Can someone please let my Authentic Self know I am looking for her?
The authentic self gets a lot of play time in the yoga world. The search for it might be a fairly new and intrepid journey of discovery fraught with danger for many of us, as we go uncovering the him/ her/ us/ them/ we/ it/ they; The bona fide, true, genuine aligned even, real you. It can be the cause of a mid life crisis, a gentle unravelling and always the questions... so many questions.
There is no one person on the planet that has not experienced authentic self inner dialogue at least 20 times in their life. For some of we stumble through our lives trying to uncover the answer trying on different versions of us kinda like getting dressed for a party Saturday night when you look in your wardrobe and have nothing to wear and end up with a room that looks like an op shop fire sale/ wasteland
We try to navigate our way to a sense of belonging, but as Maya Angelou so beautifully yet some what cryptically wrote "You are only free when you realise you belong no place—you belong every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great" It may take a few goes for those words to settle on you.
Regardless of where you are in the world and what you are doing the changes around you can challenge you staying connected to your authentic self. Social conditioning and programming can have a big impact on the discovery process and the peeling back of the layers can be kinda like going on your very own one woman archaeological dig to your hearts centre on the quest your authentic self, like Indiana Jones movies without being served monkey brains it can be one of the biggest and most liberating journeys ever.
What is being your Authentic Self?
The easiest definition is: Showing up as who you truly are as a person, regardless of your occupation, regardless of the influence of others, in an honest representation of you. Living in flow with your values, ideals and actions aligned with the most real version of yourself, regardless of external influences. Aka if it doest feel good at a soul level or your intuition is sending butterflies to your gut... you may have stepped away form your authentic self!
So often we define ourselves by experiences we have had in our life or by the rules of a group, our work place, a parenting code, the good daughter instructional handbook, the university graduate, the corporate ladder climber, the home owner, the single mother. the digital nomad, the yoga teacher, the restaurant owner the list goes on and the requirements can be endless demanding and positively exhausting.
These last two points I reflect on in my own life: When I was last working in Australia I was the "hospitality consultant girl", then I opened a Yoga Studio, people struggled to align those two things , to them they didn't make sense. To me they created part of my personal puzzle. When I stepped away from Hospitality and focused on my Yoga business in Bali part of my puzzle asked to come back so I braved (there was a pandemic going on) opening a cafe. To a lot of people who new me as a breath, yoga asana & meditation coach this was a step outside of how they related to me to me it was a natural peace of my personal puzzle. All I needed to do was stay true to me and it flowed. When it was out of alignment I tuned into what my gut was saying and changed tact.
This may be a hard one to grasp, we don't have to have one version of our authentic self. We are constantly learning and evolving as is the world and the people around us. To stick to that one version of yourself that you aligned with in 1972 is probs not going to serve you in 2030. (I could be wrong) Its about connection allowing all the parts of your puzzle to be present and allowing your self to show up as you where ever you are, what ever year it is. We have come into human form to grow and expand through having a myriad of experiences, to create, to be joyful; L iving our authentic self creates the feeling of being truly present and alive. In Sanskrit we refer to it as Satchitananda: truth consciousness bliss
Why is being your authentic self so important? Being your authentic self illuminates your path to live the live that you want. When you get clear on what matters to you, you make choices that align with your identity and core values. You begin to build a life that brings you meaning and joy.
This is why I teach people how to sustainably weave breath yoga and meditation into their lives. The practices of life lived in yoga is learning a holistic system, that allows you to create space, stillness for that connection with your inner most authentic self. A life in yoga will eventually allow you to shed all the layers that just don't serve you and don't allow your life to be a joy filled creative celebration of your uniqueness.
Being your authentic self is going to be absolutely unique to you. Because you are not like anyone else on this planet. All to often we try and wedge ourselves in or go small to meet other people’s expectations social expectations; because feeling like you fit in are accepted or belong feeds right into our basic human desires. However the when we are off our authentic path we are not being true to their own souls’ authenticity leaving us feeling disconnected, unsatisfied empt and lost.
My question when I got to this space was always "whats wrong with me???" What was wrong was that I was not being true to me
My sister Jennifer @inspiredclarity speaks about another key component of being our authentic self "As wellness" She writes "Being in higher vibrations such as love, freedom, empowerment and knowledge, creates well-being in every cell of our body. This then gives us longevity and more time to create, expand and enjoy life" I couldn't agree more. I know when I am in alignment or being authentic. In laymen terms it just feels good right and true! "Being our authentic self is an important aspect of being souls in human form. It illuminates our creative path forward, it is fun and full of vitality! more wise words form my sister.
It is time to stop presenting to the world how we think people want us to be and start presenting to ourselves first; loving, giving space to and showing up in life as our authentic self.
So how do we get in touch with this joyful happy aligned version of ourselves?? There are literally a plethora of solutions but here are three of my top tips.
Learning to harness this super power is the first part of the quest. Start with becoming aware of the inhale exhale, be the observer. Then start to slow it down, make those inhales and exhales longer lower slower. Breathing like this will activate your parasympathetic nervous system meaning that you will start to feel calm and more in control of you, actual you.
2. Yoga Asana
Ok this is the bendy bit, but it wasn't always about handstands and back bends it was simply a system to allow you to connect body to breath and create space to enable you to sit and contemplate life death the universe and connect with your authentic self. So as you move through your yoga asana ask what is my purpose of being on my rubber rectangle?? New to asana I have loads of tips across all my socials I will keep you motivated and hold you accountable!
This is where I spill the tea.... this meditation biz is the entire reason for making the shapes. Creating a meditation practice is the best thing that you can do for you. You might think me telling you that sex and I am sorry but its true
The second of the Yoga Sutras 'Yoga Chitta Vrtti Nirodha" which translates to "Yoga ceases the fluctuations of the mind' tells us that this ancient practice of yoga is not about being Insta flexi, or Tok worthy; it’s about liberating your mind from the redundant, recycled, unnecessary thoughts that occupy our minds. meditation, stillness and adult time out callout what you will but create space for it for you
If you want to get started on your yoga journey but are not sure where check out my book Breathe Bend Sit Sustain available on Amazon and the free YouTube tutorials that support each chapter, there are classes tutorials tips for you to start your journey!
The combination of breath yoga asana and meditation and the holistic learnings that bring us to live a life in yoga will bring you to your authentic self. I promise.