Authenticity and Personal Growth
Reporting in from Maya Tulum, Mexico
As Baron Baptiste, the great yoga teacher and guide would say, life is about two things: expanding and contracting. We are either opening up, or closing down. We are becoming larger, growing, evolving, transforming. Or, we are becoming smaller, hiding, lessening ourselves.
The key to living your life in a truthful, open, expansive way is to live authentically.
What do I mean when I say authentic? In existential terms, authenticity is relating to an emotionally significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human living. But how does one live an authentic life? This quote always seems to do the trick for me:
“Be as you are, not as you should be.”
There are no “shoulds” in life. There is no universal right or wrong for how you should be, except to do your very best in every possible situation. You don’t need to be a certain color or flavor or change a single thing, unless you want to. Unless it’s a part of your own growth and expansion. Authenticity is genuine. It doesn’t require force, and in fact, if you attempt to force it, you will fail. Forcing anything just makes it more difficult on you and anyone or anything else involved. Try to drop your expectations of others and eventually you will drop your expectations of yourself: with the “shoulds” right along with it.
Another really wonderful part about being authentic in your life is that you give others permission to be their most true self as well. You open the door to expansion in the most powerful way. So not only are you improving your own well-being and truth, you allow others to do the same.
Don’t expect this to happen over night, because it probably won’t. Begin taking steps towards this way of living. Be patient and compassionate with yourself, this is a lifelong process that will actually get easier with time. Take off your mask, letting it reveal the true you. I find being in nature and/or on the yoga mat is a great way to start this process.
Try and drop your judgments of others, again, to attempt to drop the judgments of yourself. Open your heart to accepting that: You are perfect exactly as you are.