Who do you think you are?
As Siddhartha sat in meditation beneath the bodhi tree he was faced with many challenges. Every shadow energy in the world rose up and poured down upon him much like a rain of arrows and spears in the midst of a battle. Siddhartha did not move from his space beneath the tree. He calmly met each one with mindful awareness. His energy transformed every challenging arrow and spear into beautiful flowers that gathered at his feet.
The final challenge of his meditation was the greatest and it came in the form of self-doubt. It is one that most of us are familiar with. Some of us meet this every day.
Who do you think you are?
The shadows would not relent and asked him again 'How dare you assume you have the capacity for an awakened heart and mind?' Do you recognize that voice? This is the part of you that is constantly seeking evidence to prove that you are not okay and you do not belong and nothing you ever do will have meaning. Very often we discuss this concept in my support groups. We talk about impostor syndrome and the negative impact this has on our lives. Eyes widen and the room takes a palpable deep inhale as they realize they are not alone in being completely unable to internalize their accomplishments. They too are haunted by this free-floating fear that soon they will be recognized as a fraud. One of the most important people in my life has won the Olympic gold medal for impostor syndrome. No matter how great her accomplishments, no matter how good her relationships are and no matter how hard she works to achieve her goals she carries the heavy weight of this belief that she is really just fooling everyone and will be found out sooner or later.
I meet these fears with facts. The fact is that she works for one of the most successful companies in the world and has done so for over a decade. She must be the world's most brilliant con artist if they have not figured it out yet. I usually get a laugh from that but I understand that deeply rooted fear that sounds like "I am not enough."
Sometimes the world around us joins in with the chorus. It takes every drop of calm, clarity, honesty, compassion and self-awareness to not challenge the world with matching spears and arrows but to simply allow those words to fall gently at our feet.
What has created your current sense of identity? Is it based on affirmation and adoration from the outside world? Is it based on negative self-talk?
The cruelest thing you can do to another person is to inspire self-doubt, put them down and demand that they lower themselves in order to live in the world. We are here to connect, inspire and empower one another.
It happens to me when I practice reiki, lead a yoga workshop, start a support group, develop a new program or share my thoughts on my own website. I am often asked "who do you think you are?"
I have a lot of flowers gathered at my feet.
When Siddhartha was was challenged by the shadows and asked the final question 'Who do you think you are?' He remained seated, he breathed, he touched one hand down to the earth and remained connected to everyone on the path.
Know who you are today.