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 idea what their intuition looks or feels like because they are so busy, busy, busy running around every day trying to do 10-thousand things at once. We live in a culture in the West that approves 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 in the mall freaking out with excitement over a 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 that means 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’s 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 and center your chakras.
It is not a practice of personal development; although the practice of it will leave you feeling more tapped in, tuned in and turned on to 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 now. 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 and livnig with purpose, and yet we numb all of our painful emotions. Being vulnerable is facing these emotions of shame, fear, guilt, frustration, and grief. It’s 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. When you’re 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. We have the highest rates of drug use, obesity and violence in history. Authentic living challenges us to be real to be vulnerable and to be aware. See more on this topic with one of my favorite people, Brene Brown, in this youtube video.
6. Go after your dreams, starting with your first “next step.”
Even if it feels like reaching them is far away, even if it gives you anxiety just thinking about all the steps between your current life and 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 end up with a rude awakening (like cancer) later on in life.
There are so many people living with depression and I believe it’s because people have given up living their dreams and settled for a “comfortable” life — a life that is not too exciting and not too scary, not too enjoyable, just safe.
Make a list of all of your dreams and pick one that you get the biggest hit on, the biggest emotional charge about, and start there. Write out the steps you will need to take in order to live that dream and take your first “next step.” It won’t feel overwhelming if you focus on one step at a time.
7. Honor your feelings first.
Authentic living demands that you take care of yourself and honor your feelings first. It’s like that line in a song I heard once: “You can’t really love anyone until you love yourself first.” This sounds like such an easy thing to do, but as a society we’re 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 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 counselor 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. 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 with 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. We are taught to disregard our feelings and to not talk about or bring up feelings of weakness, vulnerability or anxiety. We think that we should just have a drink or have a smoke instead of really feeling anything.
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, relationships) 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.
Being authentic means embracing all of the parts of ourselves, 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.
Full Power to Your Success!