Who are you?

When you ask that question in the silence, with an open heart to listen to your own response to the question, you might be surprised by the answers that come up.

The obvious answers arise. They stem from identity and identity often starts with ego. So as you ask the question, you would normally get a string of predictable answers. The ones you share socially on introduction on either a personal or professional basis. 

But this is just an internal dialogue, so let’s put those answers on a side burner for a moment and come back with something a bit more profound. Ask yourself some stimulating questions that are more personality centric, or belief centric, or philosophical in their approach. This time, the responses are a bit more profound.

Take a few minutes and sit with those responses. Then try a few of them and ask yourself: Why you are like this? Contemplate what your mind conjures for those answers, because at this stage of an internal dive you are getting to more of the reality of who you are than the superficial answers that came up at the top of the exercise.  Maybe go one step deeper and ask yourself if your upbringing were substantially different, would you still be the person you are today? If your parents came from an alternative economic bracket, or you were a different race or religion or grew up in another part of the planet, who would you be at this stage of your life?

I believe that as we go deeper into those personality-forming questions and we are honest with ourselves, we will discover that we are not as carved in stone as we might like to believe. Our consciousness is our being. In our consciousness we are prone to see the world through filters that have been stacked atop one another by virtue of some of the characteristics that I listed above. Those characteristics cannot help but shape our being and point us on a life path that reflects some of those options in who we become as a result.

So, in Lao Tzu’s statement…. The option of letting go of who we are, enables us to become what we might be. If we are imprisoned by some of what we are, then our choice of potentially allowing that to dissipate on a gradual basis empowers us to branch out and grow ever further into the being we truly wish to become. This is true in personality traits, life perspectives, and so much more.  

A brief example in my world that is small, but actually quite large. I love to express myself. That sounds positive. BUT… when I am feeling negative about something, I readily express that as well. Sometimes, that expression comes from a smart place and needs to be expressed, but it plays out in reverse as well. Sometimes that expression comes from a place of anger, frustration, resentment, or other uncalled for emotional response and the thoughts should not be expressed at all. All the training I have put myself through so that I am adept at expressing what I am thinking needs to be shut off instantly, and the best thing in the world for me at that moment is to just shut my mouth.

A simple detail like this has the ability to be life-changing in my world. Learning to control that is part of me becoming what I might be.  I bet if you go into the silence and try the exercise above, you will find one of your critical personality flaws as I have. Whether you have the strength to see it for what it is, and to evolve into whom you wish to become is entirely at your option.

You only have to let go of who you are, long enough to evolve into what you might become.

Happy Friday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!