We struggle to become ourselves.

We try to create a ‘self’ that will be acceptable to others.

A self that will fit in.

We try and try and try and try and try and try and try –

to become.

But we already are.

Maybe we could just learn to

be whatever it is that we exquisitely, discretely, uniquely are already?

Instead of forcing.

Bending and fashioning and defining.


Delve and develop and radiate.

And shine.

(Photograph by UNICEF)


  1. This was so incredibly interesting – about the first half of her speach she described so much of what I have been struggeling with all my life – I felt like she knew me

    The second part I still have to come to terms with. I don’t mean mentally understand, but emotionally understand as it goes against everything I was taught and everything I thought I knew.

    I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just unheard of for me and it will take a couple of moments to settle so I can revisit it.

    Very interesting idea – thank you so much for sharing this

    🙂 K.

    1. I love this Thandie Newton talk but really do get what you are saying about the second part. It is not just contrary to what you’ve been taught – it’s contrary to how we have all been taught to look at the development of self. Thanks, K.

  2. Wow, i’m a little blown away right now. I feel so personally validated by what she said– seeing one’s otherness, that which keeps us from feeling a sense of belonging, as actually a portal to the essence of humanity. When our mere selves are crushed we can find ourselves living in everyone, and they in us. Maybe she is the pretty face the new movement that will resuscitate our spirits.

    Regarding awareness: I just want to say this is why I believe people should struggle to have it, as the layers of self require exposure before pealing. We need to find the edge of the lies pasted onto us so we can pull them off, like old layers of wallpaper. This is why I write “edgy, intense” stuff, and not necessarily uplifting from the get-go, as I believe pealing back the false layers of self, the projections layered on throughout our lifetime is arduous work. It is work. And it is not self-indulgent, it is the journey we all must take to destroy the false-self, or as this lovely lady calls it ‘the self’.

    1. It really is a great talk, isn’t it. And I agree about peeling away the layers, searching for our true, real selves instead of passing off the wallpaper as substantial walls. It is essential to do that if we are to be able not just to find ourselves but also, then, turn those selves out towards the world to make a real difference.

  3. Wonderful TED talk . . . and preface!

    I agree with her distinction between “the self” (i.e., the Ego-Self or false self) and our essence (i.e., the Spirit-Self or our connection and oneness with others).

    Different people use different lingo . . . but it’s what I mean when I differentiate between Ego-Self and Spirit-Self.

    The first is a projection of how we perceive ourselves vis a vis others. The second is WHO we really are . . . underneath it all . . . the unchanging essence we are from birth to death.

    If we are trying to “find ourselves” in order to bolster the Ego-Self, it’s rather a waste of time since that’s merely a projection. No more “real” than an actor playing a role.

    In contrast, if we are trying to “find ourselves” in order to uncover the ESSENCE of who we really are at the core . . . underneath all the layers . . . if we want to access our ONENESS with all that is . . . that’s a valuable use of time.

    And the good news is that we can “find that self” no matter where we are in life . . . no matter what roles we are playing . . . from caregiver to bank executive to hippie . . . merely by looking within.

    Namaste. _/!_

  4. Thanks, Nancy, that is a great and comprehensive description of this vital process. The thing is that we are trained to develop our ego – and it’s a seductive process. When we interact with others we can take that road as well – approaching their ego-selves as you put it, rather than their real selves. It’s a neat and easy to control world when all the ego-selves pretend to interact – a lot messier (in a good way) when the spirit-selves meet up – but a lot more rewarding, don’t you think?

    1. We spend SO MUCH time protecting our glorious and fragile Egos for the OPINIONS of others ~ what a waste of time.

      Once we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live.

      You might enjoy this:

  5. This message was so powerful and continues to be needed in our world today…thanks for sharing the video. Also, glad to have you visit and like my post…

  6. This message was so powerful and continues to be needed in our world today…thanks for sharing the video. Also, glad to have you visit and like my post…

Leave a Reply