Most often we answer this question depending on the mirror in which we’re looking, (aka the person in front of which we’re standing). What will they want to hear? How do they perceive me? What will make sense to their lens? Lots of assuming about the way we’re received, rather than taking the time to investigate our inner-selves.
Today I am going to give you four exercises to help you start answering this existential question of, “Who am I?” And, before we get started, in case you haven’t read “How to find yourself through relationships,” I would check that out!
- Awareness of space and time
To answer this question, we want to consider where we are in space and time. This makes the question much simpler, right? Technically, you’re an earthling, inhabiting planet Earth in this galaxy in the year 2020. You’re probably laughing, but we have to start somewhere. Where are you from on earth? The midwest? Out of town? Out of the United States? You might identify as an Australian, or an immigrant. But, is that who you are, really? It’s a start.
As far as time goes, how long have you been on the planet? Are you a child? Adult? Young adult? These basic notions help us understand ourselves at times — especially if we feel older than we are, or younger than our age; we can tune into that feeling by acknowledging our technical age and then expressing how we feel at heart. “I’m 60, but 32 at heart,” my friend says.
Gender is a topic for another time, but it can apply here. I choose not to discuss it in this article because each of us, regardless of gender, has a balance of masculine and feminine energy; and if it feels important, or an aspect of one of those energies stands out to you, you may identify as “super feminine” or “strong masculine” as far as your energy. Your energy is you 🙂
- Understanding of your life line
If your life was a graph, starting at 0, and as time moved on x axis representing the older you get, the y axis would represent high or low points in your life. Maybe the beginning of your life was a challenge and a struggle, with lower vibration feelings. Maybe in your 20s it got better and the line steeping increased? Knowing your life line is understanding the events you’ve been through and how you feel about them. Perhaps you may identify as a “survivor” of something, or someone in despair if you are struggling right now. But, from our lifeline we can see what we’ve been through and what we’re capable of overcoming, the joys we’ve experienced and the enlightening instances that make us who we are.
- Understanding your traumas/the lessons from them
In a similar vein as the life line, in this step, we take things a bit deeper. Anytime we go through something traumatic, it shifts our energy and perspective like two tons of bricks hitting you. And the impact can stick. With its stickiness, we can start believe we are our trauma, or we are handicapped by something that is unchangeable. To the extent that you can get to know your trauma, it’s impact and believe in how you want to change or have changed from the impact, you will learn more about your soul and its unique mission here. For, if there were no purpose, you wouldn’t have gone through the trauma to come out stronger. How have your traumas impacted your soul?
- How are you (in each life category)?
Ahh the age old question we tend to keep surface-level…. “How are you?”
I get it, sometimes the bus driver doesn’t need to know we’re going through a break-up, barely surviving debt, or just lost our job and feel sad. However, when we avoid the question within ourselves, it’s only to our detriment. If the question of who are you is hard to answer, start with how are you? Ask yourself.
Career: how are you in your career? Driven? Focused? Excited? Many people sometimes identify with their career, which is one easy way to make sense of yourself to the world. But, Read on to the next 6, because there is more to you than your job. But, if your passion turned into a business, your career may make up a large sense of who you are, as you serve your soul’s purpose through your business.
Money: There is also more to you than money 🙂 How are you with money? Good, bad or neutral? How you are being with money today doesn’t mean it’s who you are, by the way. But, if how you are with money today doesn’t feel good, what you decide to be with money in the future and work towards, will show you who you are.
Family: are you a “family guy?” Are you at odds with your siblings? Why? That is a clue about who you are today, that you may not want to be tomorrow. You may value family regardless or arguments, disagreements, etc. Those of us with strong family ties will glean a sense of ourselves through our family lens. You have lineage, too; that is inextricable. Thus, who you are is partially from your lineage– we cannot deny it. The good news is, who we are is ever-changing. Thus, if you want to be a family guy someday, that is who you are. Your desires are also who you are. Partnership falls in this category as well. Thus, if you are partnered you may answer that you are a married woman, or a in partnership.
The way in which we share who we are is also how we communicate our values. What we are pursuing or passionate about in life is usually what we’re more apt to share up front. But who. we. (really). are. is so much more than that. It’s everything. We are everything.
Spirituality: What do you believe in? This is also a way to communicate who you are. In fact, for centuries religion was THE way we communicated who we were. Christian? Ok, protestant or baptist? There were fewer important details shared except maybe lineage or trade. Today things aren’t so black and white, thus what you believe can be as unique to yourself and the world as the DNA in your body.
Physical body: how is your body? Is it a comfortable home? Does it match your soul? (Click here and read about embodiment coaching if your answer was “no.”). Our bodies are not who we are per se, but how we are doing impacts who we are at times, and thus, understanding this relationship will help us know who we are. In fact some people make their body acceptance their career as body-image teachers!
Emotional/mental: are you an empath? Are you an introvert? Class clown, perhaps? Our mindset controls our perspective, including the perspective on ourselves. How we are emotionally with ourselves and others is absolutely a part of who we are. Our tenacity, our relentlessness, our heart.. it’s all a part of what makes us who we are.
Social/Service/ Community: How are you in groups? That may help you understand who you are! Are you a leader? A helper? An enthusiastic social butterfly? There are personality type tests you can take to help get to know yourself a little better especially as it involves you plus others. My favorite test, one I have all my clients take is the Enneagram test. However, the Human Design Test (podcast on it here) which is based in astrology is highly interesting and spot on as far as type, definition, key to life and more. Email me if you want to take a deeper dive on this (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, if you have the time and patience to study your astrology chart, it can be very insightful; you could also spend a little money to have a reading done.
The good news is that Who You Are is fluid. We are all made of stardust when you break it down, but getting to know our soul often takes some digging, in stillness with a guide or time to contemplate. No wonder this is such a hard question!
If you take one other thing today, besides knowing that we are constantly evolving who we are is this: give yourself permission to let go of any shame or guilt around who you’ve been. You have permission to blank slate yourself every day you wake up. You decide who you are. I hope these steps have helped.
If you’d like a clarity consultation, please reach out here: email@example.com