Your Essence & Personas:

What You Really Need To Know


Your essence

Your essence is who you really are.

When you’re in touch with your essence, you feel vibrant, alive and whole. Your essence is creative and loving and wants to evolve.

On a neurobiological level, your essence forms neural patterns and networks in your nervous system as you develop as a fetus. These patterns and networks allow you to experience your essence.

How you lose touch with your essence

A cropped shot of a cute little girl looking lonely while sitting outside on an autumn dayIdeally, your essence and it’s neural networks would continue to expand and shape your experience of life.

But that’s not what usually happens.

Instead, as you move through your early life, you experience difficult events or circumstances that cause your essence to distort into personas. Because your ability to cope depends on your personas, the networks they form become more active than the networks originally formed by your essence.

The neural networks formed by your personas then cause you to restrict your awareness, breathing, thinking, feeling, movement and so on. This can cause you to relate with yourself, other people and the world in distorted and unfulfilling ways.

How personas & limiting beliefs form

Essence & Personas 2Let’s say that your father left your family when you were very young. In order to make it through that difficult experience, you formed a “tough kid” persona. You also formed the beliefs that “people can’t be trusted,” “I’m not good enough” and “if I love someone they will leave me.”

The formation of your “tough kid” persona forms neural networks in your nervous system. These networks cause you to chronically tighten your jaw and shoulders, and breathe shallowly. They also cause you to close your heart emotionally and avoid getting close to other people (especially men) to protect yourself from being abandoned again.

Examples of personas you may have formed early in life include: people-pleaser, perfectionist, critic, controller, caretaker, loner, space case, sick kid, shy person, chameleon or victim.

During childhood you probably created several personas and limiting beliefs which are still predominately active in your neural networks today.

As an adult, they continue to shape your experience in ways that limit your evolution.

How to know if you’re in essence or persona

When you’re in a persona…

  • You feel contracted and fearful
  • You’re holding your breath or breathing shallowly
  • Your rhythm feels off
  • Your movement is frozen, glitchy or incomplete
  • You’re running on automatic, habitual patterns that limit your choices
  • Your interactions with others are often unsatisfying
  • You’re not having fun

When you’re in essence…


  • You feel spacious and clear
  • You have a feeling that all is well
  • Your breathing is soft and easy
  • Your movement is fluid and pleasurable
  • Your creativity is flowing in fun, fulfilling ways
  • You’re in rhythm with yourself and the world
  • Your interactions with others are loving and creative
  • You feel happy, alive and free

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Get in touch

Gregory Newman, MS, LMT
(608) 770-4633


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