Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘being authentic’

Being Authentic is the Key!

Leah Remini the successful actor from the T.V. series, King of Queens writes in her memoir ‘TroubleMaker’ the importance of being authentic. She stresses this after her 30 plus years in the Scientology religion. She experienced constant monitoring and redirection which ultimately resulted with the label of “Suppressive Person” because she raised questions about some of the church’s actions. In addition to the tremendous personal cost of belonging the material cost for membership in this religion (thousands for the ‘average joe’ or millions for celebrities) for the constant classes, auditing and redirection is shocking. The ultimate goal of ‘clearing the planet’ – reads like a scary science fiction novel.

Dictates, ultimatums and control are methods of brainwashing that happen over time when we lose our voice and allow someone – anyone – or organization – to act as judge and jury for our own personal lives. When we stop thinking and simply follow the loudest voice or most empassioned speech it reduces us to mere cogs in a wheel – devoid of the uniqueness that each of us were born to experience. Ultimately, we are rendered helpless waiting to be told rather than seeking our own truth.

No one walks in our shoes or on our exact path. It’s up to each of us to discover our own truth. It takes work to figure ourselves out – a lifetime really – I get it – but it may actually be easier that we think. When we listen to our inner voice – our intuition – and recognize what truly gives us peace, joy and happiness we have discovered our own golden nugget of authenticity.

As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Throughout the book the word hypocrisy screams at the reader. Formal education (past middle school), investigating topics on the Internet, or reading opposing viewpoints are all taboo according to church ‘policy.’ When we look around at other religions in our world with extreme views there seems to be a constant theme … ‘follow and don’t question.’ Really? It seems to me if something or someone is that all knowing they would want their beliefs to see the light of day. Not so. It reminded me of the crass saying about women in the 50’s, ‘keep ’em barefoot and pregnant’ in order to control them. We all know how well that worked out. Anytime we are lead to believe that there is only one way of doing, thinking and being it is time to run not walk to the closest exit.

We can learn from anyone – both what to do and not do – when we are courageous enough to think, feel and be our authentic self. As Remini concludes in her book, “what is true for you is true because you yourself have observed it to be true.”

The beauty of life is that we can take bits and pieces of our experiences and weave them together into a beautiful blanket of truth that feels right for us. There will be some threads of experiences that we may choose to discard – that’s okay. When we have the courage to ignore the personal judgments of others and break free of any artificial boundaries set up to contain us rather than celebrate us we begin to live an authentic life and it is beautiful.

Have a great few days!

Determining Your Authentic Self

Have you ever felt that you are not being appreciated or that you are doing all the giving or supporting in a work or personal relationship? If you answered yes to this question let’s look a bit deeper into it. Could it be that you are so interested in getting others to accept or appreciate you that you have not allowed your authentic self to show? Is the fear of people really knowing you blocking you from showing the world what you truly stand for? If so, let me assure you that being authentic draws people to you – not ever away. People can feel truth.

Being authentic starts by first determining what is most important to you in life. As unique individuals we each have specific values that we hold most dear – those things that are truly nonnegotiable to us. Think about them as your personal mission statement. Values such as love, accomplishment, fairness, compassion, confidence, courage, health, freedom, family, harmony, integrity, kindness, optimism, patience, service, trust, orderliness, peace, spirituality, and gratitude are just a few from a long list of values to consider. Each one speaks volumes. Once you determine your own priority of values navigating through life becomes so much easier. In essence, you become more confident and decision making becomes easier because you are more at peace in your own skin.

A helpful way to determine your authentic self is to choose five values that you find most important. You know, the ones that seem to radiate energy back to you as you consider them. The list of words above can be a starting point to consider. The list is long for a purpose. The process is important. Evaluating each word forces you to take the time to consider what it truly means to you. Determining your top five forces you to prioritize as you remind yourself of who you are in your heart. Once you have taken the time to determine your own nonnegotiable values life becomes easier. When you encounter decisions, challenges or obstacles (the should I or shouldn’t I) in life you have a measuring stick to help steer you on a course of action reflects the real you.

Growing more confident as an individual means that you allow your unique identity to be known by others. But…’what if they won’t like me or accept me for who I am’ you may wonder. It’s true not everyone may like you. Just as you do not necessarily like everyone you encounter. It’s simply a cold, hard immutable fact of life. There are bits and pieces in everyone’s personality that leaves something to be desired. It’s called being human. These little quirks in others can be overlook but the values behind them cannot. A person’s values determine not only who they are but what they will do in a pinch. That’s important to know. Likewise, if we try to morph ourselves into something we do not truly value in order to fit in or be accepted it just doesn’t work. We project insincerity or insecurity that is easily felt by others.

Determining the values you hold dear helps you project with confidence who you really are at your core. Just as truth has no versions – your authentic self has no versions either. Any future role in life will never define you because deep down you know what you stand for – no pretenses necessary. Taking the time to determine your authentic self is critical to self esteem. The process alone will help you begin to truly love yourself for all the strengths you possess and there are many! Give it a try and take the time to decide on your top five values … you’ll be glad you did!

Have a great few days!

Happiness Now!

A heard a statement the other day that made quite an impression on me. ‘To be truly successful in life we need to be at peace with ourselves.’ The more I thought about it the more it made sense. It seems that many of us feel we are in constant need of repair, rework or overhaul. We spend time watching T.V. programs, reading magazines and books and seeking advice on how to be happier. The irony is that while we are seeking greater happiness we are simultaneously comparing ourselves to false images of perfection that we see or read about in the media and coming up short. As a result we are at epidemic levels of dissatisfaction and agitation. Would you choose yourself as a friend if you continually pointed out your own perceived shortcomings? Hardly!

Adding to all of this, we know that what occupies our thinking – what is constantly rolling around in our brains – becomes our truth. If we allow our thoughts to be about limitations or dissatisfaction with self or others, the Universe will surely deliver more of it to us. The popular statement, change your thinking and change your life really works.

What if our one true purpose in life is to learn unconditional acceptance – of ourselves and others? We know the Universe doesn’t make mistakes – and it didn’t make a mistake with you. Maybe, just for one day, we could practice accepting ourselves unconditionally and relish in knowing that we are simply a miraculous part of soul energy that is surrounded in a sea of Universal Light. We are exactly who and what we are supposed to be and the ultimate lesson is in learning to gracefully accept it. Makes you think doesn’t it?

Being grateful for our unique place in the Universe and thinking, ‘I am blessed. I am a good person. I am making an important contribution to this earth simply by living in the here and now and appreciating all that life has to offer me,’ would do more for our personal happiness index than all the self improvement tactics combined.

When we learn to fully accept ourselves with all of our unique characteristics we will end our resistance – our fear – of being our authentic selves. We will open up the flow of positive energy from the Universe and life will unfold perfectly. Let’s give it a try, we have nothing to lose and pure happiness to gain.

Have a great few days!

Building on Your Strength

If I asked you to take a few minutes to list your five most important attributes , what would they be? Many of us may struggle with this task. It just seems rather off-putting somehow to write on paper. So often we can see the goodness in others but rush, embarrassingly, to dismiss any compliments or comments about our own strengths when we hear them . We don’t want to appear ‘full of ourselves’ thinking humility is next to perfection – or Godliness – as the nuns repeated many times to us in school.

I bought that decades ago but now realize that we really don’t have to work at being humble. I think the world just has a way of reminding us of our humanness as we face the challenges and opportunities in our tomorrows. Just when we think we have all the answers, somehow, life changes and we are no longer even sure of the questions. Reality and humility combine into a powerful force that causes us to draw from that inner reserve of our authentic self to move through the latest challenge we are facing.

What I do think important and life sustaining is to actually name our strengths and realize how fortunate we are to be able to recognize and be grateful for them. It adds to our inner reserve as we decide what to do, become or develop next in ourselves. Change comes in all forms, self improvement frequently seems the most difficult.

Show me the person who does not do a little self evaluation for the purpose of clarity and improvement, from time to time, and I will show you a person that has little joy and even less excitement in their life. I actually met a person, once, who said she did not have anything she wanted to improve. I thought she was joking, then realized she was serious. Wow! Rather than thinking this was a person with a super dose of self confidence, I simply felt sad because I realized what a tremendous burden it must be to carry around that amount of fear. Fear (false expectations about future reality) can paralyze us and cause us to build a ‘protective wall’ around us to keep keep others out and ourselves chained to our yesterdays. This ‘wall’ is made up of the negative energy in fear and people, do indeed, run from it.

The challenge, it seems, is to refuse to be cowered by fear and to be authentically honest with yourself. Seeing your strengths as building blocks for a better tomorrow.

You are the one and only you in the Universe. The genuine article! At the cell level you are a part of the Universal Energy. The same energy that we know cannot be created nor destroyed only changed in form. When you are the same inside and out you can see yourself as others see you and a greater depth in the fabric of your being begins to emerge. Being authentic allows us to be grateful for our strengths and also willing to see new ways that we can become even more peaceful, loving, accepting and confident. We become happy in our own skin and draw others to us because of our positive energy.

Free will, the gift from the Universe allows us choice and the choice we make today will be the life we live out tomorrow! Make it a great one!