I'm coming out of the closet. Yes, I am a homosexual! However, more than that, because we all want to be seen for more than our sexuality, I have always dreamed of writing good-old fashioned, self-help books of the spiritual nature. The kinds that Louise Hay publishes.
I mean, I didn't get my Ph.D. in psychology and attend life coach training, just to be an arm chair psychologist and marriage equality activist. I have visions, big ones, of being the metaphysical butch self-help guru. Ellen for entertainment, Suzie for your money, k.d. for music, and Davina for all your self-help needs. Yes, the queer Dr. Phil if you will!
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail or if it was worth it to go for it even if you did?
For Yari, it was moving from Florida to Los Angeles so she could pursue her dream of being a celebrity fitness trainer. For Dianna, it was leaving her small town in Austria to pursue her desire to be a Broadway actor.
Who would you be if you let go of the idea that you needed to please others?
For Laura, it was an intuitive spiritual counselor, but first she had to say "yes" to her psychic abilities and let go of her stalled marriage and Catholic upbringing.
Where are you hiding or holding back the real you?
For Mark, it was finally coming out as Maria to his family and co-workers and living from his true female essence. For Vanessa, it was when she decided to stop singing in the shower and take her talents to the stage by answering a Craigslist ad seeking a lead vocalist for a rock band. For Marilyn, it was when she released her inhibitions and started writing erotic poetry that even made non-smokers catch fire.
Living an authentic life means standing firm in your dreams, not settling for something less out of fear or desire for security, not playing small to please others; releasing what no longer fits or serves you; and moving in the direction of your heart's desire, no matter what your friends, colleagues, parents or society says.
Living an authentic life for me meant coming out at age 13, wearing tuxedos to my high school formals, and suits and ties in my high school photos. It meant leaving my secure government job as a clinical psychologist (in the fall of 2008, just as the recession hit) so I could honor my spiritual calling and create a business that reflected my values. It also meant working for over a decade to change the unjust marriage laws, so I could marry the woman I loved, and facing death threats from the opposition. And, it even meant releasing that marriage, after fifteen years together, when I realized that our soul contract was complete.
Living a courageously authentic life means listening to and honoring the continuing evolution of your soul. It means being true to yourself and even being willing to let go of what you've worked so hard to build if it no longer fits you. Terces Englehart, co-founder of Café Gratitude, once said that we create at our level of consciousness and as we continue to grow, we will reach points in our lives where what we've created at one level of consciousness no longer reflects who we have become. So, in order to continue growing, to create something new, we must let go of the old. We must shed the old skin, rather than trying to continue to make it fit.
The word "authentic" originates from the Latin word authenticus which means "coming from the author," and from the Greek word authentes which means "one who acts independently." So the word is rooted in the notion of an author who acts independently of others. And that's what we are talking about here. We are talking about authoring your own life independently of what others want for you, believe you are capable of, or what society or family members tell you to do.
In modern use, the most common two meanings for the word authentic are 1) something that is genuine, the real deal, and 2) something that is accurate, trustworthy, and reliable. So, in modern usage, authenticity carries the attributes of both genuineness (originality) and trustworthiness.
When you are living your authentic life people will value your originality and trust you. They will see you as the real deal! In the words of William Shakespeare, "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
So where are you living your authentic life and where are you still holding back? How can you be even more true to yourself? What would that look like? Do you have a good story to share about living authentically or want to explore how you can follow your heart and the true path you were meant to walk, the gifts and talents you came here to share? If so, leave a comment or send me a private FB message. I'm looking for empowering stories to share in my new book.
(Evolve graphic via Bigstock)