What is Your Why?

by Elena on June 11, 2012 in Be Enough Me,Career Transition

From goal setting to starting my “what lights me up list” I have been on a very reflective journey lately. An appropriate journey for someone who is about to leave behind their career of twelve years to follow a new passion, but still…a journey.

The journey began with the creation of a list. Anything and everything that lights me up. That fuels my passion. At some point in the near future, I will add this list to my About Me page…because if I have learned nothing else, I have learned one thing. We must put our passions out into the world. We have to talk about them, out loud, to others. We have to actively and intentionally make them real.

What is your Why | Ciao Mom

(and no, in case you are wondering, wonderful handwriting does not light me up.)

Once I made my list, it was time to look for patterns. To categorize and look for commonalities. To sort and look at the specific items, trying to make sense of it all.

It was not easy, but I eventually fit my list of 46 things (#46 is not shown: it reads: new projects) into headings. My headings were: Audience, Fostering, Inner Strength, Personal Growth, (and not shown: Comforts and Travel/Adventure). Except that those headings seemed too wordy, and in some cases redundant. So I tried to find simplify things with what appeared to be the common themes that ran through my various words leading me to things like: grow, connect, see, live, do, and train.

What is Your Why | Ciao Mom

Eventually it hit me. Everything I do, everything I love. All of my talk about building self sufficiency in others, my fitness journey, working with students, parents, and other teachers, my idea to create Just.Be.Enough….everything…..it all fits in to three words.




What is your why | Ciao Mom

Part of me thinks that these three words are overly simplistic. That they sound cliche’ or too abstract. But the reality is that I can connect everything on my light me up list to one or more of these words.

Which makes them in my head and my heart…my words. My Why.

There are more complex definitions of course, that I could share to define Live, Do, and Grow. And those will come. Soon. Those three words may even end up as navigation bar headers instead of fitness and travel.  But for now, the simplicity of these three words speaks to me. They are real. And powerful. And true. And that is enough.

Ciao Mom



Thank you to Karen Walrond and  Helen Jane for the inspiration that pushed me to create my list. 

Be Enough ME Monday | Just.Be.Enough.

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Robin | Farewell, Stranger June 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

Good stuff. I love watching you through this process – you’re closer than I am.

angela June 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

I’m with Robin; I love watching you on this journey. It helps inspire me to be more deliberate about my own.

(And I love your three words. They would be cool headings!)

Kristin @ What She Said June 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I love “Live, Do, Grow.” Sounds like a pretty fantastic mantra to me.

Also, I love seeing your thought process written out on paper. I don’t brainstorm like that nearly enough. I think, in a way, I’m too scared to try because it might give me even more to occupy my mind than I already have, the thought of which overwhelms me.

On the other hand, it looks like an excellent form of mental organization.

Emily @ My Pajama Days June 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Live. Do. Grow.

Awesome words to live by – they are all active words. They are not passive, nor are they submissive. They require you to move forward and not be afraid of change. They also keep you accountable and a woman of your word. Great post!

Nicole June 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm

How inspiring! I can’t wait to explore this exercise myself.

Lizz June 12, 2012 at 12:01 am

Sigh. I love this. I think I need to work on my own list. Taking steps, even the risky ones, that’s where the most benefit lies, right? XOXO

Brandi June 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I think if the words make sense to you, if they light you up, if they resonate deep inside, that’s really all that matters.

I’ve been on a self-reflective kick lately, too; maybe it was hitting 30, maybe it’s giving up one dream for the pursuit of another one I haven’t exactly defined yet. So, I really love and respond to posts like this. It gives me hope that while I don’t have the answers right now, one day soon I just might.

Missy | The Literal Mom June 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I so completely love that you did it this way. I’m going to have to take a page from your (note)book and do this too. Very insightful. I might email you for tips. :)

Theatre Virgin June 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

Wow – thank you so much for sharing this Elena, what a fantastic idea. You have really inspired me to look at my “why’s” and start making some changes in my life. Thank you so much.

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