Who Do You Think You Are?
February 8, 2012 7 Comments
This is a guest post from one of our loyal readers Alana Chirino
You can read her blog “thedefyant” @ http://thedefyant.wordpress.com/
We spend 1/3 of our lives asleep, dreaming, playing out made-up scenarios in our minds that occur in some other realm of consciousness.
Sometimes a dream can feel so real that we wake up still feeling whatever emotion we were experiencing while in this mysterious realm. We can wake up feeling extreme joy, sadness, anger, disappointment.
I’ve woken up many times from a bad dream in a panic, physically out of breath sometimes, and have had to remind myself that this body was just laying there that whole time and that my mind hallucinated the whole experience.
But it felt so real!
The other 2/3 of our lives we spend awake, thinking, planning, analyzing the past, criticizing the present, and/or daydreaming about the future. Never really content with where we are in our lives and thinking about what we should or shouldn’t be doing. even when we are content, we end up defining our self-worth in whatever it is that we think is making us happy at that moment and worrying about what will happen if and when it goes away. Let’s face it, nothing is this life, not this life itself, is permanent.
So who is it that is doing this constant thinking, this dreaming, this analyzing, this hoping, this searching?
Who is having these internal conversations, blabbering on and on about that thing that happened to me?
Who is having the imaginary conversation with someone else in my brain, planning what I’ll say when we finally have that confrontation I have been avoiding, or predicting what they will say when I finally get to tell them how I feel?
Playing out every possible scenario in my mind, like a dream, and dissecting actions and words that have yet to be done or said, and probably never will.
Who is it that is so attached to things in life that we know are fleeting?
Like our bodies, our social status, our material possessions, or even other people, and letting them define our state of mind… is that REALLY me?
Am I the voice in my head that talks to me all day, existing through this body, living on this planet?
Well, my brain is creating these thoughts, these voices, so am I my brain? my body is being controlled by my brain so am I my body?
We say I HAVE a brain and I HAVE a body, just like we say I have a car or a house. But when I am in my car that doesn’t mean I AM my car. Just like being in this mind and body doesn’t make me= my body or my brain. They are vehicles. But for what, for whom? Could this earth, this existence really be all there is? It’s like asking, “is it really ME in my dreams that is running for my life, or soaring through the air, or falling from the building?”
This “me” character that exists in our thoughts and dreams is just the ego, our minds projection of the image we create for ourselves in this level of human consciousness. it starts at birth, our thought patterns begin forming and we start identifying ourselves with these thoughts, so much so that we can actually become these thoughts. we are all born with the capability to be good/evil, smart/ dumb, positive/negative, all of the human qualities and dualities exist in all of us. depending on our circumstances and influences, the ego chooses which ones to identify itself with.
So what qualities have you chosen to identify yourself with?
Who do you think you are?
Are you a victim of circumstance or are you a go-getter? are you a door mat or are you the “stop at nothing to get what I want” kind of person?
Which role have you chosen to play this go-round?
The ego is very insecure and fragile, and it is terrified of losing the “identity” it’s created for us. It wants to believe that it is different and separate from everyone and everything else. It’s like a giant, violent wave that separates momentarily from the surface of the ocean believing that it’s actually a separate body of water from the calm ocean below it. The top of the wave is the ego, the bottom of the wave is the self and the vast ocean underneath is consciousness, or the source, where the true self was created and where we are all connected.
Carl Jung called this the collective unconscious. it’s where the wave was formed and where it goes once it crashes back down on the surface.
We all have the ability to tap into that source but are unable to because we are too caught up in the egos daily dramas of human life.
We live in a delusion, which leads us onward in the expectation of finally achieving happiness and contentment. it’s like a carrot dangling in front of a donkey, pulling a heavy load yet continuing forward in hopes to someday reach that carrot. but the carrot will always remain a few feet ahead, and the load gets heavier and heavier. We are so busy planning our futures, waiting for that day when we finally achieve that goal and everything will suddenly become better, that we don’t appreciate what we have in the present.
Lao Tsu said “to know that you have enough is to be rich.” There will always be a dangling carrot and a load to carry until we make the shift in our minds and decide that everything is perfect RIGHT NOW.
Whenever I catch myself wrapped up in thought, analyzing, obsessing over something trivial, another voice comes in. It kind of laughs at my little ego’s thoughts and says “when will you learn to just be quiet?”
It reminds me that this moment, right now, is all that REALLY matters because it’s all that ACTUALLY exists. Suddenly it all goes away, the stress, the fear. one of my teachers always says that most fear is really just the anticipation of a future event which most of the time never actually happens.
Presence of mind absolves fear.
When you start thinking about “what if this or that happens to me?
What will I do then?”
Just ask yourself:
1. What am I stressing out about?
2. Is this happening to me right now?
3. Is there anything that I can do about it right now?
I’ve found that the answer is usually no.
If there’s nothing I can do about it right now, in this moment, then why am I thinking about it?
Why am I preparing myself for something bad to happen that might never happen?
It’s such a waste of energy. people can waste their whole lives, worrying about things they cannot control. the only thing you can control is your own mind and the thoughts you create.
Focus on your breath and let it all go.
Suddenly you start to notice and appreciate the things around you. Like the feeling of the sun on your skin, or the color of the flowers on that beautiful tree, or that song playing in the background, or the smell of fresh air. you can find peace of mind and contentment of heart in focusing on the beauty that surrounds you.
“You should listen to your heart, not the voices in your head” -Marge Simpson
I know to most people this sounds like a bunch of new-age nonsense but it makes more sense to me than any religion or anti-religion beliefs I have heard. it’s neither, it’s just a way of thinking, or actually not thinking so much. Looking at the body, the world, and the universe we live in as being the same thing, reflections of each other. because when you break it down, and I mean really break it down, it is actually science.
“Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
Albert Einstein said that ”spirit manifest in the laws of the universe” and also believed in a “God who reveals Himself in the harmony of all that exists.” A physicist. not a new-age, self-help author or public speaker, or a guru. a man who dedicated his life to science and mathematics. to discovering how everything works.
He is quoted as saying ”Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious.” And to that I say, AMEN.
You create your own version of the universe in this body, in this life. so what have you created for yourself so far?
Are you happy with this version of you?
If not, then change it.
It’s really that easy. stop identifying yourself with the bad qualities you no longer want. you are not those things. You were not born that way. We are born with clean slates. decide who you want to be and then go out and be it!
I decided 4 months ago that I wanted to start a blog, so I just sat down and started typing.
Now I’m a blogger.
I decided that I want to be a yoga instructor.
I could have said, “well I can’t afford to pay for the tuition so I guess I’ll never be able to do it” cause I really couldn’t afford it.
I was determined and I found a way.
Now I am doing teacher training at Earth’s Power Yoga in Los Angeles and will be certified in a few months.
When we want something, there is always a way to get it. It’s not always easy, there will be obstacles to overcome, but if you are determined enough, you can have anything you desire.
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”