Being Authentic.

You are not who you Think you are.

To figure out who you are is life’s biggest challenge. To be happy with what you find is the second biggest.

Being your true self is essentially the difference between existing (adding years to life) and living (adding life to years). Length of life being the same, finding your true self determines, if you will live deep. It ensures that when your time is up, you will have no residue and no regrets.

Since thinking isn’t the way to find yourself so here are the top 4 top strategies that help you attain your true self. The format of presentation is that each strategy is labeled and defined first, its difficulties and their solution outlined next and finally there is a call to action on each strategy. So here goes:

1) Be the Misfit: You were born unique. This is because universe’s intent is to realize a particular esthetic sensibility through your being. It wants to appreciate that special beauty in itself through your eyes. You were not a mistake as universe doesn’t make any. So stay true to that mission and cultivate your original intuitions about art of being. Deliberately, be the misfit, in your environment. Be unapologetic about who you really are, imperfect, idiosyncratic, over the top, emotional and argumentative. Drop the calculus of perfection. Take a stand for what you believe even if you are in minority. Say No now.Then repeat it.

Block: Normal is a narrow range of behavior where you are safe from being adversely judged. To stay within its limit is being comfortably numb. You adopt it as your abode because shame, a reinforced and remembered message of being inadequate, chains your imagination and castles your feet. It robs you of your dance as it keeps whispering you are not enough and you measure short. It makes you give excuses as if being your unique self and renouncing normalcy will invite ridicule and unless others validate your being, you are not worthy.

Tackle: Overcoming shyness, awkwardness, vanity, snobbery all behavioral manifestation of embedded shame and robbers of self, is a two step process. Part one is to realize that people are too busy with their lives to judge and validate you. Also lockstep with that is the fact that your needy behavior is result of erroneous mental calculation and has nothing to do with your real self which lies dormant, eclipsed by shame. Lesser you court others to harness their liking more you will create space to be your unique un-normal self. Secondly, once you realize the shame game, in baby steps practice, not to play it. Instead, reach behind your shame to accept your imperfect self. Soothe your hurt childhood hiding there, all clenched and contorted, for it felt unloved then and needs your unconditional acceptance and love now.

Sva-Haa: Take the risk of being disliked for who you are. That’s a compliment in a world conspiring to keep you normal. Walk with flair both in your step and in your nostrils.

2) Follow your flow. There is always an activity that engages your passions and brings out the best of you. From gardening to kite flying to writing a research paper it can be anything. That activity is your calling, your true path. To maximize its impact in your life, you lifestyle should be designed around it, if you are non working and your professional life, if you are.  Actualizing a life around passion ensures that you will be playing, being your creative self and having maximum fun through-out your engagement with it. That’s the highest life you can design for yourself.

Block:  Blocking, your life of flow, if you know your passion, is an erroneous default concept that you have to do a job to earn a living. Much like generic education for all kids (without considering their individual variation) it’s a capitalistic meme which we have imbibed for generations now, without questioning its hollowness. Any capitalistic compromise with “life of flow” leads to stress of non authentic living, which accumulates in body. Soon you take on addictions to mute the piling stress leading to further off-roading of life.  For others who are confused or have been on auto mode, discovery of their passion is the first hurdle. A life path around that is the second.

Tackle: To live your flow, if you haven’t been living it, will require major rearrangement of life’s priorities. You will have to go back to drop down menu of vocations and choose differently. You might have to let some things/people/attitudes go.  It takes courage, willingness to change and maybe an initial hit of income to live your best life. However it is one of the best decisions you would ever take. For those who need to discover their passion, trial and error is the start up step.

Sva-haa:  Make a play on the best self you can be. To settle for less is slow suicide by addictions.

3) Ride your Vibe: Your emotional energy, needs to be honored and expressed fully for you to engage your authentic life. Emotions are the wifi connect of living and open living provides vitality and nourishment to self. Its only trough them that all communication with who you really are flows. You honor your emotional energy by letting it play out without edits and distortions.

Block: Fear is the handcuff against grant of freedom to your emotional pandora. Fear is a state of being, in which you are out of control and out of trust. You feel you cannot rely on your feelings to give them a free run as they often sabotage your intents. Also since you have had bad experiences of negative states/anxiety which you do not want to repeat, giving freedom would mean letting those states return.

Tackle: Most of us are emotional illiterates. We aren’t mindful of the ebb and flow of our emotions. So developing emotional intelligence is the only tackle to riding your vibe. In development of EI instead of shutting down when face to face with it, you have to feel your fear. The key to fear handling is identifying and segregating the meta fear or fear of fear from real fear. Meta fear is mental while real fear is visceral.  Say you have an important interview in 3 days and fear you feel in anticipating it for those 3 days is meta fear. The fear state, if any, that arise in your body during the interview is visceral fear.  Meta fear, being a ghost is tougher to handle and takes EI practice.

Sva-haa: Dare to open your heart wide and let its content meet daylight. Don’t ration your emotion.

4) Take the Dirt Road:  Authentic Self is not a narrow lane but a horizon-less landscape. It offers unlimited dimensions, bends and dead ends to explore. Truer you are to its quest more of your thirst sublimates. So cultivating a lust for life, stepping out of your drop zones, systematically breaking your patterns, assumptions and habits, assuming nothing and experiencing everything aids the evolution of your consciousness. It brings you closer to the universal self of whom your authentic self is but a customized reflection.

Block: Inertia obstructs those who are resting in their own shadow. They would not budge as it takes work and effort is for others to undertake. These blessed ones shall inherit the holy grace directly from its source. Others who do not have a problem moving on their feet have stationary imaginations. They cannot conceive of worlds beyond the immediate ones and thus are firmly anchored to current dogmas.

Tackle: To seed a wanderlust, cultivate your curiosity. Quit picking up knowledge on a need to know basis and go after fresh learning and experiences on full tilt and intent. Be a performing artist of flexibility and make, having new experiences, ideas, skills, partnerships an aggressive priority. Take yourself to the edge, lean over to check if abyss stares back and then bring yourself back.  Consciously, curate cadences.

Sva-Haa: Live life to an adventure. Don’t treat it as a routine.

You cannot define in language who you really are, however you can know it in your being. A tell a tale sign of authentic living is when life feels good from inside. People who live authentically, spill joy. When you meet Natural Authentics or NAs, as I am sure you must have, you come away charmed, lifted and smiling. For those moments, triggering a mirror effect, they connect you with real yourself. NAs might be using these strategies unconsciously, however practicing and following them deliberately, you can also connect with who you really are.

To summarize, the first two strategies (Be the Misfit + Follow you Flow ) creates alignment with your true self, Ride your Vibe invites you to dive deep and Taking the Dirt road is about going wide. Taken together they cover all dimensions of being your authentic self.  Implementing them however  is not easy and sometimes it takes a lifes work to get there but then remember, in long run, it is easier to align with the light source then negotiate with the shadows.

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