We are in the middle of a puzzle, an incredible connection, where the only thing we need to do is be real.
If only we were real, we could open that door with that golden key.
Every moment, we have another opportunity just before us to be authentic.
The universe is playing a game with all of us, even though we do not know why, how, or where.
The only way we can play this game depends on embodying our authentic selves.
But what does it mean to be real? What is the truth? Can the truth change according to the eye that sees? According to the moment?
As in the elephant story…
What does it mean to be real with someone?
Maybe you have already heard this story of the elephant.
An elephant is coming to a village. People see it in a dark room.
These people had never seen an elephant before, so they tried to sense it. And what they get is a little bit of the whole truth.
One touches the nose of the elephant, and he says it is thin and long.
Another one touches the elephant’s backside, saying it is rounded and enormous…
Each of these persons is real with their own experience, as another beautiful story of Nasreddin Hodja shows us.
What makes a person real?
Nasreddin Hodja was the judge of the city. One day a guy came and explained to him the problem he had with his neighbor.
The Hodja listened and listened and said you are right.
Then, some hours later, the neighbor explained his point of view, and the Hodja said, after listening to him carefully, you are right.
Her wife was shocked by what was going on. All these did not make sense to her, and she asked Hodja how this was possible, that he was saying both were right.
Hodja responded to her, you are right.
This little story makes me smile each time I listen.
Hodja may remind us that compassion would guide this journey, and the compass is being real to myself. Not to be right or wrong but to speak my truth, to be real.
How do you become a real person?
To be real, one needs consciousness.
The consciousness journey is about trying again and again. Falling and standing up and continuing.
Having the light on your darkness, realizing it, and then not realizing it.
What makes someone authentic?
Being on the journey of knowing yourself makes you authentic. So the journey starts with an intention, with a little step.
You dare to speak your truth and be vulnerable.
You are being your best friend and putting boundaries where needed.
Being authentic starts by being real to yourself and slowly expanding the circle to others around you.
How to be authentic?
When we ask such a broad question of how to be authentic, it sounds like a never accomplishing task. However, as I repeatedly repeat, being authentic is not a task to accomplish but a journey to enjoy, with its ups and downs.
To be authentic, we slow down to realize the light of consciousness.
We need to be present, to be here and now. With each practice, we will become experts in bringing our attention gently from the exterior world to our body, mind, and feelings. Ask what is going on.
We can be authentic if only we can deeply listen to ourselves. Then, in the middle of that silence, we can give an invitation to ourselves, a gift, a question: “Hey dear, what is going on right now?”
Being authentic is about being humble and remembering the wisdom stories, knowing that my truth is the little part of the bigger truth.
I intend to know as much as I can, but there are always things that I can not.
So it is ok. There is nothing to fix. Remember that compassion guides us, and this is a place of freedom to make mistakes.
You can clearly comprehend your need at that place of knowing your truth.
So that you can respond instead of reacting. As you are not reacting anymore, whatever your response is, it will be authentic.
How to get back to your authentic self?
The path to the authentic self seems easy to say but hard to practice. The best key is what we have with us all the time. So no way to forget it: Breath!
When you are in a place of reaction instead of a response, breath! Take a deep breath. If more is needed, take another 3.
Then in that opening, with the light of intention and the softness of compassion, gently ask yourself, “hi dear, what is going on with you right now?”
Besides right or wrong, as Rumi said, there is a middle point: being open to meeting with yourself just at that middle place.
With compassion, without expectation, by being in the flow and adventurous mind, knowing that actually, this is just a journey.
How can I be authentic with others?
Speaking my truth with others is a crucial element. We are social creatures; we are not designed to live alone.
To be authentic with myself, I need to be authentic with others and vice versa. There is no duality. Everything is just One. remember?
At first, it will be hard, maybe. But it is easier than you think.
Once you try, you will see that it is easier now. It is a muscle that you will have stronger each time. And also, you will always decide where to be authentic, with whom, etc.
Circles facilitated by someone you trust can be a great place to practice.
So welcome to this incredible journey of authentic self-discovery. I will give you an exercise about a check-in circle you can do with friends.
A check-in circle (inspired by Yes Jam Manual) is a place where each participant has two roles: listener and speaker.
1. Listener role: You thoroughly listen with your ears, body, and heart when you listen. You focus with all your being. You do not prepare what you will say. Because there is no right or wrong answer. There is just truth to be spoken.
You might find yourself hearing points of commonality, and they might take you off on a tangent in your mind; but remember that when you are listening to their check-in, your role is to support the speaker.
Do your best to tune out any distractions and return to the speaker and this moment. Taking a deep breath, and using your whole body to listen, will help you focus.
Lastly, please remember to listen, not to ‘take on someone else’s story or feelings, but to bear witness, learn, understand and connect. So, if you grow heavy, you are invited to shake it off, breathe, and let it go.
Again, the speaker is sharing to put things out, not for you to pick them up, but to be heard and seen. Again, taking on someone else’s check-in will interfere with your listening ability.
2. Speaker role: When you speak, you tell your truth, whatever is real at that time for you.
Speak from the I language, meaning you are sharing your own experience. Circles are not places for general thoughts or giving available facts. You are sharing your truth in a circle, so speaking from the I language is important.
You can decide on 3-5 or 10 minutes per person and put a timer. Then, remind the person when there is just 1 minute left.
Some check-in question options can be
- Where are you in your life journey, and what brings you here?
- What is alive for you now, right now, and in this period of your life?
- Where are you growing, and where are you struggling in your life?
- What threshold are you currently on?
- What’s up in your life, your work in the world, and what questions are you grappling with?
Resources about the authentic self-journey
Below, I am also giving you some reminders and related resources where you can get help for your journey.
- Give yourself a break of a breath and ask how I am. What is going on? Check this article about zones. Am I in my comfort zone, stretch zone, or panic zone
- Respond instead of reacting. Check this article about the compass of shame. Where are you? Fight or flight?
- It is time to be the parent of your inner child. Take responsibility for yourself. Take a look at this book. Recovery of Your Inner Child, Lucia Capacchione
- Shadow work is the best friend of the authentic self. It is about embracing your different selves and finding the One in you. Check these books: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth
Being real and authentic is a life-long journey in which we are invited every moment to participate. Again and again!
You are the chef of your orchestrate. So get familiar with all these different parts of your authentic self, take the responsibility of being a chef, play and shine, and make your music.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Rituals Board!