10 Oct The Joy of Living an Authentic Life
Sooner or later a question shows up in your mind that you just can’t answer. You dismiss it many times, but it keeps coming back. It’s like a stone in your shoe. First, it’s just an irritation, but left unanswered it becomes a blister, and if that’s left unanswered, pretty soon you have an infection.
The question that we all face at some point is this: Is this what life is all about for me? Surely there’s more than this! Where have I gone wrong? What can I do? I don’t want my life to be like this.
We’ve all had it. Frustration, anxiety, lack of fulfilment, doubt, and indecision. They all seem to show up with monotonous regularity, don’t they? And they will continue to show up until you CHANGE something.
When you get right down to it, what most people want is to live a peaceful, happy life and make more money than they need to spend each month. That’s all. Then they could spend time with the people they care about and do the things that make their heart sing.
In other words, they want to live an Authentic Life. Authenticity is the inevitable outcome when what you Think, what you Say, and what you Do is in harmony. In fact, it’s the only possible outcome.
How different would it be if you woke up each morning with a smile on your face, jumped out of bed, and couldn’t wait to get at it? Like when you were a kid and the fair was in town, remember?
Living an authentic life starts when you start feeling happy every day, and that starts by letting go of everybody and everything that no longer serves you.
Things that no longer serve you may include:
- People that you’ve known for a long time
- Places you visit
- Activities you may have been involved in for years
- Old habits, thoughts, and expectations
What Do You Need to Let Go?
Consider these ideas:
- People. If there are people you know who no longer make you happy, it’s time to let them go. If you really want to live an authentic life, it’s important to face the reality of where your unhappiness comes from, and at the same time, honour ties of kinship by setting healthy boundaries if need be.
- Places. What about the places you visit? Are there places you go to for entertainment, education, or social recreation that you don’t really enjoy? If you’re not happy when you go in and you’re not happy when you come out, stop going there!
- Thoughts. What do you spend your time thinking about? Is your mind permeated with doom and gloom? Do your thoughts create anxiety, disappointment, or even anger? Why dwell on any of that? How can that possibly serve you?
All the people, places, and experiences that you allow to perpetuate are weighing you down. No amount of success drive or positive thinking is going to change anything for you until you face the real issue.
Every person, place, or activity that doesn’t make you happy is like a rock that you put in your backpack when you go on a hiking trip. You don’t have to go far before the extra weight begins to slow you down, and still you entertain all the thoughts about things and people that no longer serve you.
Life becomes heavy, every day becomes a chore, and the backpack becomes too heavy to lift. Everything seems like a struggle. And you wonder why life is tough? It’s time to unload that backpack!
What Happens When You Start Living Authentically?
Here’s what happens when you do:
- You start thinking of people, places, and things that made you really happy as a child.
You get the urge to revisit places you haven’t seen for a long, long time, to seek out and find people that made you feel good many years ago, and to re-engage with activities you thoroughly enjoyed as a child that hold so many memories for you.
- You find yourself smiling during the day for no reason at all. Life suddenly feels lighter. You feel totally capable of letting go of thoughts you neither want nor need.
- For the first time in a long time you begin to experience JOY just through your thoughts and feelings. You notice that, without any conscious effort on your part, you have no attachment to the people, places, or things that no longer serve you. Letting them all go becomes effortless.
- Living authentically becomes easy. As your awareness for all things authentic within you becomes more apparent, your ability to reject things that are not in alignment with your authentic self increases proportionately.
- You make new friends. New people start to come into your life who are in alignment with your new fresh way of thinking.
- You have new adventures. Opportunities to experience new activities that you have never previously even thought of present themselves and you find yourself excited to try them.
- You learn and discover. Your interest in learning new things awakens and you find yourself fascinated by the idea of learning new skills. The people you meet while learning these new skills resonate directly with your heart and you feel at home.
Once you start living authentically, your frustration, anxiety, and doubt are replaced with optimism, enthusiasm and fulfilment in all that you do. Life seems simpler. The sun seems to shine more. Others say you look different, more radiant, and more alive. You ARE different.
It all begins when you make that decision to let go of everyone and everything that no longer serves you. The change can be dramatic. The feelings are permanent. Try it for yourself. You’ll be glad you did!