Oneness Ministry

We are One

Identity Addiction

We are addicted to our identities, whatever they may be, and not just our identities, but the identity of all that surrounds us. How do you identify? Does this change when you are with certain people? I know mine certainly does. I remember my days working at the Gender Identity Center and meeting folks who identify as gender fluid. Perhaps this fits me. Perhaps it goes further to include not just identity, but the environment itself. Consider how you feel when you hike in nature alone. Do you feel a connection to the animals and plants? How about if you attend a large group event, say a ball game or concert? Why do we even hike in the woods or go to a big event? Could it be for the identity we borrow there? Don’t you ever tire of your identity? Isn’t it nice to try on someone else’s? Perhaps this is why hero’s are so adored! Or someone famous. Or the celebrated artist we wish we could be like.

Perhaps my initial phrase is exactly the opposite of true and we are actually afraid of our identity. We naturally fear our essence, our natural selves so we hide it by being what we are not. We project this unwanted identity on others. “Oh, that person was so mean” or “what a jerk that person was to me.” Choose an identity and vilify it! These identities fall into the list of individual rights as well. The right to not be discriminated against on the grounds the “other” is not like me. Everyone deserves respect, unless they violate my identity!!

The point here is as we grow Spiritually the phrase, “we are one” takes on new meaning. A literal meaning and it becomes difficult to identify with any one at all. I identify with everyone these days. An exercise I learned from the Conversations with God series by Neale Donald Walsch comes to mind. Go for a walk and randomly point at whatever you encounter and say, “I am that”. Do this regularly and observe how you relate to the world. If I am that trash on the sidewalk, perhaps it is not trash at all or perhaps it just reflects how I feel about myself. The bird has an entirely different view of the world than say a mouse or wildflower. With Oneness we realize how connected life is and how separated we can feel at times. This separation is false. It is Fear, false-evidence-appearing-real.

So in your everyday dealings with the world, ask yourself, who am I, really? If I have a job as a doctor or custodian is this who I really am? Are you the teacher or the student? The child or the parent? Couldn’t you be both? I am a Spiritual being having a human experience, but isn’t even that limiting? God is all there is and I am this, I am. No judgment required! Its all good, for its all God. No identity necessary!

Sequoia Elisabeth

https://onenessministry.info/

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Identity Trap

So you think you know who you are! Question this reality! Just how do you identify? Who are YOU? I know who I am! I am “I”. You are “you”. It’s as simple as that… or is it? What if there is no you or me and just us? We are One. So this means we are murders and rapists; saints and priest? NO. The dream of separation we call this world is just that, a dream. We have no body and there is no thing out there. Our mind projects all that we experience. The ego aspect believes it is separate from Source (God) and thus all the horrors (manifested guilt) this world appears to offer. Projection makes perception. The choice which presents itself is simple; are we ego or are we Source (God)? ACIM teaches, Ideas leave not their source, so I am just as God created me. Ego believes its own illusions, and it must. Yes, the choice remains to identify with Ego or with God. What you see tells you what you have chosen. So if you see God everywhere, this is your choice. If you see Ego (fear, separation, pain, etc.) then you have chosen this. You can choose again! In fact you must, choose over and over…

Here is a blog I really enjoy and feel explains this Identity conundrum quite well. https://www.voiceforgod.net/blogs/acim-blog/you-have-a-problem-of-identity-you-think-the-ego-is-your-self

Identity is a trap, a tree is not a tree, a baby does not exist but in the mind, death is a symbol of ego. Life (Love, God, Source, Infinite Intelligence) is eternal, unchanging, and all there really is. To truly identify with reality, one must let go of all “false gods”. Perhaps you remember the commandment to “put no other Gods before me”. This life here on Earth is an other God! To die is to repeat this illusion. Death supports the ego illusion. We don’t die, our identity does! So identify with Reality… God is all there is.

“The Son of God is my Identity – ACIM Lesson 252

1. My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive. Its shimmering and perfect purity is far more brilliant than is any light that I have ever looked upon. Its love is limitless, with an intensity that holds all things within it, in the calm of quiet certainty. Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself. How far beyond this world my Self must be, and yet how near to me and close to God!

2. Father, You know my true Identity. Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me.”

Blessings on our Journey of Love!

Sequoia Elisabeth

https://onenessministry.info/

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Who are you?

Identity exists in the mind and is seen in the people, places, and things we encounter throughout our day. How important is identity? Does it change? Are you still the same person you were a decade ago? These are questions which I play with constantly. It makes me feel good to question reality, to question my identity, and to question existence itself. Thus I sit here this evening doing just this. Who am I? Who am I in relation to you? Who are you?

Alas, the answer is complicated to say the least. Or is it? I feel like I have answers on a Spiritual level or an Ultimate Reality level, however this material world baffles me. It sure seems real even though I have been assured that it is not. The teachings in A Course in Miracles maintain this world is a projection of my mind, which is not really “my” mind but Ego Mind. Ego is the interface of the construct we call “reality”. We have been given powerful tools for interacting here, 5 physical senses, 6 mental tools, and umpteen beliefs upon which we base our actions.  Just like a TV set, the Ego is not who I am.  Thru ACIM my understanding has deepened greatly. I see so much clearer these days, except when it comes to daily life. It really all comes down to identity. How I identify determines my role to play, what I should do, and where I should go. The thing is, I have long established beliefs that conflict with my current identity. Which, by the way, was repressed for over 30 years. I can’t explain it, other than to say this is my forgiveness lesson. I must accept it and learn to live it. Doesn’t feel like I am doing very well with this. Though my life situation at the moment is very good. I have all that I need, I feel content, and well taken care of. I have others to care for and this is enough. My theory is I am getting very close to the end (of illusion) and the ego fears its end, so the disharmony and misdirection has been peaked.

The answer is simple. Love is the answer, always and all ways. The trick is to remember this in the moment. I go with the flow and be the observer, judging not, while seeking divine truth all the while. A good example of this just occurred. I am listening to New Age with a Native American flair and thinking I feel so connected, yet I did a DNA test and know I have no Native American in me at all. So what if it is not in me but rather the Earth or location I am in right now. Since I live in CO, this all used to be Native land. Even where I grew up, used to be Cherokee country. So perhaps this means location informs all who live here. Nature informs Nurture. I suppose this is the function of travel. Living in Mexico or India or wherever will inform the thoughts I experience. Even the Earth is traveling though space and as we move influences shift. This all relates to the Mind, so nothing is really moving, it is just the consciousness shifting. I maintain that if we attempt to live on another planet eventually we will stop being Human and become Martians or whatever. Not that Mars exists mind you, LOL.

Sequoia Elisabeth

https://onenessministry.info/

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Refined Message

What is our purpose? I’ve been asking myself why I even keep these websites. What I should do with them if anything. So here is what I came up with. A refined Manifesto.

My purpose and lot in life is to love and accept myself and the dream I have created. There is no more sobering thought than to realize you are the source of your nightmares. All the pain you have ever felt is on you. There is no one else, not really. “All else” or “other” is a projection from mind, your mind, the only mind. Our whole sense of self is based on Ego, this is the very definition of identity. If you think you exist, then this is the Ego. It is not good or bad, it is just the filter used to experience the world around you… to Know thy self!

Sometimes this image gets blurred and we think the “Other” is who we are. On the greater levels this is true, however on this limited Ego level it is not. I am you and you are me, though the Ego exists to further refine what you and me are. Ego is separation. All in this world is separate and represents the Ego (not the personality as Freud presented, but the entire “self”). I have come to believe that gender itself is an ego construct and Transgender is a confusion of this primary construct. We are born male, female or intersex, this cannot be changed in this lifetime. Sex is simply our Identity construct, it may define our life this time around, but it is by no means fixed in reality. Gender by the way is not Sex, these aspects are separate and yet intertwined. In the Ego world, there are shades of gray or color. A rainbow represents separation of light… thus the Ego. A perfect symbol for anyone who identifies with being human, special, or different. Yes, we appear to be unique, but this is only a perception – a desire by the Ego to be special or somehow better than other. The way to work though this is presented in A Course in Miracles. I will not go into it further and leave it up to you to explore.

I will not tell anyone else what to think or what is right or wrong, because that depends on your perspective and point of view. Being Transgender is real if you think it is. It cannot be denied, as I tried for 30 yrs and it kept coming back. When you get a obsessive idea the only way to get over it is to move through it. It could be called a problem, but in reality it is just an idea. Consuming, yes. So accept it and move through it. Face it head on. Fear = false evidence appearing real. Even death is false. I have died many times or at least my Ego has. Love is real and can not be destroyed. Whatever is “killed or dies” is unreal. Know this and life becomes a Joy. By “Know” I mean no doubt whatsoever.

So, if you have the impulse to crossdress then go for it. If you wish to sleep with the same sex or deny sex all together, go for it. However, if you have the impulse to harm anyone including yourself then take a step back. Tell someone about these feelings. Talk it out and take no action. The question is what does “harm” mean? I have been over that many times. Is it harmful to Transition? Is it harmful to die? Does shattering the concept others have of you qualify as harmful? There is the simple principle of “what you do to another, you do to yourself”. So perhaps transition is just passing your own confusion off to others close to you (other self). As you see the “other” you will see yourself. There is also the principle that we learn through experience, so unless we transition no lesson is learned. Pain is inevitable, suffering is up to you. I am not responsible for your suffering, even if I am responsible for your pain. We each have free will. There are no easy answers to these questions, there are only your answers. I have answered them for myself. I invite you to explore these questions and do your best. Live life and don’t apologize! Only you can ultimately judge you, so be kind.

Sequoia Elisabeth

https://onenessministry.info/

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What I have learned about Transgender in this lifetime

Transgender is defined as: A person appearing to or attempting to be a member of the opposite sex, such as a transsexual or habitual crossdresser. This is an umbrella term often used to include the entire community of individuals who cross gender boundaries on a consistent basis. This is the definition I use on my website and has variations depending on who is being asked. Bottom line each individual has their own identity and defines this word slightly differently. The bottom line is fuzzy like so much of life here on earth. Identity itself is hazy at best. We try to make it clear and well defined, but that is like holding a handful of sand.

Frankly, I have almost 200 blogs just on transgender and so this blog will be simple. It all comes down to other self. The world is our mirror and how we treat others determines how we are treated. It reflects what you think of yourself. Life is not happening to you, but thru you! How you see other self is how you see your own self. Ultimately, if you have looked around my websites you know I teach oneness. We are One! If you get what this means then there is no reason to read further. If not, I invite you to read my blogs and visit https://onenessministry.info/.

Transgender or any gender for that matter is a perception based on prejudice. Nothing is finite since life or our perception of it changes all the time. At some point you will be or have been all of it, just not all at the same time. Humans cannot function that way, so time serves to allow experience to span all possibility, one life at a time. What comes around goes around! Our entire Universe is designed to separate life into components, aspects, and pieces for further inspection. Its like looking at a cell under the microscope and identifying its parts. In that way we know it better. If you really want to know someone, walk a mile in their shoes is the phrase I used to hear all the time. The reality is we do exactly that! Enjoy the trip.

Sequoia Elisabeth

https://onenessministry.info/

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Like a Reversible Sweater

Human beings are like a reversible sweater.  They have both a man and a woman within each of them or if you prefer a feminine and a masculine.  This has nothing to do with sex which is nothing more than the physical aspect of the body.  It is time we started thinking of human life as multiphasic.  We each have many levels which shift and flow over time, some of us more than others of course.  Some never reverse their sweater and thus never get to know their full self.  Part of doing inner exploration is opening all the doors without fear and embracing what you find.  The spirit of acceptance without any preconceived ideas of what is proper or right is a must.  The idea of congruence must also be questioned.  Why do men have to have penises and women vaginas?  Like I said sex and reproduction is a whole other topic and at this stage of the game is becoming irrelevant with over 7 billion people on earth.  So let us move on beyond this primal need to replicate.  Instead let us get to know the self before we go about making more selves.

What I know is that there is much more to life than this concept of “me”.  I exist beyond this body and will always exist with or without the body I currently experience as “me”.  I am not “me”, nor am I “you”.  We are One.  The understanding of Oneness changes the entire game… it changes everything!  There is no “me” or “you”, only we.  Like a kaleidoscope of humanness we are constantly shifting and morphing, so to get stuck on one expression of this is a game ender.  The meaning we place on words is not fixed, but many think that it is.  You are not the “you” you believe yourself to be!!  Let it go.  And above all else stop trying to “fix” yourself.  We are here to discover (dis-cover) who we are, not to manipulate or manufacture a self (a false self).  Surgery, drugs, and other external methods just end up hiding the true self, the authentic self.  Please do not be drawn into this game of the “six-million dollar person”.  No other can make you better than you already are!  Love that which is the self.  In order to do this you must really get down and see yourself… look within, without expectations, fear, or limits.  Feel who you are… close your eyes and be not deceived.  Let the Journey begin… once again, for like all journeys they tend to repeat.

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Identity Crisis

Here are two definitions of what a girly girl is which came up in a discussion recently.  We discovered that we each had a slightly different understanding of this term even though most of the group identified with being a girly girl or at least wanting to be this.  The question I posed was Why?

“Girly girl is a slang term for a girl or woman who chooses to dress and behave in an especially feminine style, such as wearing pink, using make-up, using perfume, dressing in skirts, dresses and blouses, and talking about relationships and other activities which are associated with the traditional gender role of a girl.” (Wikipedia.com 2014)

“Girly Girl: an extremely feminizing girl. A girly girl’s favorite color is usually pink, but also likes other pretty colors like purple, baby blue, and pastels. A girly girl: Cares a lot about how she looks and dresses; wears very feminine, cute, stylish, and sexy clothes like skirts, dresses, cute tops and stylish low-rise jeans; likes wearing high heels; wears a lot of pink; does her hair up nice; wears a lot of makeup; does her nails a lot; loves jewelry; usually not into sports; reads fashion magazines; makes herself as little like a guy as possible; usually into guys as more than just friends but doesn’t have to be into guys like that because sometimes a girly girl can be a femme or lipstick lesbian. Also a girly girl says “like”, “totally”, “Oh my gosh!”, “Oh my God”, and “whatever!” a lot.” (Urban Dictionary 2014, grammar corrected by author)

Ultimately it comes down to being Authentic.  Is this ‘Girly Girl’ your authentic self?  It is also interesting to note that many transwomen have been in relationships with them or want to be.  The question that nags at me is how does this relate to identity?  Does our partner really have to resonate with our own identity?  Isn’t this what these relationships really represent?  Most people choose a partner who embodies their own ideals!  People who they feel fill a void within themselves.

Perhaps this is what drives the Transgender identity.  Sometime a rock is a rock.  Is a rock ever really a tree?  The topic of gender identity can be a confusing one and I certainly do not claim to have it all figured out.  All I can do is work from my own feelings and understandings.  So I invite you to reflect on this topic, to question reality, and to search for your soul!

This quest has been a lifetime journey for me and I welcome the perspective of others who also consciously ask “who am I”?    If you identify as a ‘Girly Girl’ what does this mean to you and why do you identify this way?  However you identify… why have any identity at all?  Is it possible to not have an identity?  Maybe you could un-identify yourself with anything!  The question then moves to how does one relate to the world?

A Course In Miracles (ACIM) states all identity separates and this is insane!  The idea of being separate from anything else is exactly what the Course is undoing.  Nothing is separate from Source (God).  God is all there is, so since there is nothing else to be separate from this idea is false.  Perhaps then the only identity we need is “I am”.  The name of God is “I am that I am”.  When embraced with a comma we experience true reality… “I am that, I am”.

Sequoia Elisabeth J

Unity in Gender Diversity

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One Raindrop Raises The Sea

What is your story and how does it fit into the larger societal story.  Think of yourself as a pebble which just got dropped into a still pond.  There is your ripple, and as they move out they include the birth family ripple, your friends ripple, the community you live in ripple, … your state, country/nationality, etc. etc.  The ripples never stop and extend far beyond this place we call earth.  Each ripple is an identity with its own story.  If you have ever played in the bathtub, a pond, or sat by an enclosed bay you know the ripples will bounce off each other creating a “chop” or chaotic wave pattern.  This is how life is; we are each one ripple in the mighty waves of the much greater ocean.

So what if you wish to change your story or perhaps you have a certain view of your story and everyone else has theirs.  For instance, you see yourself as an easy going, creative person with a deep insight into the workings of the world and your family and perhaps friends see you as a mentally ill, free loader with their head in the clouds all the time.  We each have a story.  Just how these stories mesh is not always neat and smooth.  Any teenager can tell you that!  The real question is does their version of your story matter to you?  The answer I stick with is; “what you think of me is none of my business”, however, it does matter in the big scheme of things.  Not so much to you but to them.  How you think of another, you actually believe about yourself.  So their story of you reflects back on them.  All you can do is accept them for who they present and get on with living your life.

The dynamics of relationships can get complicated really fast, just as the ripples do in the bathtub.   It’s not your task to calm the waves.  Your task is to ride them out and forgive those who trespass against you.  Your task is to support your own story and allow them to have theirs.  Just don’t be fooled into thinking you can change your story without also affecting theirs!!

Coming out for any reason sends shock waves in all directions.  It is like doing a cannonball right in the middle of the pool!  The reason does not matter, it could be coming out as gay, transgender, having some disease, being mentally ill, or even harboring radial beliefs.  If your inner circle does not also relate then your story change will exclude them.  It is like the repulsion of a magnet.  With time it is possible for alignment to occur, if and only if, they accept your story.

One could say it is just a story.  Why do you want to mess up my story by changing yours?  This is not fair to the rest of us.  I call this an invitation to take a guilt trip, but to take this trip you must first buy a ticket.  There is no need to give in to others.  We can all have a story (and do) and still respect others and their story (this is up to you).  So the plot changes from time to time.  Plot twists make it all the more interesting!

It is never ‘just’ a story.  Your story is vital to the workings of this world and without it we are all diminished.  Think of yourself as one candle and everyone else each being a candle.  Together we are as bright as the sun, removing one candle diminishes the whole or to put it another way, quoting Dinotopia, one of my favorite stories, “One raindrop raises the sea.”

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

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Identity Vs Role Play

Identity vs. Role Play

When was the last time you considered your identity consciously?  I mean were you really aware of your self-identity and how you relate to the world?  Who are you?  Where does the roles you play fit into your identity and where do they separate?  These are questions I ask myself regularly so I will share some of my insights.  Your experience here will likely be different than mine, but then this is what makes life worth living.  Variety is the spice of life.

Breaking down the question “Who are you?” leads to who = person, are = state of being, and you = ???  “You” is a broad term and as we grow spiritually we realize that there is a lot more to “you” than realized. There is the individual you (the self-identity), the roles you play as you (Mother, Daughter, housewife, friend, etc.), the larger you connected through community (teacher, activist, citizen, steward, etc.) and the Universal One you, which is the only “real” you there is.  I use “real” loosely here which is why I put it in parenthesis.  Perhaps it is “real” which we ultimately seek, but for now we will stick with identity and roles.  Using them as the barometer for which we measure these things.

We each play roles constantly and this includes the one you are playing right now as you read this. It is important to clarify the roles in each situation of your life so you may more fully experience who you really are.  Wait, is this true?  Are you the roles you play?  Perhaps the answer lies in context and it is the very Matrix you exist in that determines who you are at that moment.  Not to say because you swim in the ocean you are fish, but it does mean you are fish like and the connection to life in the sea is that much more relevant to you.  The sea will also inform your actions and vice versa.

I believe life to be circular, meaning who you are informs life and life itself informs who you are; it is a give and take, an ebb and flow!  This means that who you are is constantly changing depending on your thoughts and the feedback you get from “the Universe”.  Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am”.  Does this mean we are our thoughts?  Or that it is thought that creates us?  Who is this “I”?  Most likely you have some idea to your answer to these questions and it is as valid as any I can offer, however since this is my blog I will offer up my answer.

Identity is like an onion with many layers each informing the whole as an aspect of the greater whole, the totality of existence.  As one aspect of this totality, Universal Intelligence or “All that is”, I am as I identify, and in each moment this identity takes the form of a role I play.  So I am not the role, but the role is who I am at the moment.  The role will shift often instantly from one to another and so does my identity from the perspective of the Universe, but not from my own perspective.  I see myself as unchanging (often we identify with our body) and so to really know who I am, I must interact with this Universe (other people, nature, etc.).  We know ourselves through others; they reflect back the identity I project.  This is done through thought, so what you think about yourself determines your identity in this world.  To know what this is one must engage life.  Looking in the mirror only shows you the exterior form, which is far from who you really are. This is one page in a very long book!  In the end the only way to know what is, is to know what isn’t.  This is the lesson we are each here to learn in our own way.  For more on this scroll to the bottom of this page, http://sequoiablessed.info/page5 and experience the Journey of Love!

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

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Living In Authenticity

Are you being the person you most desire to be?  Not who you want to be, or even who you think you are, but the person at your core who drives your desires.  This requires shedding skins, like a snake.  As the snake grows it outgrows their present skin or identity if you will and it falls away, sometimes naturally and sometimes with assistance.  This is precisely what we do as we grow too, often without thinking about it because it is less literal and mostly metaphysical.

As above, So below… means when we grow we do it on all levels at once.  This is more obvious when you are young because life is mostly about growing, but this continues to happen throughout life.  As multi-dimensional beings we have many bodies not just the physical body we each identify with here on earth.  (Click here for more on Subtle Bodies)

The journey of discovery of self begins with intention and continues throughout life, the deeper you go the deeper it gets and this is indeed a good thing.  No worries about getting lost because all roads eventually lead home.  Have fun on this journey and at the same time do not get too attached.  The skin you live in today is not the same as the one you had as a child and is not the same as you will have on your death bed.  For some of us who are awake and aware this skin changes more rapidly than for others, it all depends on your intentions and desires.   The journey can take a side path which is often very fun at first and then gets tiresome quickly. Eventually though the journey becomes about seeking your most inner desires in order to connect to your innermost being or soul.  Does it really even matter what skin you wear?  Only if you believe it does!  Still it is important to honor the expression your path has drawn you to, meaning if you find yourself drawn to military things, honor that aspect of your being even if it seems to contradict other aspects of yourself such as gender expression.  If you find yourself being drawn to natural processes and nature then honor this path and explore.  Life has many blessings, gifts, and pleasant surprises.

So I ask once again, Are you being the person you most desire to be?  Are you being honest with yourself?  If not, then why?  What is the fear motivating this dishonesty? As you face your fears they fall away and this is what it takes to live an authentic life.

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

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Transgender Is A Noun

The word Transgender is a noun and is not to be used as an adjective.  It is not a description per se, but a state of being.  I doubt you would ever call yourself maned or womaned, or even manized or womanized.  Gender is a state of being, it is not a condition.  This is not temporary within this lifetime.  This is the way we are born and the way in which we must live our entire lives!!

Identity is something unique to the human race or third density, because the very definition of third density is being self-aware and thus being aware of our identity.  A cat does not know it’s a cat, it just is.  The same goes for all animals because they are second density or not yet self-aware.  These concepts are not new or unique and I got my grasp on them through the 5 books “Law of One – The RA Material”.

Evolution is a path we are all on and even in the 3rd density some are just entering and others are in the process of shifting to 4th density and beyond.  Once a person evolves to 4th density they remain aware of the lower densities, but cannot see beyond where they are on the path.  This is the nature of evolution, so does this mean we move forward blindly groping in the dark?  No.  We have tools to navigate the unknown and the most useful I think is emotion/feeling.  The tools of the mind have been discussed in length on this blog so I will not go into each one and instead invite you to read “the Six Senses of the Mind” first published 6/30/2010.

What does identity consist of?  What are the degrees of identity if this is possible?  My answer is we start with Humanity, we are human.  This in itself is a major distinction even in this world.  We each have gender, man, woman, or transgender. (others may exist, it is your identity after all).  We each have race or ancestry and we each have socio-economic status.  We are born into these and to a great extent will have these the rest of our lives.  I know the last one is debatable, but when you really think about it 99% of the human race never change their socio-economic status.  How do you identify?  Traits can be a very long list, but do blue eyes really make you who you are?  Does gender?

The purpose here in this blog is to trigger a questioning and deeper exploration of identity. To invite you to clarify who you are and in the process perhaps broaden your definitions and connections.  I mean the ultimate identity is the One – God, Source Intelligence, Creator of all there is.  We are each an individuation of this One Source and part of being self-aware is to expand and deepen our understanding of who we are.  To fully grasp our connection to source while maintaining our individuation!

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

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Label Me Please

“Label me, define me, nail me down with cold words and

that box will be your coffin, for I do not know who I am” — Rumi

Using labels to define existence provides us with a tangible experience.  Boxing something or someone’s identity allows the observer to have a personal idea of not only what that item or person is, but more importantly to know their self!  Rumi has it right in that we are all that is, but in order to fully experience this earthly life one has to be in a box or all is nothing!

Try this wonderful exercise and see how it feels to you.  Choose a random moment, pause, look around and say to yourself – “I am That”… “I am”.  You could be looking at a beggar on the street, a flower in your yard, or the computer you sit in front of right now.  Experience what it feels like to “Be” that item or person.  Take your time and let it sink in.

How does it feel?  Did you have a transcendent experience?  I know I often experience a feeling of connection to everything in the Universe during that exercise, but sometimes I don’t feel a thing.  It depends on what I put into it!  Taking my time and relaxing into the process is key.  A fun place to do this exercise is somewhere you don’t normally go or particularly like being.  It stretches the mind and broadens the senses to a point of acceptance, depending on how much you resist the feelings of course.

Where do you find yourself feeling awkward or uneasy?  Prisons, Churches, Gay Bars, Tall Buildings, at sea on a small boat, a room full of animals, sitting in your cubicle, _______ fill in the blank?  The feedback you receive is insight to your make up and conditioning, but does it really tell you who you are?  Now try the exercise in reverse, where do you find yourself feeling safe, welcome, and at home?  Your own living space, sitting at your desk, in the arms of your lover, with family, with friends, in a forest, all by yourself, _________ fill in the blank?

Now think back to a tranquil picture you remember seeing, does the feeling you get seeing the picture compare to actually being there?  For instance, seeing a picture of Yosemite National Park compare to actually being there?  Do you expect it to?  The idea is for the picture to remind you of past experiences.  If you have never had the experience then the photo can inspire you to visit the place or have the experience.  Fantasy pictures are more about invoking an emotional response sense going there is not an option.   What does “Be a Unicorn” mean to you?  If you see a pretty picture of a Unicorn can you image being the Unicorn?  Are you in the Unicorn box?  Do you see the purpose boxes provide?

Without a box or identity how can you experience anything in particular?  I find being in a box (labeled identity) helps me more fully experience life, whatever that life is at the time.  When I was living as a man the box allowed me to more fully embrace the experience of being a man.  Now that I live as a woman whether I label it as transwoman or not I have a clearer idea of who I am.  I live based on my own ideas of what a woman is, while also feeling my way through the experience.  The clothing, behavior, and thought process is very natural and takes little effort on my part.

I have sat in a field and put myself in Tree box, imagining myself to be a tree, feeling the sun, sinking my roots deep into the earth, and feeling the connection to all the animals, insects, and other plants!   It is a cleansing experience, one that humbles me, and reminds me how important each living thing is in this world.  Without the box though, this would not be possible.

On a side note labels are simply a tool, and can be used to separate you from other things and people.  If you go around saying I am not that, or that is a tree and I am not a tree, then the feeling of separation takes over – the feeling of fear sets in.   Connection is a feeling of Love and perhaps this is the purpose of the whole exercise!  To feel Love!  Have fun on your Journey of Love.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity     Free eBooks click here

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Self-Image

Self-image is very simply who you think you are.  It is based on feelings, past behaviors, and feedback from others.  While this seems simple it really is not because life is interwoven beyond comprehension.  Our minds cannot wrap around who we really are so it does the best it can to extrapolate meaning and identity.  The mind uses the physical universe for the basis of this identity and employs many techniques of deception and subterfuge.  At a young age we simply accept what we are told as to who we are.  For instance, if you are born into a middle class white family with male genitalia and dark hair it is just assumed that you are a Caucasian boy from an average family who has dark hair and pale blue eyes.  Identity is based on appearance.  The reality of this identity is only as real as the material world.

Mixing in feelings and behavior, identity can be further clarified.  First of all behavior is often driven by feelings which in turn feeds more behavior leading to self-image.  If you feel average, act average, look average then one would assume you are average.  I would say the ego mind sells this version of reality to most everyone whether it is true or not, and most of the time it is not true.  What is normal after all and what/who is used as a baseline or model?

Feelings come from within and can vary depending on many factors both external and internal.  Hormones for instance can determine how a person feels, as well as many other brain and body chemicals.  From the exterior things as simple as the weather can have an effect on feelings, is it raining, sunny, windy, etc.?  Other people can affect feelings if we let them by reacting to their actions or words.  So the bottom line is we often base our self-image on false data!

How does one figure out who they are then?  From experience self-image is learned and can be changed with some concerted effort.  Identity is a personal thing and evolves over time in sync with the environment and personal choices.  The more I delve into this subject and it has been an important factor all my adult life, the less I am inclined to believe the standard teaching on self-identity being hardwired into the brain.  I believe the brain to be far more malleable than we realize.   In fact, I view the brain as a computer processing center and without input it has no output.

So who are we?  First we need to know who we are NOT!  We are not our body or any part of it.  We are not who others think we are even though this does have an effect on who they are.  We are not our feelings or behaviors although they do have an effect on our appearance to others.  …We are who we think we are!

“I think therefore I am” Descartes

Going back to the previous example, if you believe (think) or agree with what others think of you then this is who you will be, a white middle class boy with dark hair and pale blue eyes.  If however you think yourself to be a rich white upper class girl with blonde hair and hazel eyes, then this is who you will be!  I can speak from experience here as this has precisely been my experience.  Ultimately, I know I am neither!

Just because a person has certain DNA and gene structure when born it does not mean they will or have to follow this path.  Choice plays a far greater role than given credit for, however I also know that fate or destiny also plays a role.  Now, please understand that I do not suggest that a person chooses to be gay, straight, transgender, or black consciously, but we do choose a destiny before birth so as to have certain experiences for spiritual growth.  Fulfilling this destiny is the only way to move on.  So it is best to embrace this path by looking deep within and with all the courage you can muster, step onto this path fully, with open eyes and open heart knowing all is well.  We are Spiritual beings having a human experience after all.  The Spiritual Principle, “As above, so below” applies perfectly here.  As we evolve spiritually, our physical expression changes. 

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

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Are You Transgender

How does one know they are transgender?  The answer to this question is both easy and complex.  Easy in that only the individual knows they are transgender by how they self-identify and complex in that identities often blur together.

Transgender – A person appearing to or attempting to be a member of the opposite sex, such as a transsexual or habitual crossdresser.  This is an umbrella term often used to include the entire community of individuals who cross gender boundaries on a consistent basis.  Dressing as the opposite sex for a school play, at Halloween, or once or twice as a youngster does not make you transgender.

A person can identify with many others who are important in their life.  Gender is not always important, meaning they may identify with both men and woman and sometimes other beings as well, such as animals, plants, or insects.  We do it all the time, it is called anthropomorphication, projecting human characteristics on to things other than human.  Pets are a favorite subject for this.  Identity is a fluid thing, because we are all connected through Great Spirit.

Getting back to self-identity, gender identity is usually apparent by the age of 3-6.  For this reason historically the Native Americans and recently some modern families are choosing to allow their child to tell them how they identify instead of looking between the legs and then pasting them with an identity of boy or girl.  Certain characteristics such as toys chosen, behavior in certain situations, and how the child interacts with others can be indicators of masculine or feminine characteristics.  However just because a boy likes to play with dolls does not make him transgender either.

Gender is a spectrum not a binary and in fact 80% of the population falls somewhere in the middle of the bell curve.  It is rare to be totally male or completely female in gender.  Just think back about your life and whether you enjoyed doing things which were considered opposite of your gender?

The main gist of the growing numbers of Transgender identified individuals is equality.  Everyone no matter their gender, race, orientation, status, finances, appearance, mentality or any other characteristic deserves to be treated as an equal.  Each person in their own way is an expression of God, Great Spirit, or Infinite Intelligence.  And it is up to the individual to decide how they identify!  Our job is to lovingly accept them.

Doctors, Lawyers, or parents do not have the right to impose their interpretations on any other person.  Now they can and will offer their expertise, but it is still up to the individual to take that information and do with it what they will.  Even a child 3-6 years old can tell their parents how they feel.

The parent can then provide opportunity for the child to explore their feelings, and with love and support the child will fulfill their destiny.  And for those individuals who have suppressed these feelings for decades it is never too late to give yourself permission to be true to you!!  Ultimately, Love is the answer to every question.

I encourage those with gender doubts or questions to explore their feelings by looking deep within the heart.  The only way to know for sure is to try different gender role expressions.  When you arrive at a conclusion it will feel right.  Of course, this is for the moment because life is filled with moments and this feeling may change, although the wiring of the brain is fixed at birth.  Ultimately life is an exercise in discovery and forgiveness.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

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Who Are You?

Identity is an important aspect of human life for several reasons.  It is how we all relate to one another and the world around us, it is how we discover our self, and it is how we discover God.  I am not sure we ever really “know” God, especially in one human lifetime.  Unity in Gender Diversity is a website that celebrates this journey of self discovery from the perspective of one individual.

UGD has two main parts, the Gender Learning Center and the Spiritual Learning Center.  Each explores an important aspect of what I call the Journey of Love, which is really a journey to discover the self, God and all that is.  Along this journey identity changes and evolves to the point where deep insights are discovered.  It really never stops though and when this lifetime ends another one begins and the process is repeated in a slightly different way.  Some say that when you lay down at night you die and are reborn the next day in a slightly different way.  I have this experience often, so maybe I can say I have lived many lifetimes within this one lifetime, maybe we can all say this!

I love the infinite expressions of life that constantly shift and change, but in essence never change.  No matter what you identify with, be it an object, animal, or person, the core essence never changes.  Thus the saying, As much as things change, they stay the same.  Meaning all things are Unified as One in infinite variety.

In essence we are all made of the same thing and this includes everything you can sense around you, the people you meet, the chair you sit on, the food you eat, the stars you see in the sky, the ground you walk upon, everything!  Carl Sagan called it “Star Stuff”, Plato called it “Aether” and Aristotle called it the “Fifth Element”.  (Wikipedia.org)

This knowing can make your life both interesting and fulfilling.  Since all things are of the same source, no harm can really take place.  Things appear to change all the time, the experience is constant change!  This is the way it was meant to be.  This is how the source discovers itself!  All that I am not, leads to what I am.

The Journey then is “notness”.  It is being what you are not so that you can truly experience who you are!  I pray this means something to you, if need be please read over the website and discover who you are not.

Ok, I will spill the beans right here… all that you can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell is NOT who you are.  You are not your pet cat, your favorite Barbie doll, or even your car,  nor are you, your name, a man, blonde, short, stupid, wealthy, etc…  At some point you will identify with just about everything that crosses your path in this life… it is NOT who you are.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Who are you?

Who are you?  Are you sure about that?  How you see yourself and feel about yourself is very important, however it is our actions that truly define us.  Our thoughts and prayers are simply one step on the path to discovering who you are.  The creation process works like this, thoughts, words, and action.  Each cycle of this process further defines who we are.  Being true to our word and staying focused on our desire is one way to hasten the process.  When we send out consistent messages combined with actions to back them up then the Universe has no choice but to manifest our dreams! 

Consistency is the problem that most people face and this simply comes from discipline and focus.  Always do what you say you will do, be honest with yourself first and then others, and make no promises you cannot keep. 

Be easy on yourself too.  We all slip up from time to time, so try not to beat yourself up.  It is very true that we are our own worst enemies, so make peace now.  Begin by looking yourself in the eye (mirrors make this very easy) and saying “I love you”, feel it deep within.  Do this every day and see how you feel in a week.  I do this on a regular basis, as often as I remember to.  This may seem egotistical but it is not, because you are not speaking to the image in the mirror, but the Spirit that makes up the image.  “To thine own self be true”.    

So this brings us full circle to, who are you?  For me there is no set answer, only the feeling at the moment.  Sometimes I am Peace, sometimes Love, sometimes Divine Feminine, and sometimes I am simply me with no identity at all. 

While I am not my body, my body is an expression of who I am in physical form.  Yet when I look in the mirror I feel that I am more than this.  I feel so limited in this body; like a prisoner of flesh.  The Journey of Love that leads to discovery of our inner self can be a long and lonesome road, but it can also be fulfilling and joyful.  What do you expect to find at the core of your being?  The same thing that I find at the core of mine?  Could be, we are one! 

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

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