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Sat Nam. Sat Nam. Sat Nam.

Sat means truth and Nam means identity, so the essence of this mantra is to connect you to the truth of who you are when you strip away all of the expectations, judgements, fears, and labels that life has put on you over the years and through the generations.

When we gathered on Sunday, this was the mantra we chanted silently to ourselves each time we strung a sandalwood bead. Sat Nam. Breathe. Sat Nam. Breathe. Sat Nam. Breathe.

After the women who attended the workshop shared what their experience of this was like, I shared my own.

At some point during this meditative practice, these words came into my mind, “I am not my tense jaw.”

It was a reminder to me that as we sit in the center of our true identity, the bits and pieces that do not need to define us slip away. Sometimes these realizations are even more important and informative than realizing what or who we are.

Most of us like to feel rooted in something tangible, and labels offer this to us. Who are we? What purpose are we serving in this life? We often answer these questions with the labels that we have come to use to define us and that others have placed on us over time.

What if we take a different approach?

What if we recognize what we are not, from the simplest thing of not being our tense jaw, to the realization that we may be a photographer or teacher or writer, but that is not truly who we are. That is how we walk through this life, in this moment. The labels, as much as the physical body, are vessels for the essence within.

We have a choice. We can let these labels define us or we can let them slip away. If we let them slip away, we come one step closer to shining our true light out into the world.

We can slip out of the labels just as we slip out of the denim jacket that felt right yesterday but does not afford us the fluidity of movement we crave today.

We can let go of the labels as we let go of to do lists that have turned into paper clutter, tasks already complete or released.

When we pause and allow ourselves to notice who we are and who we are not, that is the moment in which we allow ourselves to simply be.

How glorious is that?