A few weeks ago I went for a run. I was somewhat unfit after the cold Winter that had slid into being a cold Spring then a cold early Summer – not conducive to outside activity – and after surgery to my shoulder, so the running was not a ‘flow’ activity! I had also promised myself that I would take a less macho attitude to my running and to pay more attention to my body’s needs. Maybe this happens as you get older. After a while I was running out of steam, uncomfortable and a little bored. I thought, in the spirit of listening to my body, that I should stop running and take a shortcut home, walking.
Then this damned odd thing happened. Unbidden and uninvited the voice in my head said “That’s all very well, but what does your will want?” My will was unequivocal it wanted to run on, to get fit! I ran.
I had been reading ‘The Ego Trick’ by Julian Baggini. In it he posits that the closest we can get to understanding the idea of identity – if you cut me open there is no part of me that has ‘me’ stamped on it – is that identity is not one single thing: not my nationality, not my sex, nor my body, my soul, my past…it is however a ‘bundle’, all of these things and others play their part. I took from this that our indentities are not as fixed and are more malleable than we think. “I am the way I am” is not solid ground on which to stand!
I have been stuck at my desk for a few months as the Inner Game eCoach is developed and brought to market. The identity that sits there doing that is reflective, retiring even reclusive. As the time comes to sell the eCoach I have to get out and about with clients. Re-creating the ‘out and about’ identity is the current task. I gave this identity a name ‘Gabriel’. As part of that process I asked this other self these questions: what do you look like; what do you wear; what music do you listen to; where do you stand; how do you sound…and other questions. By the way there was no science behind the list of questions – they occurred to me at the time.
A little while later I went to a presentation and networking event. I was surprised and delighted that Gabriel showed up. “I am the way I am” keeps me stuck; having multiple facets to my identity gives me Mobility