A few years ago I was introduced to a meditation that practices a daily reflection on ‘who am I’. It’s not meant to provide any answers, only to help you become more aware of the many facets of who you are. We each have many different personas. For example, when I ask the question ‘who am I’, the answer is multi-layered. I’m a mother, wife, adult, daughter, sister, friend, executive, creative, lover, etc,. The list could go on and on. The exercise teaches us that we are all of these labels and none of them. Each aspect captures just a fraction of who I truly am. And depending on a given situation I may show up differently. Each label is a construct of society to describe someone’s behavior or personality. Thereby making them more familiar or relate-able.
I realized that by allowing myself to succumb to a given label, I am ignoring the rest of who I am. For example, in a business meeting my adult, corporate executive self is front and center. This doesn’t always enable me to be open to the wonders and possibilities that my child self might see and be open to exploring. Or my coach, teacher self may have a better way of presenting ideas than the factual adult. By limiting how I’m showing up, I’m limiting the possibilities and opportunities.
The meditation practice goes further by asking ‘what is my purpose’. With this question, many things can come up on a daily basis. My purpose can be the same from day to day or it may change depending on what is happening in my life at the time. What I found by doing this exercise over a period of time is that my overall purpose is to live a life full of joy and abundance. That can come in many guises. It could be as simple as spending a relaxing afternoon at home with my husband and bulldogs. Or it could be as tactical as delivering the most outstanding presentation and really wowing a client.
There are other aspects to the meditation practice, however for the purposes of this blog, I’m only emphasizing these two. The reason is that by understanding that we are multi-layered, complex beings that have malleable purposes in life, we realize that we are truly multi-dimensional beings and that by only recognizing one label at a time we are doing a disservice to ourselves and those we are interacting with. However, by acknowledging that we are multi-faceted and truly appreciating all the dimensions of our personas we can begin to show up in the world in a more authentic way and see the wonders and infinite possibilities that await us.