We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – E.M. Forster
We’re all guilty of it. We plan and organize and reorganize and re-plan and when things don’t go our way after all the effort and time we put into it…we just…feel lost. It can be so frustrating because we tell ourselves that we know exactly what we’re doing. We KNOW what we want in life and we have carefully written out the itinerary for it. Even with meticulous planning though, we are bound to hit some bumps and roadblocks along the way. Understandably so. We have so many different roles we are trying to play in our lives that we forget or lose sight of WHO we actually are while trying to DO what it is we’re doing. It’s easy to do even for those who are well versed in compartmentalizing their lives. The edges still blur from time to time and we get confused as to why we’re doing the same daily routines that maybe once had much more meaning to us. A great way to gain our insights back is to do some soul-searching. Everyone has their own ways of going about this. Maybe you put on music, or look through old photo albums, hit up the gym, meditate…keep doing all of those things because you know your body and mind the best and you know what works for you! This exercise is just another fun idea for you to fit into your mental health fitness lineup!
The idea for this scavenger hunt actually came from my sister and it was so great that I had to share it with you all! (Thanks Rigel!)
We’re all familiar with scavenger hunts right? The point is to go to different places and find something there. Any scavenger hunt I’ve ever been on or heard of involved finding clues, gifts, memories, love letters…they are supposed to be exciting right? Well this should be no different. This hunt is about finding pieces of yourself that you feel you’re missing, digging up old memories from times that you were wrapped in happiness (or weren’t, which could be just as useful) and letting yourself get the ground back under your feet so that you know where you stand in your own life.
Let’s get started!
The first part of this exercise is to go to a place (I will list some ideas at the end of this post!). The place you choose to go is based on the memories that you have there. What kind of emotions and feelings does that particular place bring up for you? Whatever places you decide to go, keep in mind that the reason for the exercise is to connect with the things that have made you who are; to become more grounded by re-evaluating areas of your life that you put the most priority on and reflecting on what changes you might need to think about making to find a path you feel confident about taking.
The second part of this involves SHARING! It is amazing in itself to find those truths in the memories from the places you visit…so share that clarity with others and be the inspiration that someone else might need to do the same! Take a photo of yourself in all the places that you visit and share what you learned from time you spent there. Selfies are great, but make sure to use them in a way to empower others! Tell the story behind the photo (why you chose the place you did and something you learned from being there).
In each place you visit, be sure to actually spend some time there. Be alone with your thoughts and concentrate on how it makes you feel. Do you feel uncomfortable, angry, happy, cozy, comforted, silly, peaceful? Whatever it is, focus on that feeling and ask yourself questions about why you feel that connection.
Bring a notebook with you and write down the thoughts that it brings up. You don’t have to write a full history of your memories there (although you can if you have that kind of time!) but just jot down some emotions, write a quick poem, draw a picture, recall a conversation that you remember having in the place..really anything goes here! Don’t think too much about it, let it come to you in whatever form it does, write it down, then share it!
Journal goals?? This one looks amazing!
That’s all there is to it! Now, I will admit I have not done this yet myself because I was too excited about the idea of it not to share it with you immediately! I’m thinking this will be the topic of my next post though for sure so keep an eye out for that!
If you need a little inspiration on where to go to get started, here are some ideas!
-A place that you feel the most safe and secure.
-A place in your community (or elsewhere) that means something special to you.
-A person (friend, relative, coworker) who is of importance to you.
-A place in nature that you have either been to before and can reflect on memories or it could be somewhere totally new that you can be alone with your thoughts.
-A person (someone you don’t know) that you can connect with and share a smile, a story or a laugh with. Let them know what you’re doing and ask them to take a picture with you. (Very “Humans of New York” style but make it your own!)
This can be an exercise you do once a month or once a year or really just whenever you need to do some soul-searching and reconnect your mind with your body. It’s a way to reach out to others in a small way in order to have a bigger impact. It’s exactly things like this that if we all did more of, we could change the world while we’re helping ourselves.
So try it out, and feel free to post your results and findings from your hunt on this page, I would LOVE to hear about the truths you found along the way and get to know you a little better!
HAPPY HUNTING!! 🙂
If you want to read a great article about this same topic, here is an awesome one from Rebecca Lammersen for elephant journal. Check it out!