Exploring Personal Identity
Where I am From TemplateThe purpose of writing this poem is a creative way to others know aspects of your identity. The details you put into the poem change every time you write one. As you grow older, different things become important to you and you face new experiences.
I am from
__________________________________________________________________________(ordinary item that characterizes you)(your favorite product name) (some item that you hold precious)
I am from
_____________________________________________________________________________(description of where you want to live)(three adjectives that define it)
I am from
_____________________________________________________________________________(natural item, such as a flower) (the importance of that item)I am from
___________________________________________________________________________(family tradition) (family trait)(names of two family members) (another family name)
I am from
____________________________________________________________________________(description of family tendency)(another tendency)(something you were constantly told as a child)(another thing you were told)
I am from
______________________________________________________________________________(representation of religion or culture or lack of it)(Description of what that religion, culture or non-culture means to you)I'm from
______________________________________________________________________________(place of birth and family ancestry)(two food items representing your family) (specific family story about a specific person and detail) (another detail) (a detail about a family member)
______________________________________________________________________(a dream you have)
I am from
ROOTS OF SERVICE EXPLORATION
From the Shinnyo-en Foundation Website http://sef.org/about-sef/our-peace-initiative/
"A path can begin with a single pebble. Peace can begin with a single act.
Shinnyo-en Foundation’s Peace Initiative: Infinite Paths to Peace
Our Paradigm of ServiceIdentifying Your “Roots and Fruit”: Exploration of one’s self is the most difficult, and yet the most accessible in this view of service. Every individual can begin to explore their own roots of service. To begin this reflection process, imagine yourself as a tree. The flowers and fruit of the tree represent the outcomes of other-centered actions. They represent the specific ways in which you bring greater joy, harmony and positive energy to the world. Like the many types of trees, we all grow and blossom in many different ways.The part of the tree that exists below the surface of the ground represents the inner dimensions of service – the attitudes, beliefs and values that root an other-centered approach to life. Some of us have an extensive root structure, while others have a less complex version. These submerged, invisible dimensions of service are usually developed early in life through our experiences in our families and in religious, social, cultural or educational institutions. Often, they are unconscious until something inspires us to investigate ourselves more deeply. The trunk and branches of the tree represent the way in which the fruit and roots are connected. Inside the trunk, sap flows from the root systems up to the most distant bud to feed its growth. Our consciousness about the connections between our roots and fruit help us to act with purity and energy.You might consider asking the following questions to explore what your roots and fruit are and how they are connected.
Creating Harmony within Yourself: Most of us can relate to the feeling in our gut when we are doing something that we don’t agree with. This feeling rises from your mind (cognitive thoughts), heart (emotions) and actions (physical movements) being out of alignment. With awareness, we correct the action, or shift our way of thinking about the situation so that it creates greater harmony between our mind, our heart and our actions.The awareness of “being in alignment” is a continual process. In each moment, factors in our internal and external environment change. We have to be flexible and adjust ourselves to move with these changes. Sometimes this requires us to have a new relationship with our thoughts, or emotions. At times, the needed adjustments are huge, and life-altering. Most of the time they are not; they are minor and can be made on a very subtle level. The most essential element of this adjustment process is deep knowledge of yourself. Knowing what you value, having a sense of your unique tendencies or patterns of behavior, and understanding some of the ways you get caught out of alignment are all very useful. With that awareness, as situations arise when you feel out of alignment, you can pause and take a moment to reflect upon your thoughts, emotions or actions.
Creating Harmony with Others: Creating harmony with others involves developing a global perspective, which allows for many different ways of living. It is also about creating interpersonal dynamics that bring about compassion, respect and the highest potential of each person.We view the relationship between two individuals as a dynamic, on-going process of exchanging thoughts, feelings and actions (represented by the Möbius strip between the two persons in the diagram). Our hope is that through reflection and action, individuals will see the impact they have on each other, and can work towards greater harmony. From this perspective, when unease arises between yourself and another, you can offer your most compassionate self to the situation, and actively practice to further bring the relationship into alignment. We call this process adjustment. Adjustment within a relationship is the process of being conscious of the dynamics between yourself and another, and adapting to make the other person feel more comfortable and open. It does not mean you give up who you are, or your beliefs. It means you invite an other-centered perspective that allows you to trust yourself enough to maintain your sense of self while being of service to another.
Harmony within Groups or Communities: Creating alignment between communities or groups can be very challenging work for leaders at every level of society. On the other hand, alignment can be very simple when we remember the interconnectedness we share as inhabitants of the same planet, and the fact that we all hold common core values, such as peace and respect. We believe that all people have a desire for happiness and to live fully and that alignment is possible between communities when people focus on their shared core values.Within a community, the group will only be as strong as the individuals that come together to support the hub of core values. In addition to the dynamics within a community, every community is connected to other communities. The recognition of our interconnectedness is the beginning of a new journey towards global harmony.