Who are you to not be who you are? Why do you think you are here in the first place?
Most of us spend a good amount of time in our lives trying to figure out who we are. We try different activities, we explore different hobbies and we wait for something to grab us. So, what if it doesn't?
|"Safe" by Kaci Florez|
acrylic on canvas
Well one way to know is if you are still living with a sense of suffering within your own life. Are you discontent, do you feel resentment, do you feel helpless, do you lack joy? What you are actually doing and what it looks like are not the point. How you fit into what you are actually doing is the point. Meaning, a completely self-realized human being might be scrubbing toilets for a living and be joyful and grateful for their life while a completely lost soul might be living in an oceanfront mansion and be ridden with anger, pain, greed and jealousy. Your circumstances do not determine your True Self.
In order to find out who you really are, here are a couple simple solutions and tactics:
1. Give yourself some quiet time
Turn off the computer. Turn off the television. Set the phone down (no texting!). Turn off your mind! (Or at least don’t engage with it.) Go to a place where you can be alone and just be quiet. In this place where no electronics are present, the biggest challenge to finding peace is probably your mind. It is common that your mind is the loudest of all these devices So how do you quiet it? Or at least get past the hoards or information it is giving you? Here are 3 suggestions. You pick the one that resonates with you:
- Think only of your breathe. Think of the inhales or exhales as they are happening.
- Pick a chant or affirmation to repeat over and over. (ex. "I feel love and am loved" or "I am safe and at peace")
- Ommmmm. Say long deep “om”s over and over. Feel how they create a vibration in your body. Pay attention to how they feel on your lips. Just be there with your “Om".
In your quiet time consider setting an alarm so you don’t have to think about how long you have been there. If you are on a schedule, the alarm will help you be in the present moment rather worrying about missing your next appointment. When you are new, 5 minutes may feel like more than enough time. As your ability to sit still and quiet lengthens, give yourself more time in this place
2. Move your body freely
Dance, run, go for a brisk walk, swim. While all of these can be very choreographed or technique oriented, I recommend giving yourself the space to do them freely. Instead of worrying about how “good” you are doing or how fast you are going, think about the movements. Get in touch with your body and how it feels. Movement helps to unlock some beautiful feelings of freedom and joy.
3. Give yourself a "Me Day”
This means you will only do things you WANT to do. You will not do anything that does not feel good. If you have a family or people depending on you I suggest picking a day that you can put all responsibilities off on someone else such as a spouse or coworker. The day of a big pitch at work is not the day to do this. Neither is your son’s birthday. I find “Me Days" to be best when done alone. This way I am not concerned that I have picked the wrong restaurant or the wrong movie. I am not worried that I am boring anyone if all I want to do is sleep all day.
When you give yourself the opportunity to do what you want, you begin to see the gap between who you are and who you are trying to be.
To give you some perspective on how this may affect/improve your life: Observe the people you surround yourself with and you will probably see 2 different types: There are the people who find themselves caught in the same painful cycles of uncertainty or discontent over and over. And there are the people who are flowing through life’s ups and downs while growing and evolving in the process. (There actually is a third group of people who bounce between these two groups for a while before picking one). The difference between the two main groups can be found in their comfort level with practicing the three exercises above. At first it is normal for quiet time, getting in touch with your body and having a "Me Day"to be uncomfortable and even painful (hence the middle group). But with practice comes ability and then comes grace.
If we are ever going to find out who we truly are, Step One is to START listening to the Truth within.