Did you just answer that question by mentally saying your name? Many people do as an initial response to that query, but the vocal sounds we make to speak our names are not who we are. It’s what our parents named us (or a variation of that) and how we identify ourselves for business and social purposes, but those are just for convenience.
So if you’re not your name, the question remains; Who are you? Perhaps you think you’re the body that you see when you look in the mirror. So often we identify with this physical form and spend much time, effort, angst, and money in keeping this form in top form. But it too, is not who you are. If the body were who we were, then when we “died” it would disappear. But the body remains when we “pass.” So who are you?
You are the eternal energy that animates your form. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” In other words, you are far more spirit than you are physical body.
Ok, so let’s say we get that. It’s an Aha moment for us. Then what? How do we carry on differently knowing that? Does it mean we have to stop getting facials and pedicures? No, not at all. Here is the key change that knowledge makes:
We cease putting such tremendous importance on how we look. We can enjoy all the physical pleasures we currently do, but we do that knowing it’s just for fun. It might sound sad to say, but no matter how much or how little cellulite we have - one day it will all be dust.
The good news is that who we are is eternal! We do not die and decay. When we breathe into that understanding, we begin spending more time developing the part of us that is eternal. Not to earn something or become deserving - we already are. Rather to get to know that side of ourselves. To bring some balance to the equation. To be familiar and friendly with the eternal aspect of who we are. There are almost limitless ways to do that, but some might include: meditation, time spent listening to or reading spiritual teachers or teachings, walking or hiking in nature or just time spent in stillness in whatever setting feels right to you.
The upside to this understanding and way of living is we have more peace of mind, more tranquility and we don’t have to freak out every time we spy a new wrinkle or bulge. What physical worries will you release when you own your spiritual self?