In many posts I have talked about being “who you really are.” That phrase sounds rather New Age, somewhat ambiguous, even a bit hokey. I mean, how can you be anything other than who you are? Truthfully, you can’t. The key word is “really.” Who you are right now can be spot-on true to your soul and spirit. Or it can be a jigsaw puzzle creation of influences that have little to do with your soul and spirit. You can literally be the creation of what others want you to be—succumbing to the pressures of parental, social, religious, cultural, professional or other expectations, caving in to the routine of what you’ve always known or what demands the least effort of you, deferring goals to the expediency of current circumstances, sacrificing unexplored capacities because of self-delusions of inadequacies. If that is the case for you, then you are not likely living as “who you really are.”
I remember a dream I had back in 2001, while I was in the Amazon jungle for three weeks. I was barefoot pushing a shopping cart through a big-box store. I knew I had to fill my cart, but there was nothing I wanted or felt I needed. So I pushed the empty cart out to the parking lot. Suddenly, all these people showed up. They came at me from every direction, not threateningly, but certainly purposefully. They started putting things in my cart until it was filled to almost overflowing. As the pile grew, I felt more and more frustrated, because there was nothing anyone was putting in my cart that I wanted or chose but I felt helpless to prevent the deposit into my cart.
To me this dream is about identity. Who am I? After self-scrutiny, I came to admit that my life was mostly a response to my insecurities. I was someone who tried to please family, coworkers and friends, and to fulfill my expectations of what I thought I should be in response to society, media, spirituality, and so on. I was a jigsaw puzzle and I felt most of the pieces of me had been pushed into place with little self-consciousness, despite my years of spiritual and shamanic work. I was only sure of one thing—I was not “who I really am.”
It has taken me fourteen years to become more of who I really am. It has been only in the past three or four years, and especially during the past year, that I feel I have stripped away many of my delusions and illusions and had the courage to be “me.” And what a difference that has made!
I suspect that the same struggle to be your “authentic” self is true for many of you.
I acknowledge that “who I really am” is not static. Life moves, and the “I” moves along with it—and vice versa. The dramatic movement toward greater authenticity comes with the reversal in who is leading and who is following. Before, life moved and I followed, often unconsciously, or with resistance, or because I was too afraid or unsure of myself to chart my own course. Now my “I” leads, and my life responds accordingly. And that makes all the difference.
Who you really are is encoded in your Inka Seed. Don Benito said that at the moment your father’s sperm and mother’s egg joined, the animating force of the universe reached out into the cosmos and pulled a Drop of the Mystery down and into that fertilized egg. That Drop of the Mystery is you. Truly unique. One of a kind. Compete and whole, with everything you need within to be “who you really are.” You already have everything you need to express your deepest, most sacred nature and to live your one-of-a-kind life.
The question is if you are ready to believe that, and then to claim it and realize it. This alchemical process of transmuting the lead of “almost but not quite who you really are” to the gold of “who you really are” is not a science, but an art. It’s not a single formula that everyone can follow to a guaranteed result, but a personal journey of learning to know, trust, honor, and express your Drop of the Mystery. As such, your journey’s timetable is unique to you. It may take ten hours, ten months, ten years.
For most of us, our Inka Seed lies dormant within, waiting for us to fertilize it, so it can germinate, grow, and flower. Andean practices help us to nurture it to reveal the full bloom of beautiful, stupendous, amazing, incredible you. What more important or valuable “work” is there than to recover the memory of who you really are and then to live it? Like me, it might take almost sixty years for your Inka Seed to flower, but I can testify that it is worth the wait. . . .