Same old story¡¦.Same s#*t, different day¡¦.Why does this always happen to me? Sound familiar? Do you ever have recurring dreams or nightmares maybe? Recurring experiences? Keep meeting the same kind of people?

The aim of looking at Life Themes is to acknowledge recurring patterns of thoughts or behavior in your life. The next step is understanding the reason or lesson behind those patterns and going on to re-assess your values, needs, passions etc. This may ultimately enable you to re-write your story - including some happy and fulfilling scenes, of course!

This is really based on the principle that there are no failures in life, only lessons and successes.

I reckon every event is an opportunity to learn something, no matter how bad or traumatic. OK, so I know it sounds easier said than done and I'm not suggesting that having been crushed by a falling tree you're going to lie back and calmly consider the meaning behind that log crushing your leg bones...but, having experienced some pretty traumatic events myself, I would say the key to my mental, emotional and physical recovery were the lessons I learnt on reflection.

OK, it's clich? time¡¦.I reckon life is a voyage of discovery and we are meant to learn and evolve as we go along. I don't know whether life has a distinct lesson plan for us all or not but I do believe that if we don't ¡®get' the easy lessons (and by 'get' I mean if we don't understand the message being presented to us), then life will give us a stronger message (or lesson) until we do. The trick then, is to see the messages at an early enough stage to avoid the really tough ones later! Easy really!!!

The most creative and fun way I've discovered to identify more general personal life themes is through some simple detective work. This is done through a series of questions, beginning with a look at early childhood, like favorite games/pastimes and stories for example. It's amazing how revealing this can be. When I did this, I realized I spent much of my childhood with a bath towel tucked into my collar, whilst leaping off the sofa pretending to be Superman or Batman! When I wasn't play-acting, I spent hours drawing my super-heroes and making up stories. Fortunately, this phase didn't last and I didn't grow up with any great desire to wear my underwear on the outside or develop x-ray vision¡¦..but it did highlight a trend for wanting to help people.

The trick is to be honest about your role models and life influences and then seriously consider what exactly draws you. In my case I had to look beyond the stretchy tights, cape and flashy car and realize it was the altruistic nature of my heroes that interested me. They were always so cool whatever the scenario and always seemed to know what to do. How could I resist?

Role models, whatever the stage of your life, can be very powerful indicators of what personal lessons you may need to address. For example, what qualities you're particularly drawn to that you may aspire to develop in your own life.

Take a look at your current role models. Ask yourself ¡®what is it about that person that I especially like?' Then, ask yourself ¡®why is that important to me?' You'll probably be quite surprised by your answers. I know I was.

A good friend of mine recently became an avid follower of the X-Files series. Now, this all seemed quite amusing at the time and friends chipped in with the proverbial jibes, because after all, you're supposed to grow out of fads by a certain age. But actually, a sudden interest in a specific person, subject, movie, trend etc. (whatever your age) can be a very important part of your personal development. Maybe they have something to teach you? As it turned out, the main interest in this case was the character of Scully, played by Gillian Anderson. Now, my friend happens to exude confidence in her abilities, is excellent at her job and is well respected but when she asked herself what exactly drew her to the character and why was it important to her, she realized that the things she really admired revolved around confidence, assertiveness and courage. These were all qualities she actually felt needed strengthening in herself. As a result she was able to look at ways of developi! ng these traits in herself.

It isn't just your role models or heroes that can guide your evolvement though. There are countless ways of looking at your life themes. Favorite songs, places, books, movies, quotes, plays etc. can all provide you with an insight.

I remember the first time I went to see Cirque du Soleil in London. I spent most of the performance with my jaw on the floor in total awe and came out in shock. My hands were raw from applauding and neither the friend I was with nor I could speak afterwards. We returned to his house, watched the whole show again on video (still awe-struck) and the next day bought tickets to see the show again. Now initially, I thought the reason behind my intense interest was based purely on wanting to escape a crap job and I thought running away with the circus might be the answer¡¦.(I know, you're thinking ¡®stretchy tights' again, aren't you?) Actually, on further investigation I realised I was fascinated by the discipline, the high standards, total commitment to excellence and the sheer magic they brought to people's lives...and this is what I was really interested in. They were all qualities I felt were desperately lacking in my life.

Funnily enough, it was my friend who literally did runaway with the circus, whilst I made the decision to become a mature student and go to university, where I needed tons of discipline and commitment!

In my opinion, looking at life themes is one of the most fun and insightful ways of focusing on who you are and where you're going. It's a chance to re-discover your early dreams and gauge whether you've fulfilled them, whether you still want them or have replaced them with new ones. It's often a way to clearly see what lessons life is trying to teach you and what is really important in your life¡¦.

Author's Bio: 

Midge Hobbs BSc(Hons); F.S.M.T.(Assoc) is an e-coach and editor
of the be-OUTSTANDING newsletter. Better known to her friends as
an
eclectic-techno-hip-symbology-aware-artist-healer-transformational-catalyst and miracle-hunter.
E-mail: coaching@be-outstanding.com
URL:http://www.be-outstanding.com