Saturday, November 12, 2011

Does your identity help or hinder you?

I've just returned from an inspiring weekend with my community of friends who practice The Work of Byron Katie. We meet once a month for focused self inquiry and enjoying the company of one another.

What is your "Identity"?

What do you identify yourself with? How do you describe yourself? Does this create a sense of stress or joy in your life?

We explored the various ways in which the roles, feelings and thoughts we identify with may be causing us undo stress. Funny how the most basic of identities e.g. "I am a woman", when consciously questioned, can bring up a mixed bag of feelings. Questioning thoughts, also allows for questioning feelings.

Are you really who you think you are?

Who is it who decides what you think? Parents? Society? Schools? Friends? Media? There are so many influences within which we are raised. We are influenced by those around us. Yet it is we who decide how we think.

Let's look at two children in the same household, who experience similar experiences. Each will interpret it differently. For example, my parents limited the amount of time that my brother and I could watch television. They gave us each one hour a week to choose the program we each wanted to watch. I was more of a book worm... one program a week was plenty for me. I never developed a heavy television habit. I actually threw my television out in the late 1980's preferring to live directly in life's drama.

My brother, on the other hand, went to the opposite direction. He wanted more television. In fact, he ended up going into television production on a professional basis.

Same household, same parents, same situation... two totally different outcomes.

Is your identity helping or hindering your progress?

As we inquired more deeply into these basic assumptions e.g. I am a woman, I am my parents daughter, my brother's sister etc... I unearthed a long held belief that "If I speak and live my truth, I will be nailed on the cross". I asked someone to ask me the four basic questions which helped me to take an objective look at a basic belief that has been running inside of me for what seems like a million lifetimes.

This deeply rooted fear has kept me from fully giving the gifts I have to give and hindered me from fully enjoying the fruits of my labor. When I turned the sentence around to look at it from a different perspective, I was astounded to see that: When I speak and live my truth, I will be safe and supported.

So, I am hereby publicly claim my intent to speak and live my truth. Writing this post is one example of that. Committing to make more music is another. It's time that I come out more fully. Expect to be hearing more from me in the near future. I have alot to share.

What about you? How does your identity help or hinder you? Leave a comment below...

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