by Laura Grace –
And yet, with the pressure we feel from others and life in general, the question may remain, “How can I live such a life?” “What steps can I take toward being just ‘me?’” In my own life, I have found the following practices to be invaluable and successful components in experiencing an authentic life:
AUTHENTIC LIFE PRACTICES
Dare to be yourself – Strip away the mask and let yourself just “be.” Take time to have fun and allow yourself to find humor in being human. Know that your purpose for being born wasn’t to live life according to what society deems correct. Your purpose is to discover your true self and live from that awareness. If you resonate to the color violet, then be violet, not brown. I once read a quote from Rabindranath Tagore who wisely asked, “That which oppresses me, is it my soul trying to come out in the open, or the soul of the world knocking at my heart for its entrance?”
Give only from the heart – Doing anything out of obligation dishonors both you and the other person, and will only leave you feeling resentful. Do an “inner check” before you say “yes” to anyone. If resistance surfaces, do another inner check. If heaviness or resistance occurs again, trust what you feel and do not commit to something that is not in alignment with your heart.
Look inward for your fulfillment, not outward – Within you resides a wellspring of creativity and love. Turn within to become aware of what is driving your needs. Is it because you are feeling unloved, scared or lonely? Practice giving what you want to receive. Extending love, from the heart, is the fastest way to fill any emptiness you may feel.
Appreciate yourself – Take time to appreciate how far you have come on your journey. Notice what you have worked through and your commitment to growth and healing. Doing so builds both an inner and outer abundance over time. It will help you to see the glass, or your life, half full rather than half empty.
Let go of guilt! – No one is harder on us than we are on ourselves. And many of us feel guilty for taking care of ourselves, setting healthy boundaries and saying, “No.” Having been programmed to feel responsible for others, we often find it hard to recognize our own needs. Practice dropping any guilt you feel for honoring yourself. Guilt is limiting and crippling and does not serve you. Living an authentic life means being free from what others think. It requires giving yourself permission to live life according to what your heart and soul desires.
Become aware of your intentions – If your intention is to be real and congruent, then everything that is not authentically you will reveal itself so you can choose to release it. Spirit will illuminate anything in need of releasing when you set your intention to grow. Yet if your intention is split: pleasing others, wanting one of the Three P’s: Power/Prestige/Prosperity, etc., then you will experience the effects of your split-mind thinking and your life will never, ever, be completely fulfilling. Practice purifying your intention.
Ask, listen and follow – We need only ask and we will find that our relationships, finances, work, and relationship with our self begin to transform. How many times per day do you ask for help from Spirit? And, how often do you listen to it? And then, what about following what you hear? The amount of inner peace and happiness you experience in your life is directly proportionate to the amount of energy you expend on asking, listening and following the Voice within.
Be willing, right now, to ask for guidance in developing an authentic relationship with yourself. Ask for guidance in releasing beliefs, thoughts and behaviors that do not honor your true essence. Start with, “Who am I, really? For so long I’ve based my perception of myself on what others think that I’ve forgotten who I am. So, who am I, truly?” and, “What steps can I take to live an authentic life?” Finally, be willing to hear the gentle yet firm Voice, and trust what it says. Such is the life of the authentic soul.