I love anything that helps me look at life differently. The other day I happened to catch spiritualist Deepak Chopra on television and heard him ask his audience three questions. I listened and became fascinated. They were deceptively simple…
#1: What is your full name?
I thought to myself, this is easy. Deepak explained this is the public, adult self. This is the person on the driver’s license and at work and in the phone book. This is where the ego lives, the mask we all wear to the world.
The ego’s always comparing itself to others, needs constant validation, and wants to win and be right. The other day I found myself taking offense when someone didn’t see things my way. I sat fuming until I realized this was my ego at work. As soon as I made that connection, I felt better. I was able to put things in perspective.
Sometimes I envision my ego like a bratty teenager, always judging with rolled eyes and popping gum. When I get this image, I’m able to distance myself more.
#2: What is your first name?
This was another easy question, on the surface. Deepak said this is the name given by our parents. This is the name of the child. What ever happened to her, I wondered, that little girl who loved to discover and run around and play games? Where’s that kid who loved to build snowmen? Then I realized she’s still here.
Now when I find myself exploring a museum with a friend or finding that perfect Scrabble word or just laughing over coffee, I see this is the child playing. Whenever I find myself taking life too seriously, I try and access that little girl. We should all cultivate fun. Those moments bring the greatest joy.
#3: Who are you without a name?
This was the hardest question. How can I be without a name, I wondered? How can any of us? But then I got it. And realized this was the most profound. Without a name, I’m a human being, an inhabitant of this planet, an entity.
The other day I read about a woman who lost her husband to cancer. He was in his thirties and she spent every waking hour beside him in his hospital bed. Their two year-old daughter played on the floor nearby. This moved me to tears even though I didn’t know these people. That’s when I realized my soul was responding, the deepest part of all of us that runs like a river, connecting one to the other.
We’re all human entities, beyond names and labels.
Ever since listening to Deepak Chopra that day, I look at things differently. Most of us live with the ego leading, myself included. Very few people live from the soul.
Teachers and nurses and fire fighters spend lives helping others without thought of becoming rich. Maybe they’re the most spiritually awakened people. As I grow older, I find myself inspired and wanting to be more like them.
Which part runs you most? What part would you like to access more?
Sometimes all it takes are three simple questions.
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