The author , Don Miguel Ruiz, wrote in his book , The Four Agreements, ” our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive and express what we really are”. Although I do believe that it is a natural impulse to want to “belong”, it is unhealthy to base your worth on anything or anyone outside of yourself. Regardless of your status or material possessions, true self worth comes from recognizing, embracing and ,ultimately, living your truth …. unapologetically. I read an interesting article a few nights ago. The author’s name was Darcy Bartlett and she posted her article on a website addressed www.mindbodygreen.com( I will always give c In the article, she shared five questions that could help someone to find their authentic self. I am going to share these questions with you while adding my own twist to them.
1) When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Perhaps , as a kid, you like to play “Cowboys and Indians”, ” Cops and Robbers”, Nurse, Doctor, Astronaut, etc.. Did you ever ask yourself , at any point, what would it be like to actually be one of those characters? There are many people who knew , intuitively, from an early age, what career path they wanted to pursue . Perhaps you wanted to be a professional singer or even a rock star, yet, either your parents, other relatives, teachers, or guidance counselors advised you to be “realistic” . They suggested you pick a career that was more secure or safer. You believed them. You might have taken their advice , pursued a “safe” career and even achieved a reputable degree of success. Are you satisfied? fulfilled? Let’s get to the point… ARE YOU HAPPY? That’s the million dollar question. Are you happy or settling for a lifestyle of quiet desperation? Welcome to the status quo.. For many of us, we were simply playing and that’s OK. I’m addressing the those of us who knew early on exactly what they wanted to do. The choice was as natural to make as drinking water, yet, they chose a different route i.e. a “safer” one. For those of us who stayed true to the vision that we had of ourselves , there are no regrets. The funny thing is that ,at the heart of it, the true happiness is never achieved at simply at reaching the career goal. The true happiness is realized along the journey. Please don’t get me wrong. Although it is a great feeling to accomplish a career goal, there is something to be said about the feeling of living your truth , relentlessly, despite popular opinion, en route to the accomplishment of your goal. Doesn’t it make the accomplishment that much “sweeter”? Imagine having a career that years later produces the same feeling as it did as a kid except now you get to make money at it. Each day you get to “play”. I have only one thing to say about that, ” Heaven on Earth anyone?!!!”
2) What makes you laugh?
This is a serious question. Could you imagine being happy while spending your days laughing ? Day after day?!!! What’s that like? Believe it or not, it’s your birthright. Yes, you heard me. It is a natural part of life.It is something that is innate and inborn. Laughter has many health benefits. It relaxes the whole body by relieving stress., boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins (“feel-good” chemicals). To say the least, there are many mental, physical,emotional and social benefits to laughing. What you find funny tells a lot about who you are as a person.This can be a great thing. Laugh on:)
3) What clothes do you feel comfortable in?
This is an important point because clothes are a way of expressing yourself. As a disclaimer, I am not advocating that you wear pajama’s to work. I am suggesting that when you select clothes to wear, consider wearing what you feel comfortable in and which clothes reflect the real you. Be a trend setter rather than a trend follower. Be yourself.
4) What activities do you enjoy?
What do you like to do? There are no limits. Don’t be concerned with “gender oriented ” activities. Perhaps there are activities or hobbies that you have been considering, but were far too concerned with what others would think of your choices. In order to be truly authentic, you have to be comfortable in your own skin.Immerse yourself with activities that resonate with you. Have fun. Life is meant to be enjoyed. At are our core, we are energy that attracts “like” energy. Our emotional determines the situations and individuals that we attract into our space. Do everything within your power to immerse yourself with activities and hobbies that you genuinely enjoy. If you were to sum up your life by the end of it, it should consist overwhelmingly with moments of true happiness. Make that your goal ,Ok?!!:)
5) Who can you be yourself around?
It is important for us to spend time with people who accept us for who we really are and like us that way. NO one should feel compelled to put on a facade each time they leave their home. I tell my preteen daughter that there is nothing cooler than her being herself. Make it a point to be around people that make you feel good and embrace you. True friendships enrich your life as well as the other person. You look forward to being around each other. These types of relationships both energize and encourage us. The saying goes that if you have one or even two relationships like this, you are blessed. If the friendships are genuine, the more the better. When we are around people that don’t judge us, we feel free to express our authentic selves.
These are just a few suggestions to consider in order to discover and embrace the true “you”. Perhaps you can think of some additional ways. The point is to start being honest with yourself and stay that way. Life is too short to live it on someone else’s terms. Perhaps you will have to face your fears and insecurities. It’s worth it. You will be much happier and your life experiences much richer because of it. Stay true. Until next time….:)