Tag Archives: authentic self

authentic is the new “higher”

Buzz words. They are created by virtue of their overuse in vernacular. Eventually they lose their sexiness and a new one is adapted, but until then the word pompously bombards us with it’s directive: BE THIS.

And I really didn’t want authentic to lose it’s charm… it’s punch… it’s fabulous weightiness of meaning.

Who doesn’t want to be authentic? At our core we humans all want to be seen, accepted and (gasp! even) loved for who we are at our most tender and raw. Who, then, could transform such an empowering word such as authentic into one that we have to strive toward rather than simply embrace?

Oh, again with the cult of self-improvement, we can no longer simply be ourselves, we must become our “authentic selves”.

To me, authenticity is a cyclical process. While we’d like a think that a new way of being can be somehow “downloaded” like some divine program, it is only through experiencing life and embracing all of its aspects fully that we can grow into ourselves. Just because we have a certain awareness of ourselves (and perhaps even the divine parts of ourselves) doesn’t guarantee that we will always be in alignment with that part – and that is fucking okay, see?

At twenty, I felt I was being authentic. Certainly, I knew when I wasn’t always acting from a place of authenticity. I chose my actions in accordance with imagined outcomes based on what I thought other people would say, think or feel about them. That would seem inauthentic, perhaps, but my choices propelled me toward greater learning about myself and how I operated in the world, and I would never have gleaned that wisdom without experiencing the other shite first-hand.

The thing is, we are all being authentic within ourselves, all the time – we merely perhaps lack the confidence to be ourselves at all times with others. Perhaps we must temper our behaviour to fit into certain situations because of cultural or societal expectations. We still know who we are at our core, even though it isn’t always practical to act out of that place. We don’t have to feel compelled to ram ourselves and all of the beliefs we so fervently embrace down everybody’s throats.

I’ve had many adventures so far, some I would have perhaps preferred to avoid but those seem (by far) to have been the ones I’ve gained the most from. I don’t need someone to tell me to tune in to my intuition, or show me how to listen to that small still voice that is warning me about something. On some level I am fully aware of the consequences of my choices and I make them anyway, perhaps because they are experiences my “soul” must have in order for it to get to a place where it is more receptive once again.

I think our life offers us the gift of adventure. Those who are naturally inclined toward self-inquiry will inevitably be delving deeper into finding a higher purpose or calling, even as we each stumble along our very human journeys on our road toward that ultimate fulfillment. Sometimes the strongest of convictions can lead us down a path that ultimately doesn’t truly serve us (or the ones we were hoping to serve).

In some ways we will never really know what our purpose in this life is – not until we are done and the fruit of our legacy is observed in hindsight. I don’t think one needs a blueprint to figure out what we are here to accomplish (individually or collectively), certainly not one proposed to us by someone other than ourselves. I think we must merely live our best lives, in whatever capacity that encompasses at each moment that we find ourselves in, and embrace all parts of our humanly imperfect journey.

Maybe it would make all of us just a little kinder, a little more compassionate and allow the journey to be a little bit more of a joyous one.

With love,
Adriane xo

the birds and the bees


Memory is such an odd thing. The things we remember. The things we forget.

Yesterday morning a friend posted a poem and with it was pictured a painting of a monster that had chewed off the head of a body which it held in its hands. I can’t remember what I ate a week ago for dinner, but both the title of the painting (Saturn Devouring His Children) and the painter’s name (Francisco Goya) chimed brightly in my mind as though I’d just seen it in one of the art history books I used to pour over in my teens.

There are so many things that I’ve forgotten over time; some out of choice, others out of neglect or atrophy. It seems that choosing to forget some things somehow makes other things disappear as well. I fear my memories, sometimes, and I fear for them. All of them. The good ones. The bad ones. Even the mediocre ones. Perhaps especially those.

I spent the weekend lying in bed in my underwear, swaddled in my comforter and watched the first season and a half of Being Erica. The menu mostly consisted of chocolate, spelt and flaxseed rice cakes, freshly brewed coffee with milk, bananas, apples and buttered toast. On Sunday I even sparked up the stove and made scrambled eggs and pan fried potatoes. But I digress.

I love this show. I love it because the writing is fabulous, the characters authentic and the acting stellar. I love it because on so many levels I can relate to the main character, despite our disparity in age. Who doesn’t have regrets? Who doesn’t wish there could be do-overs? Who doesn’t wonder, if they are alone, whether they will always be that way, wonder whether there is something fundamentally wrong with them and thus forever deemed unlovable or to never have the sort of lasting intimacy that I’m certain we all long for?

This morning I got my daily email from Neale Donald Walsch reminding me that intimacy is not a physical thing, it is a condition of the soul, or rather two souls or more. Maybe “soul” is too esoteric of a word, or elicits the impression that it’s something bigger, better or of higher insight that the self. Maybe I should correct that to say that it pertains to the authentic self instead.

I think intimacy is to allow another (and self, in the end) to unfold and be witnessed by another without shame and to be held (beheld!!) in love.

During my marriage I had hoped that my husband could, and eventually would, meet me there. In a more recent relationship, I had had these same hopes. Both came to an end and were devastating to me on so many levels, leaving me to ponder on the same issue that Erica did just before she broke up with the person who she thought was the One. Was she simply not meant to have such a relationship?

To me there is no greater connection and yet it seems like such an illusive improbability. For me. And yet I am hopeful. And so I wait.

Watercolor Moleskine revisited

I drew this sketch last Valentine’s day (2009) and as I was foraging around my place today, antsy to DO something artsy and visual, but not feeling like starting a whole new project from scratch, or wanting to rack my brain on thinking of something original, I looked over and saw my watercolor Moleskine sitting on the shelf and I went “hmmmmm…” I flipped through some of the pages and came across the initial pencil sketch and I thought… “yep, I’m going to add color to this.” So I did. I added it with regular and watersoluble graphite pencils and then swirled water around on it, but I resketched the heart first (since initially it was a Valentine day type heart).

My heart has been “fluttering” lately, and so I have an appointment set up for May 3rd with a cardiologist for a check up, but aside from the obviously physical heart “issues” I have also been pulling attention and intention to my heart. I find that the more I am in my heart space, as opposed to my head space, the better choices I make in relation to all of my actions.

I just finished listening to Gary Zukav’s podcast from the Healing With The Masters website (though they update the podcasts to the most recent speakers, so it may not be Gary’s interview you will encounter at the link). It was an awesome interview, in which he discusses the concepts written about in his new book Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power (being released later this month) and the guidelines to follow in order to establish them.

There is always an intricate synchronicity to our journeys, and when we pay attention we get to notice them. This interview resonated with me on several levels: firstly, it called my attention to personal responsibility… that I am responsible for myself, how I express myself and how I choose to react to external stimuli. The thought here was not to disengage from feeling, nor to sink into the emotional wave that rises, but to notice it, feel it and choose my course of action. Essentially, it is an exercise in self-mastery. It also pointed to how we also can choose to manipulate (self and others), by imposing our own ideals and judgements upon others, or allowing others to do the same. This too was enlightening. The whole (new age) Lightbearer concept is based upon convincing others that you have the best magic carpet ride to enlightenment, and to come onboard for the ride because their soul will thank you for it later. This model simply leads by example, focusing on our beautiful (and unceremoniously flawed) humanity, acknowledging and working with our limitations so that we may transcend them by using more than our five senses. Now that I can chew on.

And finally, as if the aforementioned was not already enough, there was a portion of the interview that brought up an example of an executive who becomes unemployed and how someone with whom he is in a Spiritual Partnership (as opposed to just merely a friendship) asks him these incredible questions… questions that resonated with me on so many levels because they addressed the very things that I have been grappling with since being let go from my most recent job, as well as the previous one. I thought… “wow!” I thought “I really needed to hear this, now, and feel what these questions feel like in my body, and find the source of the things that I am feeling so that I can move past this because otherwise the situation will present itself again.” So… I’m feeling… and thinking… and processing. And that is a good thing.

voices… I hear voices…

In my head the voice is waiting…
waiting for me, to set it free
I locked it inside my imagination
but I’m the one who’s got the combination
Some people didn’t like what the voice did say
so I took the voice and I locked it away
I got the key, I got the key
[Russ Ballard, Voices]

Remember that song?

Oh… how do I not get in touch with my own voice? Though, to be truthful, there are many voices… each important aspects of who I am as a whole, and yet each quite individual. Getting them to all sit down at the thanksgiving dinner table together and not get into an argument about who should be partaking of the white meat or the dark meat, or ANY meat for that matter, is quite a feat at times, but they manage, somehow to get to the end and all agree that the pumpkin pie with whipping cream is just the *best* thing since sliced bread.

All funning aside… finding your voice — your authentic voice — takes some work… courage… compassion toward Self… because there are parts of ourselves that we would rather not acknowledge (forget about inviting them to thanksgiving dinner). Yet each part is an important aspect of the whole of who we are, and by understanding the individual roles each part plays in who we are is how we can become integrated… always noting that the parts change as we move through life… Shakespeare’s “all the world’s a stage” comes to mind, and our collective parts evolve as our story shifts and changes.

Of course the question has more to do with voicing WHO we are to the rest of the world. In essence, every action we take, word we share, motion we make during our daily lives is sharing our essence… how we choose to show our different parts is up to each of us. And, I reserve the right to change my mind as I’m going along by the seat of my pants. 🙂

Actually, I wanted to add to this. I was speaking from the place that I am now, and not of the journey that led me to here.

The journey of finding my voice has been a long -sometimes joyous, sometimes filled with agony- road. It is not that I didn’t have a voice… any one of the thanksgiving feast attendees have certainly been voices throughout this journey.

Sometimes my voice has felt like a canary in a coal mine, wildly chirping out a last song, before it ran out of air and dropped to the bottom of the cage, lifeless.

Sometimes the voice was hurtful, lacerating everyone within its vicinity, including myself. Bloodied and spent, I’d start over, requesting forgiveness from myself and others… at times it was granted and other times not. Still… letting go and moving on is the important thing.

Sometimes the voice is filled with wisdom, and nurtures and awakens my Self and those of others around me.

Sometimes it is but a whisper, wishing on a star, or telling its dreams to a piece of parchment with a quill and dragon’s blood.

These are some of my many voices, that have come and have gone… we each of us have many voices, and they all have a desire to be heard… they merely need to find the right ears and open hearts.

Blessings my lovelies… to each and every part of you…

Beginnings and secrets…

Vyasa: There’s something secret about beginning. I don’t know how to start.

Ganesha: As you claim to be the author of the poem, how about beginning with yourself?

– Jean-Claude Carriere, The Mahabharata: A Play Based Upon the Indian Classic Epic, trans. Peter Brook, (New York: Harper & Row, 1987)

Shake ups are good… I’m finding that when stuff is really not feeling right, it’s the best remedy, and more welcome than rued… at least at this point in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever welcomed change as much as I do now. I feel like one of those crazy base jumpers, fearlessly launching myself off of the top of a cliff (woo-hoo!!!) while yet another part of me stares slack-jawed at my falling form, awestruck at my courage and yet quietly confident that after the exhilarating adrenaline rush, my feet will gently touch down onto the earth once again, unscathed and radiant in my afterglow.

Trust… trusting in self is something that is an acquired… trait. It certainly doesn’t come naturally to me, especially when for much of my young life it was something that was systematically dismantled by anyone whose grasp I fell into.  Conditioned to be a sheep when really I just wanted to be a wolf and howl at the moon… or something.  Mostly I’d complacently follow along until I’d just had it with the being pushed around thing, and revolted in less-than-subtle (and not always constructive) ways.  It is a long and arduous journey toward our authentic self, and sometimes even the concept of authenticity of the self becomes the allure. I can usually tell that I’m on the right track by how my body feels… is there a knot in the pit of my stomach or not? Am I basking in the flow of sheer pleasure or am I chewing the skin off of the surface of my lips (I’d been asked once… “Why are you eating yourself?”). It seems self-cannibalism occurs when I am not on the right track.

So… on secrets and beginnings (which effectively also implies an ending), I have some projects in the works that I am excited about. Some of them involve Creativity Coaching (and creative resources) while others involve creative endeavors, one of which is a story that I’ve had brewing for quite some time, which I am once again ready to turn my attention to. I hope you will be complicit to their unfolding.