Presence 2- Belief and Identity

The state of human nature is the ability to express our almost limitless potential.   Yet, we choose to limit this potential with our beliefs and identities.  As soon as we identify ourselves in one way, we, often by default, eliminate other possibilities of our potential.  Every time we have an identity we are also, often, identifying what we are not. 

Rather than embracing our potential and its limitlessness, we try to fit ourselves and others into prescribed roles and identities. We wonder why we are anxious, yet, so much of our anxiety has to do with working against our own nature.  We continue to deal with boundaries and limitations that do not touch upon our human-ness, and then wonder why we do not know how to show up with an integrated sense of Presence.        

How do the limitations of your beliefs and identities play into uncertainty and anxiety about your Presence in Life?   


How do the limitations of your beliefs and identities about others play a role in their uncertainty and anxiety about their state of Presence in life?  

Presence 1- Belief and Identity

Our identities and beliefs play a profound role in our Presence, or how we show up, for life.      

Presence is the second step on the Arc of Transcendence.  Choice, the first step shows us that we have possibilities from which to select.  Our state of Presence, the way in which we show up, is one such Choice we make.  Our state of Presence is highly influenced by the identities we hold within ourselves, and those that we project onto others. We show up in certain ways that are often defined and delineated by the beliefs attached to our identities.  Likewise, the state of Presence we allow others is often attached to the beliefs and identities we hold about them.         

How is your Presence, your state of Being, influenced by the beliefs and identities your hold about yourself, or the beliefs and identities others hold about you?

Do you project a certain state of Presence upon others based on the beliefs and identities you hold about them?

Choice 3 – Belief and Identity

Our lives result from the Choices we make.  Our identities and beliefs, however, may prevent us from seeing all the possible Choices available to us.

Identities and beliefs, about ourselves and others, can end up making us feel as if life is not unlimited, but instead, very restricted.   The reason this happens is that identities and beliefs take what is unknown, the possibilities of human potential, and constrain it.  Identities and beliefs are enacted as if they are the known and determined entities informing us that “things must be this way”, and “you are this way” with no possibility of being anything else.

Because of the beliefs and identities, you hold about yourself, what pathways in life are unavailable to you?

What pathways do you feel are not open to others, because of the identities and beliefs you hold about this person or group of people?

Choice 1- Belief and Identity

Identity and belief influence our perceived choices, and thus, our perceived power.       

The first step on the Arc of Transcendence is Choice, and it is within this first step that we begin to exert our power.  Our sense of power is often linked to the options available to us.   Some people are viewed as having greater power than others, simply because the number and extent of choices before them seem more extensive.  Identities and beliefs often establish the parameters of the Choices available to us and/or the Choices we allow ourselves, or others, to make. 

How do the beliefs and identities you hold about yourself limit or expand your Choices?

How do the beliefs and identities you hold about others limit or expand the Choices available to them?      

Intro 2- Belief and Identity

Clarity about the beliefs and identities we carry within our lives is needed, as these identities, and the beliefs associated, permeate all aspects of our lives. 

With a single identity (whatever that may be), we believe we know everything about a particular person or group of people.  We think we know how they are physically, how they relate to others, how their sense of self is derived, how they love and so on.  The same occurs within ourselves.  The identities we have, or are given to us, can begin to define all aspects of our lives.  The power of being a human being, a unique individual, is thrown out the window with these simplistic associations.

Think about one identity and belief you have about yourself.  What part of your life is not affected by this identity and its associated beliefs?

Think about one identity and belief you have about a particular person or group of people.  What part of your understanding of this particular person or group of people is untouched by this identity and its associated beliefs?

Intro 1- Belief and Identity

The speed by which identities and beliefs arise can be startling.  Some people look at a person or group of people, and within moments and with a great deal of certainty, can have a complete set of beliefs about these individuals.  The accuracy of these identities and beliefs is seldom called into question.  They simply exist as if they are always real and correct.  Likewise, an individual, without question, may also lead with his or her chosen identities, trusting in the expected beliefs associated with this identity.     

Some of these identities are, of course, physical, while others are simply created by mental projections.   Regardless of what underlies the identity, and its accompanying belief, it is important to understand where and how these beliefs and identities arise.

Think about the identities and beliefs you hold about yourself. From where did these beliefs and identities arise? From within you? From somewhere else?

Think about the identities and beliefs you hold about a person or a group of people.  From where did these beliefs and identities arise?

Do our beliefs and identities about self and others simply exist or are they the result of our creations?

Belief and Identity Overview

The cycle between belief and identity and self and others is a continuous one.  We identify each other and ourselves in a myriad of ways, and then we enact an entire system of behaviors, thoughts, and actions based on the beliefs associated with these identities.  So engrossed are we in these identities and their associated beliefs, we do not even stop to note how they are linked, nor do we reflect on whether or not any truth is apparent in these associations.      

What are some identities you have created for yourself or others have assigned to you?  How many beliefs are associated with each of these identities?

Now, choose a person or a group of people and list one identity associated with this person or group.  Next list all the beliefs associated with this identity.

How much truth exists in the association between these beliefs and identities?  How do you know?

Teaching – Closure

Gratitude is an act of Transcendence.  Something new is created when we exchange our gifts with one another, both as giver and receiver. 

When you are a teacher, you are a gift to others.  In giving of yourself, you provide the possibility for the development and transformation of others that extends far beyond you.  Within your teaching experience, you free to manifest the transformative steps of the Arc of Transcendence in sharing the following: 

May your Choices, Presence, Awareness, Ascendance and Transcendence reflect the teacher you long to be. 

Relative to your teaching experiences, for what are you most grateful?

Teaching- Transcendence 4

The teaching experience is not built upon comfort, but rather upon the sense of possibilities inherent in Transcendence.      

Although we may all like the comfort that comes from teaching a consistent set of courses and curricular content over the course of several semesters, we need to recognize that this predictability must be balanced with a sense of possibilities for transformation within ourselves and our students.  When we become too comfortable, we can become resistant to evolution, within ourselves and our profession.  By engaging with the steps along the Arc of Transcendence, we are asked to reconsider our intentions.  Each step along the Arc of Transcendence propels us into learning something new about ourselves and our experiences within teaching.  Comfort is left behind, as Transcendence emerges. 

What motivates your teaching more – a sense of comfort or the desire for Transcendence? 

Do your students suffer because you long for the comfort of predictable teaching?  

Teaching – Transcendence 3

One thing that often needs to be brought to an end in order for Transcendence to emerge is our limiting thoughts, beliefs, and actions.  Each day, we only have so much energy to spend.  To Transcend and transform in our teaching experience inside and outside the classroom, we must be willing to let go of those energy expenditures that no longer serve us or others.  This is the only way in which to have energy available to do the work of transformation. 

Which set of limitations do you need to release in order to engage with the energy of Transcendence in your teaching experience?

What set of limitations must your students eliminate in order that they may have a more transformative experience in your classes?