Mindfulness Based Strengths Development for Individuals & Groups

Three Steps to Discovering Who You Are

Three Steps to Discovering Who You Are












What does it mean to be you?

Who are you?

If we were together, you and me, having a conversation about whom each of us is, what would we say to each other?  How do you describe to someone just who you are?

Most people would respond to the question with something like:

“I’m a Director of Sales for XYZ.”

“I’m an insurance agent.”

“A financial planner.”

“I’m a mom.

“A daughter, sister, friend.”  Or,

“I’m a volunteer. A helper.”

“A person in recovery.”

“A dancer.”

“A writer.”

“A person of faith.”

And the list goes on.  These are great, but they are roles.  They are positions we have in life and although we fill some of them for most of our lives, they are in many ways transient.  For instance, I may be a dancer today but tomorrow, I’m a drummer.

The true answer to who you are, and who I am, lies in our connection and gets expressed optimally through our personal intrinsic values.

Let me explain:

First, we all know we need connection.  There is really nothing in this world that we do without the involvement of other people, helping us, providing for us, or even seemingly hindering us (we’ll get to that another time).  Our achievements are always shared, no matter what.  That’s one type of connection.

Second, we have the opportunity for connection with an energy that is not of us alone.  We get to be included in it, but it’s something bigger than us.  A famous person once said, “If you want to be happy, be in service to something greater than you.”  That’s what I’m talking about.  I don’t know what that “greater than you” is for you but you need only step outside and look at the night sky.  Did you create that?  Exactly my point.  Finally, our personal values – the ones that are all natural and not fabricated – provide a compass for our lives and draw us to our authentic selves.  It is this authentic self that we are.

Here are three steps to awakening who you really are.

1.Find a space in your day where you can be away from distraction for about 20 minutes. Turn your cellular phone off.  Make sure folks know not to disturb you for just a bit.  Make yourself comfortable, seated, with the back supported and hands resting in your lap.  Close your eyes and bring attention to your breath.  Just accompany the breath with your awareness.  With every exhalation, relax your shoulders letting any tension wash away with the warmth of summer winds.

2. As you begin to relax and look inward, allow those people with whom you are connected to appear in your mind’s eye. Notice how your lives intersect, how they provide care to you and how, likewise, you may support them.  Let the outside world fade into the background.  Thank them for their service and then bring your attention to that energy that is “greater than yourself”.  Simply ask for the connection and sit quietly in its presence.  You are already connected and need only be quiet to acknowledge it.

3.When it feels right, begin to softly and without expectation of a certain answer or any answer for that matter, ask the question, “Who am I?”. Pause for a few seconds, and ask again.  “Who am I?”  Allow space between the words:  Who . . .  am . . . I?  Allow the question to be answered.  Notice what appears.  Take five to ten minutes to simply be with the question, noticing the space you’ve created for yourself.


You have probably discovered an answer quite unexpected.  Rather than a role, I trust that you received an answer.

That answer may be clearer as you continue these steps and allow yourself to relax into deeper exploration.

If you have any thoughts or want to share your experience, we’d love to hear from you!



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