Who am I? Oooh one of the deeper questions won’t you agree? After ten years of yoga, meditation and interest in spirituality this question popped up again today.

Over the past years I have learned a lot about thoughts and the ego. The ego and your thoughts, they are not the real you. I think I can recognise whenever the ego shows up or I start making a story out of random thoughts. Yes this happens several times daily. Anyway, I feel I have become better at letting go of judging myself and others and I also live more in the present moment. This helps keep the ego down and also helps me stay aware of my thoughts (okay, it may sound like I am ego trippin’ now… but I have got to state some facts).

Most of us play a number of roles all the time throughout our life. I remember when my children started school in England and my new friends didn’t know about my past. Before coming to London I had been working in Oslo, Paris, New York and Brussels and I believed I was being perceived as this very ambitious woman living in different countries, speaking different languages and dressing in a cool way. And suddenly I became “the mum”. It hit me one day as other “mums” (haha yes I perceived them that way too) said something to me and I was thinking “Excuse me, don’t you know who I am, do you think I am completely ignorant???”. It was actually a big shock to me and it hurt… my ego.

Loosing my husband to another woman was a much deeper crisis moment. I felt I lost all the roles I had been playing during my married life. I had been playing them unconsciously. From identifying myself as the partner, wife of a successful businessman, married to my best friend, one part of a family of four, and part of the couple who together could face anything living abroad with their children – yes, to me we were champions – I felt I became nothing. Suddenly I was 100% empty. I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror night after night starring intensely into my own eyes, trying to see what was inside, if I was still there. Or who was there? It was a really hard time.

Although I have been teaching yoga and mindfulness meditation for the past six years (and view myself as a spiritual human being – another role…) I can notice internal disturbance whenever being perceived in a way I don’t agree with. Once someone said out of kindness: “This is my yoga teacher!” and I immediately felt contraction within and thought: “But I am so much more than that”. We are all so much more than who we think we are and OMG how much we limit ourselves in who we think we are.

I know, it is not important what other people think. Still, I cannot deny it does affect me sometimes. Especially when I let it belittle or narrow me. Before it would really hurt my ego. Now I remember I can take it as a learning experience. I can choose to breathe and let it go. I know people define other people based on their own perceptions. Their perceptions are based on their previous experiences in life. Haha I think we got our whole existence muddled up somehow!

If you would like to know more about who you are, how about sitting in meditation and calmly repeat these words to yourself: “Who am I”. Be gentle and stay curious. Choose to receive whatever comes up without any judgment. It is okay to feel nothing and everything. I think we are the whole spectre of whatever we believe exists and that we can always learn more about ourselves! Life wants us well. It wants us to be expansive, creative, joyful and loving.

To conclude: You are amazing as you are. It is all within you to tap into. No one can define who you are but you. Others’ opinions are others’ opinions and can stay others’ opinion. The more you are yourself, the more of you will shine through. Please go share it with the world.

Wishing you well! Annette X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.