Guest writer for Wake Up World
We each come into this life with unique temperaments and quirks, a self-symphony, both breathtakingly beautiful and awkwardly arranged, and, as par for the course agonizingly, difficult to navigate at times. We come in with a vibration that is, above all, inherently distinct and unable to be replicated by anyone else we encounter in the world. We enter with talents, gifts, inclinations and passions, some of which seem to be inextricably woven into the fabric of our being and others, more clearly informed by the environment and culture in which we were raised.
Our destiny, in part, is the picture we choose to create from this kaleidoscope of things; how we put this palate of colors and array of materials all together to create the landscape we call our life.
We are each born into this life and have experiences with people who raise us and with people who surround us outside of our nuclear family — peers, teachers, co-workers, lovers, family friends, strangers who become closer than family, and family who become strangers. Some of these experiences will cause an extraordinary amount of pain and suffering. Some will bring joy we could have never imagined. Our destiny, in part, is how we choose to make sense of and transform these unique experiences.
Our destiny is never something that occurs without our participation, and so the first thing we need to know is that we, and only we, are the creators and the keepers of our own destiny. No one else gets to claim this right and no else can create it for us.
If we look up “destiny” in the dictionary we find in the Merriam-Webster version that destiny is: “the things that someone will experience in the future” or “a power that is believed to control what happens in the future.” Let’s break this down a bit further to understand the what’s before we get into the how’s…
Since our destiny is composed of the things that will be experienced in the future, we first need to understand the meaning of the future as it relates to the present. With this knowledge, we can become truly empowered. The future is always being made up of the present moment. In other words, what we choose to think about, what we choose to ignore thinking about, how we choose to act, what we choose to eat, how we decide to relate to ourselves and others to name just a few of the choices we are making on a daily basis are choices that shape our future and how it specifically unfolds. This means that our future is always changing and that our destiny can drastically change course at any moment in time — that is, if we choose to take charge of it.
Now back to our dictionary definition… Destiny is also defined as “a power that is believed to control what happens in the future.” And what is this mysterious power believed to be in control of our future? We are that power. You are that power. And that power lies nowhere other than inside the vessel through which we navigate this earth — our bodies — a vessel of extraordinary power to create extraordinary things.
Unfortunately, we have been told that we aren’t this power, and there are very strong systems in place that perpetuate this disempowering myth; from the governing bodies that organize our society and create false dependencies on things outside ourselves, to the dysfunction within our own families that set up dynamics that empower some family members over others, to the programs of fear we keep running in our heads, which keep us passive and in a state of spiritual amnesia and victimhood.
Taking charge of your destiny:
If we want to take charge of our destiny, we need to take our power back. Here’s how:
Entertain the possibility that you can change the course of your life. You don’t have to have a deep conviction that you can change your life. To start, the only necessary thing is for you to become open to the idea that it is possible; to be curious about a new path that you can’t quite see yet. Open this door: “I am open to the possibility that I can change the course of my life.”
Greet the pain and suffering in your life. The reason we get stuck in dysfunctional patterns is because we tend to close the door on the pain and suffering we experience. This includes anything from past traumas, to unresolved grief, to the pain over a breakup to minor frustrations. It’s difficult being present with emotions we were taught we shouldn’t have or revisiting pain that was overwhelming and unsafe to experience at an earlier time in our life. However whether we like it our not, our pain is there to alarm us that there is something inside of us that needs attention and healing. When we don’t greet those parts of us in need of recognition and expression, then we live unconsciously and repeat old patterns. When we live unconsciously, our pain and our fear of pain is what creates our life path. What feeling or situation have you been running away from lately?
Listen to Yourself. We must strive to pay more attention to ourselves. This means we need to start listening more carefully to the little sparks of excitement that ripple through our bodies. I’m talking about the small stuff here. For example, if you like to dance and feel this small yet nagging urge to dance more but continue to put it off because you wonder if it really matters, then it is absolutely time to start dancing. Why? Because there’s a part of you that needs this and the beauty of this is not only the part of you that needs this benefits but it will ripple throughout your whole being opening doors you could have never imagined. You might start becoming more creative at work, your sex life might get better, your health may improve, you may meet the love of your life. You change your life by listening to the small things. The small sparks, the whispers, the urges are your destiny speaking, daring you to accept its invitation.
There are no mistakes. We must meet each experience that unfolds in our lives with curiosity even if it feels like the product of a terrible mistake. All obstacles that occur, including self-imposed ones, are part of-not outside of-your life path. Within each experience there exists an opening for some new part of you to be born. Self-blame and pointing fingers are the opposite of curiosity. They close down your process and lead to victimhood and the repeat of whatever cycle you find yourself in. Be open to exploring what may feel like a terrible decision: “How can I navigate this situation differently next time?” “What new thing can I learn about myself from this experience?” “How can I practice compassion for myself and for others?” When we become curious, new doors of possibility begin to open for new people, new opportunities, and a new you to enter.
Connect. We must open our hearts. Little by little, we have to take this risk. When we push ourselves to be more vulnerable with others, we can connect more deeply to ourselves. All of life is a co-creation and so the shaping of your life path is also a co-creation. By this I mean it is through our connection with others that we see ourselves, that we see our deepest potential, that we wake up to our dreams, that we crack ourselves open to the beautiful, wilderness of our deepest desires.
Fight Like You Have Never Fought Before. You have to fight. And fight. And fight like you have never fought before. Once you choose to change things, there will be a part of you that will instantly emerge to try to chain you to what is familiar. There will be people’s voices inside your head that will haunt you. The approval of others will seem more important to that voice inside you whispering maybe screaming for something more. Get ready to wage war.
Play. A Lot. Run around like a child, dance in the streets, scream, laugh, play. Through play, we rediscover ourselves and reach creative potentials we either forgot about or never knew we had. It is in this space that we discover new ways of problem solving. The part of you that hungers for change absolutely demands that you be creative. Ask yourself a question that you need an answer to and then go out for a good dance and see what insights emerge after you’ve had your fun.
So, you see, if you want to change the course of your life your true power exists right here, right now in the midst of your life as it is in this very moment.
Also by this author:
- Dream On! 6 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Dream Recall
- How Meditating with My Younger Self Changed Me
- The Science Behind Our Heart’s Intelligence and Tips on How to Start
About the author:
Danielle Benvenuto is a psychotherapist and energy healer who specializes in psychoanalysis, energy work, and mindfulness meditation making the work she does integrative in nature. Tuning into the body, nature, dreams and the healing power of sound and visualization are important elements in her work as is working directly with the breath to heal the mind and body. She holds workshops in NYC and internationally on topics such as integrating mindfulness with psychotherapy, using imagery to transform trauma, and the art of manifestation. She is also a guest lecturer at NYU and has written articles on various topics.