Only a handful of years ago, I found myself in a drastically different place. I was quite fearful and often hid who I really was from friends and family. My deepest truths and wishes in life felt like something to be ashamed of. My spiritual practices of meditation, yoga and my commitment to deep inner work appeared to separate me from those I loved. I want to be clear here—this had nothing to do with the loved ones in my life. It was my lack of trust and fears that who I really was would not be accepted that kept me feeling small and hesitant to be authentic.
I began to accept myself as well as my choices to do the inner work that was so important to me. Delving further and further into healing my own tendencies and negative thought patterns, I started to embrace my unique gifts and talents and decided to no longer apologize for who I was.
As I continue on my inner journey of integrating my True Self into this human experience, I’ve come to realize a few points about what it means to show up in the world authentically:
1. It’s much lonelier and scarier to stay hidden and small. However, it’s easier and more comfortable because it’s familiar and requires no risk.
2. Being authentic is addictive. Once I opened myself up to being vulnerable with loved ones and even acquaintance or strangers, I realized that it felt so good to be real. Genuine connection became a regular state of being. After authentically sharing who I really am in my relationships and life’s work, it’s much more difficult to have superficial conversations or tell someone ‘I’m fine’ when I’m upset about something.
3. Being in touch with my True Self draws others into my life who also desire heart-based connections and genuine relationships.
4. Speaking from the heart models authenticity for our children and communities. Wouldn’t life be richer if everyone owned their emotions and spoke honestly?
5. I find it easier to share authentically if I preface my thoughts with a truthful statement. For example, ‘I’m really scared to tell you this, but I want to push myself to be open and honest with you…’
After practicing being more authentic, I found that now I can no longer comfortably be any other way. It feels so good just to be real. In some of my classes, I share that young children (up to age 6 or 7) typically don’t analyze themselves. They live fully in their subconscious mind. If they’re happy, they smile and laugh. If they’re sad, they cry. They don’t judge themselves or their emotions or feel shame for expressing them. Moving into authenticity and vulnerability has led me be less judgmental and more present with what is. Being self-aware and accepting of who I am allows me to genuinely witness and accept others leading to deep and heartfelt connection.
Where in your life can you be more authentic?