What does it mean to be authentic?

Be authentic! We see those words so much nowadays. They became kind of catch words in the modern world.

And every time I read that, I thought to myself: yeah I am pretty authentic cause I don’t lie!

Being authentic by Merriam-Webster: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.

I had to go through a job interview and the planning of our honeymoon to realize that while I don’t lie to people, I do lie to myself from time to time. It’s like authenticity has different layers similar to an onion we need to keep peeling to find our authentic selves. 

Let me give you 3 concrete examples: 

  • The job interview: I was being totally honest with the employer telling him about myself and my future plans but where I was not honest was: with myself, applying to the job in the first place, thinking I wanted that job and actually not wanting it AT ALL! Story of the past decade conditioned by thinking I needed to work in an office to make a living and not being able to see any other option. That might even be why I was not able to ‘make enough money’ as a Yoga Teacher because maybe deep down I thought it was not possible or I was not worthy. That’s why I was talking about layers. Most things we are not even aware of. A lot is stored in the subconscious which makes it pretty complex to be your authentic self! But let me give you another example.
  • The honeymoon planning: back in June, around the kitchen table, we were brainstorming holiday destinations with my husband. He asks: ‘what about Corsica?’ to which I reply: ‘no, if we go to Corsica I want to be fit to do all the amazing hikes there’. And it took me a minute or so to ask myself this question: when am I actually going to want to take 2 weeks off to go hiking? The answer was: N.E.V.E.R! Because I actually don’t like hiking so much! Doing it half a day is ok but my whole Summer holiday?! Definitely not! And probably not any other holiday either! The reason why I thought this would be a cool thing to do was because back in my early twenties, while hiking with my best friend, she told me about those hikes and that it’d be cool to do them and so I thought: okay my best friend wants to do that and I want to spend time with her + it’s healthy to go hiking, okay then let’s make that a plan! And I stored that in the back of my mind. But if I’m honest with myself + only have limited holiday time for now, that’s not what I’ll choose to do! And I feel like I’ve been doing tones of things that either other people think are cool, society thinks are cool, whoever else thinks are cool but not me! 
  • Last year versus this year: I have also been doing things out of guilt or to please or prove something to someone else or myself even! Like last year, we went camping which I hate! Looking back I think I did it to prove to my husband, his fam and myself that I’m not a princess. Turns out: I AM! And it’s okay I accept that royal part of myself. We also went climbing, which I also dislike but I did it to prove myself that I can do it and to please my husband who loves it so much. I’m not saying you cannot do something for someone else but you gotta really make sure you do it for the right reason meaning: with all your heart. This year though we did a good job finding a place we both like and can both enjoy. In fact, there were many times I cried of gratitude because it’s everything I like doing and it feels so good! That’s when I know I’m being authentic to myself!

When I notice the tricks my mind plays on me to keep me safe, when I allow myself to be fully myself without guilt or shame, I will uncover more and more authenticity, meaning also more bliss! And who wouldn’t want that?! 

Happy Summer everyone! 

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