Access Your Most Authentic Self
5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR TRUE ESSENCE
Being your best self. While some might smirk a bit at its inspirational poster connotations, there’s a solid psychology behind exploring and connecting to a deeper place within us. The journey starts with tapping into the heart as an honest source of guidance. Then peel off the masks we all feel we have to wear at times. The goal is to discover who we authentically area and living our lives in harmony.
The good news is it is not something we need to develop or create. It is always there. It is often just masked by the mind chatter, inner critic, and self-doubt. Those who have reached it have found a newfound sense of love and abundance.
Seeking our true nature, we find the part of us that knows true fulfillment. The part of us that has the answer without having to ask the question. Think of it as a deeper value system from which we live. How we manifest those truths may look different over time, but the underlying intention remains the same.
THE BENEFITS OF AUTHENTICITY
Living from this place has a holistic effect on our overall wellness and well-being.
For example, it means listening honestly to the messages our bodies send us. When we are tuned into our body we are inspired to eat foods that feel good. How often do we override the body’s messages? Eating processed foods, riding the yo-yo of energy with caffeine, or eating past full? Usually, we eat poorly because we are rushed or stressed, not stopping to consider that how we are eating may be contributing to that stress.
Living from our Authentic Self, we are much more likely to honor what the body needs. Knowing what we need and when we need it. And the body often knows more accurately than the mind.
Connecting With Others
Similarly, when we are disconnected from our selves we are also disconnected with others. Perhaps there are people in our lives that are not serving us, yet we continue to have a relationship with them. Maybe they are stealing our energy or not treating us on par with our worth. Living from our Authentic Self means standing in our power. It means knowing exactly who we are and therefore how special we are. It is not uncommon for our friendships to shift when we start living more honestly. It’s key to trust that in letting go of people who dim our light, we’re opening the door for people who allow us to shine.
Not only will living from our Authentic Self inspire us to surround ourselves with people who are kinder and more supportive, but we will start to treat ourselves that way, as well. Most of the time, we are ruled by the lower mind. The part that loves to overthink and worry. The head (aka ego) devises some misleading beliefs. Bouncing between positivity and negativity. Between calming us down and riling us up. When we are living from our true nature, there is an undercurrent of contentment. A settled quality. Fear is absent, for we know that whatever is happening presently is exactly as it should be.
To live from our Authentic Self is courageous. It is a place of radical self-love. A place where we recognize our worth. Where we can finally look in the mirror and honestly say and mean,
“I love you”.
So how to listen above the noise to a place of higher knowing? I’ve outlined five ways to hear when the heart speaks up and know that everything is OK and that there is a greater plan.
5 Ways to Access your Authentic Self:
Listen to Your Body. Our body is wiser than our lower mind will ever be. It is a masterpiece of DNA and evolution and a source of feedback. Often when we are living in a way that is off-center from our Authentic Self, the body responds by tensing up or feeling depleted. Living from an authentic place lights us up. We feel energized. There is a brightness to our being. Physical activities help us connect to our body. Yoga is one of the best ways to become embodied. What begins as feeling your thigh muscles engage transforms over time into tapping into more subtle signals, like a gut-feeling and intuition. Or hearing our body’s cry for nutritious food and nourishing friendships.
Slow Down. Every day we go about our lives by way of a series of choices. It is like a video recorded on an iPhone that can be broken up into frames. When we quiet the mind, we can slow time down into these millisecond frames of choice and then we can check in with our body and see how it responds to each possible path. When a choice is in line with our true nature, we feel more settled. Meditation is a great way to start the process of slowing the mind down. Start small, sitting for five-minute increments at a time. Give your mind a task when you first sit, like watching the breath move in and out of the body. The more we meditate, the more we can catch the space between thoughts and realize the power to literally choose what we are thinking.
Choose Love. In every moment of every day, choose love. Notice the first thought you have when you get out of bed. Is it “I’m so tired.”? And then see why. Are you tired because you were up all night working on a passion project? Or is the resistance, because your job is unfulfilling? Measure with gratitude. When a negative thought arises, see if you can find something to be grateful for and then notice the types of things you for which you are thankful. Often, when we live from our truth the reasons are fueled by love versus ego. For example, “I make a lot of money” or “the company I work for is well-known” will not be sustainable over time. Being grateful for your job or a relationship, because it “feeds your soul” and “because you are learning something new every day”, is a much more love-based experience.
Play the “If I Knew I Could Not Fail” Game. The only thing keeping you from living the life you want is you. I worked in the movie business for almost six years before I left to teach yoga. I knew the former was not my path (the stomach ulcer, chronic fatigue, and chain-smoking were clear messages) yet I forged ahead, because I felt I had no choice.
I assumed that because I had a well-paying job (ego) and because I worked for a well-known Producer (ego), that I should just grin and bear it. The lesson here is we always have a choice. We just need to set aside our fears and “what ifs” to determine what is truly tugging at our soul. To do this, sometimes we need to pretend as if fear does not exist. Setting aside all your worries, grab a journal and write all the answers (for there will be many when you dig this deep) to “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?”.
- Now, Go Do It. Did that just freak you out a little? Did all the reasons you tried to ignore come crashing in at once? Why not do it? Why would you not follow your heart and your dreams? Why would you not live the life you imagine? Why you would you not want to be fulfilled and happy? So many people choose to suffer in a life that is familiar. You do not have to quit your job tomorrow, but what if you just made one small step toward your bigger goal? Do one thing today toward your dream, one thing from a place of love, and notice how your body feels, how the mind calms. Peek into that place deep inside yourself that whispers confidently “everything will be OK.”