To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
This has truly been a good year… but… during the month I did not “think” much about my word. However, I journaled quite a bit and as I sat down to pull this post together it occurs to me that authenticity has become reality for me.
I am very comfortable speaking up for myself. This is perhaps the most impressive thing I have written here! I certainly journaled about it lots this month! And I am happy to say that speaking up for myself does not mean I am offending anyone… or not being nice… or being difficult.
I embraced “not knowing” things I did not know… i.e. if someone (Steve mostly) asked me about something obscure that I did not know… I could just say, ‘I don’t know’ and it felt so good! (Likewise, I did not feel the need to know or learn about what he asked… I was entirely comfortable is my ‘I don’t know’ response and I discovered that sometimes that thing (whatever it is) that pops into his head does not need a solution or an answer. (Thank you, dearest Rilke for that invaluable ‘live the question’ advice!)
I have a very comfortable routine for my days – perhaps too comfortable. Too comfortable is one of those danger zones for me… it can become complacent, which is never, ever good. So I am shaking up my “normal” routine with a new painting class (that begins tomorrow.) This one has weekly homework, so I will ignite the “good student” inside me and break out of myself a bit!
And I am feeling very, very ready to be done with this word… in past years, I have felt some sorrow as the year ended because I really felt that I had more to learn. This year that is not the case at all and I am eager to take my authentic self into the New Year with a very clean slate!
As always, I am so thankful for Carolyn gathering us all together. Do stop and see how everyone did in their journey this month!
Happy Monday everyone! See you all back here on Wednesday for some unraveling!
Nine months in with my word and some days I feel really ready to move on… others… well, the many more other days I feel like the struggle is real.
Thank you, Ann Voskamp for that quote to remind me that practicing is indeed the hardest part of learning… but it is necessary to changing/learning/growing/being.
So this month, I have been practicing… and it has not been easy at all.
I went back and pulled out my Authenticity Manifesto and looked at it to see if I could find my struggles… and almost instantly I did.
Less-Controlling Kat, where are you?
Defining one’s struggles this easily should mean it would be easy to move past them, to let go of them, to release them… but no, I am living proof it is not.
So this month… I stumbled… and I struggled more… and I reacquainted myself with my word and my goals…but it was a challenging month and I will absolutely keep practicing!
As always, I want to thank Carolyn for providing us all a space to share our progress!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity. — Jame Clear
August has always been my least favorite month of the year. The heat. The humidity. The end of summer break (at least when my kids were little!) The wishing for the next season. I wanted to break those habits this year… habits of dislike. Of wallowing in the misery of August (most of which was self-made misery!)
So this month I took a step back and looked back on all I have discovered about authenticity this year and set about unlearning of what August always has been… and to find a new outlook.
I started with a list of all that I have learned… a Road Map to Authenticity of sorts. And I embraced the silence versus trying to fill my day with noise. (Thanks Kym for this brilliant inspiration!) I leaned into the quietude this month… and it was amazing! In the silence I found so much to love about August!
And pairing a list with the silence… well, that has been the winning combination! My gift to myself this month will be taking my list and putting it on a bookmark to use in my calendar/journal… a reminder every day of where I am heading… what I want to be… and that, my friends, might be the best gift I will ever give myself – a gentle nudge to keep myself on the path.
And I am departing August with a new-found love for all things late summer…okay maybe not the humidity! But I have appreciated how my tomatoes have loved all that heat and humidity… and those tomatoes have provided August with the best thing ever about late summer… an abundance I can share!
As always, I would like to thank Carolyn for providing us the space to share our journeys! I will see you all back here on Wednesday!
Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it.
― Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Last month I coasted with my word, this month a merger happened. The merger of the previous collection of my words into authenticity.
Or… that moment when the lightbulb finally switched ON!
That’s right authenticity burned brightly this month when I really focused, releasing the baggage I don’t need to carry any longer, anl to live my days intentionally full and authentic. Not being defined by my past, my (often poor) choices, my at times endless what if’s.. but rather to take the sum of all of that and allow myself to enjoy the me of all of those things!
Ali Edwards gave us the suggestion of writing a post card to ourself (from or word) or writing a card to our word (from ourselves)… that suggestion was the starting point for the month long conversation I have been having with myself about being more accepting of myself… and yes, more work on loving myself for who I am.
As always, poetry played a part in this…early in the month I stumbled across a poem by the brilliant David Whyte, which has been part of my morning meditation time every day since then… especially these lines: “the visible and the invisible working together in common cause, to produce the miraculous.” Yes, yes, yes!
Is there more work to do? Of course there is, but I very much feel like I moved beyond so much this month… and that, my friends, is a very good thing!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing us the space to share our progress.
See you all back here on Wednesday with some NEW projects!
A month of coasting… that was June with my word.
But I don’t think that is a bad thing. This month, I read a book that I have not stopped thinking about since I finished it. I am thinking about it when I wake, I am thinking about it as I go through my day, and I am thinking about it as the day draws to a close. The book… Jenny Odell’s How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. As I said in my review, it really is not about doing nothing… at all.
Two quotes from Jenny Odell have stayed with me since I read them. They are quotes that pack a huge punch and they are the things I have been thinking about:
Our very idea of productivity is premised on the idea of producing something new, whereas we do not tend to see maintenance and care as productive in the same way.
When overstimulation has become a fact of life, I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out, or if that bothers you, #NOSMO, the necessity of sometimes missing out.
For me… a person seeing an authentic path where I can be authentic to myself these quotes stopped me in my tracks. To me they are very much tied together… you cannot have one without the other.
Great reminders to me that maintenance and care are as important as seeking that “next new thing.” And for myself… that reminder moved several things off my list entirely… and that felt like a huge weight lifted from me which leads me to the Ali Edwards prompt for this month. It encouraged us to collect our thoughts around an “In Progress” list of questions. I did some thinking about where I feel like I am with being authentic thus far this year and two words just jumped off the page for me:
eye-opening and freeing
and that very much brings me back to those brilliant quotes from my new bestie, Jenny Odell. It is a very good place to be.
I would like to thank Carolyn for gathering us all together… even on the coasting days with our word!
(and in this vein of doing some maintenance and self care, I am taking a bit of a #NOMO break from blogging but I will be back soon!)