An owl, sitting in a tree outside my bedroom, window awoke me this morning. The clock told me that it was 4:23 which is a perfectly good time for owl talk and close enough to when I normally get up. The owl had asked me the age old question of, “Who?” I find the early morning a good time for introspection.
Who we are is the riddle we are all faced with in life.
I have taught meditation for years and have instructed my students how to first still their minds and then turn to the focus. The focus should be something simple. Your mind will tend to wander but you learn to recognize the object of the wanderings as a distraction, push it aside, and then return to your focus. Doing this time and again helps to train your mind and still the squirrel cage most people live with. With a chattering mind, it is difficult to accomplish much.
Back to the question of, “Who am I?”
Often people will respond to that query by identifying with their profession. At different times in my life I would have answered by saying that I was a soldier, a salesman, a correctional officer, a health care practitioner, a chef, an instructor, an artist, a writer, a public speaker, a counsellor and a number of other things. Counselling and writing have been my main professions but I had many hoops to jump through first.
In reality, those are things I did, the “whats” of my life; they are not “who” I am. How I made a living changed many times, who am I never has. The only thing that has changed in that regard is my understanding of it.
I live on the edge of a forest and have heard the owls repeat the “Who” question on countless occasions. In my head, I have turned to it many times more. When we come to understand the answer to this question, we also grasp the “why” of life.
I know I am getting pretty deep here but it is a question we all face. We can choose to ignore it but it will emerge again when the next owl comes into your life.
The answer usually comes in a series of revelations – some minor and some major. Near death experiences bring them on but don’t get anxious looking for that solution. I have had quite a number of those, mostly through my foolishness. Understanding will happen when it is supposed to, usually in a number of “aha” moments.
Improving your internal communication skills will help you to discover who you are. My daily focus is on peace of mind, purpose and direction in my life. Everything else is a distraction. To achieve peace of mind, I had to let go of thoughts of anger, resentments and judgment. Once the mind is calm, the answers to all your questions will be much easily be understood.
Negative self-talk, criticism, anger, and all other fear-related actions cloud our vision preventing us from finding our true path in life. They made my life miserable for many years, but no longer. Making a lot of noise trying to impress others can drown out your inner voice, the one which will guide you to your destiny.
Don’t be in a rush. You don’t need to “find yourself” by the end of the week. Just watch and listen to what feels true. You are a remarkable person with a lot to offer. Let it happen!
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
― C.G. Jung
This is an updated post from September 20, 2014