A theme which continues to bombard my mind, heart, and soul for the last few months has been “Who I Am” versus “What I Am” – the latter a measuring tool defined by society. No matter where I go, there are labels, the categorization of a person, often based on outside appearance, job title, where we live, what we drive, our financial portfolio, etc… None of these things are bad or wrong, unless on the journey “Who I Am” gets lost.
Today is November 1st, 2017, in twenty days I will have officially been without a “traditional job” for a year. November 21st, 2016 I lost my job as an Optical Specialist, I was told “I did not fit in”, “Was not willing to push the sales”. Just three days before Thanksgiving, it eased my employers bank account, he would not have to pay me holiday pay for Thanksgiving or Christmas. That fateful day, was one of the biggest gifts in my life. It pushed me off the cliff into the vast creative space of my dreams and visions. I sit here today marveling at how miracles along the way have lifted and carried us (my children and I) through so much – the people who touched our lives and continue to on this journey, literally take my breath away.
During the last seven months I have been given an intense opportunity to truly feel into “Who I Am” versus “What I Am”, coming up against the choice to choose myself and what gives me life. I was blessed to try on new ways of being, living life as never before. I got to enjoy a period of time with no alarm clock and no chaotic racing around; it was a period of being taken care of by another. However, in this mix came the push pull of “Who I Am”, for much of how I lived and what I had traversed in my life got put under a microscope. Finally, I sat down with myself and asked that deep question, “Who Am I”, no matter who is in my life, no matter what I am doing, no matter where I live, etc…, “Who Am I” always? To NOT be these things is to cut off my air and bury me underground.
My “Who I Am” list:
I love people – no matter their walk of life, history, story, etc…
I must be my truth in all moments -my life is an open book, no secrets, just vulnerable open truth.
I am kind and compassionate – seeking to hear and understand another’s story, to walk in their shoes.
I forgive – I forgive myself and I forgive all others.
I shall always take sincere care of my body, mind, and spirit – nurturing them with gratitude, respect, and care.
I get to offer the safe place for people to be their truth without judgment – respectfully offering boundaries to honor all involved.
During the last seven months I had many moments where aspects of who I am were challenged, judged, and criticized. I willingly explored, I took the chance to view from another perspective, perhaps I am wrong, maybe there are things I should change? As I got further away from “Who I Am”, I found it difficult to feel pure joy. My whole being screamed! Walking this new path gave me the chance to truly see from another perspective, to view the world more concretely and harshly. There were immense gifts in the journey, powerful growth, and intense learning.
As I visit with people and work with people in groups and one on one I experience that many people can easily identify “What I Am” – I am a mom, an employee, a tennis player, board member, health nut, etc… It is how we converse with one another, especially when we first meet. The “Who I Am” is much more difficult and for some they have never thought about it. Who are you, no matter what? What drives you from within? How do you show up everywhere you go? Having the profound chance to lose “Who I Am” for brief moments brought me more powerfully home to my true self. I became acutely aware that I could not look in my mirror and feel good about how I was living my life. My spark, joy, and loving way of being was being covered up with judgment, criticism and categorizing. I chose to come home to me, the weights lifted, the lights came on, the joy and love gushed forth. I felt full in my own skin again, as though I had a full spa treatment.
I learned through intensity that I must be “Who I Am” it is my life rudder. Until I had traveled a different path, I did not know how ingrained it is within my very being. I have to be these things, they are who I am. The “What I Am” is a tool others use to pigeon hole me, to judge, to limit and define. It has been incredible to feel the difference between these two, to reflect on my life and see the impacts along the way in all my relationships – work, friends, family, intimate partners… I ask you, what is your “Who I Am”, I don’t really care that much about your “What I Am” – for me I want to get to know the “Who You Are”, for that’s what I truly connect with and love.
Until tomorrow, I bid you adieu – A.C.T. (always choose truth – your personal truth) …. Be the truth of “Who You Are” from within!