What is meaning-making?

Dr. Suzy Ross wrote about three activities that when intertwined with leisure can contribute to transformation. One of them is meaning-making.

What is meaning-making? Dr. Suzy explains what it is and how it can contribute to transformation.

Nick: You write about three activities, that when woven explicitly and mindfully into leisure, can contribute to transformation. So would you like to touch on those three activities? One is meaning-making.

Suzy: So when we're going through the process of transformation, we can use our mind to be able to raise awareness and consciousness, we can use our mind to be able to savor and to reelevate our emotional connection, and our emotive experience, how much an experience touches us.

We can use our mind by savoring and reflecting, by appreciating, and that elevates the emotional engagement, which helps us to feel even more into who am I. And when we feel our emotions like that when we can savor the experience, we're really savoring ourselves. 

That is something that is healing and also joyful; it propels us towards our own becoming, it helps us lean forward into our becoming, and our mind can be a wonderful tool to be able to understand: why did something happen? Why did something really a difficult time happened to me in those years? 

And our mindfulness about it, our reflection on it can help us to be able to make sense of it and make meaning of it in a larger context, that causes healing the causes increased consciousness which contributes to our self-becoming.

Because transformation is about becoming -- becoming a new you, the you that you're destined to become.  

And so the meaning-making can propel you towards that in a more conscious and emotionally connected way. Nature itself is presence, it is pure presence. And so being in nature, helps us to become present with ourselves, and helps us to become present. 

And then there's a stillness there, there's a quietness there, there's beauty that's so accessible, and it reflects who we are: just beautiful, and quiet, and spacious on the inside, and harmonious. 

And so we get to have so much healing, and all of that contributes to our own becoming. And then finally, spirituality, in the most widest way of understanding it is meaning-making. 

If you're atheist, a person who's atheist, you know, spirituality can be translated into meaning-making: what's meaningful to you. But other sort of spiritual ways of looking at things as being able to understand what do you believe in? What is love? Is there something larger than me that's happening that I'm a part of? 

And engaging in those big picture questions and those feelings of something larger than ourselves, opening ourselves to larger than ourselves, that opens us to our own becoming.