Inside Authenticity | March 2023

Inside Authenticity | March 2023

March was a month of heavy lifting… interior heavy lifting… which is not always the best blog fodder.

Ali Edward’s team did not make this month’s work any easier… they suggested having a conversation with our word, and so I spent a great deal of time in quiet contemplation conversing with my well-hidden authentic inner self. I pondered much and wrote quite a bit in my journal. I also got a great deal of help from Ada Limón’s book of poetry, The Hurting Kind… I have found this little volume of poems to be so perfect for ‘what ails me.’ Ada so perfectly gives voice to what I am seeking to fix… free… find…

One poem in particular was in my regular rotation this month and I am sharing that poem with you all today in lieu of all that interior heavy lifting I have done.


by Ada Limón

Suppose it’s easy to slip
into another’s green skin,
bury yourself in leaves

and wait for a breaking,
a breaking open, a breaking
out. I have, before, been

tricked into believing
I could be both an I
and the world. The great eye

of the world is both gaze
and gloss. To be swallowed
by being seen. A dream.

To be made whole
by being not a witness,
but witnessed.

Sanctuary by Ada Limón The Hurting Kind© Milkweed Editions, 2022. 

As always, I want to thank Carolyn for providing the space for us to share ourselves as we support each other in our journeys. See you all back here on Wednesday with some Unraveling!


An Authenticity Manifesto | February 2023

An Authenticity Manifesto | February 2023

Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. — Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet.

I hinted Friday that this month turned into a delightful adventure. But it certainly did not start out that way!

Initially, I got very excited about having a manifesto and my excitement expanded with the list of manifesto’s that Ali Edward’s team put together. I initially settled on this manifesto and I was feeling very “done and dusted” for the month. And then I tried to recall something… anything… from my selected manifesto and it all that feeling of being done disintegrated. I pulled out the print out of Brené Brown’s Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted but even with diligent reading, I was struggling to retain and, more importantly, recall it if I did not have it right in front of me.

It then occurred to me that only a manifesto that I spend the time to think about, create, and use as a reminder will actually accomplish what a manifesto should. I needed to make it my own and memorize it so that it becomes part of my days.

I started by making two lists… one of I Am things. And one list of I Want To Be things. And first and foremost I reminded myself of the wisdom of Rilke… to live the questions, because I have lots of questions, uncertainties, and so many self-inauthenticities. Yet Rilke’s gentle reminder that if I am living the questions, gradually I will discover that I am the answers, the certainty, and yes… An Authentic Self!

So I present My Authenticity Manifesto:

Or course my I Am list was miles long… so I did some editing. I think this I Am list is important, because so many of those things I did not always use as a way to identify myself. Many of them are things that I worked at for a very long time…but, as Rilke says, I eventually became the answer.

I selected these I Am’s to remind myself that the I Want To Be list is entirely possible… if I just keep going, trying, imagining, doing!

And so I have settled in with my word nicely. Is there work to be done? Absolutely! But I am so excited that I have 10 more months to be with my word.

I am also thankful that Carolyn provides us all a space to share how our word is progressing. I always find so many ideas and inspiration in the OLW community!

See you all back here on Wednesday!


Getting to know you… Authenticity | January 2023

Getting to know you… Authenticity | January 2023

Here I am almost at the end of January and my word demands that I share with you that it has been a bit of a rocky start…

Confession time; more than once this month I have asked myself why I picked this word! However, one thing I am not is a quitter…and so I forged ahead.

And in January… I always start at the beginning!

Authenticity — noun
The quality of being real or true.

But what does that really mean? Because as I was so handily reminded in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, We Wear The Mask… we all wear a mask on our public face.

I vividly remember several rousing discussions in my confirmation classes around the topic of “white lies.” Yes, even at the tender age of 12 we got that sometimes saying the truth that hurts is not a very nice thing to do in polite conversation. Those “how are you?” inquiries and the “absolutely fine!” responses are not what this year is about.

No, this year is a deeper search into why I withhold authenticity from myself. I should not have to ‘wear the mask’ with myself… right? And yet I do… all.the.time. by ignoring, avoiding, disregarding, neglecting… I think you get that the list could go on and on.

Because my Avoidance Game is strong, this year I am approaching authenticity a bit differently with myself.

This word is different for me and as such will require a new approach! To start I have begun a word cloud that I hope will be a work in progress this year. I started with some things I want to remind myself of this year… including one poem that will be helpful in my journey this year.

I also picked up a book I had planned on reading in January… but I have yet to crack it open! So it is on the top of my list for February.

And there you have my Authentic January start!

Again, I would like to thank Carolyn for providing the perfect Monthly Landing Spot to keep myself accountable. It is most appreciated!

See you all back here on Wednesday with some Unraveling!

Getting to know you… Authenticity | January 2023

Welcome to My Word | 1.2.23

Hello 2023 and Hello Authenticity!

It has been a bit of a journey to get here, but the time for dancing around the elephant in the room is done.

I am going to bring some baggage with me though, which I am hoping will make this journey a bit easier…yay for all I learned from my previous words!

I started a journey with a word back in 2017… I picked joy and had no idea what I was doing. At all. It was a true bust of a word and so I did not pick a word at all in 2018. But I spent time in 2018 researching One Little Word… specifically the why of choosing a word. And so with several pages of notes in my journal, I decided to try again in 2019.

And so I began my year of Focus. I did not understand the power of that a quote could have over the course of the year, but I started off with Eckhart Tolle, Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. It was a good year, and I began to “get” the value that a word could bring to your life.

I moved into 2020 expanding focus a bit more and: the Year of Intentional Living was born. This time I focused entirely on a single quote by the wise Mary Anne Radmacher, Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. And over the course of the year, I contemplated all the delicious bits of her quote. I kept my focus, and yes, I absolutely began the process of Intentional Living. And from there, I wanted my journey to go where I will this year… but it did not feel right. I had a good amount of unfinished business to sort out.

I knew that I could not have one scintilla of authenticity until I could release so much. Hello, 2021… the Dreaded Year of Release. It was a year of hard work… and I was so happy to be done. Although, I am far from done… I made a very good start!

2022 was a much better year… and after letting so much stuff go, I spent the year learning about being Full… with the delightful help of Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day. It was such a good word… and it was a wonderful year. I learned so much. And still… Focus, Intentional Living, and Release were very much still a part of my journey. You see, I realized early on that words could be building blocks, each word providing a base for the next word to grow from.

And as 2022 began to draw to a close, authenticity began to reappear on my radar… regularly. And so, with great trepidation… I will embrace authenticity in 2023. I have a good foundation, I think I am ready for this exciting word!

Welcome to my Year of Authenticity! And January is always so much fun as I dig in and see what authenticity has to reveal!

I will be back on Wednesday with some Unraveling… a New Year of Making Intentions post!

P.S. That photo above is my bright, shining, sans makeup, freshly 63 err…62-year-old face! (I do know how old I am…most days! LOL) Grey hair? Yep! A wrinkle to two? Absolutely!! Yes, my first step into authenticity will be getting comfortable with images of myself!



Full, Filling, Empty | December 2022

Full, Filling, Empty | December 2022

Filling what’s empty and emptying what’s full.
Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

I have spent a year contemplating full and it has been a wise use of my time! I used Mary Oliver’s Summer Day as my starting point, and particularly these lines:

Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

And so I began… thinking about how to fill my days and, more specifically, what to fill them with!

It soon became apparent to me that being full was a thing in flux…full, filling, empty. Full is not a “one and done” concept and that in order to appreciate full – I needed emptiness as well.

And, likewise, I quickly learned that there was little to appreciate in being “overly full.” Leaving space for more enhanced full…tremendously.

And so the sweet spot of filling became a thing I thought about every day… not just the filling, but the things I filled my day with!

But this does not end my journey with full… I will continue on and I am so excited about how full will fit with my new word for 2023!

I want to thank Carolyn for her continued inspiration in the power that a word can do for your days, weeks, months, and yes… years!

See you back here on Wednesday as I unravel my year of reading!



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