Personal Discovery Tips

Personal discovery is not an easy path. Anyone who has attempted it knows this. However, despite its hardships, it is an important one, and deserves every moment of time it is given.

In the nonhuman communities, particularly the greater otherkin community, we are united by our discovery of ourselves. We differ in many things, but our identities allow us to consider one another friends, even brethren. With this one uniting factor, it comes as no surprise to think that one may feel a lot of pressure to know exactly who and what they are - and, as a result, may rush it.

The reality is that while there is no magic answer to figuring out one’s identity, there are possible ways to help find and solidify it. The aim of this is to introduce those, and make suggestions.

First: Participation.

Reading documents only provides you with so much. Even watching videos only provides you with so much. When you are talking to others, interacting with others, and using the knowledge you have, you learn more, and solidify what you know.

Sometimes, new people hesitate to speak up. They feel unqualified to speak, perhaps, or just shy. However, I would suggest that they are the people who should be among the most active. The community will be here to support and correct you, should correction be needed. You don't need to be qualified to welcome someone. When you join the community, you’re one of us. Say hello! Greet other new people, relate to them, and have fun. Engage in discussions and share your personal experience when it is relevant. Watch threads you’re interested in, and talk to people who bring new information to the table. You don't need to be perfect, and you don't need to have all the answers immediately.

Second: Reflection.

When I wrote “Awakening as a process,” I touched a little bit on this. There is, needless to say, a lot of self-reflection that happens in your first year, and a lot every year after that.

Doubt is okay. You don't need to know everything, and chances are high that you will doubt. That’s natural, even healthy, because we as a community don't encourage blind belief.

Question yourself. Test yourself and your beliefs. Evaluate what you perceive, and see how well it matches up to your beliefs. When questioned by other members of the community, respond. Seriously consider their questions - they aren't just questioning you for fun, trust me. We ask questions because we want to know about you and your journey, and we want to see where you are in your path.

Journaling is a common tool of reflection. Luckily, Kinmunity has a nifty little journal tool right on-site - the blog tool! You can use that, or you can use one of the many online journals, or you can have your own physical in-paper journal. Do what works for you. Write down when you experience something new, when you learn something new, and when you just feel compelled to write something down. This is a good way to have a personal record to reflect on, and an easy way to be able to look back on your personal development. It’s especially useful if you're trying to figure out your kintype.

Third: Try new things.

There's a saying that goes, “if the shoe fits, wear it.” But how do you know the shoe fits if you never try it on? You can measure up against the sole, sure, but in the end the only sure way to know if it fits is to try it on.

Kintypes are often the same way. Don't be afraid to look into different possibilities. You know you’re a quadruped, but you don't know what kind? Look into bears, try to see what they’re like. If that doesn't work, try horses.

That being said, when you find something that does work, don't stop. Keep looking, and don't discount anything. When you have multiple options to choose from, you can more accurately narrow it down.

Additionally, be aware that there may be more to your kintype. Using the same example of a quadruped, you could find that a horse fits you - but you might also find that about a centaur, a hippocampus, a Pegasus, a unicorn, and a donkey. Keep your mind open to all possibilities.

Final considerations

Ask people for help, advice, guidance or opinions if you want to, but always remember that we aren't you. We don't know what you feel, and ultimately the decision is yours.