For many of us, being on a spiritual quest is what defines us as individuals. We build up our identity around the idea that we are seekers of truth. We often get so involved in the idea of our search for connection to a higher power that we often miss out on the next crucial step on the path. This next step involves transitioning from the level in which you imagine yourself as a 'seeker' to the level in which you behave like a 'finder.'
I prefer to think of life as a beautiful mystery rather than a puzzle that needs to be solved. Yet, I have also spent countless hours thinking thoughts like: Who am I? What am I? Why am I here? Questions that don't really have answers but nevertheless appear to be so important to solve. As a culture, we are dissatisfied with the myths that have been past down to us through the generations, causing us to search out other cultures and religions in a never-ending quest for connection. We demand real answers! We want the Truth with a capital 'T.'
I think, on some level, we are all trying to find ourselves. That's what the spiritual journey is all about, right? But 'finding yourself' is kind of a deceptive phrase because it suggests that there are two of you. There is the 'you' that is doing the searching and then there is the 'real you' that is hidden away somewhere, waiting to be discovered. However, in reality, there is only one 'you.' The one that's doing the searching- that's you! The seeker and the sought are, paradoxically, one and the same. What you have been searching for this whole time is, in fact, the essence of what you truly are.
Identifying yourself as a 'finder' as opposed to a 'seeker' does not mean that your spiritual journey is over. On the contrary, things are only just getting started. Being a 'finder' doesn't mean that you can give up spiritual practices like yoga and meditation. The difference is that while you used to do these things because you were seeking the truth, you are now doing them because you are living the truth. The truth is that you are a human being that is alive here on Earth. You are a being, just like me- just like everyone else. Why you are here is a complete mystery, but living inside the mystery is part of the fun. All I know is that it feels great to be alive in this body and that we truly are blessed to be here on this beautiful planet with all these other amazing people.
Finally, being a 'finder' doesn't mean life stops being difficult. Life is always going to throw new challenges in your path, that's how you learn and grow as a person. You don't have a lot of control over what happens to you during your lifetime, but you can take responsibility for your own physical, mental and emotional well being while you are here. Being a 'finder' means that you no longer see yourself as a victim of circumstances- as if you were on a tiny sailboat at sea in a thunderstorm, getting tossed around by giant waves. Instead, you begin to identify as the ocean itself. You realize that, by deepening your breath and focusing your mind, you are able to bring the surface of the 'ocean' into perfect stillness- to the point that it becomes like a mirror, reflecting the sky.
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being.