You've Been Somebody Long Enough

“You've been somebody long enough. You spent the first half of your life becoming somebody. Now you can work on becoming nobody, which is really somebody. For when you become nobody there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything. The natural state of the mind shines through unobstructed - and the natural state of the mind is pure love.”

~Ram Dass

I have a folder in my google drive named “Inspiration”; in this folder I create documents where I copy and paste quotes I find in my reading and social mediaing to come back and contemplate later. I woke up feeling a lot this morning; along with the rest of the world I am navigating both personal and collective transitions. Transitions are hard, they’re the “in-between” and are absolutely uncomfortable; it’s as if I’m metaphorically in the space where I’m jumping from one precarious ledge to another and the midair portion is the transition and it is painfully long, and in slow motion.

Transitions are an important place to maintain focus and awareness because it is during these times when we are the most vulnerable to getting hurt. When I feel too vulnerable, my body armors, my defenses go up and my thinking becomes more binary and polarized. These mornings of feeling a lot are a signal to me to slow down, drop in and do something that simultaneously soothes and grounds me so I don't get sucked into the binary of overwhelm. Writing is one of the tools that does this for me and the inspiration folder was created specifically for this purpose. I'm sharing this with you in case it resonates and can be a resource for you too.

“You’ve been somebody long enough”

These words are the title to this particular google document and the reason I opened it up. I had forgotten that I saved this Ram Das quote, but these words are exactly what I needed to read when I came to the inspiration folder this morning. “You’ve been somebody long enough” feels like a confirmation of something I’ve been feeling into for quite some time. I have been feeling a pull to retreat, to retire, to literally go to the woods for the last several years. It feels like a tug of war, there is a part of me wanting to hold on while another wants to step away from roles I’ve previously played and spend more time discovering who I really am outside of the labels and boxes.

I see this not as a desire to escape reality or bypass, but rather as a desire to deepen into who I really am. When I ask who am I beyond the roles of mother, wife, teacher, student, white woman, activist, successful business person, leader, facilitator, sister, friend, daughter, doer, etc. it requires me to truly face the who, what and why of who I've been. I love the paradox that is life. We experience our world through duality, boxes and labels yet there is a part of us that always knows there is more. It is through the roles we play that we discover who we are, yet it isn't until we drop the roles that we can realize what that really means.

Who are the somebodies you have been?