authenticadjective au·then·tic ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ- : true to one's own personality, spirit, or character <is sincere and authentic with no pretensions>
For the past few years, I've landed on a "word of the year" that's kept my focus and intentions true and on track. Last year was Alchemy (which I'll write about in another post sometime...It was pretty damn awesome). This year's word is AUTHENTICITY.
For nearly my entire life, I've struggled with the tug and pull between being my authentic Self (to the depths of my core, in every situation, no matter what) and adjusting to social norms to fit in with the crowd (somewhat of a requirement for a friend-filled, peaceful life).
Both of my parents are unique and strong-willed, coming from unusual backgrounds and making decisions that many others shunned in disappointment and objections. However, neither of them are from a generation where it's likely they'd find success if they were to explore their most authentic aspects and live solely from those pieces of themselves. Luckily for me, they recognized very clearly that I would always be considered different (as I've mentioned before, simply due to the fact that I was a half-white, half-black kid growing up in a city where blacks and mixed people were few and far between), so they began training me in how to accept and balance both sides of myself from an early age. They also taught me that I had to be strong, have thick skin and ignore insults while still learning how to fit in well enough to avoid being outcast and overlooked, especially for great opportunities that could open doors to success.
Part of these teachings included exposing me to diverse situations and people so I would never be surprised or caught off guard but instead easily acclimate and relate to as many circumstances as possible. While I'm grateful for these invaluable lessons (as they've helped my life and career grow in ways far surpassing many of my peers), this socialization also led way to my awareness of the importance of limiting my uniqueness as to not offend others (because yes, sometimes when we let our unique awesomeness show, it brings out the insecurities in others who aren't quite as courageous with their own originality).
As years have passed and I've seen both the detriments and glories of living more and more as my authentic Self, I've landed on the conclusion that regardless of the cons (losing friends, intimidating coworkers, upsetting the "manhood" of certain particularly unstable males, creating angry mobs who then try to collectively ruin my life - dramatic but still a true experience - and so on), the pros far outweigh any negative repercussions that will occur in this lifetime of mine.
Authenticity is now the sole form of being I'll accept from the people and situations around me, simply because it's the sole form of being I'll accept from myself, positives and negatives equally included. Living this way has eliminated many people and situations from my sphere that no longer serve my highest purpose (and I'm confident will continue to do so without regard to the turmoil we often experience when letting beloved things and people go).
Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet - thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing - consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust. - Lance Secretan
Stepping into my authentic Self, with all of my combinations of uncanny and involuntary attributes, has catapulted me into manifestations many others only wish for. Taking the time to dig deep and learn who I am in my authenticity in the first place has naturally attracted others to me like moths to a flame, and most of them can't pinpoint what causes their intrigue or immediate trust in my abilities. This remains the clarifying point of powerful impact that's created when we sink into the greatness we were born with but forgot about as our childhood progressed into adult lives that box us into lame, mediocre situations day after day and kill our soul one irrelevant water cooler discussion at a time.
Basically, when we're digging deep in courage to find the comfort and security of our true Self - in every situation, without sugarcoating ourselves for the sake of acceptance - people become captivated by our presence. If you want to learn the secret to achieving power, THIS is great power. This will align you with your original purpose for gracing this earth as your human self, which will in turn easily and effortlessly open opportunities as though you're some magical soul who snaps your fingers and the good life appears.
If you don't believe me, try it. It'll take some time to break down the barriers you've built throughout your lifetime (even harder, to reprogram your belief system and conclusions about yourself and life's limitations), but when you do, share with the rest of us because the more people who live out their true, authentic lives, the more people who allow others the freedom, confidence and inspiration to live out theirs too. Then...BOOM, we'll be in a whole new world together.