This is part one of a series featuring the Five Essential Life Skills.
Through the course of over 20 years of personal and spiritual growth study and my own personal work, I have identified five essential life skills that are critical for creating a joyful life and healthy relationships—with your loved ones, coworkers, yourself, and with Spirit. The steps are: remembering who/what you really are, self-observation, letting go, realigning with your authentic self, and choosing actions in alignment with who you are and what you want. Over the next few weeks I will explain more fully each of these skills, beginning now with Step One—remembering who/what you really are.
In my experience, your true essence is one and the same as Spirit’s essence. We think we are the ego—our personality, our body, our looks, our roles, our jobs–when in actuality, we are Spirit—loving, lovable, creative, wise, compassionate, forgiving, adventurous, capable beings who have egos, personalities, bodies, roles, and jobs. The challenge is that most of us either forget this about ourselves, or we never knew it in the first place. Thus for some, “remembering” who/what you really are may actually seem more like “discovering” who/what you are for the very first time.
Merely setting the intention of discovering this aspect of our selves sets Step One into action. The more you pay attention and look for the evidence, the more likely you will be to start noticing the signs of spirit at play. The signs may show up in serendipitous moments during which you are surprised by your intuition’s accuracy, or the manifestation of something you were just thinking about, or a prophetic dream, or the clear answer to a prayer. It may show up in your talents or creativity or problem solving abilities or with a great idea. A sense of who you really are may emerge when sitting quietly in nature or in a moment of clarity or laughter.
Our authentic selves are always with us, trying to serve us, and when we have a moment of getting out of our own way, we are able to experience this aspect of ourselves. I call it “Divine Indigestion”—that gnawing feeling that magic is in the air, that there is something more to life, and more to each of us than what meets the eye.
Scuba diving is a great metaphor for this in that no matter how rough the surface conditions of the sea are, if you just drop down a few feet below the surface, a diver is treated to calm and tranquil waters. From this vantage point, the diver can look up and see the surface and watch the waves breaking above—without being a part of the chaos. Our true essence is the same. No matter how much drama we have going on in our lives—love problems, money or health challenges, work issues—simultaneously our spirit is calm, connected and capable. Our spirits are unaffected by our ego dramas.
The Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth is also a great reminder of who we are, and I believe a blueprint of the human experience. Just like the labyrinth, we all have a sacred center—still, unwavering, peaceful, connected. We all also have the chaotic qualities of the twists and turns that cause us to feel lost, even though we are not. Our sacred center is surrounded by our love drama, money drama, health drama, etc., and we get so caught up in the ego-dance that we forget (or fall asleep) to the memory of our true essence—the sacred center, our sacred center.
When we become adept at recognizing the true essence of our beings, we also become adept at recognizing that which is not us. It is said that when Michelangelo was asked how he managed to carve the statue of David out of a huge block of marble, he explained that he simply visualized David and then carved away everything that was not David.
Getting to know ourselves as divine spirits having a human experience allows us the opportunity to begin to “carve away” everything that does not truly belong to us, and that which doesn’t truly serve us.
How do we get to know this authentic aspect of who we are? Through self-observation—which is the second step and the focus of my next blog post. If you want a head start, simply begin to pay attention to the difference between who you really are and who you pretend to be. Notice your self-talk. Notice what you say to yourself and to others, as well as how you say it. Notice the blessings and gifts that are bestowed upon you daily. Notice your talents and creative abilities. Notice your feelings. Sit in silence and simply listen. Invite your true essence to come forward and create the space for It to do so. You just may be pleasantly surprised.
Intellectual Foreplay Question: Who are you?
Eve's Love Tip: When you think you are a sinner, it is natural for you to sin. When you know you are a divine being, you hold yourself to a higher standard.