Our entire life is surrounded by our name, where we are from, what jobs we do, and many other identities that we are living with.
In the past few days, I have been pondering around what it means to me. How do I relate to my name, my origin, and the work that I do?
When I was growing up, my name always stood out either from not knowing how to pronounce it, how to spell, where it is from, and what it means. It never bothered me. I love to mention that it is an Indonesian name and that it means sunshine. When I first lived in the States, I used and still use "my" other name Caroline to simplify when ordering something for pick-up, making a reservation, or going out when I wasn't interested in having small talk about my name (my husband got my "real" name at our first introduction 😉).
When it got to my origin or where I am from, people would never guess that I was born and raised in Switzerland. I mostly get Spanish-speaking heritage, Brazil at some point, India was also mentioned, and probably some other ones I don't remember. I love to share that my dad is born in Germany and my mom in Indonesia. It is fascinating to see how undefined my name and outer appearance are.
Looking into what it means to be a mother, a friend, a partner, and an entrepreneur, these too are identities we take on when they only describe the relationship between another person and me or the work I do.
As I've been exploring my content and different Mindful Being offerings, I noticed falling into a common trap of identifying. When we want to connect deeper with who we are, how we want to show up in life, and experience freedom, we need to let go of our identities. It works when we introduce ourselves, when we begin to adventure into a new job, or when we explain certain situations. Once we want to leave the surface and want to create deeper relationships with ourselves and others, we have to let go. It doesn't mean we don't care, or it doesn't matter. What it does mean is: by letting go, we are not attached to them.
For example, when someone comments on the clothes you wear, the actions you take, or an opinion you have, how easily do you find yourself judged? Not taken seriously? Or not belonging? If you ever experienced that way, and I certainly have, it is because we identify ourselves with who we are. The moment we can accept their comment about our past activity without getting upset and see it for what it is, we stopped identifying ourselves.
The practice of meditation is one tool that allows us to get used to this new way of living. When we focus on our breath, when we observe our bodies from the inside, we cannot get distracted by our thoughts. What we do is being present, and this is where the freedom lies.
Freedom within our bodies without attachment to the superficial exterior of the outside world.