Just Be Yourself: 3 Ways to Cultivate Authenticity & Achieve Wellness
Wellness is a term that is thrown around quite a bit and it is something we all strive for, but can’t always seem to find a clear cut way to achieve. Often this because there isn’t a specific recipe for wellbeing; it’s a feeling. It is a unique combination of experiencing self-love and acceptance. It is about holding a sense of peace with your own unique place in the world. It is reaching the highest potential that you can within your special circumstance. Wellbeing doesn’t mean life is easy, but it does bring with it a belief that you are where you are supposed to be. I firmly believe that the more you love and honor yourself, the more you can offer the world. To get to this place we will find ourselves in many situations and we make choices that either bring us closer or move us away. We will be given as many chances as needed to find a place of wellbeing within ourselves. Here are some basics to consider as you begin mapping the path to your own wellbeing:
- Well Body – What are you doing to honor and keep your body healthy? Movement, nutrition, health care, wellness checks, self-care, sexuality
- Well Mind – Are you doing things that keep your brain stimulated? Reading, art, conversation, meditation, education
- Well Heart – What makes your heart fill with joy? A lover, children, pets, community, giving, family
- Well Soul – Do you have faith in something that is bigger than you are? Higher purpose, a higher power, a belief system that brings joy, service to others
When we are born, we do something incredible; we exist exactly as we were meant to. We cry if we are uncomfortable, we laugh out loud when we are joyful, and we reach for those we need comfort from. As we mature, we learn that for some, our behaviors are not acceptable and we begin to change who we are to please others and to make our lives smoother. If we change too much, there can be a sense of loss as a result of us wearing a mask to please others. We lose our self and we lose our way towards our unique sense of wellbeing. A way to achieve wellness, is to cultivate a more authentic you. Here are three ways to be a more authentic you starting today:
1. Identify those areas in your life where you are not being yourself.
If you have been in relationships for a while, there have been ways in which you have tried to please others by not being yourself. It is impossible not to. What’s most important is to find areas where it is almost always the case and it leaves you with a bad feeling. These phrases might help – “I don’t do _______ because he/she doesn’t like it. I stopped doing this because I was afraid he/she would react badly. He/She always gets their way when it comes to _____. I pretend I don’t care about ______ because it might hurt them if they knew I did.” If one area or one person keeps coming to mind, this is the area that needs work for you to become more authentic.
2. Rephrase your thinking.
When self-sabotaging thoughts surface, try and rephrase them. For example if you were to think “he/she will think this is a waste of money if I sign up for an art class”. Return the thinking back to yourself and say “Taking an art class will provide me with _____, something that is very important to me.”
3. Take ownership in the self-sabotage you’ve already done.
It becomes easy to lay blame on others for decisions you have made out of alignment to who you are. Recognize that most often it is not someone else’s fault: The saboteur does not usually seek to destroy others. The saboteur seeks to destroy the self, to become inauthentic so the other does not do what we most fear. The fear there because we have not learned to fulfill this particular need for ourselves yet.
This quote from the book Oneness sums it up nicely, “Only give to the point where what you are offering is given without expectation of a return. If you are to give, give freely. This allows you to maintain ownership of yourself and frees others to be as they are without the bond of expectation in the middle. You will never experience disappointment if you do not hold faulty expectations of something outside yourself.”
Imagine the peace if you and those you are connected to can get to a level of self-development where you can stand before each other and say, “I relinquish from you any responsibility to make me happy, to make me whole or to fill a void I have in my life.”