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The Self-Discovery Digest

by Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh
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A Self-Discovery Feast: Setting an Extra Place at the Table

Many holidays and religious traditions include the notion of setting an extra place at the table. This might simply be a place setting and another chair. It could involve serving up a sample of food and drink from the meal that has been prepared. It might even entail creating a special item intended as an offering. Whatever the form, the extra place can represent a number of things: a place for a visiting stranger, a connection to ancestors or a lost loved one, a sign of gratitude, a reminder of those in need, etc. To adapt this to the context of self-discovery, we'd like you to think about aspects of yourself you could honor by setting an extra place the table:

A spot for an unexpected guest
We are creatures of habit but that is not all that we are nor can be. When have you surprised yourself by doing or looking at things in new ways? Remembering the delight you felt, how can you invite more of that elment of openness and curiosity into your life? How can you prepare yourself to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities? What mindset can you adopt to help you react positively to the unexpected - from within or without?

A means to remember someone you once were
We all have a past, filled with ups, downs, wins, and losses. When you look back over your life what are the roles that helped you develop and mature? How can you acknowledge these while at the same time affirming how you have changed and grown? Are there sides of yourself that you abandoned that may be useful or enjoyable to you now? What strategies can help you cope if others aren't comfortable with what you want to resurrect or re-engage?

A way of giving thanks for the unique person you are
We may not be perfect but most of us, most of the time, are good people doing our best in our own special way. What are the qualities that you cherish most in yourself? How can you use them to support you in establishing a more meaningful and joyful life? What can you do recognize and celebrate your unique contribution to your home, work, and community?

A method for nurturing parts of yourself that are being neglected
We are right to champion the needs of others but we are wrong when we forget ourselves in the process. What facets of your personality are you ignoring and what needs are you downplaying? How could you find ways to nourish them? What practices can you set in place to perform more effective and ongoing self care?

Self-Discovery Tool Number 33
How can we be more welcoming to the many parts of ourselves? What can we do to make our internal and external environments more hospitable to our authentic selves? What simple actions can we take to make our lives more of a "celebratory feast" of where we've been, who we are, and what we want to become?

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