Really – if you attended a nudist camp, how would people know who you really are – what you’re all about? You couldn’t signal anything to them by your choice of clothes. And you’d be away from your car, your magazine subscriptions, your regular order at Starbucks – so how would you let them know what makes you unique? Clearly, our clothes can be seen as a metaphor for all the trappings we put on to signal our values. If those are gone, who are we?
To really share your heart-felt message with others, you need to know who you are. Deeply who you are – like, who are you when you’re around a baby, or around animals? Who are you when you talk to yourself? (You can admit it – we all talk to ourselves!) Who are you when you listen for divine guidance? Who do you dream of being? Part two of the Speak From Your Soul Solution is about our soul – knowing who we are.
To communicate well with others, all the props, crutches, and costumes we normally use to show who we are need to fade into the background.
Part of being clear about who we are is knowing what or who created us. In children’s books, baby animals or baby humans often ask the question “Who am I?” of many different animals and people as they go on a journey. They get the right answer when they find their real parents.
On a spiritual level, it’s the same with us.
Whatever you believe created you, you are like It/Him/Her. Think about your Creator. What qualities come to mind? Gentleness? Unconditional love? Overpowering intelligence? Intellectual rigor? Whatever qualities are in your Creator are the qualities that should naturally come through when you communicate with others. Those qualities (your Who) are what your listeners will connect with more than any information you give them.
But here’s a secret: Being like your source isn’t a question of addition. It’s subtraction.
Instead thinking, “How can I be like my source when I speak?” and then trying to add those qualities to your presentation, take away. Take away your concern with how you come across as a personality. Take away your concern with what you look like, or sound like, or laugh like. Take away the identity you’ve put together over the years to protect yourself or to get ahead. When you take away, who you have always truly been will start to shine through.
Like most of us, I used to cringe whenever I saw myself on video. I focused in on the weird way I move my mouth and raise my eyebrows. But apparently others didn’t notice it. And one day I had a Duh moment – clearly, for all my adult life, I’d probably been moving my mouth and eyebrows that way when I talk – and I was still considered a normal member of society. No one had shunned me yet! When I got rid of that self-consciousness and the desire to appear “professional,” I was able to just be loving and compassionate, and totally meet the needs of my listeners. What a relief!
I got a glimpse of this in action during a summer job I had in college. I worked at an upscale nursing home in San Francisco, and there was a nurse on the staff who could calm an entire room just by walking in. She was so loving and caring that her presence had a real substance to it. I wanted to be like her, but had no clue how. But I saw that she really didn’t care what people thought of her – she wasn’t trying to dress just so, or show off a wicked sense of humor, or impress by how smart she was (all things that I was trying to do!). She just loved. Unselfishly. Unconditionally.
It’s taken me a long time to get even a little bit closer to what she was like, but I hold her up as a model. So take away who you think you are to get closer to the source of who you really are, in order to touch people with what’s in your heart.
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