What does it mean to live authentically? Lately this is a popular term in conscious communities, where a strong emphases lies in discovering, committing to, and living one’s truth. I suppose this implies living free from dogma or beliefs you have not examined for yourself. It is remarkable, however, that people flock to seminars and self-help book stores to “discover their authentic selves” as advertised on book covers and workshop banners. Even though the whole concept implies personalizing your ideas, thoughts and beliefs, the answer is thought to be found in another by these movement followers. With that said, I do highly value the creative input of another, the inspiration that sparks the light within oneself, or at least the encouragement to look inside.
When I think about this concept of living authentically, I notice the pressure that exists to achieve this goal, as if one day, when I achieve it, I will be rewarded with happiness. In my search for this authenticity I have to keep on revealing my freedom, showing to others my courage to be spontaneous, unedited, so to speak. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Living authentically does no exist in the future. It cannot be achieved. It is really nothing other than being present, being in the now. Living authentically does not exist outside of you or me, yet this is where the tricky part comes in, at least for me. Consider this: When my thoughts change, my behavior does too and naturally so does the response I get from other people. When I have thought and behaved in a certain way for a certain amount of time, people may have gotten used to these behaviors and even may have formed a picture of who I am. At the same time I may have gotten used to their reactions towards my behaviors. This domino effect may have caused a whole series of predictable circumstance and events and now I feel stuck. Haven’t you too had this sensation whereby you wished you stopped the direction of something in your life, a relationship, a job, a place of residence, before you got so used to it – before everyone involved got so use to it?
Your familiarity to the reactions for that around you has got you stuck in place of dissatisfaction, call it addiction if you like, for it is only your dependency on the same old same old that has you here. Different beliefs, behaviors and decisions is bound to create unknown responses and the idea of it scares you.
Sitting in silence this morning I scanned through the circumstance surrounding me, that which I call life right now. Together with the pride for what I have accomplished, how far I have made it and the familiarity and ease of it, the monkey mind in me made its appearance posing the question: “What if you can start all over?” “Who would you be, if your surrounds, your job, your partner ect. do not define you?” Then I realized that it is not too late. I can start over right here, right now. I can start afresh, by simply getting out of my mind, by experiencing my body as if new energy moves through it, clearing away all that was, leaving behind lightness. Whenever the mind engages with the experience, it can simply be reminded that this is all new – everything. Every breath is new, every experience is new and I have the opportunity to get to know the person experiencing.