How Are You? Who Are You?

By Gurudevi Nirmalananda

How are you doing?  How are you feeling?  How are you and who are you?  Yoga is about both, of course.  But when you deepen into your own inner essence, the “how” you are is taken care of automatically by the “who” you are. 

I was sitting in a chair with my laptop on my lap when I was told the election results had been announced. Before I got the news, I was sitting with my laptop on my lap.  After I got the news, I was sitting with my laptop on my lap.  I’m still me, no matter who wins the national election. 

I’m still me when I go to bed.  I’m still me when I get up.  I am who I am, no matter what I am doing or who I am with.  Those activities don’t make me who I am.  Other people don’t make me who I am.  I am me.

You are you.

It’s very simple.  Yet it’s a breakthrough to reach the point that you know who you are, regardless of what’s going on around you.

There’s a beautiful tree right outside of my office window.  Its leaves are almost all down now, with just a few hanging on.  A few weeks ago, it was lush and green.  Does its change make me be a different me?  No.

I had a bagel for breakfast this morning, yum.  Does that make this an extra special morning?  No.  It was fun, but it didn’t improve my mood – because my mood was already good.  Fun is important in life, but it doesn’t make you who you are.  You are you, whether you’re having fun or not.

I was driving when I got a phone call from a family member, offering condolences on the death of my father.  I didn’t know that he’d died.  I had been on an airplane, on my way to visit him, for we knew his time was ending.  Then I jumped into a rental car and got on the road.  I got the phone call while I was driving.

My first thought was, it’s probably not smart for me to be driving right now – I don’t want to hurt anyone else on the road.  So I pulled over.  As I sat there, talking through the information with the dear one who phoned me, I was asking myself, “Am I a different me now that my father has left this earthly plane?”   No.

Is the world different for me?  Yes.

Will I miss him?    Yes, I still do, even though he left years ago.

But I am me, the same me, whether he’s here or not.

The reality is that you’re under pressure right now.  You’re in a process that isn’t over yet.  The process going on in the world isn’t over yet.  And the process you’re going through inside isn’t over yet.  Not until you know the you that you are – the you that is your own Self, that inner essence of being that is Beingness being you. 

You are you, even in a world of change, even with changes transpiring in the outer world, even in the inner world where your thoughts and feelings are constantly changing.  You are you.  That’s what yoga is really about.

This blog was originally published by permission on Philly Area Yoga.

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