Identity work in a complex world

I continue through this process, murky and hazardous, yet emergent and directional.

As difficult as it is to wade through the swamp of your own neuroses, to become immersed in your deepest anxieties yet again.

The relief of breaking free of yet another entanglement of the mind.

Liberation, presupposes oppression, the suffering of being restrained.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I can’t not do it. It is just the way my mind works, grabbing at loose threads, tugging them further, examining the ties.

What usually breaks it for me is uncovering the link to a deeper core belief. An aspect of my narrative, the story I tell myself about who I am and why I am the way I am. Once I follow my thoughts, my reactions, the patterns in the things that are triggering me, setting me off, I stay with the thoughts and feelings, watching as my sub-conscious surfaces the connections. Until the construction of the story becomes clear. I learn about the author and the narrator, the characters and what I thought they wanted from me.

Like a silent photographer waiting for wildlife to emerge from the bush. My awareness sits waiting for my thoughts. However, I myself (my ego that is) am the bait, that the photographer didn’t set or see, getting hooked and struggling to break free many times over before being able to step far enough away to see the source of the trap. The image, an understanding.

A practice.

Training the mind to notice its own patterns.

Noticing where your thoughts and feelings are coming from, the story that they form.

Noticing the ego wanting to hold on to hurt and pain.

Noticing the desire to be free of the pain.

Realising the ego is the only thing causing your self this suffering.


Again I learn this lesson but this time it fuels me back into action, back to the work of knowing who I am, of exploring my freedom in this world that is struggling to know itself. A planet pushing back on the industrialisation of the so called ‘developed’ world. To be free of the arrogant tyranny of paternalistic colonialism and capitalism. The bullish, foolish nature of toxic masculinity, control, money, power…

And again.

I have hope. And faith. I believe in our young people. While many older folk criticise the young for being unwilling to do a hard days work, for being too soft and arrogant and entitled, we forget that it is us that created the environment that brought our interpretation of this collective attitude into being. Our generation, caught up in the swinging hips and pouting lips of the 70’s, the bright lights and neon tights of the 80’s, we are the ones who want to just keep partying like it is still 1999.

Work hard, party hard. Right?

What many are unwilling to do though, is the difficult identity work that our young people are now working through. Adolescents willing to go to therapy and understand their emerging neuroses, as they are developing, as they are playing out, patterns repeating for the first time or maybe the second, but without decades of conditioning layered over  shadows already forming.

Kids transitioning, transforming and transcending, both understanding and seeing beyond the notions of social constructivism,  the made up nature of the world around them. The injustice, the inequality, the brutality of a made up system they don’t agree with and don’t wish to be part of. They can see that they have a choice.

Yet still the media and politicians scratch their heads. Ignoring the obvious.

The great resignation is just a side effect, as millions of parents and others, conscious, thinking people look around and realize, they can’t be themselves in this system. Collective identity work. We can’t follow our dreams and explore our passions in a world that narrows our attention to exam results and KPIs, unemployment rates and the national budget.

Do you feel it, as you read? As I write these words I feel my mind constrict, my awareness narrowing, my triggers igniting, the rant arising…..

Instead I switch my focus, to the wonders of creative technology, the connected world of our youth online, to the innovation and ingenuity of the ‘inexperienced’, the idealism of the ‘naive’, those without the knowledge of what ‘can’t’ be done or isn’t ‘real’. While there are many challenges yet to navigate, the internet and the digital world are already part of our future. And adapting to a world of increasing complexity is something the young are typically far better at than the old, those who’s minds have ‘reached a certain age’, and have ‘trouble letting go’ ( ~ Morpheous, The Matrix, 1999).

But our youth are doing the work needed. They are facing the demons we couldn’t bare to see. They are breaking generational patterns, working through trauma and the accumulation of dysfunction and toxic conditioning. Collectively, they are letting go. Freeing themselves of a system not fit for purpose, free to explore their potential and become their authentic selves.

Looking around at the macro patterns in society, I believe two new worlds are emerging, essentially characterized by the online community, and those moving off-the-grid. And for some, our identities already straddle these worlds. We are learning to harness the possibilities of technology and the virtual world, while being grounded and nourished by the sustaining rhythms of our planet Earth.

Together, technology and ecology, wisdom and love, can remind us of who we really are and how beautiful life can be when we all show up with peaceful, ethical and collaborative intentions toward each other.

The wisdom of the ages and the passion that drives creation, the forces that will help us shape a better world.

Identity work reconnecting us, one by one, to the authentic energy and light within.

“I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”

~ Neo, The Matrix.
The wisdom of the ages and the passion that drives creation, the forces that will help us shape a better world. ~ Simone B’Free
Freedom comes from the confidence gained from truly loving one’s self.
Not through the lens of the ego, but the compassionate understanding of the heart and soul. Unconditional, ego-less, self love
. ~Simone B’Free

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