We, each of us, have an identity that defies description. At the very heart, the very core of each person on this miraculous planet, we are ... well, we ARE! I have a tattoo that says ‘So Hum’ in Sanskrit—which means “I am.”
This is the realm of the Soul and cannot be defined—which contrasts sharply against the realm of the Ego—which is all about limiting labels and beliefs. Any time we use a label or adjective to describe ourselves—whether it is positive or negative—we are living through our Ego Identity: I am a mother, I am a friend, I am a lover, I am funny, I am a hard worker. All these things explain how we ‘see’ ourselves in the world. It is how, over our entire lifetime, we have come to perceive ourselves and our roles in this life experience.
But these labels can get us stuck and mired in ruts of unhappiness. Imagine each label and belief you have about yourself and your abilities as an invisible box, and you are standing smack dab in the middle—just like a mime. Now imagine exploring that box, palm each face of that invisible cube, and find you are unable to get out. Our Ego Identity is an invisible (unconscious) barrier to experiencing lasting peace of mind and well-being. Sure, we can have moments of happiness in our little boxes, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience happiness from this moment on? Labels and adjectives limit us because we are so focused on this identity—this person who behaves like this, or says things like this, or only does certain things like that—that we will not attempt to live outside those boundaries. For the majority of people, we are not even aware of the fact that we are interacting with life from within an invisible box.
In my Yoga Dance classes, which are a mixture of guided and free style movement set to awesome upbeat and energizing music, I encourage people to step outside their comfort zones—to try and open their boxes, stick their heads out and have an enthusiastic look around. We hide inside our boxes out of fear, for example we might worry about fitting in—being accepted or worse being rejected. And we will tamp down our passions in an effort to not rock the boat— to keep things the status quo.
We keep our labels and adjectives wrapped tightly around us, like a suffocating security blanket. “I am ‘shy,’ how can I possible get up and dance in front of all these people;” “I am ‘self-conscious’ and worry about people looking at me, judging me;” “I am ‘a terrible dancer,’ no point in even trying.” These are our boundaries, our walls, blocking us from experiencing peace and joy. We are unconsciously stuck inside our little boxes, we don’t even realize that the labels we use restrict us, limit us.
If you were to suddenly become someone without any labels ... if you were no longer ‘shy,’ or ‘self-conscious,’ or ‘a terrible dancer,’... if you were just ... you. If you just ... ARE, imagine how much fun you would have dancing to your own light, your own music, your own beat.
Each of us are, at the very core, a beautiful, enigmatic soul, whose entire purpose in this life is to have fun, and live joyfully. Think outside the box and know true peace and happiness!