It’s been quite a year.
Heartache. Joy. Extra-ordinary breakthroughs. Broken dreams. Loss and healing…
These themes rang through the conversations I’ve shared during the year.
What about you?
More than a roller coaster, though. I ended this year even more in awe at the power human beings have to heal and transform their lives and create a better world.
My take-away is deeper certainty in yours, mine, and our capacity to thrive in the challenges of an uncertain world.
Even so, I always find it helpful to approach a new year with a beginners mind.
A beginners mind is a Buddhist concept to describe an open, clear mind with no expectations or conclusions.
An open mind allows for inspired thought and fresh insights. And these translate into new possibilities and creative solutions.
With a curious mind, I sit and contemplate three questions.
Who am I?
What am I here for?
What matters most to me?
Here’s how to contemplate “Who am I?” To shed light on your path.
Who Am I?
- Take a piece of paper and pen.
- Write the question and your first response.
- Use one or two word answers.
- Keep an open mind.
- There is no right or wrong answer.
- Keep writing the question slowly, and record what occurs to you.
(You can also do this exercise with a friend. Have your friend ask you the question – respond with one or two words. Pause after each response.)
Usually, what springs to mind first are social roles. Sister, mother, business owner, teacher, artist, healer, son, manager……
These reflect the way we see ourselves in a worldly sense. After a minute or so you’ll run out of social roles.
But keep asking. Allow yourself to go deeper.
“Who Am I?” Is a depth sounder.
Just as a ship uses a depth sounder to find the deepest ocean passage. When we sink into the contemplation about who we are we tap into our essence.
What words arise when you go deeper?
The first time I did this exercise in this form was on a retreat led by Hale Dwoskin, teacher of the Sedona Method. For the first minute I responded with social roles.Then my mind went blank. So I responded with “blank”. After a few times of saying “blank” different words started bubbling up.
Love, Peace, Joy came to mind.
Initially I felt embarrassed. It seemed arrogant and pretentious to say I was love, peace or joy. But the more I simply said what came to mind, the more my thought generated objections quietened down and my heart opened.
Be guided by your soul
It’s one thing to hold a spiritual idea that all human beings are made of Love. But it’s a different experience altogether to say; “I am Love” as a Truth that arises from our core.
When we ask the question “Who am I?” Willing to write or say what arises without censoring. We plumb the depths of our being.
We move past the filters of our self image – the made up and often damning ideas we hold about ourselves – and allow our soul to speak.
From here our soul begins to navigate our life. It shows us where happiness comes from, improves our relaltionships and illuminates our work in the world.
The poet John O’Donohue put it like this.
“To enter into the gentleness of your own soul changes the tone and quality of your life. Your life is no longer consumed by hunger for the next event, experience or achievement. You learn to come down from the treadmill and walk on the earth. You gain a new respect for yourself and others and you learn to see how wonderfully precious this one life is. You begin to see through the enchanting veils of illusion that you had taken for reality. You no longer squander yourself on things and situations that deplete your essence. You know now that your true source is not outside you. Your soul is your true source and a new energy and passion awakens in you.”
As you approach the new year. Keep quietly asking; “Who am I?” with no expectations.
Let this question anchor your inner compass in the heart of your soul.
Deeper than your roles, deeper than your personal thinking about who you are, is your core of wisdom. And guided by your soul you transform your life andhank the world into Love’s image.
Thank you for your dedication to wake up and make a difference with your life.
This is my wish for you in 2017.
May your heart open.
To embrace Joy and Sorrow.
For your Yes and No to serve Love.
To feel the whispers of your Soul.