• West Cork Literary Festival 2021

Beyond Perception’s Reach: Your True Self by Denis McBrinn

Writing.ie | Member Blog

True Self

Denis McBrinn

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“Be Congruent, Be Authentic, Be Your True Self” Ghandi. Our true self is the soul of our being. It is the part of us not defined by: ego, status, job, role or function. It is our evolving higher self that seeks to rise above our basic instincts. It represents the blue print for what we can become. Our true self is the “silence” within that calls us to live our best possible lives.

As young children, we instinctively receive this inner call with great clarity. We live joyfully in the present moment and laugh and smile, much more than adults. But as we grow up, worldly matters arise and the ego instinctively develops as part of survival. We then learn to use psychological defenses to protect ourselves from the harsh, competitive world. It is similar to our personality growing like an onion, with many layers covering up our “Inner Child” or “True Self”. Underneath the layers of what we become, as adults, is the open, creative, joyful “Self” we were as young children – before our experiences and unconscious programming created the adult person we are today. For many of us, we lose touch with our “Inner Child” and our worries, insecurities and egos dominate. Then our basic survival instincts run the show. We learn to wear a mask or present a front to the world, to protect our sensitive true self.

Discovering our true authentic self requires a sustained inward journey. It takes courage, self-awareness and self-respect. Being true to yourself starts with being authentic and knowing who you are. Know your strengths, your passions, limitations and purpose in life. Ask yourself what makes you feel truly alive? What defines you and makes you feel joyful and fulfilled – in body, mind and spirit? What are the important values that underpin who you truly are

We can increase awareness of our “True Self” through practices such as yoga and mindfulness. Mindfulness practice helps us observe our actions, to ensure they are congruent with the words we speak. The smaller the gap between what we say and what we do, the more authentic we become. Journal writing is another good practice for connecting with our inner thoughts and feelings each day. Being true to yourself means you don’t worry about pleasing other people all the time. To be true to others, you must start by being true to yourself. Once you are true to yourself, you’re also true to other people.

” To thine own self be true. Then it follows, as night day, thy cannot then be false to any man.” Shakespeare
When we truly love and accept ourselves as we are, life becomes less complicated. Our relationships with others improve when we are authentic, live honesty and act with integrity.


Sit down in a quiet place where you will not be distracted for 5 minutes.

This is your time to reflect on your true, authentic self.

Remove your shoes and sit with your back straight and relaxed.

With legs uncrossed and both feet on the ground, gently close your eyes.

Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose.

Relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders.

Relax the muscles in your feet, legs, hands and arms.

Relax into a natural state of calm.

Comfortably ignore the outside world.

Allow your body and mind to detach from the anxieties and tensions of the day.

Gently, let go of all negativity and concerns of the ego.

Bring your attention to a point between your eyebrows.

Your “third eye”.

The gateway to your True Self. Your Higher Self.

Visualize connecting with the higher values of your true, authentic self.

Visualize building those positive states of mind and body.

Love. Compassion. Respect. Honesty. Integrity. Optimism, Clarity, Confidence and Commitment.

Totally identify with your true, authentic self.

Visualize your natural posture, the way you dress, your compassion for yourself and others.

Understand how this makes you feel happy and fulfilled each day.

You enjoy challenges. You realize they make you stronger and wiser.

As thoughts, come and go, just observe them, as if you are watching a movie of your True Self.

Bring awareness back your breathing and notice the gentle rise and fall of your abdomen.

When the timer goes, slowly and gently stand up, stretch and give your True Self a big hug.

“Be Congruent, Be Authentic, Be Your True Self” Ghandi

BEYOND PERCEPTION’S REACH is a collection of brief thoughts and reflections on the complexities and challenges of life’s mysteries. The weekly blog will explore some of the questions and personal challenges we face in our uncertain and confusing world. How do we bring a bit more joy, purpose and fulfilment to our “one wild and precious lives”?

(c) Denis McBrinn

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