Harvesting Identity in Life
Posted on 19th August 2022 at 12:23
It was my birthday last week. I turned 43. My birthday always coincides with Lughnasa, the festival of the harvest in ancient Celtic Spirituality. The ritual of harvest can offer a moment to personally reflect on what seeds you have planted in life that are ripe for harvest. This year, I had a sense of a bigger harvest in my life. The word that kept coming to me was ‘identity’; 2022 has been my year to harvest the person I have worked to become in the last 5 years. After intentionally allowing my identity to feel more fluid as I navigated change, this year I could feel the desire to become more rooted in myself, to commit more firmly to myself, my choices, my voice in the world, to who I am. Out for a walk on my birthday last week, I felt like I had arrived in myself.
Someone asked me a few weeks back if I had left my previous investment and business experience behind me. That is not how identity works. Identity is about ‘and’ not ‘or’. It is about how you bring all your knowledge, your experience, your passions, the variety of skills and areas of expertise you have developed together into the person you can be. Identity is about wholeness. About all of who you are. Every day, my experience and expertise in investment influences my coaching, writing and speaking work. It gives me a contextual lens that enhances what I do. Like other parts of me, it is a building block of who I am. Identity is about expansion, you don’t erase experience rather you make space for new building blocks. You become a bigger vessel for yourself.
The desire for something to be different, for a renewed sense of meaning and purpose, is a very mid-life occurrence. It is a time of rebirth, the opportunity to be in relationship with your life in a new way. To take stock of foundations you have poured, the building blocks you have and the ones you would now like to create. To reflect on what you will do with the gifts you have and knowledge developed. Often, people tell me that they feel too old to make change, that they have committed to certain choices and have invested too much to change path. I get it. I used to be in a rush in life to have everything done by a certain age. It was a scarcity mentality. When we allow ourselves the luxury to pause, to stop rushing, we become much more intentional about what we do. It provides the opportunity to focus on why we are really are. Now, I recognise the first half of my life has only been the beginning. All going well, I should have another 43 years of life to live. The idea of all that time excites me. It feels like a luxury. That is a lot of time to live wisely, make a meaningful contribution, and fully express the person I know I can be.
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