“Who you are should define what you do, not what you do should define who you are.” — Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Are you stuck in survival mode? Following your existing — and monotonous — patterns and routines? Do you define yourself by the work you do? By your accomplishments? By your day-to-day experiences? When asked who you are, do you show people your business card? Have you recently given some thought as to who you are beneath the surface of your daily regimens?
Surviving in the material world in which we live places many demands on us. But we should not allow ourselves to get hijacked by these forces. Without effort it’s easy to succumb to the inertia of our status-quo, and wake up every morning seeing only the daily grind ahead of us. We must make a concerted effort to focus each morning and live consciously, not by rote. “Living consciously” is living with the real you.
Try this out: Take a moment and shut off your senses — close your eyes, ears, taste, touch and smell. Free yourself from stimulation of what is going on outside of yourself? What you would be left with? Your true inner self. The self that is not affected by your work and activities. The self that is not defined by your surroundings and others demands and expectations.
Know your identity, then figure out your life. Who you are should define your life, rather than letting your life define your identity. Don’t wait for a crisis to figure out your priorities. Give yourself regular breaks to create spiritual space and peace. The trick to living consciously is to have an oasis in time to focus on your inner life, so that you can go back to your outer life with recharged batteries.
Exercise: As soon as you awake in the morning think about who you really are, as opposed to what you do. Take a break sometime during today and do the same. Journal about it in MyMLC.