It’s a fair question, and to be honest, when I came into this work, it wasn’t a question that was on my mind. My focus was ‘is this a route to awakening?’ and ‘will this help my clients more?’. Whatever question is on your mind, have a read of this and see if what you’re actually looking for is who you really are.
I’m working with another coach in an organisation where we’re going straight to the heart of this conversation — exploring the questions of the eons: Who am I? What is reality? What’s the purpose of life?
When we live life deeply immersed in the content of life: relationships, jobs, daily challenges, parenting, elder caring, cars breaking down, house moves — it can seem futile, pointless and irrelevant to spend time asking who I am.
I’ve got a job to do! I’ve got responsibilities! What are we talking about this for?
Now, to be fair, these kinds of statements aren’t the outer impression I’m getting from the people we’re working with, they all appear to be engaging and trusting that we’re going on a journey to somewhere valuable. While also questioning and challenging what we’re offering to test it with their own experience. But I can well imagine the inner narrative — at least for some of the groups’ members, some of the time — will be saying these kind of things. It’s very normal.
So why would I care about who I really am? Why would I spend time on that when I’ve got this world of stuff in front of me that needs time and attention?
Let’s consider an analogy
Do you drive a car? Or truck. Or bike. Any vehicle that has an engine and moving parts, but I’ll stick with a car for this example.
Have you learnt how to drive a car? And does that mean you can get in pretty much any car and drive it? Filling the tank when needed, to keep going.
What about under the hood? Have you learnt enough that means you can fill up the windscreen wash and check the oil?
Now what about the tyres, or engine? If you got a flat could you change it yourself? If something went wrong in the engine would you be able to diagnose that and fix it?
And then what about the physics and engineering that goes into the design of a car: the aerodynamics, the materials to use for best performance and the interaction of those, the size of tyres that will match the weight and balance of the car?
Almost there, what about the source of those materials? Would you know where to go to source the metal for the body? Or the plastic for the dashboard? Do you know where they come from, and how they’re made, so that if you wanted to you could start or stop the production line?
How would it feel to know all this about a car? How it’s made, how it works best, as well as how to functionally drive it around day-to-day?
Did you notice that the further through this list you went, and therefore the more you know about a car, the more there’s a sense of freedom and empowerment, perhaps also peace and security, knowing you can look after the car entirely for yourself. You could go anywhere, be anywhere, and you could build yourself an entirely new car if ever that was needed.
Now bring this into being human
Do you know enough about being a human that means you get about pretty well in everyday life? You know you don’t know it all, and you have your down days, but you function alright and seem to be doing OK.
Physically do you know what the body needs and so do you know how to provide nutrition, water, sleep and exercise to keep it functioning well? And psychologically do you feel like you know how to ‘stay on an even keel’ — mindfulness, walks, creative projects, holidays, positive thinking, being with people and animals you love.
Now what about a deeper physical or psychological level? Do you know how to diagnose and heal or support appendicitis, or kidney stones, or cancer, or a heart attack? And psychologically, do you know how to change or reframe your thinking or emotions in order to change your mindset or attitude and get a different experience?
And then what about the equivalent of the engineering of a human? Do you know the mechanism of the human mind — what makes it a clunky, jerky ride, and what enables a smooth drive? How the different physical and psychological components each perform, and therefore how they come together best to formulate an enjoyable human experience?
Almost there…what about the source of thoughts, feelings and physical sensations? Do you know where to go to find their origin? Do you know where they come from, and how they’re made, so that if you wanted to you could start or stop the production line?
How did this example feel? I wonder whether you started to feel lost with the human example sooner than with the car?
Did you have a visual, conceptual handle on the components of a car, even if you didn’t know where to source them or how to put them together? Did you have a stronger sense with the car of ‘well, no, I don’t know the answer but I feel like I could find out and figure it out’? And could you easily see that, ‘yes, if I knew all that I’d feel alot more freedom’?
So isn’t that fascinating to you?
That you don’t have that same sense of knowing what being human is all about or perhaps even where to find out.
That your human experience is less well known, and less easily conceptualisable, than the experience of a car? That this ‘vehicle’ you’ve been driving around in all your life is understood less than a car.
That you have less of an idea of how your mind and body work best than you do of a hunk of inanimate metal.
That you know more about the source of metal and plastic than you do about the source of your own thoughts, feelings and sensations.
Don’t you find that fascinating? And that you’re not unique in this, by any stretch of the imagination!
And what if you knew that…
Knowing these things about yourself creates the same sense of freedom, empowerment, peace and security as knowing all that stuff about a car.
What if you knew that knowing the source of your experience, and how you work best, is the ultimate freedom in terms of being able to go anywhere, be anywhere; and that you can create yourself an entirely new experience if ever that was needed?
One last question…
Have you ever, or will you ever, know the world from anything other than this perspective here?
So wouldn’t you say it’s worth getting really clear on what this perspective is? To really understand this vehicle you’re driving round in so you have the full freedom and empowerment, peace and security of knowing who you really are and how you work.
Who are you, really?
With love, Helen
I’m writing a book just now about this very journey of awakening to who you really are. If you want to be on the insideto hear the latest about that here are 3 ways to do that: 1. Become a member — for the highest level of insider info. 2. Subscribe to my newsletter — for regular updates on the latest. 3. Subscribe on YouTube where I’ll share a few videos about the book as it gets ever-closer to publication.
I coach and guide smart, passionate, curious people who care about improving the lives of those around them. Often coaches and leaders, they’ve worked hard all their lives to be the ‘best’ them and it doesn’t seem to have delivered the happiness, security or freedom they expected. Now they’re wondering what else is available. I guide you back, prior to stories, to remember the real you because that’s what you, me and the whole world really wants! Find out more here.