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.


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.


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!

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