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Embracing Your True Nature: Rediscovering Deep Happiness Through Contemplation

Written by Katherine Dreyer, Co-Founder of ChiRunning & ChiWalking
Founder of ChiLife Coaching

Take a moment and remember those moments when you felt most alive, most deeply satisfied. Let that feeling fill you up.

The closer you get to your deepest, truest nature, the happier you feel.

Remembering moments like those is an important step in rediscovering what is most important to you.

The issue is, since childhood most of us have been steered away from our true nature, and into conforming, belonging, and doing what we’re told will make us happy.

Parents, teachers and caregivers want what “they think” is best for you. They do their best. There is no blame (or maybe some – that’s OK too – and worth exploring).

But few of us were so lucky as to be told to “listen within”. Neither were we told to “cultivate your intuition” or “explore your most alive interests.” Rarely did a parent say, “follow your bliss” as Joseph Cambell suggested we should.


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All of those suggestions were too amorphous for most caretakers and did not lead to quick, solid answers. From an early age, we get the sense that we should “know” what we want to do, and we start looking for that in terms of career, parenting, or making a living.

And then a time comes, as adults, when you’re not so sure about who you really are, what is truly most important, and how to express your unique self in the face of all you know about life.

And perhaps there are levels of happiness, but maybe not deep, resonating, fulfilling happiness. There might be lingering questions about how to make the most of the rest of your life.

Turns out the solution is everything you were not told: to “listen within” “cultivate your intuition” and to “explore your most alive interests”.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a huge advocate of knowing thyself, said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” He is worth reading…

…and contemplating.



Contemplation might be an uncomfortable word. What does it mean? Does it mean to think about things?

No, not really. Contemplation means to hold a question, make it alive and ask it quietly throughout your day, moment to moment. It means to live, breathe, and “feel” into that question with all your senses.

Contemplation suggests we be wary of the quick answers of the mind.

In this process, a process most of us were never taught, you experience a deeper connection with your true nature.

Just as in ChiRunning and Walking, when you practice good posture, you develop better posture. It is ongoing and is never done. You can always deepen the stability of your structure and relax even more.

In ChiLiving as you practice contemplating your true nature, you are living in closer alignment with yourself and it too is an ever-deepening process.

Your true nature is curious, present in the moment, and leads you on your own unique path.

You may never really know the answer, but you might find the deep happiness you seek in living with the question.

ChiLife Coaching adapts the principles used in ChiRunning and ChiWalking to bring positive change to your whole life.


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