Yogi in training. How to uncover your true self.

be-authentic
I read this week that the desire to live authentically is a natural drive within us all. My true self has always been seeking to show itself.
I hear bells ringing.
So, has it?
Let’s see. Have I always expressed my unique nature – damn right. Have I sought to break free from past conditioning – oh yes. Do I question why I am the way I am – all the time.
Apparently our drive to be authentic can sometimes focus more on outward things and activities in our lives. We seek to change these so that they are more aligned with who we really are − or who we want to become.
Does that explain some of the changes I’ve made to my life already?
Like say…
… running marathons and completing triathlons – it’s easy to progress and succeed when the only person I’m competing against is me.
… backing off from my career – motherhood became a new KPI (and the toughest but most rewarding of course).
Hmmm…possibly
Deepak Chopra says when seeking to be authentic we have to challenge everything we do and why we do it and let go of the things we don’t need or won’t get us to where we want to go. It’s like shedding old skin apparently. But some layers can be hard to shed – we’ve had them so long, they feel too important to lose. All the things that I think make me, me. Or have made me, me in the past. I guess I may have outworn some of these things – which is actually very reflective of my wardrobe right now – it needs a clear out – and so do I.
The question is what do I let go of?
Which items in my metaphorical wardrobe need to go?
My job? Does it reflect who I am or what I want to be anymore? 
My friends? Focus on the consistent ones and make it ok to let go of the rest maybe?
My husband? My man loves me more than I understand – not likely to give him up. Although maybe my dependency on him needs to loosen somewhat!
My family? Reconnecting with the ones who add joy and letting go of those who don’t – I’m already on it!
My fitness regime? Adjustments in progress here too. It wouldn’t be in my interests not to exercise at all but my deeper self has already shouted at me to SLOW DOWN! I’m already taking a more balanced approach and – nope – no weight gain has resulted interestingly.
My health? I have probably an unhealthy interest in food and nutritional health – having struggled or monitored my weight all my life. I need to find balance here. But should I consider giving up meat and alcohol like a true yogi?
I can see some of this is going to be a struggle and there will be a few barriers to breakdown along the way.
The good news is the drive for authenticity and growth is, so I’m told, intrinsic to our nature and I have the resources to overcome whatever resistance arises. The deeper self that is encouraging me forward will also provide the strength and resources that I need to make the changes – it already has I guess.
Through yoga and meditation I can shake off my older consciousness and ways of living and watch my joy and fulfilment levels rise – so what am I waiting for?

According to Deepak there are many ways to foster authenticity within ourselves. Here are some of the paths and my progress on them to date:

  • Accept the larger self that is being progressively revealed to you. (Ok – I’m starting to).
  • Embrace your uniqueness and express it. (Early stages – I have rediscovered the performing guitarist in me if that counts?).
  • Develop your inner guidance and act on it. (Meditation now helping with this).
  • Take time to know yourself. (As above).
  • Journal as a way to bring inner wisdom to awareness (On it, as you can see).
  • Learn more about your shadow side and seek to integrate it. (Not sure what this means).
  • Align your words, thoughts, and deeds together. (Needs work and lots of it).
  • Avoid thinking in terms of “should” and “have to.” (New one on me. I’ll give it a go but not sure why).
  • Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.” (Like this one, but it’s probably tougher than it sounds).
  • Be clear and truthful, and act from integrity. (Never been anything else or but).
  • Be willing to show courage when authenticity calls for it. (Ok – feeling a bit like the lion in The Wizard of Oz).
  • Expect that you will be challenged and be okay with this. (Already happening – so bring it on!).
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