Gabrielle Bernstein has a new book out "Miracles Now"! → Check it out!

From Role To Soul — No Path — Simply, I AM

annieburnside01Well, what’s been percolating inside me for years — a lifetime (lifetimes, whatever) — seems to be gushing forth and outward after a summer of some pretty deep introspection. Good times, some might say ;). But truly for me, as many of you know, reflection equals good times, indeed. Especially when it stems from my own life experiences rather than the musings of another’s truth.

Basically, for years, I have trekked millions of paths up the mountaintop to personal truth, joy, passion and peace. And while I still view this exploration as truth, I have surprised myself very much recently as I have discovered that NO PATH is exactly where I feel the most comfortable and sit today.

As I have shifted more and more from role (multiple identifications) to soul — it has become apparent to me that my inner freedom comes from an understanding that, simply, I AM…

When I was a young child until about school-age, I remember just being ANNIE. Life was moment-to-moment and day-to-day and soul-to-soul.

This past summer, flashes of that young girl who still lives deep inside of me kept floating into my awareness. She was and is a glorious little creature, open and willing to live from her soul.

But I grew up, as we all do, and there became many, many new endings to the full feeling of simply I AM…

I am a girl.

I am a dancer.

I am a student.

I am a Christian.

I am a child.

I am an American.

I am a wife.

I am a teacher.

I am a new-ager.

I am a parent.

I am a vegan.

I am a meat-eater.

I am an author.

I am a blogger.

I am a spiritual teacher.

I am a soul nurturer.

You get the idea. The list goes on and on and on…

Suddenly, all of the paths, all of the labels, all of the identifications, when they become solid and a “thing” (and they almost always do) just feel really noisy and heavy to my soul.

It feels so much better to me right now not to identify with any path, any label, any outer form of identity that might subtly take away my power and freedom as an infinitely designed, fully operational soul.

So, instead of becoming a biker, I simply enjoy biking at my own pace and in my own way.

Instead of being a vegetarian or a carnivore, I simply enjoy eating whatever my body feels like eating in that moment.

Instead of being a Democrat or a Republican, I simply listen to my heart as needed.

Instead of being a lifelong spiritual seeker, I simply feel content in just being ME.

I have realized that I do not desire to be labeled as any one thing or identify myself on any distinct path.

I have realized that I just desire to be who I really AM… A free soul, a blended being, both human and spirit. This feels like truth to me.

And while I will certainly continue to work, enjoy my family and friends, feel passion for earthly pursuits, and be a responsible, conscious being in all areas, it’s very difficult for me to imagine ever going back to needing to be on a specific path.

It’s kind of like we are a caterpillar on the path to becoming a butterfly. But once a butterfly, because we actually KNOW in every cell of our being that we’re a butterfly, there is no need to be anything but free, free to move untethered at all times.

It’s kind of hard to explain what this summer has meant to me. I have been aware of many shifts throughout my lifetime. And I have always welcomed them all as the next step on my path. I guess one could say the same thing about this shift. And yet, it feels different. It feels like somehow I actually stepped off of the mountain with its myriad paths upward and am left with simply I AM…

Warmth and LOVE,


And, always, THANK YOU for reading!


A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer, award-winning author, and teacher specializing in parenting, conscious relationships, authentic living and spiritual development. Her book Soul to Soul Parenting won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award. Connect with Annie on her Facebook Pages and engage with her on Twitter @annieburnside

  • Michelle Crowley

    Dearest Annie, This Summer I walked the same Path as you did. The Realization of I Am has untethered me too. I honor the cocoon that housed me and now I flutter Free.
    Love Always,

    • Annie Burnside

      Oh, Michelle! So wonderful to know you are out there walking “no path” too:) Love your last line. So true and couldn’t have said it better myself! Mucho LOVE,

  • Lori

    I totally get this. Although, not there yet. You are my tribe!


    • Samantha

      Thank you Annie, I am absolutely tired of being labelled by others and I possibly even label myself. so from today I will work towards just being me. “I am free spirit”.

      • Annie Burnside

        Samantha, it is a process. Once started any type of “boxing in” typically feels restrictive. Three Cheers to YOU, a free spirit, indeed:)

    • Annie Burnside

      Thanks for reading and for your honesty! And YAY to the tribe:)
      In Oneness,

  • Tara

    I really love what you’re saying here, in part because it relates to a realisation I had recently about the difference between ‘believing in’ something, or knowing it to be true, and actually BEING it. Once something’s dropped right through, I’ve found there’s no more need to label it or even talk about it, because it’s a state of being; it just ‘is’. It’s quite hard to explain actually! I always enjoy your posts Annie; I think we are quite similar in some ways.

    • Annie Burnside

      Tara, I really appreciate your articulation above! It feels the same for me, and yet, must be felt by everyone in their own time and way. So glad that we share perspective:) Thank you for kind words about my posts!

  • David H. Breaux

    Hi Annie,

    Thank you for reiterating the wisdom of the great “I AM”ness of it all. There is no fixed self.

    With compassion,
    David H. Breaux

    • Annie Burnside

      Thanks, David! It can be really hard to put into words:)
      Much Warmth,

  • Tracy McMicking

    Hi Annie,

    Thanks for this today. As someone who used to struggle and still do sometimes with the idea that if I could just find the right definition the right “I am a ….. ” then I could finally offer a definition of myself that would be impressive to other people. The thing is when you chase external approval you are constantly changing hats in order to please the next person or group that comes along.

    I like how your reminded us that “I am” is exactly enough. To bring contentment, happiness, determination and heart to all the roles that life requires of us allow us to define them instead of them defining us.


    • Annie Burnside

      Tracy, I just love reading these comments. LIKE YOURS, they offer so much more to the conversation than my blog alone. Thank you!
      In PEACE,