Big questions to ponder . . .

Who do you choose to be and what do you choose to contribute when you wake up?

FIRST, let’s briefly address the word “choose.” You always have the power to choose, regardless of your background or status. Sometimes it seems we forget our power of choice.

Whenever you believe you’re stuck, you’re not; you always have a choice. Free will is a complex, yet simple concept. You get to decide how you want to show up in the world and what you want to contribute.

Take some time to ponder this.

SECOND, who do you choose to be? None of us are born a blank slate. Structural differences in the brain have been linked to personality types so we all enter the world with a personality uniquely our own.

Every aspect of who you are is unique to you based on a variety of combined factors. So, to some extent, you don’t get to choose your personality. This is what we call nature, right?

Socialization actually begins in the womb, before birth; it’s the lifelong process of learning how to function as a social being in society. What goes on throughout this process is all about what goes on outside of us, and much of it is chosen for us, too. This is what we call nurture, right?

So, when do you get to choose who to be if you’re born with a personality and the socialization process presses upon you from the outside?

This powerful process starts with awareness and its an inside job that can powerfully impact what happens outside of us.

When do you begin the process of remembering how to be from the inside?

It varies and depends on a host of factors. But, when you wake up or become aware that this is an inside process, things begin to shift. This shift doesn’t occur quickly; as there are many layers to peel back and examine, but this discovery begins with awareness.

Assess your life up to this point. Think about your childhood, your teens, early adulthood, etc. Consider your family of origin, your friends and extended family, your religion or thoughts on spirituality, your education, where you grew up, your sexual orientation, your political leanings, etc. In other words, examine your rug of social location and identify its many threads.

Then, identify your innate preferences, strengths, and talents; determine what you value, what has real meaning for you, and get a strong sense of what you really care about.

This is a great start to feeling better equipped to choose who you want to be, how you want to show up in the world. Although simply stated, as mentioned above, this takes some time, and it varies from person to person. So, be patient and gentle with yourself as you move through this process of self-exploration.

THIRD, what do you choose to contribute? Since you were a kiddie pop, you’ve probably been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Your answers may have included a princess, a fireman, an astronaut, a singer, a basketball player, and varied based on whatever you were exposed to that made you happy and seemed like it would be a pretty cool thing to do at that given time.

For very few, their answer may have stayed constant, but for most of us, our answer shifts several times, which makes sense. Every time you broaden your experiences and expand your knowledge, other choices surface.

The key is to be curious, explore, deepen your experiences, get a feel for what lights you up, what has meaning, what’s fulfilling. Ultimately, you’re seeking a feeling, so determine what brings you the most joy.

FINALLY, let’s go back to the phrase, “when you wake up.” You can certainly interpret this as waking up each day; it would certainly be a good practice to consider who you choose to be and what you choose to contribute each day when you awake after a night of restful sleep.

This can also take on a much deeper meaning, as it pertains to your life as a whole.

The socialization process was mentioned briefly above. As a result of this process, we achieve what Charles Tart calls “cultural consensus trance,” defined as “When you automatically think, behave, and feel ‘normally,’ when the internal workings of your mind automatically echo most of the values and beliefs of your culture. This interlocking set of beliefs includes a belief that we don’t have a ‘belief system.’ Foreigners have strange ‘beliefs,’ but we know what’s right.”

Diving into the richness of this concept is beyond the focus of this post (we’ll certainly address this again in future posts), but just consider the possibility of what this means. Seriously, read the above paragraph a few times and mentally munch on its meaning for you.

Going back to our birth, we’re closest to the essence of who we are when we enter this world. Tart defines essence as “your genuine, deepest self, your desires, tastes, likes and dislikes, potentials, inherent in you before the consensus trance induction process has begun to change it. Essence is who we really were when we came into this world.”

Waking up involves realizing the impact and consequences of this consensus trance induction process – how you’ve been affected, your decisions, how you show up and contribute in your life – and incorporating some techniques, which will help you become more awake. Click here for an article that outlines some great practices you can start today!

Fascinating stuff, eh? Now, ask yourself these BIG questions again:

Who do you choose to be and what do you choose to contribute when you wake up?

Then, get busy with some of those waking up practices to facilitate the process.

For more on this subject, check out Tart’s book, Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential. It’s not an easy read, but it is a refreshing and thought-provoking examination of human potential.

smallrobinavatarlightbackgroundRobbi Crawford, The Student’s Mentor, Author and Speaker is the founder of BrijBrand.  Subscribe below and join the BrijBrand community. We’ll keep you in the loop about what we’re building for YOU, and create a safe place to land when you’re feeling stuck, need a plan, and want some targeted help and genuine support!

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