The Courage to Be Authentic
I had a conversation earlier today about this writing practice and it was put to me that I was very brave to publish all the posts, indiscriminately.
What came up for me is that sharing what I write is one of the most important aspects of this practice for me. It is about finding my voice and sharing it. All of it.
What is Being Authentic?
I was reminded of many times where I have wanted to hide certain aspects of myself: what I think, feel and believe; what inspires me and what gets me down. I remember reading a book on the train years ago and hiding the title… just in case I was judged for what I was reading or those around me made assumptions about what my reading material said about me.
And then there are other examples where I realise I flaunted what I thought, read or felt, also hoping it said something about me. It most likely did, but probably not what I wanted it to.
When I started my blog, I read a lot and watched numerous videos about what to write and how to write it. And eventually I just got stuck. I felt like it sucked the heart out of what I wanted to say.
What really takes courage
I have come to realise that it takes so much effort to present an image or to deny certain parts of myself. It is so much easier simply to show up as I am in the moment in whatever setting, whether I am with friends, colleagues, family or clients… that for me is authenticity. To speak my truth and be okay with where I am right now.
Last week I was not sleeping very well. I kept getting woken up by the sound of the hotel generator going on every 4 hours due to load-shedding. I was quite grumpy. I found myself about to say “I am not myself” but actually, I was myself, just perhaps not to my mind the best version of myself.
I started to surround the grumpiness with a layer of frustration and I noticed that my breathing had become quite shallow. Then I remembered one of the four agreements and affirmed for myself “I always do my best. My best will change from moment to moment, it will be different when I am healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance I simply do my best, avoiding self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.”
That helped me start to let go of the self-recrimination around how I was showing up and I was able to exhale with more ease. I told my family what was going on and that also helped.
So yes, perhaps there is courage, especially in being honest with myself. Then to share from that place of honesty and authenticity, being gentle with myself and those around me.