(E)merging Authenticity | 7.31.23

(E)merging Authenticity | 7.31.23

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. 
Steve Maraboli, 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!

 

Authentic…coasting | June 2023

Authentic…coasting | June 2023

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.

and

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!)

 

Yes! To Authenticity | May 2023

Yes! To Authenticity | May 2023

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen. ― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

This month, Ali Edward’s team suggested a “Day of Yes” but I decided to take it one step further… to make it a month of yes to choices that allowed me to be real with myself and to let that self shine a bit.

It was not easy… old habits are so hard to break. But when I felt like retreating, I read poetry that lifted me. I tuned out the negative voice in my head and stood up for myself… to myself!

It was a good month of nurturing myself in the very best way. And as this month draws to a close, I hope that this month of practice begins to take root. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the positive things by continuing this practice as the year unfolds!

A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing a place to share my progress. I hope this was a good month for all of you as well!

See you all back here tomorrow with some Unraveling!

 

Looking for Authenticity | April 2023

Looking for Authenticity | April 2023

It’s been a very quiet month in the OLW department. Ali Edward’s prompt for the month was to look for our word to show up in our days… and so I practiced patience and tried to pay attention…. sigh. At times the silence was jarring and after a week of waiting with no Word Sightings, I decided I needed a new tactic for the month. I decided I would look at the impediment for my word… i.e. what prevents me from being authentic. Enter Brené Brown… at the end of last month I listened to her lecture/workshop: The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections, and Courage…twice. It was the best 10 hours I spent last month and I wrote down lots of notes of encouragement for myself and this one I wrote in big, bold letters:

How much we know ourselves is extremely important…

Know myself… okay! I know myself very well so making the “Let Go” list was easy:

  1. Let go of my inner critic… who is often the loudest voice in my head (this inner critic jumps in often about all.the.things!)
  2. Let go of expectations that I cannot control… i.e. expectations in others

Sadly, the “Let Go” list does not contain any “new things” … sigh. Thankfully, William Shatner provided me some insight to this problem: 

Most people, including myself, keep repeating the same mistakes. 

Ouch… right?

Rather than allowing my inner critic to begin the Chorus of Defeat at my inevitability of repeating mistakes, I considered a different path…

Identify, acknowledge, and diminish….

with a big focus on diminish because I don’t think I am every going to completely “Let Go” of that damned inner critic, or expectations that I cannot control… but perhaps I can make them less…a lot less!

I don’t think that will be easy… but I am going to work on it with these words printed out boldly as a daily reminder..

How much we know ourselves is extremely important but how we treat ourselves is the most important. — Brené Brown

As always, I’d like to thank Carolyn for keeping me faithful in sharing my word, I might have taken a hard pass on this month, if not for her! Please make sure you go see how everyone else did with their word this month!

See you all back here on Wednesday!

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.

Sanctuary

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!

 

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