Letting go of labels.

August 29, 2017

Good morning, Spiritual Surfers. We get caught up in labels, usually identifying ourselves by what we do for work, or by our place in society. It’s comfortable; it helps us when others tell us who and what they are with a couple of words, maybe even just one word. Labels and titles help us figure out who we are.

When I was young, I thought I was going to be an artist. I drew constantly, and I even went to art school. But when school was over, I was disillusioned. Art school had been very technical, and I lacked any confidence in my abilities. This shook my identity; without the label artist I’d been working toward, who was I?

Instead, I found myself taking a path toward writing. Quite by accident, too; I became an intern at my favorite pop music magazine (Star Hits, for 1980s aficionados) and was soon hired as a writer. This began a career of writing for magazines, so I had a new label: magazine writer.

I wore this label for 26 years, until magazines began to feel the pinch of the recession of 2008. Magazines are wonderful, but with the advent of the internet, there were fewer and fewer of them, and they were no longer a viable career path. Again, my identity shuddered: If I wasn’t a magazine writer, what was I?

This is why labels can be kind of tricky.

Long story kind of shorter, I don’t identify myself by labels anymore. I’ll say that I write, I teach yoga, and I draw. In fact, I was recently commissioned to do artwork for a book; after all these years, I’ve come full circle. (I’m still not confident enough to call myself an artist.)

Is the label you’ve chosen, or the title you’ve been given at work, all you are or can be? Of course not. Each of us is like a jewel with many facets. We can change our titles, paths, likes and dislikes at will.

Release your labels. Instead, follow your Svadharma, your own unique path. It may feel strange at first to live without a title, but you’ll soon see that your heart and the universe have been conspiring to show you amazing things.

Have a beautiful day, Surfers.

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