Knowing oneself

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by a new Mindful Path to PhD post! I’ve had many topics come to mind recently, but have been busy adjusting to a new aspect of my daily life, one that has certainly changed my daily routine. However, today’s freezing rain and snow mixture has made it a perfect opportunity for staying indoors and writing! (Thanks, Mother Nature!) Despite the gloominess outside of the window, I want to share my thoughts on how I feel mindfulness has impacted me the most, and that is actually beginning to know myself on a deeper level. I know, sounds cheesy, right? But please hear me out!

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, I may have alluded to my key characteristics as a perfectionist and a workaholic. I have known about these self traits for a very long time. However, it wasn’t until my third year of graduate school, around age 25, and after beginning my practice of mindfulness meditation that I realized I had been using my work-centric focus in life to bury my head in the sand and not face my feelings or emotions when times were difficult. I’m sure I’ve discussed this topic before, at least briefly, but it has recently been at the forefront of my mind. As I face new changes in my daily life and get closer and closer to needing to be thinking about what I want my next steps to be in life after PhD, I embrace my new self-insight.

Mindfulness has taught me how to listen to myself, even when I’m most reluctant to hear anything at all. Mindfulness has cultivated a deeper sense of self-awareness that I had previously and subconsciously buried to avoid any pain from life’s difficulties. Has mindfulness miraculously shown me what I want to do with my future career like a magic 8-ball, nope. However, mindfulness has equipped me with the toolset that I need to recognize what my inner passion will lead me to and the courage to take action when that time comes. Perhaps most importantly to me, mindfulness has provided me with serenity in the face of the unknown. I used to always have to have a plan, and don’t get me wrong, I still prefer to have a plan even knowing that life will likely deviate from said plan. But now, I accept that there are many things in life still waiting to happen that will help direct me to my next steps. As long as I continue working hard and towards a forward direction with mindfulness guiding me along the way, I’m certain I will find a place and option that makes me, and my little growing family, happy. Until next time, everyone!

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