Who Am I??

Nov 26, 12 Who Am I??

That darned ‘Who Am I’ question plagues a lot of people.  If you’ve been doing a lot of yoga, meditating or, are on the verge of a spiritual awakening, the search for the answer to this question can become even more intense.  Yoga instructors are always telling me to ‘relax and be with yourself’ and most meditations try to refer to my ‘true’ or ‘inner self’.  But who the heck IS that?   I’ve had trouble with this question for some time…

Who Am I?  Dianne Keaton!

I always wanted to be like Dianne Keaton. (Yes, even as a teenager :S) I thought she was classy, stylish, funny and intelligent. Clearly everything a girl should want to be!

Journal entries from my early 20′s have lots of lists in them.  They were characteristics that I thought I should embody.  I figured it made sense to create a ‘goal self’ and work towards it.  I would write down that I wanted to be described as classy, polite, witty and intelligent.  A male friend of mine once told me I had ‘moxie’ and I dug that (it went on my list!).  I am also a mom now – to 3 kids – and that too was a pretty well-defined label that I could put on myself.  The only problem, was a nagging feeling that something was missing from this growing answer. I mean,  no matter how well I refined this bio – it never really described ALL of me.

Several months ago, this all came to a head as I was listening to a guided meditation that kept asking me who I was.  And this well-constructed list: classy, intelligent mom of three – with moxie – became cumbersome as my mind struggled to list all the right words.  My thoughts drifted from the meditation as I wondered if I should be picturing my face? Frustration bubbled up when realized that I had totally lost all focus and concentration.  A sense of sadness crept in.  How can I be 31 years old and not feel like I know who I am?  (Thankfully at that point the dog needed out and I was off the hook – clearly it was not the right time to meditate…)  But the sense of sadness stayed with me.

Then came one of those coincidences that Deepak Chopra likes to talk about all the time.  You know when all of a sudden the universe is so obvious it feels scripted?  I was watching a YouTube video by Sudevi Nithyananda and all of a sudden she went of on this tangent and said: “When you are meditating and you ask yourself ‘Who Am I’, know that you are not the words. Any language you hear – that is not what you are.  You are the silence.”  And that was it.  The click was practically out loud.  I am the silence.

Listen to that silence….

The possibilities of this were obvious at once.  This entire time I had been fighting a battle with human language.  I was limiting the very description of myself to phonetics! I am one of God’s most perfect creatures (I assure you! LOL!) and here I was trying to explain that using a cumbersome silly language that only has one word for LOVE.  As soon as I became the SILENCE, my identity could be a concept, a feeling, a sense of peace even.  This was way better material to work with.

Unfortunately, when we try to tell ourselves who we are, we are simultaneously creating a list of what we are NOT.  And this had been my trouble for the past 30 years.  If I say that I am intelligent, I deny the fact that I am often completely ignorant.  If I say that I am classy, I am denying the fact that I can be a complete hot mess!  And so the description of self – feels false. It is never complete enough.  In this way, the more language, and descriptive words we use, the more we limit ourselves.  When I listen to the silence, I stop TELLING the universe what I consist of, and instead I just accept what I am.  I can feel like I am everything.  And that is just grand enough for me. :)

A very talented guru once told me, that when I am stressed out, I should ask myself ‘Who Am I’ and the answer will help ground me and allow me to move forward.  Prior to this revelation, this strategy had not worked very well.  But he was right, because now when I ask Who Am I,  I feel the silence.  I know that I am that.  I am a sense of peace.  I am…

Try it.