"Finding Yourself is the only Journey that Matters"

There are many lessons in Star Child. It is a small book packed with layers of meaning: from the simple tale of two children learning about the world of humans to the very cadence of the written words which take us to a place of magic and comfort. I only realized what the primary lesson of the book was after I had published it. It is embedded in the line spoken by the Ancient Mother: 

“Finding yourself is the only journey that matters.” What does that really mean?

To me it means that each of us is here for a reason and therefore have been given unique talents and perspectives. When we are faced with challenges, and we all will be, using our strengths will help us maintain balance, peace and increase the likelihood of finding some joy in our everyday lives. If either we don’t know or ignore what we have been given, we disconnect from our source of strength, our uniqueness. We then make choices based on very limited information because we don’t use our intuition, or we may blindly follow what others tell us to do or we are paralyzed by the fear that we might make a mistake. Eventually we lose our way. Our passion for life and sense of self are eroded.The piece that we have been uniquely given to make the world a better place is lost. This is what happened to the main characters of Star Child. As we travel with them , we see the ways, sometimes small and sometimes dramatic, that they use to find their way back to their true selves.

We all lose our way, sometimes many times in our lifetime or even in the course of a day. It is the human condition. Like the star children, we must learn to find our way back. 

What are the steps  or practices we need to do to help us be ourselves?

1. First, set a clear intention: “I want to know and be true to myself.”

2. Pay attention to what brings you joy, raises your levels of energy and excitement, brings contentment or activities that you can become totally lost in: painting, working with children, fixing cars.

Conversely, pay attention to what depletes you, causes you to be afraid, makes you feel off balance or give you a nagging feeling that you are pretending to be someone you are not. The choices we make in small moments can add up to big changes in our lives.

3.Use your imagination: Take a few moments each day or give yourself time for discovery.  Meditate, or write in your journal, or walk in nature, try a class you always wanted to take to expand how you see your life. Get to know how you feel. Empty your brain of expectations and “shoulds” so you can expand your awareness of possibilities.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”  ~Albert Einstein

4. Don’t judge yourself. As you get to know the truth of who you are, the more you accept yourself, the less energy you waste on worry and negative thoughts. Use that energy to discover new ways to make your life work for you. Use that energy to express yourself.

5.  Ask for help. Every human has experienced the pain of disconnection, fear and insecurity. We can learn from one another and get encouragement. 

6. Take risks and make course corrections as needed. Remember that each of us will forget who we are sometimes and get off course. That is when we go back to the practices. If we feel our true self is not in alignment with the life we are living, then our practices can help us to change a career, relationships, ways of thinking, or lifestyles. 

7.  Don’t blame others for your unhappiness. You are the only  person responsible for living your own life and making choices.

8.Remember we are not in control of everything and we don’t KNOW everything. Many self help programs empower us, but also enforce the false idea that we can always be in control of our lives and the world around us. This thinking puts us on a hamster wheel of trying to be perfect or to control everything.

9.Consider that what we choose to do in the small moments of our lives does matter. Are we choosing to move closer to our truest best self, or away? This choice we have control over. The more in touch we are with our selves, the whisperings of our own hearts and not just our rational minds or ego, the better we can make those decisions.

Is the quest for finding ourselves just another form of “self-absorption”? 

There are differences between being absorbed just in our own well being and developing our truest best selves so we can contribute to the welfare of others and bring our gifts to a world that really needs our help. This is not about ego, but about recognizing the essential part of the world that we are so we can serve something bigger than ourselves.

How does one develop your true self if you work two jobs or are trying to care for family members or have a major disaster strike you or your family?

Immediate survival needs must take precedence. But if we take even some time in small moments to know and appreciate our strengths and weaknesses, then we can better solve problems of daily living. If we do this consistently, then we develop a core strength and confidence that can help us and others in times of crisis.

Besides, as  Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” 



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About the Author

Kay Goldstein

Kay Goldstein is a cook, writer, and teacher of meditation who was delighted to find herself writing a story about star children. She is the co-author of A Book of Feasts, Stories and Recipes from American Celebrations, and has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and her own blog.

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