Why am I here? What is the meaning, the purpose, or the reason for my existence? Who am I, in relation to the entire Universe; who am I in relation to the sentient being I am?
When start asking myself those questions, I either become unsettled, I give up, or I find a temporary or recurring answer.
Let me explain…
Have you ever sat and thought about who you are? I invite you to do so. Find a time and place when you won’t be disturbed and sit down, either with your eyes closed, or in front of a mirror, where you can look into your eyes. Or if you have more time, go outside; find a place in the forest, at the beach, on top of the mountains, or next to a river.
And then stay quiet.
Do you hear a whisper? Is there silence? Do you hear a voice giving you words? Continue to sit still and listen. Listen even more intensely, if you can, and stay open to whatever reveals itself.
I call these questions Soul Questions. They go deep and touch the soul.
Exploring the soul’s questions is a dedicated journey into the deep corners of your being. Finding the answers for yourself will bring you joy, happiness and startling creativity you weren’t even aware that exists within you.
The sound of silence
I have considered this soul question many times, asking myself, “Who am I? Why am I here?”
I invite you to explore this question yourself:
Go outdoors or into the countryside. Find a brook or spring and sit by it with your eyes closed. Listen to the singing of the falling water, and tune in to the sound of the wind touching the leaves. Rejoice in the continuous songs of tiny, high and low pitches of a multitude of birds. Acknowledge the symphony of wonderful melodies that is surrounding you.
Touch the moss and feel the wind in your face.
The more silent you become the more you will hear. You will notice that the water from the brook not only cascades into the stream but it also makes different sounds, and plays different melodies as it touches the rocks. Some tones are like small bells, others sound deeper, like a bassoon. The more you tune into the sounds of the water, the more you will hear and the more you will lose awareness of yourself. You will become the brook.
Sitting there listening to the moss, I could hear the water moving the moss ever so slightly. The more I listened to the subtle sounds of the moss the more I lost awareness of myself. I became the moss
You will feel the wind on your face, touching you softly, kissing your cheeks and your forehead. You will feel it swirling through your hair, blowing it from one side of your head to the other, covering and uncovering your face. You will also hear the wind touching the trees, the leaves, the branches, and the water. Give in to the feeling of a gentle touch on your body and the delicate sounds of the air until you lose awareness of yourself and become the wind.
Sit there for a while and you could hear whispering and laughing. Does the whisper come from nature’s spirits? If you allow yourself to abandon the logical mind for a moment, You would become a spirit yourself.
You are part of nature, and at the same time You are nature yourself.
To be a human being
Human beings are just mammals with the capacity to reflect upon our own existence and meaning. Other mammals don’t seem to have the same problem. They simply exist. They just are. They sense and feel and some of them can make intelligent connection; rats or monkeys for example. But do they care about WHY they are here? I personally doubt it. I don’t know for sure, but it seems as if they only care about food, territory, and rank order rather than the meaning of their existence.
If only we, the human beings, could take the ‘being’ a bit more seriously. This is what other mammals do – they just ARE. As human beings we are thinkers and doers rather than just Beings.
Whilst looking into the mirror…
Some days I stand in front of the mirror, looking into my own eyes, and ask the question, “Who am I?” I look deeper and deeper. Within my pupils I can look into the past and into the future. I look into a space where linear time does not exist. I see generations of people, animals, and other beings. Images of lives and scenarios of existences on other planets run through my eyes like films on a screen. I see myself as a male nomad in the desert wearing a blue tunic, leading camels on a rope. The desert wind is strong and the sand blows into our eyes, so I have to cover them.
Looking deeply into my eyes, I see an elderly woman collecting herbs in the forest. She wears an apron and carries a basket, into which she puts the herbs. She seems to be a healer who understands the curing effects of plants and herbs.
I see Native Americans gathering outside their tents around a fire.
I see children in dirty clothes playing in cobblestone streets. I see so much more.
As I lose awareness of myself, I become all these scenarios.
I am a nomad, a Native American, I am an alien, and I am witchy healer.
And I am much more. But does becoming these beings answer the questions, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”
I am every moment in which I exist. I am what I see and sense, I am a tree, a human being, a dog, and a river. When I am with you, I am you. I am a human being finding meaning in the moment of my existence whenever and wherever I am. The reason I exist is the fact itself – I exist. That is why I am here. The question is answered by posing it. Being aware of all there is means I am all there is.
Do I change over time? I certainly do. I change profession, country, opinions, skills, and my skin and bones age. And yet, when I look into my eyes, I am still the same. I am me. I am the one telling you all of this. I am my soul, source, God, Universe, or consciousness. The sense of the person looking into her eyes stays the same. I am Gunhild when I look, and I was Gunhild when I looked at the age of 5.
I do not change, I am me, and I am aware of that fact that I am, and this awareness has not changed. There is a continuum of my own awareness. And yet, I am only aware when I am aware. Once I die, I will not be aware any longer, I will not exist as Gunhild anymore.
But for now, I am me.
What about you? Who are you?
The Mirror Exercise:
Look yourself in the mirror. Look deeply in your eyes. Focus on the color of your iris and its various shades and beautiful nuances. Ask yourself a question – Who am I? Breath deeply and empty your head from the mundane thoughts. If a thought arises, simply observe it fading away and focus back on the beauty of your eyes and ask again – Who Am I?
Stay in this meditative state for 5-10 minutes. When you are done, write down anything that comes to your mind as a thought or an image in your mind’s eye. It is OK if you don’t have nothing to write the first time you do this exercise. I suggest that you do this every day for few days.
It will give you the opportunity to go a step beyond simply checking your makeup or hair in the mirror. It gives you the chance to discover something else about you, something unknown that lies inside of you.
People who have done this exercise sometimes tell me that they have seen their father in their own eyes, or that they discovered a wild animal behind their pupils. Some people feel fear, disgust, shame or repulsion If this is also the case for you simply stay with those feelings. Feel them while you are looking at yourself.
Feelings are feelings and need to be experienced. They are neither good nor bad they are just part of our human make-up.
For more soul questions and deeper exploration of your psyche, I invite you to read my book: 21 Soul Questions – To Empower & Transform Your Life With Creativity.