Written by: Irene Abbou
image by:Kim Carpenter
Have you ever experienced days when things just flowed? Moments where you didn’t feel like you were molding yourself in to some made-up character to please this or that one, but instead felt awesome?
Maybe you radiated confidence and felt extra beautiful.
Hell, maybe you even felt enthusiastic about the future.
Perhaps you lovingly embraced parts of you that hide like buried treasure because you tend to not feel this enough or that enough.
What you are not feeling is depleted.
What you are not feeling is dis-appointed by all the unchecked boxes on your to-do list.
What you are not feeling is over-whelmed by the voices in your head.
I’m talking about times when you are being the most authentic version of you’re gorgeous self!
Days when you are thriving because you are being real and intentional.
We are Authentic when we become curious about our personality, our beliefs and values; and make it a priority to behave in alignment with these truths.
I suggest viewing the word Authenticity as a verb- as it is an ongoing practice that takes effort.
For me, at times it looks likes dancing to the 80’s with my sister using spatulas as microphones in our comfy sweats cooking dinner for the kids.
And I know you’re thinking, how does this take effort? But….for some of us letting our inner child have fun is no small feat.
I also feel most like me when I’m fist fighting my inner gremlin to finally give me permission to post my blog after ten unsuccessful drafts and six months of him telling me IT SUCKS, DON’T GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB.
What does it look like for you?
Maybe feeling authentic is doing something that feeds your soul, like finally having the courage to take that acting class.
Maybe it’s verbalizing your belief that some aspects of patriarchy are not all bad, when all of your friends are loyal feminists.
Maybe its practicing the guitar on your bed with your cat or speaking your truth to your significant other despite of the conflict it may cause.
Whatever it looks like for you, it will always involve a sprinkle of bravery and a few uncomfortable cups of vulnerability because that is what authentic living requires from us.
But, in return it gifts us with….
Confidence, Integrity & Peace of Mind
Disclaimer: sometimes living authentically will feel uneasy since it can require dis-appointing loved ones or creating dispute, but never the less, this is a way of life we should strive towards. Carl Rogers, one of the most influential humanistic psychologists expressed those unable to display authenticity are at risk of not becoming fully realized. Who in the world would want that?
It takes courage to show our true colors, to express our needs and to create the time necessary to learn about who we are. Below are the steps that made a big difference in my life. I hope they will support you as well.
Step 1. Get To Know Yourself
There is no way to live authentically if we have no idea who you are. The first step is to ask the important questions. Write them down. Who am I, outside of my parent’s expectations, my roles (mother, daughter, business builder, girlfriend or wife) my political views and religion? What am I doing when I’m feeling most me? Who am I spending time with? What childhood stories do I need to release to stop being afraid of the truth? What is my biggest challenge? What does my heart truly ache for? What is my body telling me it needs? How can I be more compassionate with myself? What is my best future self, asking of me?
Step 2. Work With Your Biggest Challenge first
We all have that one area in our life that holds us back from living genuinely. Norman Fisher author of Training In Compassion calls this “our own personal gift of crazy.” Fear of uncomfortable conversation and believing lies like “if anyone saw the real me I’m screwed are some common ones. Procrastinating on big life projects, you know would set your heart on fire, due tofeeling not young, smart, rich or skinny enough are also popular. All of these keep us prisoners to an inauthentic existence.
First acknowledge that we are all touched by not acting in congruence to our deepest values. Then identify what area in your life needs the most attention.
A good way to identify this is answering… What have I not done or not said that I know I should have because it scares the living hell out of me? or What must I do more of to feel like Im prioritizing the person I am. It could be spending more quality time with your kids. Exercising more regularly.
Step 3. Pay Attention
Pay attention to when your thoughts lead you to an action (or prevents one) that doesn’t match how you want to be and live. You will know something is off in your gut. Your body and soul will feel a sort of betrayal.
It all comes down to being afraid that if the shit hits the fan, you will not have the strength to pull through.
The truth is, it probably will be hard, but less hard than living a life pretending to be something we were never meant to be.
You are a gift and a miracle to this world. I know this because its been scientifically proven that the probability of you being born exactly as you are is about one in 400 trillion!
You have a right to be seen and heard and re-invent yourself!
So have that conversation; walk away from toxic relationships and situations and figure out that next right step towards the life you are meant to live.
Our goal: No Regrets.
Much Love Always,