Who are you? What do you do?
Who am I? What do I do?
How do you describe yourself? By your name, role in life or your job? How do we define ourselves? Do we even need to?
There are books written (usually for women) about finding yourself. The strap is something like; daughter, sister, wife, mother… now it’s time to be you.
But, who are you? As the Caterpillar asked Alice.
When I became a hypnotherapist in the early nineties I happily called myself that even though I usually had to follow it with a description or listen to comments like, ‘oh best not look into your eyes,’ or ‘bet you can’t hypnotise me.’ Because that's what people say to hypnotists. Still.
As my practice grew I added in other things ranging from coaching and speaking to hosting workshops, teaching, to being involved in the more esoteric subjects. Later on I became an author and publisher. So many job titles to list on a business card I decided to bundle them.
Holistic therapist and muse seemed to cover it. Or, so I thought until Jane Alexander wrote, while reviewing my book, ‘she describes herself as ‘a holistic therapist and muse’ which would, under normal circumstances, make me narrow my eyes and pick up my foot.’ Oh! She does go on to say I’m alright but…
Back to the list or pick one and stick to it? Therein lies the problem. It isn’t about feathers in my cap. The fear of rut, habit or repetitive behaviour is rife. I am the mistress of job reinvention. Today I might be a writer and trainer. Tomorrow I’ll be off to London for a media event so will take on the role of luvvie.
While we’re at it think about actors. How do they manage? They may well just say, ‘I act’ but think of, Barbara Windsor, for example. Depending on your age she is either the booby blonde with the pinging bikini top in Carry on Camping or she is mother to the Mitchell brothers and lived in the Queen Vic on Albert Square.
Elizabeth Taylor. For all of her beauty and brilliance she is either coupled with horses or pyramids.
Type Daniel Radcliffe into Google and you are instantly informed of his role as Harry Potter. It’s not a role. He is him.
Names become typecast in different generations. We have old people names: Doris, Wilbur. We judge people on their name as if that is who they are, their identity. I’m not mentioning any because I know some have already jumped into your head.
Mandy is always a popular girl even though, ‘I’m Mandy fly me’ isn’t about a high-heeled red-lipped cabin crew hottie (back in the day ‘trolly dolly’) welcoming into you on board a 747.
This train of thought burst while chatting with someone o Twitter about past lives.
Now, I love past life work and everything to do with it but do not want to only do that. I've written about this before but travel back in time 20 years or so to when I signed with the delicious literary agent, Serafina Clarke, who at the time represented Joanne Harris. Her of Chocolat fame. See, how easy it is to label.
My book then was about breast enhancement using hypnosis. Fortunately no-one wanted it. I feel relief to this day at that result. I would have forever been known as the Hypno-tit.
What to do eh? Just be YOU and I'll be ME.
Caterpillar from https://imgbin.com/png/fBEzdhwx