WHAT I KNOW ABOUT: IDENTITY
I’ve been learning a lot about identity lot of late. My identity has totally shifted and I walk bravely into the new me. I’m exploring the path of a new identity: motherhood. I’m shifting. Part of me still holds on to the old Pandora. I long for her sometimes. Do all new Mums feel this way?
On reflection I’ve realised that actually, our identity shifts daily. Women by nature take on incredible roles. Everyday needs a different part of us. From the boardroom to the babies room we wear many hats, walk many walks and talk different talks. I think as women we need to talk more about identity. Who we are. Our identity is whatever we want it to be. But sometimes we can get lost or exhausted working out which part to play day to day.
First of all, let’s confirm what identity is. There are two ways of looking at identity - or the self:
1. The self - personality - ego, what we do, how we live, beliefs
2. The self - unchanging core of us - love, bliss, fullness. This is free and experienced through meditation, spiritual practise etc. This is you - the core of you - your truth - beings of light - your pure energy which inhabits your physical body. It doesn’t change. You might try and dim this light, but it’s always there.
Our true self exist whether we acknowledge it or not. But I often see this true self is buried under fears and learned behaviour. Clients time and time again - they keep themselves small - often with food or beliefs that keep them feeling stuck. In my programme there is a whole week on ‘satisfaction’ which focuses on where in life we feel satisfied - where we are satisfying our true selves. When we recognise our power, our luminosity, our feminine force - we cannot help but live authentic lives rich in appreciation, abundance and potential.
So often, we feel that we must define ourselves right? I’m this kind of person, that kind of person. We often use quite a small selection of roles and character traits, even if none represents our true self. We are often trying to be someone who we think we should be. I did this for years working in PR. It’s a people pleasing role and because by nature I wanted people to like or love me (mainly because I didn’t love myself) I was really good at this. Good at people pleasing. Terrible about really sitting in, breathing in and owning my identity.
WE DON'T FIT INTO BOXES PEOPLE. CREATE YOUR OWN SHAPE.
We are also often challenged in our society. We are regularly pushed to suppress so much of our emotional and spiritual vibrancy. We don’t own who we are enough. We don’t speak our truth. Why? Again from fear - will I look silly, will someone judge me. We’ve all been there…
So how do we start to own our identity and find this true self. My number one rule is first to have no expectations. As a younger you, your thoughts and feelings would have been more of your true self but over there years we quickly learn that to speak and act in a certain way that will win others' approval. When we put expectations on ourselves for what we think we should be, we aren’t being our true selves - we are doing things with the ulterior motive - the expectation. Take this away and what are you left with? The ability to just be you!
An example of this is becoming a mother. I did actually have an expectation of the type of mother I would be and you know what, I’ve gone 180 and am completely different to what I thought I would be. I have learnt to surrender to the expectation and over time have just allowed myself time to focus on who I am now. Who I need to be today will be different to tomorrow. This week I will need to be different to next week. This will happen to you too. A new job, a new town, a new partner, you'll build part of your identity as you go.
Which brings me on nicely to my next step; being flexible. Rediscovering who you are outside of your roles and traits you have lived with for a long time - takes time but also courage. If, like many and myself included, you have denied your authenticity for a long while, you may find it difficult to separate your true identity from the identity you have created. Allow flexibility to gradually adjust to developing your new role - this new self. With flexibility you allow you to be the you that you need to be today, without judgement. Know and trust that being flexible can bring great awareness and allow you to move more freely in life.
I realised becoming a mother just how much my identity as a nutritionist and life coach means to me. My business is such a huge part of my identity and so in becoming a mother, I’ve held onto it dearly. I’ve had to be flexible in this because of course, time is tough and my daughter needs me BUT what I’ve learnt is that its ok to hold onto that identity. Its part of me. I’m a better mother to her when I give myself MY time. Try not to battle with the ‘should’ and instead do YOU.
GIVE YOUR IDENTITY PERMISSION TO BE HEARD.
It’s ok to need time for yourself. You are the centre of your universe and in order to be there for others, you have to show up for yourself. This is the biggest thing I see with clients - showing up for themselves. When they do, magical things can happen. They make space, to take up space in this world. In this process, many discover that they have an incredible destiny to fulfill.
If you’re someone who is struggling with identity - the who am I vibe - my advice is to get our of your head and into your heart. You might be someone who has always been known as ‘that’ type of person and now you’ve felt like you’ve changed, or your changing and you’re unsure of how to own this new you. Trust me that you are not alone. Know that bad days do pass so there’s no need to go into panic mode. Give yourself time to explore the new you and your new identity. Try and align with your heart and not your head. If you need to, journal - write shit down - who are you now and what is your path? If you need to meditation on this question. Give yourself stillness and the answers will come.
READY TO CAPTURE YOUR AUTHENTICITY?
Re-programming - a technique I use for my clients and as part of my 6 week programme can be great at liberating you from the ‘shoulds’ of being. Who you think you should be - and instead bring you into alignment with who you are now. Meditation is a fantastic tool for finding that stillness I often talk about too. When our heads feel muddled, meditation or breathe work can help to clear the fog. Try getting out in nature too - there’s nothing more cleansing than a walk along the beach or in your local park.
In order to realise your purpose, you must embrace your true self by letting your light shine bright. Don’t think about the consequences. Don’t think about who you might be compared to. BE YOU. Know and I assure you of this - that everyday will demand a different you. Be flexible. But own who you are.
I hope this helps and of course if you need support in the area of purpose and identity, know I can support. More information here.
X Pandora Paloma