We have all heard it a thousand times. But that’s a lot easier said than done. The problem as I see it with “be who you are” is, firstly, that it sounds like a big bold cliché, and at the same time it is true. It’s a delicate balance.
The next problem is that many of us cannot quite feel who we are. It is difficult to be who you are if you are in doubt about who you are.
In a world where there is so much noise in both our personal lives and on the collective level, it can be a challenge to feel anything.
The world is full of noise
We live in a world and in a society where we are bombarded with things that disturb and make noise. Noise is many things. To me, the concept of noise is everything that gets me away from my core and my essence: Who I really am. Noise makes it hard to find peace and it affects my ability to feel myself.
We make noise ourselves
We all contribute to the noise to some extent. While most of us can probably agree that all the likes, popularity and quick cliché-filled quotes on Instagram is nonsense, there are probably others like me, who admits that we still keep a little eye on who supports us, and especially who does NOT.
But it’s still just noise. Gossip is noise, too much ego is noise, and too much focus on the outside is noise. We know it and yet most people will “make noise” sometimes – and hey, we are also human. The good thing is when we start to recognize it ourselves. It is here, where we can choose to do something else. We can choose to opt out from the noise. The closer we get to ourselves, the less we need to make noise.
I even get hangovers when I have made too much noise. Talked behind other people’s back, for example. It is the body’s way of telling me that I have separated me from myself.
The performance label
Many of us have a life that is largely built around labels and what is on the business card. We display everything from titles and brands on clothes, furniture and cars. We also display publicly achievements, both our own and our children’s. Many of us measure our worth through our performance. We’ve been brought up to be praised for our ability to perform – and perform well. It drains our energy when we constantly think we have to accomplish something special – to be something special.
For me, my body was also something I used to display, it was my label and I put way too much identity in it – I had forgotten that I am in fact much more than my body.
I have found that the true quality lies in daring to be who you are. It is from here that we can motivate and inspire others. This is also where others listen. They listen when they can feel authenticity and realness.
Wear your label on the inside
I have often thought about what the world would look like if we all wore our “label” on the inside? What does it mean, translated into Danish? It means being who you are, instead of showing off. Or: Be it, instead of saying, you are it.
There is so much strength hidden in being you, and doing what feels right, no matter what others think or what we think they think. To find balance between the outer and the inner.
You teach what you need to learn
17 years ago I was hospitalized with panic anxiety, illness anxiety, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I did not know who I was, and put most of my identity in the exterior. In my appearance and what I had achieved. I had lost my balance – I had come a long way away from myself. That became the start of a new life. The symbol of the imbalance – my silicone implants – were taken out (the title of my first book is Silicone Soul). And that downfall – or awakening, if you will – actually saved my life.
Since I was 17, I have worked in the fitness, wellness and beauty industry (which later moved into the yoga world). I had a deep disturbed eating disorder until I was approx. 30 years old, and it was a bit ironic that for so many years I “helped” so many to lose weight. But, as they say: You teach, what you need to learn.
There is no connection between weight and happiness
For many years I was a personal fitness trainer, Pilates and yoga teacher. I worked to make women thin and “happy”. They usually became thin, but never really happy. The kilos rattled off, but a year later they came back and the 10 kilos that they weighed too much before had become 12 now instead. It just did not work in the long run.
The irony was that I had not healed the root of my own problems and at the same time I had to help others with the same issues that I had. At one point, it became too much and I simply could no longer. It is approx. 10 years ago I changed course completely, and instead focusing on how I could help myself even more and at the same time help others. Instead of providing a quick fix, but REALLY help.
So you could say that my background for writing this is experience. I have been there myself, have walked and still walk the steps every single day. It is OK to prioritize your appearance, but for God’s sake we cannot put too much of our identity in the exterior, because without the inside we lose balance.
The exterior does not tell the truth. The truth lies within, and can never ever be found outside us.
Feel. Do something
The time for quick and easy solutions is over. The world is packed to the brim with the superficial and empty words without depth. It is not enough that something is beautiful, it must be felt. Love must be present. We want to do things with the heart and we want to feel resonation. It’s about doing something, not for your own self, but simply doing it because it’s right. Without ulterior motives.
The road to presence
So what do you do when you want to be yourself, find peace and live a present life? It sounds so easy and yet it is difficult for many of us.
Start by removing the noise. The noise makes you unable to feel who you are, what you mean and where you are going.
Lars Muhl, who is my spiritual mentor, once said: “Kristina, there are only a few things you have to learn to be able to navigate the world authentically and honestly”.
“Say yes when you mean yes – and no when you mean no”. The latter is perhaps the most difficult part. How many times have we not tried that the mouth answers yes but the body clearly screams NO!
“Ask yourself, who am I and why am I here? When you have the answer to that, you have solved the mystery of life ”.
Then there was also just one last thing he said and still says: “AND THEN, FOR GOD’S SAKE, KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND”.
My advice to you
If you want to find out who you really are, do the following:
Create space and time just 5 or 10 minutes a day to practice silence – to be on the inside of the body. It is in silence that we can truly hear and feel the answers (and ourselves). In the beginning you have to seek the silence or peace, and later on you can bring it in to life. Then you ARE peace and it will affect others around you. You just have to be peace without telling anyone. We all know well those who need to tell everyone how much they are in alignment with themselves and have SO much inner peace. Honestly, I do not buy it. When you are in alignment with yourself, you do not have the need to say it out loud; then you just are. You live it and others feel it.
You carry it on the inside because you have no need to show it. And that also applies to your focus on the appearance. When you are in alignment with who you are, you do not need an excessive focus on your appearance (and hey, I also love new shoes and things, there just has to be a healthy balance in things). The same goes within spirituality. If you are spiritual, you do not have to say it out loud – just be it. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Be aware of whether and why you need other people’s recognition. For me, recognition for many years was the drug that replaced food and my excessive focus on my body. After I had worked on the food and the body and gotten that settled, the addiction or abuse just moved somewhere else (as that stuff usually does).
If we do not pay attention, one abuse takes over the other. All abuse comes from suppressed emotions and a need to soothe the emotions that come up, to avoid feeling. And it doesn’t matter whether it is an abuse of booze, food, sex, internet, diets… I could go on.
At one point, I discovered that I would much rather help people feel, than to soothe (after the many years I helped people go on a diet)
Why do you do what you do?
U.S. author and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson says, “It’s all about doing the right thing, simply because it’s right.”
It is not about getting something (recognition), but about giving. Because that’s the right thing to do. If we all went into any given situation with that mindset, the world would look a lot more different. None of us can do that in the real world, but maybe you succeed once in a while, and that day you will make a difference. If I wrote this with an agenda of wanting to receive recognition from those who read these words, I cannot really be present. It’s about changing the mindset. From what I can get. To what I can I give.
You cannot be yourself as long as you are dependent on other people’s recognition. The End.
Trust yourself and your body
My therapist once said to me:
“Living in accordance with who you are, is a sacred act.”
So trust your intuition and your body. Your body is the finest measuring instrument there is. Be true to what you feel and never think about what others think of you and your choices. You are who you are, and that is absolutely perfect. No matter how cliché it sounds! And that place is actually the best place to start a change – if that’s what it takes.
Thanks for reading.
“Even though I am not perfect, I love and accept myself unconditionally”.