Some of us are feeling very connected to our true selves and others might be wishing to have a deeper connection. My hope is that this article will help everyone go deeper. If you feel very well connected to your authentic self, maybe you can think of a place that still needs a little deepening. Maybe you tend to lose your authentic voice when talking with your parents or family of origin, or maybe your boss at work or when you are confronted. Just stay open and work through this and see what comes up.
When we are born we are whole and beautiful; sometimes through the years we start to loose ourselves piece by piece, to society, to our parents, to school and friends. We shape ourselves to be what they want us to be, instead of what we truly are.
So where do you find this authentic self? It’s not something that’s foreign to us, but something that was always there and got submerged under layers of protection and conditioning. We want to gradually strip away those layers and find the treasure that has always awaited us underneath.
Use these ideas and questions to get you started. Please do not think of this as something you have to do OR something you have to do RIGHT. Just get a notebook, paper or journal and write some things down.
~ What did you enjoy doing as a child? How did you envision your life as an adult?
~ What are your values? What really matters to you? Look at each item carefully. Where did it come from? If you learned it from your parents, is it still something that you would choose for yourself? If so, restate it in a way that makes it your own. If not, replace it with something that’s meaningful to you now.
~ What’s fun for you now? What would you like to do but avoid because you don’t think you’d be very good at it or you’re afraid of what people will say?
~ What topics are you drawn to? If you were going to subscribe to a bunch of magazines, which ones would you choose?
~ What do you do because you know it will please other people? How would you change that if you only had to please yourself? This may be a tough one because after many years of sacrificing your own desires for those of parents, spouses, friends, etc., your own desires may be a distant memory. If this is the case, be patient with yourself and keep looking. Growth has often been compared to peeling the layers of the onion. Keep peeling.
~ Be aware of your body. What messages is it giving you? Which activities allow your body to feel relaxed and open? Which ones make you tense or uncomfortable? How can you stop or change the stimulus that causes your stress?
~ As you come more in touch with what’s truly meaningful to you, start to make a place for it in your life. Take time to do things that are pleasurable. Rethink your priorities. Begin to eliminate things that you do solely because you think you should. Certainly you have responsibilities to yourself and your family, but a lot of our obligations tend to be self-imposed and you can negotiate some of the other ones with your loved ones.
~ Start to bring your new authenticity into your creativity. When you’re faced with a challenge at home or at work, instead of resorting to your usual options, try brainstorming some new ones. How would the person you are now (or the person you want to be) handle this? Include some options that seem outrageous, and let that outrageousness expand the boundaries of your usual thinking.
Reconnecting with your authentic self will be a long process that will happen in steps, so be patient with yourself. Enjoy the hunt and revel in each new insight.
Tracy Liebmann is an experienced educator, Certified Family Life Coach, and Author. She believes deeply that great communication is the key to better connection with your loved ones. She mothers her two teenaged children from the heart, knowing that is where the truth lies when it comes to parenting. Her coaching clients describe her using words like; compassionate, caring, understanding, patient, insightful and intuitive. She lives in Charleston, SC with her husband of 19 years, her 2 children and many interesting pets. She enjoys being with her family, cooking, anything outdoors and being with her horses! You can learn more about her and her coaching practice at www.transformingfamily.com or you can get parenting advice with heart at www.asktracy.wordpress.com Tracy is a regular contributor to this blog, so stay tuned for more great parenting articles from her!