We are assigned roles, comparable to when enrolled in a club. President, secretary, treasurer etc., there are expectations attached to each role.  The boxes holding each part, contain the responsibilities.  In this dynamic, diverse, immersed life we play so many characters. We are sons and daughters; we are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, bosses and employees, wives and husbands, adults and children, women and men. But who are we really?

Who am I really? Labels and titles always made my skin crawl. . . Like little ants treading foot on every millimetre of my surface. Feeling restricted and confined, rebellious and driven I wanted to break free. I had my own self to define, I didn’t want to be given a label, and be summed up by a word. I was diverse, ever evolving …I was this complex being composed of trillions of cells, holding many emotions with so many desires I had yet to grow into. I wanted to face each situation as a primed canvas, with curious eyes and fearless wonder. I wanted no assumptions or expectations placed upon me. I wanted to be all that I was, without any need to explain or define. I wanted to explore, the unsigned territory of myself and I didn’t want anyone setting foot on my trail. I was young and determined… I wanted the freedom to express myself and be, without any preconceived notions. 

What if conforming to the roles and labels assigned to us, squashed the truth of who we really are. Aren’t we a series of expressions, and when we stayed open and attuned we grow into ourselves becoming all that we are meant to be. Like that old oak tree, planted as an addition to the yard, one that could support that old rubber tire as it swung two and fro. The tree didn’t stop when its support was strong enough; it continued to grow. Reaching up and beyond while rooting deeper down below, every way its true nature lead, it continued to go. What if when we centre our lives around these roles, we forget who we really are and those roles begin to define us. 

Its now as if I stand in a classroom looking out into the eyes of students. Each representing the roles in my life. Directing and guiding, I am the leader of this room, I serve as my heart and soul, the truth of all that I am.  There is a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a photographer, a granddaughter. Each open and listening to the guidance of their teacher. Their attendance is a gift. They make the classroom dynamic and expressive. They contribute to the experience of the heart and soul. They become expressions of the knowledge and wisdom that is shared by the teacher, who is me at the front of the room. They offer gifts of connection, inspiration and grounding. When I focus on their beauty I receive all they give, I expand and grow. 

It is easy sometimes, to lose ourselves and be all that we're expected to be. To show up pleasing and quiet, when we want to dance and shout. The truth is, the world needs us. Our families, friends and jobs all need our authenticity. Nature by design relies on the diversity of its surroundings, that theory doesn’t rest with humans. We are like a puzzle, and we fit best together when we allow our differences to join us. We have to honour ourselves, to detach from the labels and confines we’ve allowed to be placed upon us and shape them according to the truth of who we each are. Honour, Embrace, and Be yourself . . . We need you. 

The will is so undefinable and can push you so far beyond. What the spirit can do, is not measurable. The spirit is larger than the body.
— Diana Nyad