Hope your weekend went well and was peaceful on many levels, as we start this week, I’ve been thinking about something I know many people ponder, questions and wonder about. Am I living an authentic life?
This is something that I struggled with for years and only within the past few weeks can I honestly answer yes.
Like many for years I viewed it as a destination. “Well I get there.” Thought “maybe, someday”. But we all know “Someday Never Comes”……
It was only when I realized how true that was that I knew I needed to make this a turning point day and get it in gear. Coincidentally ( and I know there is no such thing as coincidence, lol ), I came across some old dog eared notes about 15 steps to living a truly authentic life. Now I have no idea where I originally came across these, as I’ve carried them around for so long, they are written on a steno pad!
I then decided to undertake a 16 – day study and contemplation. One day for each of the suggested steps on this path and then one more for review and analysis.
So I’ll share these inspirations and then some of my responses to hopefully help you to “Becoming” your authentic and amazing life.
1. Let your inner light be your guide. Connect with the Spirit through quiet reflection, meditation or prayer. Seek the wisdom of your heart-center when you are faced with important choices and decisions.
This is a regular seven day a week practice for me, that after some initial struggles, has really become an automatic behavior. Everyday at 8 am, I meditate on a focused intention for that day. At midday I “touch base” check in, journaling my feelings and observations. Then do a full review of progress, needs and emotions as I wind down my day.
2. Be your highest self. Remember who you are intended to be. Recall what it was like before life got in the way. Disconnect from your ego, separate from your busy mind and connect with the authentic inspiration that dwells deep inside.
Tough one. Overcoming our education. Putting aside society’s limitations. Allowing myself to understand it is not selfish to take care of me before others. Learning that I can not nurture if I am not nurtured. Self care helps to reveal the Higher Self.
3. Let go of habits, routines and people that no longer serve you. Release guilt and anxiety. Surround yourself with those who love you, believe in you, and only want the best for you.
One that took a long, long time. I was well into adulthood, before I realized how much guilt, shame and self doubt I carried with me. From a mother that told me I was an accident and constantly spoke of how I was an embarrassment to her, to the grade school teachers who instilled I would never be “Becoming” anything, because I grew up “around here”. Even though I had decades of professional success, and strong interpersonal bonds, it still was not enough until I released these needless burdens, that I chose to accept, believe and carry with me. On the day I finally forgave my mother and broke the chains, immediately I felt lighter.
4. Speak your truth. Find your voice. Use your words. Express yourself. Do not limit yourself. The truth will set you free.
Amen! Believe me, when I tell you I can ( and do) boldly proclaim. I have found and rediscovered; fine tuning my voice several times in my life and that expression continues to grow.
5. Open your mind. You are your own worst critic. Tell yourself to shut up! Let go of judgement and practice self compassion. Expand your view and your thinking-will follow.
Oh so true. Both what I needed to stop doing and the freedom that follows from adapting this step.
6. Free your heart. THose barriers you have built around it are not protecting you. They only prevent you from receiving inspiration, guidance, direction and deliverance. Open your heart, give love freely and accept the love you truly deserve.
I am worthy. I have said the Words and I am healed. Did not happen overnight though.
7. Learn to trust intuition. Follow your heart, your spirit and the mind will follow. Ego rules the mind and should not be allowed to lead you.
I knew for decades, those hunches were right. Plus when I did listen I was either very successful or well protected, whatever the need of the moment was. At the same time though, society would try to mock “women’s intuition”. Well you know what? “They” only attack what they fear.
8. Unchain your spirit. Go ahead and release it. Allow yourself the freedom to play, sing, .. sing a song – sing out loud, sing it now….. dance, create, breathe, laugh and cry.
Creative expression can be the catalyst for so much healing. Creativity trumps repression. Creation triumphs over prisons of the mind and soul. Express yourself, you’ll feel so much better.
9. Dive into your strength. You were intended to be joyful, successful and confident. You’re only limited by your own thoughts. Create a shift in your thinking; empower yourself to live the life you want. Ask for ( and receive) the support of your higher power.
Can we get another Amen! Here? I ask ceaselessly and it is granted.
10. Recognize connections.. There is an invisible web of connection between people, events and even the places in your life. This is how the Universe nudges and guides you towards your destiny.
I know and have given testimony many times, in many ways as to how I have been led throughout my life. I only ask that it continues and truly it is.
11. You are of greatest Service when you are happy and healthy. You can not take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. Your life is sacred. It is your primary responsibility to care for yourself allowing your capacity for loving and nurturing of others to be strengthened,
Another one that took far too long for me to get right. I had less all that shame and guilt rule, causing me to falsely believe I was being selfish if I said “NO!” or felt I should take care of myself before others. I have forgiven myself now for accepting those lies and for letting down others sound me, as they wee dragged into my fear. I work daily to keep from going back to these erroneous beliefs and repair any harms I may have caused family, friends or associates, because I did not take proper responsibility for myself.
12. Choose love. Love does indeed make the world go round. Reject Fear. All positive emotions come from love. All negative emotions from fear. Fear fosters anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.
We are co-creating this life. So I made the choice. I chose love over fear. Love over hate, Love over shame.
13. Live courageously. What would you do if you were not afraid? Take risks. Step out of your comfort zone. Be open to new experiences.
Now by taking risks I’m not talking about jumping out of helicopters (though I have), I’m not talking about putting yourself in danger ( though I have) , nor am I suggesting ignoring valid facts and putting yourself deep in a whole ( though I have). I’m talking about trying something new. Maybe it’s making a decision. Like stepping outside of your self imposed box. What happens when you make a decision, it either works or it doesn’t. Go ahead I dare you to, just like I did myself!
14. Be grateful. See the good in everything and everyone. Cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy.
I believe everyday should be Thanksgiving. I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes think we didn’t want. Praise and thank you go a long way towards healing and authenticity.
15. Celebrate Life. Live it. Feel it. Be it. Honor yourself by living every day to the fullest.
That is what I am “Becoming”. A liver of life. A lover of life. Every moment of every day I am grateful that I have been granted the abilities, understanding and gifts to live a truly authentic life.
It was only through conquering my fears and doubts, accepting help and challenges plus surrendering all that I could that I realized I am now and will continue to by living my truly authentic life. It’s all part of “Becoming” and has delivered me to a place where I can finally honestly, boldly proclaim:
“I love Life. I love the Lord. I love myself”.