Kirk: Greeting, Alana. First, I would like to start out the series with a very global question.
Alana: Yes, please do.
Kirk: I think a lot of people are moving through their day-to-day lives on automatic pilot, and not feeling the sense of satisfaction and joy that's possible. I certainly know I have had my share of days like that. I am wondering if you could talk about what we can do to help us gain a greater sense of who we are. How we can wake up in our lives.
Alana: That is a beautiful question, and it is an essential question. If an individual goes about their day-to-day life without a sense of self they will find themselves fulfilling other people's realities. When a person identifies their authentic self and steps into their nature in a full way they become a beacon of authentic light shining forth. This illuminates their path so that they can fulfill their purpose and destiny. This in turn enriches their soul. So your question is a very wonderful one.
In one's day-to-day life it is important to take time out for self. Often our time gets consumed by all of the things we feel are needs. We then lose time that we could be spending nurturing ourselves. Also, nurturing ourselves has many different meanings. It isn't just about taking time to relax, nap, or walk in nature. Taking time for self-discovery is what I am speaking about. You see, if every day we did an honesty check--if we checked in and asked our selves what is making us happy within our day and what isn't--this would help us direct ourselves into being more authentic, and being more clear about how to trust our innate natures.
Kirk: If we are not, on a day-to-day basis, in touch with our innate natures, then what are we doing instead? What do you consider people's normal every day life experience to be?
Alana: So many individuals are on automatic pilot. They have accepted the needs of society, or the needs of others, and have placed them before their own. They have built other’s needs into their expectations of self. They have certain expectations of themselves that are adopted through the expectations handed down from others. So part of the self-nurturing I am referring to is about taking time for self-discovery. I'm speaking of taking time to simplify and sort out what your specific desires and needs are that come from your authentic nature, versus the needs and desires that come from the "shoulds"; the ones that come from the handed-down expectations of society or the unconscious self.
Kirk: You are talking about what we learned in our families? What we learned at school? What we learned from the people in the neighborhoods that we grew up in? What we learned from TV? In other words, are you talking about the collective values and beliefs about what is true, what is good, what is bad, what is false?
Alana: Yes that is a part of it.
Kirk: What we should do and what we shouldn't do. All those learned beliefs and behaviors.
Alana: Yes, and that brings with it a bunch of different polarities. This can create a lot of confusion. Individuals then find themselves in occupations that do not necessarily make them happy, living where they don’t want to be, even in the wrong kinds of relationships. This can happen because they feel they should get married at a certain age, or they should have children by a certain age for instance. Or maybe they stay in a relationship they have outgrown because they don’t feel the other person is fully capable, or they stay to rescue someone they feel is weak because it is the right thing to do. You see?
Kirk: Yes, very clearly. So you’re saying things around money, things around appearance, and all the status types of things.
Alana: Yes, status types of things. Alana is not saying that you should go without, not have children, or wonderful houses and drive cars and things like this. I am not talking about this type of thing. I am talking more about building your life upon what is authentic to your soul's nature, versus building your life upon what your often unconsciously-learned expectations tell you your life should look like.
Kirk: All of us have been programmed to some degree. You are saying many of those things are what we learned as a little kid. Many of them we didn't learn in a classroom, but rather through just absorbing by observing and participating.
Alana: Yes, for example, many people stay in one location for a long time, even though their being would like to travel. Or they would like to locate to a different area, but they stay in one spot for a long time because of their conditioning. They have their expectations woven into the experiences of a geographical area. Yet in their heart, their being knows they belong somewhere else.
Kirk: So, for one person's authentic self, their own truth might be to be born in a certain place and live in that place their whole lives. And for another person it might be to move away. What you're sharing isn't about staying and it isn't about leaving. It is about finding out who you are--what your heart wants to do--then being able to bridge into whatever the newness is. However, that is hard for a lot of people, right?
Alana: Yes it is often very hard, as the fear of letting go and living from the inside isn’t something we as a whole are use to trusting.
Kirk: It usually seems hard to change jobs, hard to change relationships, or hard to develop healthier habits. How does a person do this when things seem to get so entrenched and stuck?
Alana: It is interesting when we think about how we educate our children. Imagine if we taught our children how to "be". In reality it is our children who want to teach us how to be. Adults, and society at large tell children it is now time to "do". "Stop being and let's do," we seem to say. Then children begin formulating their identity around the expectations of others. Their sense of self gets diluted, or hazy in a sense. This is because children begin to measure their sense of self by how productive they are or by their performance: how they are to please others. This is what happens when we as an individual begin to build our identity on what our external environment mirrors back to us: we become people-pleasers--or rebel and become people displeasers, which is just the other side of the same polarity--instead of discovering who we truly are. We react to our external world rather than create from our internal referencing.
Kirk: Someone, for example, that does really well with the standard curriculum that a given school has--whether it is reading, writing, arithmetic, or whatever is in the standard curriculum--would have a sense of identity that would be really different than someone who didn't do very well with that kind of learning environment and those kinds of subjects. I've met many incredible people who received average grades all through school, but certainly their identity is not one of an "average" person. All people are incredible, unique creations!
Alana: Exactly. People are very brilliant. It is just that their nature is so often driven by the expectations of others, and by the curriculum of others.
There are wonderful steps an individual can take to go back and rekindle their sense of self and become more authentic. When an individual does this it creates a wonderful transformation in their life. In the next segment we will cover steps for transformation.