I cannot tell a lie, I filmed the video on this same subject in the link below last year, during the last month of Year of the Yin Metal Ox, and then got plum busy and forgot to write an article on the subject and post it. Whoops!

Though, sitting here now, I’m actually excited for the opportunity to present my thoughts on the subject with no memory of what I said in the video below. Now that we’re in Year of the Yang Water Tiger (exciting!!), here are my thoughts:


The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself, Others, and Mother Nature is to Discover your Unique Expression of Oneness and Then Relax Into Being Yourself


Yes! To start fleshing out that statement, what are we talking about when we say, “being yourself?” First off, it means taking the time—using reflection, useful thought constructs, and life experience—to define yourself, to yourself, in empowering and relational ways. Second, to take those definitions of yourself and draw from their inherent characteristics, values, and personality in all your moment to moment experiences, from a place of complete self-possession.




Delving into the mechanism of that first step of learning to “be yourself” all the time, a few years ago the town I lived in offered a workshop to residents: (something to the tune of) Living Together in Harmony[1]. As that concept is one of Bliss Revealed’s missions, I went, curious to see what the presenter had to say on the subject of using labels to define oneself and in relation with others. The first exercise she had us do was write an extensive list of the labels we were currently using for our self-identification.

I wrote this:

  • Human Being
  • Yogi
  • Female
  • Heterosexual
  • Middle-class
  • Able-bodied
  • US Citizen
  • English/Irish/Cuban/German ancestry

Considering that I was at a Diversity Workshop I’m kind of embarrassed that I totally forgot the social construct of “race.” Oh, well. As a world-traveler who instantly leaves the tourist path and goes into huge crowds, off-the-beaten-track places, and is often the only person around who has a physical appearance similar to mine, I don’t self-identify with the notion of “race” unless we’re talking about correcting for the generations of evil and darkness borne from the concept. In the context of what life is like through my eyes, I experience myself as a human being and everyone else as human beings.[2] To be honest, the more different someone looks than me, the more I assume that they have some really interesting information and stories to share with me. Sort of like, “Man, I already know what it’s like to grow up where I came from with my background and ancestry, but I can’t wait to learn what it’s been like to BE YOU.”

Back in that morning session of the workshop, when we all finished writing our list of labels for self-identification, the presenter asked us to cross off the first one that we found the most irrelevant about ourselves when meeting a new person. We all crossed off labels one at a time at her urging for us to get down to what we thought of as our “dominant” trait. I ended up with: Yogi. And yes, considering I’m an American of mostly English ancestry, and my name is Unmani Saraswati, I wear that “dominant” label of my me-ness right out in the open.




Importantly, what the presenter was helping us focus on was: How many of our traits do we hide from others, or the opposite, over-emphasize, to gain acceptance? To be part of a group? To feel safe? How many of our labels are actually labels that take us further away from other people, not closer? Are labels that are exclusive help people lead happy lives in harmony with others? Are working to apply labels of identity to others inherent and unavoidable when meeting people for the first time? Do we need to use labels of self-identification at all?

You can ponder your own answers to these thought-provoking questions. Personally, as a student of eastern philosophy, I was taught that a sane, healthy human being has an internal mechanism/process/energy called (translated) an “I-am Maker.” That our “I-am Maker” is something to be aware of, embraced, and worked with directly to create a healthy self-reverence that grows into a reverence for All Things and Non-Things. In fact, one of the destabilizing aspects of modern culture—and its pervasive influence for most of us to lack even basic sanity—is that we are trained to feed our “I-am Maker” labels for self-identification that often bring us into opposition with others, not connection.

For instance, “race” is a made up social construct. White, black, brown, asian, whatever. Yes, the human mind is trained to identify and categorize. But think of how we note other people’s hair color. We note it and move on. It doesn’t mean anything significant about a person to note if they have black, brown, blond, or gray hair. Therefore, when we note the amount of melanin in people’s skin as indicating specific qualities about them, we’ve been trained to do that. Well-reasoning philosophers for ages have written about the notion of “race” being used by people who want to gain power over others to horde resources. They note that power over others comes from getting people busy fighting each other, not fighting the power-hungry themselves.

As a part of my stubborn personality, I’ve always rejected that modern culture social construct. Let me tell you, I’ve had the most fun and been gifted with some great stories just charging into situations where other people’s eyes got wide with like, “Oh, my, god! What are you, [white] [girl], doing here?” Haha! I’ve found that most people I run into are super-friendly and open and want to open their hearts and relate to me and others by talking and sharing, together.




Like the steps the presenter walked us through in that Diversity Workshop, when we take the time to explicitly bring out into the open the labels we use to self-identify ourselves, we can then start to examine whether we think our current labels help us, or hurt us, in our goal to lead a fulfilling, happy, connected life based in self-confidence and being oneself. Looking at the list of labels I wrote in that workshop back in 2018, I have to admit that today I would probably be choosing Human Being, not Yogi, as my most important label for people who are meeting me for the first time. This change in my self-identification reflects the Oneness movement posited by philosophers like Vandana Shiva and others who are calling for humanity to wake up to the power of the individual and collective to create a world based on freedom and innate human values, including a reverence for Mother Nature and our rightful place in harmony within her pantheon.

Now might be a good time for you to ask yourself: What traits makes my list of labels I use to define myself? Do I think they serve me well? Could I use labels that are more inclusive to help me relate to others as being “like me?” Do the labels I use help me treasure myself and make me feel lucky to be me? Or do the labels I use for my self-identity leave me feeling like a victim? Or feeling in opposition with others? Do any of my labels no longer serve me with happiness and joy but instead have stolen my life into conflict?

I often tell people that the best question to ask when starting a personal development journey is, “Who am I?” And then look really hard at the answers that come up, committing to adjusting labels that having been working in the background not helping, and embracing new labels for self-identification which further the process of falling in love with oneself and one’s life.

For instance, Bliss Revealed’s My Bliss Path™ program currently has four courses and the first three teach ancient wisdom thought constructs to help people answer the question “Who am I?” in ways that feed our “I-am Maker” empowering labels for self-identification and bring us closer to others. Using the eastern philosophical labels for self-identification that millions of people have used for thousands of years to create personal and community happiness and health can be an empowering game changer, for many.

Looked at from the perspective of the material in that program, my labels for self-identification are:

  • Warrior-hero,
  • 2 on the Enneagram, with a 3 Wing,
  • I sometimes still take the “drugs” (analogy) of Comfort and Computing & Measuring

Just reading that list makes me tear up with a feeling of the deepest gratitude possible for my life, for my unique expression of Essence Nature. I have been taught how to love myself to the extent that when I read a list of labels for my self-identity, I feel…..LUCKY. I feel lucky to be me. Also, I feel the deepest gratitude that in almost all my interactions with other people, animals, and Mother Nature, I draw on a highly detailed framework for maximizing my positive qualities and working to minimize my challenging ones. And, when learning about the different labels of self-identification I learned about people who are different than me, helping to grow compassion and empathy for others. Thank you!! Thank you, Mother India, for preserving these ancient wisdom concepts!




During the afternoon session of the Diversity Workshop, as a group, we talked about whether there are some common labels for self-identification that we may all want to think about de-emphasizing or even abandoning:

  • Political party affiliation,
  • Liberal/conservative,
  • Organized-religion affiliation with member/non-member judgments (as in “we’re right; others religions are wrong”),
  • Gender,
  • Race,
  • Socio-economic class, and
  • Educational background
  • [Today I would also add: Awake/Not Awake, and
  • “Vaccinated”/”Unvaccinated”]

Maybe a few people who read the list above felt their heads explode. What?? Hasn’t the mainstream media, TV, and movies taught us that many of those potential labels for self-identification are the most important labels in modern culture? Maybe a few people had a response akin to, “I’m me, I self-identify as one of those, and now I’m pissed!!” If you experienced that, remember, I would happily do a long-form video, myself or in conversation with anyone, doing a deep, thoughtful dive into the currently toxic nature of some of the labels on that list and how they’re being manipulated to tear people up inside (like children who have parents of different “races” a la Thandie Newton’s recent tearful ramble) and also confuse us about basic reality (most of us are a boy or girl and a few of us are exceptions who should be automatically accepted without fuss or emphasis). This manipulation of some of those labels for self-identification has some of us tied up in knots trying to figure out where we fall within some of those definitions, or stuck working hard to get everyone else to bend to our labels for self-identification, or maybe worst of all, just making us hesitate to interact with others to begin with. Meaning, lots of us are feeling angry and alienated from others by the very mechanism of what labels we’re choosing for our self-identification, rather than feeling safe enough to just be ourselves and be curious and open when introducing ourselves to new people and new circumstances.




When we feed our “I-am Maker” empowering labels for self-identification, it sets us free to have the confidence to be ourselves, simply and openly. When we know and love ourselves, have forgiven ourselves and embraced our lives,  we don’t hesitate to be ourselves. When I’m interacting with other people I do everything I can to host their experience and responses, working to stay curious and open to what truth about themselves and their world they’re trying to help me understand.


Homework: Do a deep, introspective analysis of how you define yourself, to yourself. Then figure out if you could adjust or change any of the labels you use to increase your happiness with yourself and deepen your connection with others.


The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself, Others, and Mother Nature is to Discover your Unique Expression of Oneness and Then Relax Into Being Yourself


I’ll write a follow up blog in the future about the second prong of learning to be yourself in all circumstances: How to take your empowering labels of self-identification and draw from those characteristics, values, and personality in all your moment to moment experiences, from a place of complete self-possession.

Thank you so much for reading this article. May you love your life, find your purpose, and hence, change the world. With love!

O, Peace, Peace, Peace.




[1] I just looked it up. In fact, it was called the Piedmont Diversity Workshop. Haha!

[2] For the purposes of the point I’m trying to make in this blog, please relax your mind and accept my view without jumping into an analysis of whether white privilege is how I’m able to see the world that way; I can address that another day and do have many stories/experiences to share to bring to bear on that topic; also, please understand that after twenty years practicing ancient wisdom concept and life-skills my perception of life and reality is a bit different than the average bear.


Unmani Saraswati, JD, LLM  became the Chief Happiness Mentor of Bliss Revealed after a successful seventeen year career as a divorce mediator-attorney and law professor. A lifelong student of how to how to have a vibrant experience of life, she earned her credential as a Certified Massage Therapist from the Institute of Conscious Bodywork in 1997 and graduated from Trika Institute’s Seven-Year Tantrik Yoga Study Group Program in 2010. As a Chief Happiness Mentor, Unmani draws on her ongoing study of ancient wisdom concepts and life-skills, nineteen years of daily mediation practice, and her work supporting thousands of clients to bring out their best selves in the midst of crisis through mindfulness and education. She teaches the self-paced online program My Bliss Path™ and live streams with subscribing members of the Blissverse Locals community. Also, check out her free videos and blogs. To find out more about Unmani’s mission for everyone to have a Healthy Body, Strong Mind, and Happy Heart go to: https://linktr.ee/blissrevealed

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