Who am I? How can I find my true Self and live in peace? 🤷♀️
Maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions on your spiritual awakening path. If so, you’re in the right place, gorgeous! Tired of the insanity of the ego, many of us want to know the truth of what we REALLY are.
When you know how to rest into your true Self, you move beyond all mind-made stress and struggle, unlocking the full power of awakening. You can access the infinite ocean of freedom and peace no matter what life brings. 👑
What you are not
To answer the question: Who am I? it’s easiest to start with what you’re not.
- 💭 You are not your thoughts. They are stress leaving your nervous system. Your mind is actually just a collection of thoughts. Some you’ll be aware of, and others will be outside of your conscious awareness.
- 😭 Emotions are also not what you are. They are simply energy flowing in your body. Often, they are driven by your thoughts.
- 💪 You’re not your body. It is the incredible vehicle in which you navigate this life.
You can be aware of these things, but they are not ‘you’. It’s impossible to BE something that you’re aware of.
In the context of this article, I’m going to concentrate on thoughts because unconscious thinking is the driver of suffering on the spiritual awakening path. For more about thoughts, see my article How to stop intrusive thoughts when meditating.
It’s all about belief
Your mind will always make you believe that you ARE your thoughts. This happens when you’re not fully here in the present moment. Whether you realise it or not, your thinking mind transports you to the past or the future. When you are lost in thinking, you completely believe whatever that voice in your head is saying.
For instance, imagine you are walking on a route you know well. When you get to your destination, you’ve no recollection of the journey whatsoever! Why? You were too busy thinking about what someone said to you the day before. 😡 That hurtful conversation WAS your reality in those moments.
It doesn’t stop there. You feel what you focus on. So if you believe sad thoughts, you feel sad. If you think about something that makes you angry, anger rises again. When they come, your emotions can feel like they are all that exist. Everything else fades into the background, and you experience the emotion as part of you.
While you believe your thoughts and emotions are you, you are literally missing reality. The sheer magic of life passes you by while you are lost in your imagination and the resulting stress. A permanent state of peace and freedom is a pipedream.
Who am I, then?
So if you’re not these things, you might ask: Who am I then? You are the neutral observer of everything that happens. 👀 You are the watcher. You are pure consciousness – the conscious awareness. What you really are is the platform upon which all of life unfolds. This includes thoughts, emotions, your body, and whatever happens in the world.
When you FULLY rest in your true Self, you observe thoughts and emotions instead of becoming lost IN them. They pass through your awareness without all the associated drama, stress or struggle. They lose their power over you because your primary focus is your still and peaceful true Self. You don’t believe them to be true anymore.
As I said before, you feel what you focus on. So if most of your awareness rests on your peaceful true Self, you’ll feel peaceful. From that place, if the energy of anger passes through your body, you’ll experience peace AND the ‘anger’ energy. Yep – strange but true! 😳
From your true Self, you’ll be aware of your body and all its associated sensations. However, you won’t be upset by whatever it does. Discomfort may still be there, but you won’t be stressed ABOUT it. Only your ego mind insists that things should be different from how they are in each moment.
Your mind isn’t the enemy
All of this can make it sound like your mind is a problem. It isn’t. It’s a powerful tool when you use it consciously from your true Self.
However, when you are lost IN your mind, it runs the show of your life. This is when it becomes the source of your negative emotions, stress, struggle and suffering. 😫 At best, life feels flat. At worst, you are at the mercy of whatever happens in daily life; and how your mind reacts to it.
This will probably cause you to spend a lot of time trying to fix and change yourself and your life. Why? Without realising, you are trying to find happiness by changing external circumstances, so you can be happy at some point in the future. Sadly, this usually adds to your stress when life doesn’t go to plan.
However, the only time you can be happy, peaceful or free is RIGHT NOW. Believing that doing things will make you happy in another moment is one of the greatest tricks of the mind. If you believe it, you forever delay your peace, freedom, and happiness, so you MUST learn to do things differently.
The truth is that there is nothing to fix. You can be happy and free right now when you take your attention away from whatever your mind is doing. Instead, connect with your true Self.
WHO AM I? CONNECTING WITH PEACE
Whether you realise it or not, you DO already know the experience of your true Self. Have you ever had a moment when time stood still, and the frantic activity of the world appeared to stop? ⌚ Maybe an unfathomable level of peace descended upon you. Your problems melted away. This state of just ‘being’ is the TRUE present moment, and it’s what you are.
My first prolonged experience of my true Self happened after reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. One morning I woke up in a profound state of peace, freedom, and bliss that lasted for four days straight. My stress, suffering and even chronic health issues melted away. Everything appeared to be stunningly beautiful in its divine perfection.
But when it ended, I came crashing back to the hellish reality I had previously called my life. So I went on a quest to find that experience again. For years, I devoured every book and watched every YouTube video I could find on spirituality and consciousness. The more I searched, the more frustrated and disillusioned I became. 🥺 I couldn’t find that experience anywhere.
I speak about this more in my Tiny Buddha article: 3 Things That Turned My Suffering into Blissful Peace.
How to find your True Self
I only found the answers when I studied advanced consciousness techniques with a community of monks in Spain. They showed me how to enter that state whenever I wanted to.
Learning that my true Self is always there was a revelation to me. There is no need to find it because it’s what you are! Resting there is more a case of where you place your attention.
To find your true Self, think of a light switch. It’s either on or off. 💡 Connecting with your true Self is that simple and fast too. At any moment, you can only be in one of two states:
- ❌ Off – You are fully identified with your mind. You believe the mind’s stories about yourself and life. You’ll probably experience a lot of inner turmoil, negative emotions, struggle and stress.
- ✔️ On – You have at least part of your awareness resting on your true Self. From this neutral place, you’ll be able to watch the mind and all of life as it unfolds. You are happy, free and peaceful now. All of the stress and turmoil immediately melt away.
Most people need specialist guidance to learn how they can flip the spiritual switch ON – just as I did. Once you know how to do this, you can access the infinite ocean of peace and freedom.
So, to answer the question: Who am I? You are what you’re aware of when the switch is flipped ON.
Connect with your true power
Your true Self is the infinite source of passion, freedom, unconditional love, flow, well-being, joy, and a true connection with others and yourself. It’s a full and pure experience of life, no matter what happens. From your true Self, you can connect to your purpose in life and step into your true potency and power. 👑
The truth is that you are not broken and you don’t need to be fixed. You are perfect, whole and complete, exactly as you are. You will only see that when you flip the switch ON.
Sure, there may still be circumstances in your life that you would prefer to change. However, you won’t experience any stress or struggle ABOUT them. They simply are what they are.
If you decide to take action, it will be from a peaceful place. This is in contrast to the frustration and desperation of the mind. Whatever you do will be more effective; and in alignment with your true purpose. You’ll live the life you were born to live.
WHO AM I? Your Path to Freedom
So if you want to live a life of peace and freedom, you MUST learn how to rest into your true Self. I absolutely love guiding people into this experience. The expression on their faces changes from frustration and weariness to joy and ease. Visibly lighter, their problems fall away. They describe the experience as expansive, peaceful, loving and free. They have literally brought heaven down to earth.
If you’re ready to shed the stress and stand in your FULL spiritual power, apply for a FREE Spiritual Clarity Call with me at clareelderkin.com/clarity/. I can’t wait to meet you!
I’m interested in deepening my Buddhist practice. My interest is philosophical and practical, l am a secular person rather than a person of faith…am l on a path?…mmm, l suppose so! I bought my first book on meditation (barely comprehensible!) when l was 20 (l’m now 64) and read Erich Fromm (brilliant) around the same time. It didn’t prevent me from ending up in an extraordinarily awful codependent relationship that I was unable to leave. It finally came to an end and l have been happily divorced for nearly 20 years…hooray.
I have a long history of cfs, (30 years, during which my 3 wonderful kids have grown up and my rather difficult mother has grown old and frail) it has both destroyed my life, taken me to the edge of the abyss and given me insights that have been a privilege l might otherwise not have had. Ha ha, yes, that’s me trying to put a positive spin on what is a total nightmare. Really the last ten years have just been about trying to keep myself alive for the sake of my family.
I have allowed myself to be treated by charlatans in the past with truly terrible consequences. I am wary.
When Thich Nhat Hanh says The way out is in and that we already contain within us what we need, it feels authentic.
I believe it to be true.
I don’t know if we could work together, maybe. I learned to meditate at the WLBC over about 3 years. My book + video teachers in the last ten years bedridden have been Tara Brach, Trudy Goodman, Norman Fishcher, Josh Korda, Sylvia Boorstein.
What do l want, in the short term to be able to cope with my mother’s death when it happens without ending up in intensive care, in the medium term to be well enough to adopt and look after an elderly greyhound, to be able to take a few good photos (actually I’m an architect) and if l have grandchildren to be able to teach them to meditate, in the longer term to die at peace. Mostly perhaps to realise who l am.
I want to ask you who your teachers have been? This is really my important question.
Also you have a fifty page ‘activation code’…would love to receive it + make a donation if l feel it’s useful. Hum, should note l don’t believe in quick fixes, but l guess some stuff can maybe cut through the shit in unforeseen ways…
Thank you for your website. Also for your time which I very much appreciate.
Thank you so much for your message, it’s lovely connecting with you! I’m going to send you a private email in response, so look out for it shortly. It might be worth checking your junk folder (just in case!)