the beauty of authenticity
If my own personal story of choosing to be me in high-frequency form, and the unexpected effects that doing so had of leading me both to overcome my own debilitating daily health challenges, and to discover my passion for the healing work I do now, was at all inspiring to you (or, even if you already have all the motivation and encouragement you need in your life, but simply get a kick out of reading about others turning lemons into lemonade, or rooting for others existing in their trueness!) . . . then I must say, "but wait, there's more!"
A few years ago, Powerful You! Publishing reached out to me with the invitation to coauthor a publication called The Beauty of Authenticity, an anthology of stories written by several different women who have stepped into living life as their own authentic selves, through their own unique life journeys — and, I accepted. Why? For one thing, there was already my passion and eagerness to share with others what little I have learned about the healing process through my own limited firsthand experience (I say limited not so as to downplay the significance of what I have learned, but simply because the more you learn, the more you learn you have to learn! . . . and also to recognize that there is always so much more healing to be done at such deeper depths than we can ever fathom in our human forms, and what bit I have accomplished is but a speck of dust in the greater spectrum of the universe . . . but, even with all that said, its significance still remains, because even something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world). Plus, I've always been a writer, anyway, and so the opportunity to publish what I had to share sounded good to me.
Most compelling of all, though, was the book title itself, as authenticity is, without a doubt, an indispensable quality. My own natural inclination is to wear my heart on my sleeve, and so I have the utmost appreciation and respect for others who are not only worthy of my trust as I present myself in vulnerability, but who have even gone further and done the personal work and growth necessary to earn their own trust, and step into comfortably being their own true selves in this lifetime, too.
As our publishers wrote, "Authenticity is you showing up as your true self, no holding back. It asks that you explore and reveal parts of yourself previously hidden and perhaps ones you didn’t even know existed. Living authentically is not for the weak—it takes true strength, practice, and devotion—and it takes courage."
In fact, the very lack of authenticity in the world — whether that inauthenticity is conscious or unconscious — is one significant reason for the soul retrieval work that I do.
It's already a given that inauthenticity by means of conscious false representation of any sort — that is, lying — is an unsavory gremlin. To intentionally mislead is an immensely disrespectful act that violates the free will of another by making the executive decision, unbeknownst to them, that what they should hear or believe differs from reality; and is an act that may very well inflict harm upon others — not uncommonly, harm that manifests experienced traumas of the very nature that lead to soul loss and the formation of unhealthy life patterns, and which ultimately require soul retrievals to be healed.
Moreover still, what a tangled web we do weave when first we practice to deceive, given that truth itself is already so complex! It is only a waste of our valuable time and energy for us to further complicate what matters we have to manage in this realm, as well as our relationships with one another (when honest interpersonal communications can already be convoluted), to the point of utter confusion by means of intentional deception. The cleanup that is required in the aftermath of lies being spread only makes conscious inauthenticity all the more detrimental to our precious lifetimes on this planet.
That said, far too often does inauthenticity occur unconsciously. Unconscious inauthenticity is the real beast that far too often goes unseen (always going unseen by the inauthentic themselves, needless to say). So many of us have been so well trained over the years to suppress our true selves, that our doing so now happens impulsively — a habituation that goes unnoticed by ourselves and eventually develops into what we dub our "second nature" . . . until ultimately, we come to believe with passive acceptance that whatever charade we are putting on is, in fact, who we are. Just as the traumatic harm intentionally inflicted upon others through conscious inauthenticity so often leads to soul loss, so does the blind formation of long-term, unhealthy patterns that are detached from our own true selves lead to soul loss through unconscious inauthenticity.
Part of the reason that unconscious inauthenticity so often goes unseen — not only by the inauthentic themselves, but even by those currently bearing witness to that of another — is its overwhelming prevalence. That aforementioned training to suppress our true selves comes forth from sundry corners of our habitat, and depending on what form that training comes in, it can be all the more traumatic and render even greater soul loss upon impact (for example, the bullying a kid receives in school). Such training comes via societal forces ranging from those very standards of "normalcy" we are subjected to on the hierarchical social totem pole and its associated peer pressure to fit within its bounds, to the "education" system on society's constructed grid itself and its academic material that we are made to pour our time, attention, and efforts into (at least to the point that we can, hopefully, be given the stamp of approval to move on by the authorities that be).
Don't get me wrong; ultimately, I am grateful for my own time spent honing my critical thinking skills in the esoteric bubble of academia. This nerd had a blast conducting all the research she did abroad while earning her bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish, having her undergrad Cultural Anthropology thesis published in the Taylor & Francis academic research journal Deviant Behavior, and graduating magna cum laude from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. However, had it not been for my having been led by my own healing journey to step out of that realm of societal ladder-climbing and success-chasing into which I'd been launched as a child, then I would not be putting those critical thinking skills that I did hone to usage from outside of that very structure that is, nor would I have discovered my own authentic beliefs about it in so doing, and have the gratitude that I do for my opportunity to help improve it.
Nonetheless, it is indeed an esoteric bubble of academia, as I said (or perhaps skull is more apropos?) — for it is one that is dug more deeply into the head, and is farther removed from the rest of the 3D world happening outside of it, than is readily apparent from within its pontificating walls (which some may mistakenly perceive as being crystal-clear). Plus, within those very walls, some things presented to us as authentic fact (fact being that which, of course, is made to shape our understandings of what reality actually is) are more questionable than is ever acknowledged to the students to whom those facts are being presented. Ideas considered to be scientific fact are always in a constant state of flux as humans evolve their knowledge banks, and they are indubitably fluxing now more rapidly than ever before, thanks to the latest and greatest technological advancements facilitating discoveries that promptly debunk preexisting scientific theories, not least of all within the realm of conventional medical science . . . and, of course, there's a reason that facts of the past, as they are presented in school, are taught in a class called his-story: it's written by the winner. Therefore, our very understanding of authenticity itself becomes distorted by the very system purported to be teaching us how to understand.
Since having examined inauthenticity (and the pain and energetic pollution inflicted by dishonesty, the formation of unhealthy behavioral patterns that render detachment from the true self, and the traumas that cause soul loss that go along with it), let's get back to the positive side of things: the beauty of authenticity itself.
The publishers of our book by the same title aptly encapsulate the beauty of living authentically and unapologetically in their summary of the lessons that we the coauthors present inside:
Love is the great elixir; open your heart and let it flow
Belonging and self-acceptance must come from within
A traumatized childhood can transform to a beautiful life
Learn to trust and have faith that all is well
Self-love is the basis for empowerment and joy
Rock bottom can be a strong foundation
Releasing the past and forgiveness are vital for healing
Authenticity means living in alignment with your heart
Facing your fears takes courage — and it’s totally worth it
Call on your Angels and Guides who are always with you
Freedom is possible when you open your mind and heart
These simple truths and bits of advice serve as healthy reminders of just what splendor authenticity actually holds, and what simple steps we can take to attain it for ourselves — and just how important it may be for us to pause wherever we're at in life, check in with ourselves, and ask just how in-tune with our true self we actually are. If we find that our answer is a blatant "not very", or that the presence of our true self is otherwise still unclear to us, then it may be worth further reflection for us to meditate on just what is not working in our life, and figure out by what means of personal healing and growth we may evolve into our optimal self.
(If you would like to buy a copy of the book featuring these basic points, along with further guidance . . . all I ask is that you please do so from me directly!)
The Beauty of Authenticity is a compilation featuring the stories of myself and a number of women, who share their own experiences of discovering and stepping into their authentic selves. Personal journeys featured range from survival of both breast cancer and wildfire leading one woman to commit her life to service through guiding others to find their own strength in their true selves . . . to one fire fighter's usage of humor, creativity, and bold action to overcome harassment, discrimination, and bullying in the workplace and eventually become the first-ever female officer in the department, as well as an adoptive mother . . . to one woman's development of a program called Life Surfing, for Active Agers, aimed at encouraging Mid-lifers to live their lives with joy and confidence since "you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."
As our publishers further explain:
The women who share their stories in this book are extraordinary. They have made significant shifts in the way they show up and their ways of thinking. They’ve developed and share practices, mantras, and techniques to live as the authentic spiritual beings they are. These women have empowered themselves through self-discovery, deep introspection, mindfulness, and self-love. Their transformations are nothing short of miraculous, and they speak to the undying vibrancy and love that exists in each of us. If you long to embrace your truth, and live a life of meaning, purpose, and grace, these stories are the perfect guide for you. These women will empower you on your own journey of authenticity.
I realize that the image featured above (received directly from Powerful You! Publishing) features the golden Amazon emblem . . . and, although I suppose I don't mind showcasing a newfound Bestseller status . . . what can I say nonetheless, but with all due respect, fuck the corporate giant that is Amazon. Please know that this project was an investment on my part, and that as a result of that investment, I have plenty of copies of this book on hand that I would be delighted to selI to you. Please support local business!
If you're interested in buying a copy of The Beauty of Authenticity online, I invite you to select the buy now button below to place your order for $23. I'll send it to you. If you live in the greater metropolitan area of Portland, OR, and would like to avoid the cost of shipping, simply reach out using the contact button below if you'd care to make the exchange in person for $20. (As a healer, I quite strongly believe that now in the time of Covid, moreso than ever before, it is of utmost importance for us to be willing to embrace the power of in-person interaction . . . as well as one another.)