Lesley MacCulloch
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Discovering your unique self

3rd November 2018

I’m not in the habit of stealing other people’s work, but these words from Deepak Chopra on Day 6 of his current meditation experience ‘Energise your Life’ are perfect.

“When you see new borns, toddlers and young children there is no doubt that each is unique.

But unfortunately, through social and cultural conditioning, we lose this uniqueness. In the process of learning how to fit in and get along, we generally overlook our true self – the essence of what makes our contribution to life irreplaceable. Instead we accept judgement from others and add our own self judgement. We become timid about expressing who we really are and in time the thread of uniqueness has frayed.

Being yourself is the greatest motivator in life. This is a secret we need to remember if we want lifelong well-being. If being yourself means living up to the standards of other people, then the self you’re serving isn’t unique. It belongs to everyone else. Everyone except you. Living a life not owned by you is draining in every sense of the word. You find you have no energy or motivation to create and experience your best life because you have given away your power and sense of self. Being yourself is the most natural way to live. And the most fulfilling. Why does this sound like a daring statement? For two reasons:

First, people are afraid to expose their weaknesses and insecurities. By being open and vulnerable they risk the pain of rejection. Second, most people haven’t developed their inner strength based on their core self. So the message to be yourself feels vague and unknown.

Inner strength includes maintaining your connection to universal energy, the ability to align your intentions with nature, the capacity to give and receive love, and knowing how to live in the now, the only place that is always fresh, new and creative. What this implies is that to be yourself also has two goals: increase your strength and heal your perceived weaknesses.

Both of these goals are addressed when we experience our quiet self in meditation. Our true self is the source of all our strengths and the basis of all healing. From our core self our strengths grow naturally in small every day victories that build self esteem and self awareness. Whether that means being kind to someone, going out of your way to be of service, overcoming a small fear or proving to yourself that you can do something you couldn’t do before.

Each act of genuine self expression makes you stronger and brings your unique contribution of life into the world. Imagine how it feels when you experience a win, whether it’s acing a presentation at work, receiving a compliment or finishing a marathon, you feel a little jolt of energy, don’t you? A victory, however small, adds to your sense of self and as the successes accumulate, you discover a secret – there are hidden powers and resources that comes to your aid once you begin to act. I mean action that is positive and life enhancing. Or we could say actions that bring more light into the world. This includes all the meanings of light: moving your body gives you a sense of physical lightness, as does coming out in contact with nature. Beauty brings forth the lightness of spirit and so does helping others. Mental lightness comes from things like meditation, reading inspiring literature and pursuing a creative project that absorbs you completely.

Those two words – victory and light can guide you every day. How you express them will be your own choice. That’s where your uniqueness comes in. Life is here for you to mould in a way that no-one can fully appreciate or imitate. Being yourself is the one thing nobody can take from you.

And now you know how to turn uniqueness from an abstract concept into living action. In accepting who you are, you access your own source of youthful abundant energy.”

Deepak Chopra

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