Ground Yourself in Authenticity and Live Your Best Life
Wow, that title is scary. Right?!
I feel like these days, words like “authenticity” and “truth” are thrown around left and right which is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but we need to stop for a second and make sure we’re using them appropriately because words hold weight and if we’re not careful with them, they may have unintentional consequences.
I write this post directly following a workshop in which myself and two other women worked on just what it means to be authentic and how to unlock that key in order to be in the flow of the universe and all that is divine. If that’s not your thing it’s okay, but believe me when I say it’s not just woo-woo stuff.
Like many complexities in life, authenticity can be arbitrary. Yet when we three were asked to describe what it meant to us, we came to similar conclusions. For me, authenticity means being grounded in who I am and what my unique voice is; nobody in this world can do what I do exactly the same way as I can, and channeling this talent and speaking my own unique truth is living in authenticity.
To be authentic is to connect to your true self, to your soul. Too often, we put a veil between ourselves and the world in order to protect from what other people may think or other fears we have surrounding rejection, guilt, or impostor syndrome. This can be referred to as the mask; it is the face we wear when we are too afraid to just be our damn selves. It is the role we play when we want to be accepted and choose to change ourselves to accomplish this goal, and, in short, it is not who we truly are. We all wear masks and are taught this skill at a very young age; by no means is it abnormal and in some cases it serves a valuable purpose. The danger lies in when we become unable to distinguish between the mask and who exists beneath it.
Beyond the mask, we each have this innate experience of the void that we often try to escape. The void is essentially emptiness: it is everything and nothing, that which connects us to all other possibilities. I know what the void feels like, but struggle with a way to describe it. The best comparison I can make is the feeling that arises during meditation. There is nothing to do, nowhere to be: all that is, just is.
As humans, the void scares the living s!*# out of us. We feel like we always have to be doing something and if we’re not, we go crazy. We think compulsively and make up stories that are not even remotely true, worry about things that don’t exist, and busy ourselves with mindless activities that take us farther from our goal rather than towards it. I get it, I get it, nobody wants to live in the void, but one of the most important steps you can take towards authentic living is to get comfortable with the void and accept it for what it is: infinite possibility to manifest your dreams.
Conventional systems and the culture in which we were brought teach us that living your authentic self isn’t accepted. We’re told that we have to go to school to get a job and get a job to make a living and once that happens, we have to get married and have kids and if we don’t, we haven’t quite done anything right. Thankfully, this system is beginning to change as people are discovering that life is meaningless (or soulless, let’s say) without passion and truth and that there is so much more out there than cashing paychecks until death do us part.
To break down these barriers and the thought constructs that are so deeply ingrained in society, we must begin with ourselves. I know it may sound so cliche, but you have to be the change you wish to see in the world. Living your own personal truth will impact at least one other person to do the same, and so it goes. As more and more people begin to lift the mask and live the life they were always intended to, everything will flow as it should.
Think of a time when you felt truly at peace and experienced ease in everything you chose to do; this feeling can be referred to as flow, and the underlying feeling of comfort and tranquility arises as a result of grounding in authenticity. We each have something that makes us lose track of time and fall back in love with the world, and it’s important for us to tap into these activities to get a sense for what it feels like to truly be in tune with the flow of energy in the universe. Again, I know it may sound crazy, but you have to experience it to understand it.
Next, start observing yourself and get to know what it means to be authentic in your own skin. Sure, your authentic self may be different when you’re with your friends versus your parents, but that doesn’t make it any less you. Understand the feeling and begin to chase it; when you see the mask creeping back in, ask yourself what is causing you to do so and begin to break those defense mechanisms down. It’s amazing what simply observing and becoming curious about your own habits and behaviors can do to change them. Begin to notice when you are living beneath the veil, accept it, then replace it with a new behavior that encourages your authentic self to shine through. You got this.
The world needs your unique talent, regardless of whether you believe it or not. By choosing to reject the behaviors you’ve been taught through years and years of repetition and replacing them with ones that make your heart sing, you are doing yourself and the world around you a favor by living your truth. We all have a purpose and a mission and whether we actually discover it or not is not important; the journey is. What is one thing you can do today to live more authentically?