1. Sit in silence with yourself every day.
Living an authentic life means taking action from the inner confidence of intuition. Most people have no ideas what their intuition looks like or feels like because they are so busy, busy, busy running around every day trying to do ten thousand things. We live in a culture here in the West that valorizes productivity over peace. Cultivate your voice of intuition; it will always lead you in the right direction. You need to be able to actually hear it, so practice silence every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes at a time.
2. Nurture your playful side.
I noticed a kid yesterday in the mall freak out in excitement over this globe strobe light dancing on the ceiling. WOW, I thought to myself, how is it that we lose this playful inquisitive side of ourselves, the excitement and wonder children so naturally display, once we grow up? It’s almost as if we step into these predefined roles of serious, mature, adult behaviour. That’s just a recipe for misery. Connect with your playful side, if it’s playing with a dog, your kids, playing a trick on someone, whatever it is, connect with that little kid inside you and allow the wonder and magic of life to embrace you.
3. Reconnect – get out and enjoy nature.
If there be only one thing you take away from this article, one thing you do to connect with your authenticity, let it be this one. Nature will always bring you back no matter how far you stray off your path. Don’t be afraid to get lost out there either. Sometimes you have to get a bit lost to find the right path.
4. Do some yoga – open your energy centers your chakras.
Some people think yoga is so granola, call me a granola because I LOVE yoga! I discovered it over 10 years ago on the beaches on Thailand. Yoga literally means “union” of the body, mind and spirit. It is not a practice of personal development; although the practice of it will leave you feeling more tapped in, tuned in and turn onto the flow of life. Yoga is a practice of self acceptance. Before you can turn your life around, you have to start with self acceptance of where you are. Try out a few classes and a few different teachers and styles to find the right yoga for you.
5. Be vulnerable – reach out and ask for the support you need.
We want to live an authentic life, be more real, feel more alive, empowered, and fulfilled, on target on purpose but yet we numb all of our painful emotions. Being vulnerable is facing these emotions of shame, fear, guilt, frustration and grief. It is only when we connect with our pain and move through it that we connect with the emotions of love, joy and happiness on the other side. So when you are feeling down, reach out and ask for the help you need, call a friend and tell them, talk about it.
Don’t become another statistic in this society where we have the highest rates of drug use, obesity and violence than ever before. Authentic living challenges us to be real, to be vulnerable, to be aware. See more on this topic with one of my favorite people Brene Brown in this youtube video here. http://ow.ly/32wa5
Remember to connect with people who understand you and really get you. One of the best ways to unravel your authentic self is to surround yourself with people of like mind and spirit, and then you won’t feel so crazy for being who you really are.
6. Go after your dreams- start with your first NEXT STEP.
Even if it feels like reaching them is so far away, if it gives you anxiety just to think of all of the steps in between before you actually enjoy living your dream life, start! The worst thing you can do in this life is watch time go by and try and dull or extinguish your fire for life. That’s when you wind up later on with something rude awakening like cancer. There are so many people living with depression and I believe it’s because people have given up living their dreams and settle for a comfortable life. A life that is not too exciting and not too scary, not too enjoyable, but safe. Make a list of all of your dreams and pick one that you get the biggest hit on, the biggest emotional charge, and start there. Write out the steps you will need to take in order to live that dream and take your one next step. It won’t feel overwhelming if you focus on your one next step.
7. Honour your feelings first.
Authentic living demands that you take care of yourself and honour your feelings first. It’s like that line in a song I heard yesterday, “You can’t really love anyone until you love yourself first”. This sounds like such an easy thing to do, but as a society were raised with gender roles and social norms where we just weren’t taught how to deal with, live with or translate our emotions. It’s all kind of a grey sea of mystery. Authenticity demands that you honour yourself by honouring your feelings and trusting them that they teach you and guide you to your truth. Tuning them out, pushing them aside or burying them will only end in disaster.
I saw a grievance counsellor after my father passed and she told me that we should treat our emotions like a wave in the ocean. What happens when a big wave comes to hit us and we brace ourselves and tense up and hold tight? The wave knocks us over and ravages us, slamming our bodies into the sand and we get hurt. But if we let the wave take us, give into the emotion and let it wash over us, it soon leaves and we find ourselves on the shore, intact no limbs missing, except maybe a few pounds lighter.
8. Laugh out loud!
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~Yiddish Proverb
A hearty laugh gives one a dry cleaning, while a good cry is a wet wash. ~Puzant Kevork Thomajan
9. Follow Your Intuition
We live in a society that tells us to numb everything, to disregard, not talk about or bring up feelings of weakness, vulnerability, anxiety, that we should just have a drink, have a smoke but don’t really feel it, feelings after all are dangerous. What happens is that you also drown out and numb your intuition, that guiding voice of reason, that gut feeling we have that leads us on the path of right living, of our authenticity. One of the biggest signs that you are living authentically will be your ability to direct all parts of your life, business, personal, your relationships everything, through following your intuition. The hardest thing to do is to follow this feeling in a society that tells you to follow your head, plan, organize, be sensible…intuition is about connection to self, and there is nothing linear about it.
10. Share a part of yourself with others – share your story, start there.
When you are living authentically your natural desire to reach out and help others struggling with similar problems is paramount to your evolution.
Being authentic means embracing all of the parts of ourselves, even the stories, especially the stories that shape us into who we are. You really start to connect with others when you share the stories that shaped your journey to the authentic you:)