Thursday, January 26, 2012

Being Authentic – A Refreshing Change from Lip Service

People frequently talk about living an authentic life but I think that few know what that actually means. And there are others who truly believe that they are living authentically.

But when we take a deeper look at how we react to certain situations and the feelings that are behind them we might see that we are not as authentic as we think.

“Get real!” means being honest with yourself, seeing where you say “yes” when you are really feeling, “no”, talking with someone about their negative attitude towards you instead of shoving inside and trying to ignore the feelings of hurt and anger.

I’m not saying you should yell and scream and get your anger out on someone else, nor am I saying walk or run away from the situation.

Acknowledging your anger is authentic, recognizing your fear is authentic, letting someone know you are not feeling great and can’t discuss something at that moment in time is authentic.

Living from your peaceful, loving heart is authentic. You can feel angry and still react from your loving heart. It takes practice though.

Start off by just being aware of when you don’t feel comfortable with a person or situation. When you have some quiet time alone examine those feelings and try to discern where they are originating – usually from a strong belief about yourself or the world around you. Ask yourself if this belief still holds value for you and if you are able to be more open to other beliefs to at least examine them for a better fit.

Doing this has so many benefits. You start to be more aware of how you behave and what you say to people. You begin to feel better about yourself when you drop beliefs that are no longer valid in your life. You let go of stress you may have been carrying around and you let go of the need to control. Not to mention respecting yourself and others more and having deeper relationships with the people in your life.

Next time someone asks you to do something for them, ask them if you can get back to them later with the answer. Then sit with it for a while as you examine how you feel about doing, do you have time for it, and if you do it will you feel resentful afterwards. Usually we feel resentment when we do something with the expectation of a “return” on our investment. When it doesn’t come, the resentment begins to build. So if you are doing it to get something out of it, maybe “no” is the answer to give. But if you are doing it because you genuinely want to help someone unconditionally, then give it a “yes!”

Begin with little steps in becoming more authentic in your life and you will reap the rewards of taking the time to listen to yourself first.

With love and kindness

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Greatest of These Is Love

I’m not a big bible reader but my Catholic education has left me with a few memories of bits of scripture that have stood out and still have deep meaning for me still today.

From 1 Corinthians 13:13, “For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love”.

This is what we are all looking for; this is the mainstay of our true feelings of peace and contentment, of happiness and joy in our lives. This is the deepest of the deep emotions that has no beginning and no end. It comes from the source of all, from God, the Universe, a Higher Power and it trickles down into every one of us all the time.

If we are not feeling this love within ourselves, or with others in our lives, it is not their fault. It is not what they are doing or not doing, what you are receiving or not receiving. It is about our ability to heal the pain and move through it so that we can create a space and the vision to see and feel this love.

There is no greater love than that which we feel from the root of our being; the love that comes from the Source of who we are, a spark, a light, a fraction of the pure essence of God, experiencing life as it is lived from all different aspects.

When we know this, understand this and feel this in every fiber of our being – that is truly being “in love”. It is the most authentic love, the truest and purest love that is.

And we can all “find” this love. It is not farther away than your heart. Open your heart, feel it expand and take in all the glorious experiences of life, allow it to accept others just as they are, to love those even when they cannot love themselves and to live it every day.

Take a few minutes each day to check in. Is your heart open and do you feel the tenderness of that deep love within? Is it constricted and does it feel hard? Take a deep breath and envision a beautiful vibrant green light, a ball of energy growing in the middle of your chest. Feel the warmth of it, the softness of it, the healing, the kindness as your heart expands.

Take this feeling into the world and feel how different your day will be when you live from your heart. Then you will understand that the greatest love of all is always within your reach.

With love and kindness

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