Who You Are, Is Not What You Do

Flight of the Muse, painting of a woman wearing a carnival mask and costume in a flying boat, painting with flying turtles and seagull birds leading the way

Image used with permission from Flight Of The Muse by Paul Bond Fine Art

Who you are, is not what you do. Did you ever notice that when you meet someone for the first time, one of the first things we ask the other person is, “What do you do?” Somehow this albeit tribal question, we think; immediately tells us about the other person. Or does it?

As I have recently made a big career change at the age of forty-seven I have found myself going through a mourning process over my work identity. Especially because, for twenty eight years, I believed that who I was, was defined by what I did for work. Even as I came into alignment with wanting to be a Spiritual Teacher, it was hard to let go of myself as a Hospitality Executive. I also had my own judgements about saying I was a Spiritual Teacher. Shit! What would people say? ! Plus, my ego was VERY proud of the hospitality executive aspect of myself and it was a familiar space. It was a respected space (according to society. It was a space that I knew how to navigate, I felt knowledgeable and well, you know; knowledge is power…….. Right?

Right maybe, only to our egos, but not necessarily to our hearts desires. Not necessarily to our souls. In the past, the more I allowed my full identity to be defined as a “hospitality executive” the more I was missing out on – masking – the really juicy, really dynamic, really soulful parts of myself. The real parts of truly Who I AM.

True power comes from within. And our true selves know our power within comes from the deep knowing that we are connected to something more than our physical selves, more than our environment, our circumstances and way more than our jobs. True power and who we really are comes from embracing the infinite part of ourselves and allowing our Spirit to express its true joy.

What brings you joy? Following your joy is how you can take a step closer to who you really are, and perhaps you’ll discover you don’t really even like your job. You just think you do. Maybe you do love your job. If you do, that is great. Know that even in a job you love the job is an expression of yourself, an expression of an aspect of you that calls forward your creative self. If this happens in a way in which you are making a contribution to your community, society and perhaps the world at large, you have gotten a piece of the dream. What you do is an expression of who you are, but it’s not who you really are. Who you really are is a divine Spiritual Being having a human experience. Next time you’re at a cocktail party meeting someone for the first time – resist asking them what they do. Instead ask them, “What do you love? What makes you come alive?” This will give you a peak into the soul essence of the person you are meeting.