I've spent multiple decades trying to become a calm river. Today I found myself asking questions.

"Why? Why have I tried to be this way? When did I decide to change who I was and become that? When was I ever a calm peaceful river while I was young and free of other people's perceptions of me? Who was I when I was created, because I do KNOW who I was when I was created. I don't remember that *fact* but I do remember who I was and felt, I can remember seeing the world through my own eyes back as a child. When I was so very young and free. I can remember the child I was, seeing the world before other people's expectations surrounded me, pressed and compressed me.

I was never calm. I was fire. I didn't burn anything but I was alive, dynamic, flowing, changing, passionate. Always moving, always taking things in and moving on to the next. Creating new things as I went.

I think somewhere along the way I made a mistake and burned myself. And in my immaturity and ignorance labeled my strengths as all bad things, because I got hurt and I started throwing water on myself. And then I spent the next couple of decades continuing to put out my own fire...

And that's where I come to some questions. Questions for you the reader.

Who were you before you decided to be someone else?

Were you a painter, seeing the world through lens of color and dripping paint or pencil sketches? But now your counting numbers in an office or school...

Were you a speed demon, always moving fast and never stopped by some little road rashes? But now you are scared to drive the speed limit...

Perhaps you were the tender one, always caring for your siblings even when that meant sacrifices from your own future? But now you are cold, hard, distant from all the people that matter in your life...

Perhaps you were the athlete, driven to accomplishments. But now you are the couch potato, slowly fading away...

Perhaps you were alive and full of life. And then someone took that from you, someone you trusted. And now you desperately just want to feel alive, and not ashamed anymore...

Whatever you were in the days gone past, and whoever you see in the mirror today. Neither defines you, unless you allow it.

Sometimes our changes are brought on by people and events that impact us intensely. Other times I think as we grow up, we get stuff wrong in our heads. I think that as children we don't consider different aspects of our personality to be conflicting. We can be wild and loving. But as adults we believe wild and loving are not compatible so we discard the wild. The curse of mature intellect is that it confines us often times. Because the more we learn the rules, the harder it is for us to see outside the rules. As adults we are often compressed versions of ourselves. For good and for bad reasons we've lost our depth as humans as we get older.

Be wild, and responsible.

Be passionate, and respectful.

Be driven, and selfless.

Be competitive, and compassionate.

Go back in time and see the world again through your childhood eyes. Feel your thoughts, think those feelings. Remember who you were before the world compressed you.

Be the person who breathes out, the same breath God breathed in to you.

The Practice Journey

Trying to figure out a face design...