve tapped into your energy, can you think of ways to tap into it more often? Are there thoughts, such as “it’s not serious,” or images from this book or your imagination, that you can focus your attention on, to help you feel more alive? Just focusing on loving myself and trying to live in the moment.
Picture Credit: twitter.com