The Mind Home - Identity
The first home of the 3 Homes is the Mind - the center of the Self and your identity. Let's dive in!
The Three Homes are all very connected. It is likely that many topics covered will be tagged in at least two sections. Our external environments impact our Mind and Body, the way we think about things affects how we treat our World and our Body, and the health of our Body (including the brain) is very much intertwined with how we think and the places we live and work. If our intention is to help make each of these into nicer places to live, we have to dig a little deeper and figure out what makes them not so nice places to live sometimes. Two places where we can look to are: ourselves and society. Both of these play a huge role in how we approach our lives within the Three Homes.
For today, I’m going to start broadly with the idea of the “Self” which is a large part of the Mind Home. And to begin, let’s ask a big question - who are you?
Who are you?
The Self is a very facteted and nuanced thing. Or not. Neuroscientists would tell us that our minds are just predictive machines and ourselves are nothing more than a series of complex biochemical reactions occurring along neural pathways… They’re not wrong, of course, but it does seem like a bit of an oversimplification. You and I are real people living our lives out in society, in communities and in our own inner landscapes. Our chemical reactions level up to much more. But how much more?
A lot. For real people, in the real world, we are made up of many, many parts. You are the sum total of your values and beliefs, your experiences, your gender identity, your cultural identity, your means, your health, your relationships with others (like being a child, parent, friend, colleague, employee, boss, etc), your potential, your appearance, your personal style, your interests, your personality, your habits, your memberships and, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s more.
Who you are is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts - so it’s little wonder that there’s also a lot that can get disrupted or need support.
Who you are has needs
When I was in driver’s ed, my driving instructor was kind of a quirky character. He was friendly, but he had opinions. During one in-car session, it was a bit drizzly, so I was working the wipers into the mix. My parents’ car at the time had a wiper for the back windshield as well as the front ones. So, as I was driving, I was flicking the switch that would clear my line of vision to the traffic behind me. And when he noticed this, my driving instructor scoffed that he would never buy a car with a rear wiper - it was just another thing to break.
Well, unlike a vehicle, we do not have the option to opt out of bits and pieces of ourselves. We have a lot of parts and they all have needs. When I was thinking about the Self, one of the things I noticed was that many of the facets that need care all literally start with “self-” - self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-love, self-compassion, self-control, self-doubt, self-defeating - the list goes on!
Many of these have to do with all of the Three Homes - they definitely are impacted by and impacting our Minds and our Bodies - but they also have to do with our World. The World in this case being all outside forces - the physical environment, societal pressures and expectations, and our relationships with other people (more on this in future posts). Most especially though, I think they find their roots in the Mind.
The relationship you have with yourself is the most intimate of your life. And the relationship you have with yourself also is the most complicated because you can’t walk away from yourself. Taking care of yourself, growing yourself, accepting yourself, forgiving yourself, being yourself - these are not necessarily easy, but they are worth going after.
You and Your Three Homes
One thing I know about you is that you are unique - you are the only you. You also have Three Homes. You are a masterpiece and a work-in-progress. You are complex. You have a lot to offer and you have a lot of needs.
You are a masterpiece and a work-in-progress
Let’s explore how you can support your Mind Home - we are going to look at all of the Self, especially self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-love, self-compassion, self-control, self-actualization. So stay tuned.
With love, Jess
Note: “A thought for your thoughts” is going to be a section added to the end of each blog to give you some ideas on how to bring these words/thoughts to life for yourself. You know yourself better than anyone, so not every suggestion will be for you - that’s ok, it might give you some inspiration though, or help you to try something new.
And because we all have different time pressures, I’ll try to give you something that will take 2 minutes, 5 minutes or some more time. Everyone has two minutes to give a little action and intention to improving their Three Homes. You probably will have five minutes most days too. And, for a deeper dive, I’ll give some additional resources, like a book recommendation or activity that will allow you to dedicate yourself to moving forward, if you are so inspired.
(Also, the title of the section is fun nod to one of my favorite shows - Parks & Rec)
A Thought for Your Thoughts:
Take 2 Minutes - Relfect
Which one of the “self-” words felt the most like it needs attention in your life? Was it self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-love, self-compassion, self-control, self-doubt or self-defeating. Take a couple minutes to try to identify why that one feels most important to you right now.
Take 5 Minutes - Reflect
For the first two minutes, try the exercise from above. Is there something you could do in three minutes that would help? Big changes happen when we add up many small things over time. You may not be able to completely turn around the part of yourself that needs help today, but you can take a small step in the right direction.
- If your word was self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance or self-love, try expressing gratitude to yourself. List as many things as you can about what you do like/love/appreciate about yourself. For example, your sense of humor or your ability to bake or put together amazing outfits or your dimples or… I’m sure there are a lot of things on this list, sometimes we just need to take a moment to shift focus from the things we aren’t happy with or want to change and give ourselves credit for the things we are happy about ourselves!
- If your word was self-compassion, perhaps a place to start is forgiving yourself for something that’s bothering you. Try to see if you can put into words what is wrong and say it out loud. Then tell yourself, out loud, that you’ll work on it.
For me, an obvious thing I often beat myself up about is procrastinating. I am working on it and I’m going to keep working on it. Some days I’m going to cruise through the to-do list, but I know there are days where I’m still going to need to give myself a little credit for the things that have already been accomplished, forgive myself and start again the next day.
- If your word was self-control, take your three minutes to find the smallest way to work toward more control over that part of yourself. You don’t have to master things today, but you can make a step in the direction you want to go in.
Making a grocery list is one way I have found helps me with self-control around food. If I go shopping for food without much direction, I often purchase more treats than are good for me to keep in the house because I know if it’s here, I’m going to eat it. I still enjoy some treats, but I can keep it moderate and avoid overdoing it if I plan what treats I'll have and stick to the list.
- If your word was self-doubt or self-limiting, take your three minutes to look up the book below and read the description. See if this might be a good place to look for some inspiration.
Take Some Time - Book Recommendation
A lot of the negative “self-” words could have their root in another issue - “self-empowerment” - it’s the opposite of self-limiting and self-defeating. Marie Forleo has written a wonderful book on her own experiences with self-doubt, “Everything is Figureoutable” - you can get a copy here (affiliate link). A little about Marie - on her website, she describes herself as an “entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist & unshakable optimist dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be.” Reading an uplifting book might be just the thing to help you reframe and take care of your mind.