I was with a client recently. She’s an expert in her field. She’s been teaching her work for decades. And I was enquiring into the essential nature of her work, asking her what this work was really about, and how it moved people.

She was in flow. She was transmitting. I couldn’t type fast enough to capture the wisdom pouring from her. It felt for me like a teaching from on high. I was learning as she spoke.

And then she stopped.

“I don’t know what I’m saying. Who am I to say such things?”


Who am I to declare myself a teacher in a discipline I have no formal training in?

Who am I to speak of God and Spirit when I feel like a contracted schmuck most of the time?

Who am I to teach others things that I myself feel in the midst of my own struggle with?

Because we need permission

Our entire education system is based on this idea. If I want to be an English teacher, I study English at University, and then do teacher training. Then I get a job in a school, where I’m given the rules and conventions about how I teach English.

It’s about safety. We can’t have everyone going around proclaiming themselves a teacher can we? It’s dangerous.

And so when we hear that voice ”who are you to…” we stop.

We look out ahead of us in our life, and we see a big wide expanse of something we’ve never explored. We don’t know it, haven’t been there. We look behind us, at what we know, and it feels safe, solid. We turn ahead and see all the ‘experts’ already out on the field, with years or decades of experience behind them.

“I’m not like them” we say.

I’m in in right now. I feel my work starting to pivot. I thought I knew where I was headed, I had it mapped out in front of me. And yet I feel the undeniable truth. I’m being pulled off course. Pulled toward something I did not expect to be asked to teach, and I’m scared.

Who am I to teach in this area I’ve struggled all my life? Who am I to speak of things that intimidate me? This discipline is in the possession of others who are wiser, better, much farther ahead than I am.

Who is speaking?

When my client was speaking, there was one thing that was abundantly clear to me.

She was in flow.

She had gotten out of the way. Her mind was soft and relaxed. She wasn’t trying to justify something, persuade me of anything. She was simple letting go and letting the words come.

She was channeling something. It was coming through her.

Where was it coming from? If it wasn’t come from her, what was its source? What is the source of that energy, that seeing, those words?

The mystics would call it pure experience. The truth that is not meddled with. The wisdom that is not bent to fit something appropriate, but is allowed, as we soften and surrender.

It comes from God. Spirit if you prefer. Or the universe. Your higher self even (which is just God personified).

Don’t fuck with God

Who are you to speak of these things? Who are you to teach of these things? Who are you to presume an illumination that was not confirmed by a senior teacher?

When we feel that great doubt. “who am I to…” it is usually an indication of something easily misinterpreted. We think it’s an indication of unworthiness.

It is actually an indication that you’re connecting with your higher self.

You’re feeling your own higher potential, the power you already possess, but that is not yet embodied. You are not yet the one who calmly and powerfully lives that work. But you feel him, sense her. They want to come through you.

Who are you to proclaim this vocation that wants to come through you?

Who are you not to.

The power, the truth coming through you is not yours. It’s God, working his way out through your willing vessel. To deny the validity of its emergence is to presume your wisdom outranks God’s wisdom.

That’s a pretty big call to make!

An enormous call to make. An arrogant call even.

Speak what wants to be spoken

And you will surrender to something more beautiful and more powerful than your gorgeously innocent humanity can yet comprehend.

Teach what wants to be taught through you and you will submit to a service that the world thirsts for and your soul has been forged for.

Who are you to…?

One who is asked to.

Answer Him.

And then the real work begins…


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Ewan Townhead

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you're interested further in my work, you can find out more about me here, and my coaching here.

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  1. Avatar

    Indeed. This is so true for me, and I’ve worked through this so many times, only to find I need to be reminded again and again. Thank you.

    • Ewan Townhead

      You’re welcome Jessica. I of course, also wrote it to remind myself 😉

      • Avatar

        Thank you Ewan for this beautiful example of the Universe flowing through and co-creating this reminder of the need to Self remember :-)) I’m loving your courage and honesty with the work.

        • Ewan Townhead

          You’re so welcome Jason. 🙂


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