Who Are You, Really?


Welcome to this week’s wisdom for the Inner and Outer You.

I have been spending a lot of time outside this past week, from cutting the grass, to planting our garden and running almost every day. I love to feel the sun shining down on my face as I run. With the breeze from running it’s a great feeling to have such exposure to the elements. Of course not too long in the sun or you end up with sun burn which isn’t healthy. As I was running this week, I was looking at all the trees and how full they are now with new life. I especially love the weeping willow trees and how long their branches with leaves droop downward, as if they were showing off their full head of hair. Running by I could hear many different birds perched on tree branches singing away with their special songs, sounding so much louder than their little bodies would appear to muster. There are points on my run, or when I am gardening or cutting the grass that I am so mindfully engaged into the activity that…there is no yesterday and no tomorrow not even a today. There is only the sweet essence of right NOW. I feel blessed almost selfish to enjoy such moments. As I said in one of my facebook posts, “There is no substitute for peace of mind”

This week’s post is an excerpt from my book, Memoirs of a Wandering Ninja. This particular piece is from chapter 3 – The Inner You.

I would like to remind everybody that my last seminar for the summer will be held on June 14th.  This is an awesome seminar for discovering your inner potential and learning how to deal with fear. So many people are inhibited by fear others are even paralyzed because of it. Once you learn how to use your mind in a certain way then you realized fear does not have much of a hold on you as it would like you to believe! I will show you exactly how to accomplish this in the Break Through and Succeed Seminar in June. You owe it to yourself to take part it this and have your family take part in it too! Just click on the seminar title above and it will take you to where you can find out more information. I look forward to seeing you there.

Please enjoy this week’s post titled: Who Are You, Really?.


                   Who Are You, Really?

Who Am I?

When you’re first born, you know little, but you quickly learn that when you’re hungry and you cry out somebody comes and feeds you. If your diapers are soiled and your skin becomes irritated, you vocalize your displeasure and somebody comes and takes the irritation away. If you want attention, you cry, and someone comes and holds you.  As you get older, you observe people smiling and making funny sounds and you learn to smile and make funny sounds. You learn that there are labels associated in identifying everyone and everything. Your name and the people you see all the time have labels and so do the things around you: mommy, daddy, doggie, bed, hungry, toy, etc. You learn that you are a boy or a girl. Boys learn to play with cars and soldiers, and girls learn to play with Barbie dolls and miniature kitchen sets. You see people moving around and you emulate their movement. You crawl at first, then you walk. And once you are ambulant, you notice people opening doors and things, so you do the same with cupboards, boxes, and some things that (you quickly learn) might get you in trouble.

Before much time goes by, you realize people are communicating with each other, so you begin to say words. You also notice how things are said. When you’re doing something that somebody doesn’t want you to do, they say “No, don’t do that!” And so you learn to speak that way, even copying the tone in which it was said.

You continue to learn more specificity, like how you’re called “a kid” sometimes, while other times you’re “a messy kid” or “a loud kid” or “a funny kid.” You may be a “good student” sometimes and a “bad student” otherwise. Then there are religious labels: Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh or even “non-religious.” You’re a nationality: Canadian, American, Chinese, Indian, Israeli, Japanese, etc. Your driver’s license confirms many of your labels, and makes it available for the police!

Then there are the social labels, some good, some bad: slob, lazy, and stupid or bothersome, but being called smart or pretty is nice. You may like being an athlete, a lawyer, an electrician, a graphic artist, or a soldier.

Got The Promotion!

After enough of the growing process you begin to identify “who you are” with what youhave been told about yourself, and your experiences in life can shape your core perception of your identity. For example, if you lose your job, your marriage, and your house, you might identify with the idea of being a loser. If  a number of bad things happen repeatedly, you can come to believe the worst about yourself. Conversely, if you get a promotion, find a wonderful person to spend your life with, and move into a mansion with the love of your life, you may mentally identify yourself as a winner. And why shouldn’t you identify and believe such things? After all, that’s who you are, isn’t it?

Yes and no.

In a relative way, “you” take on these labels, names and identities at different times and stages in your life, but are they truly you? The fact is, any of these things can change; they are subject to the Four Ancient Insights. You can go from being a Christian to a Hindu or from a Hindu to a Christian. You can be a iron worker and then change and become a computer programmer. You can go from being a winner to a loser or a loser to a winner. You can even go from being male to female or female to male in this age of medical miracles.

So who is the real you?

                   Lights, Camera, Action! Ready to Play Your Part?

What are these things that you have identified yourself with? They are part of what Lao Tzu called the 10,000 things. They are part of leela, the great dance of life, simply all just different dances. It was very well-expressed by William Shakespeare when he wrote:

“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.” (As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII)

We all have roles to play, and they have guidelines, so we act in accordance with them, as an actor or actress acts out a script which defines their role. We go through stages in life: we make entrances onto the stage (we’re born); play a role (baby, child, Hindu, computer programmer etc.); and then we exit (die).

We act out our roles and put on the masks again and again. The repetition does a very convincing job in telling us who we are. When we spend so much time in our life roles, it’s not hard to identify with, believe, and become emotionally invested in them. Yes, there are common factors. We all want security. We want love. We want money. We want to have a lot of things, but before we can “have” we have to “do” – that is, take specific actions to acquire the things we want. Often we have to “be” a different person to have what we want, and the way we have to be is not the way we are inside; rather, it’s the way others want us to be.

           “One develops a false sense of self in order to survive. After years of acting, performing and pretending, one loses the sense of who one really is … One’s True Self is numbed out!” — John Bradshaw

When you stop for a moment and be still, you get a sense of something else. Behind all of your conditioned identifications, beliefs and emotional investments, you can get a sense of the real “who you are” that doesn’t change. You discover the you that is unconditioned and original: your True Self.

Note: Excerpt above is from Terry Hodgkinson’s book: Memoirs of a Wandering Ninja, Walking the Path of Enlightenment

 Quote for the week:

      “The Art of Peace is medicine for a sick world. There is evil and disorder in the world, because people have forgotten that all things emanate from one source. Return to that source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger. Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.” — Morihei Ueshiba, Founder/Master Aikido


About Terry Hodgkinson

Terry J. Hodgkinson is a MindFit consultant. He owns Positive Changes Hypnotherapy and Meditation Centre in Toronto, Canada. As a corporate trainer, keynote speaker and retreat leader he enjoys his work so much that he calls it his passion. In 2009 Terry's book, Memoirs of a Wandering Ninja - Walking the Path of Enlightenment was published. *For information on Terry's international retreats visit: www.TaoJourneys.com *Book Terry for your next event visit: www.TerryHodgkinson.ca *Martial arts training visit: www.ChungFuMartialArts.com
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