Radical Authenticity

What if I told you that what you look like doesn’t matter?  What if I said that it had absolutely no bearing on the kind of person you are or what you deserve?  I bet most all of you would say, “well duh”.

Yet how many of us have left a dressing room almost in tears, or looked at a part of our body with disgust, or looked at someone else and wished we looked like them, or had their lives?

It’s time to start challenging this feeling that we are somehow flawed because of our appearance, or our perceived lack.

We could go on for days talking about all the social reasons why our appearance matters or shouldn’t matter.  We could talk about all of the societal standards that make us feel this way or that, but the truth is, no amount of “knowing” is going to help us get to the other side of that feeling.  I’d venture to say by now most of us are experts on calories and exercising. We know that cupcakes are bad and kale is good. We know black is slimming and stripes have to be vertical. We know which side of our face looks best in a selfie or what jeans make our butt look smaller.

Here is what few of us don’t know, that speaking kindly to ourselves affects our body and our health more than any kale ever could.  That living in authenticity and being sure to do what we are passionate about has more effect on health than a zumba class. That listening and being listened to, and truly being known and loved is more grounding than the best yoga retreat.  

So why is it that we are always striving?  Why are we so conditioned to look for whatever society tells us is what we need and believe it?

We put our true health on the side burner to make time to clean our house and go to the gym.  We drink a kale smoothie for breakfast, but grab our belly and wish it away. We avoid pictures and pools, we sit on the sidelines of life watching it happening because something in us believes that we aren’t worthy of showing up and being seen.  We are terrified of criticism, even though our own is just as bad, if not worse than someone else’s. We put ourselves into relationships that look right and are easy instead of finding people that challenge us to grow and cheer us on to be more ourselves.  We opt for familiar over fantastic, because we’ve been conditioned it’s safer. 

What if you busted out in that swimsuit and let the sun touch your chubby belly?  What if you were to get dressed up and go out on the town, even though you feel too old?  

What if I told you that the biggest critic you are afraid of, is actually yourself?  Yes I know that society has all these dumb standards not only for women, but also for men.  It’s not only outward, it’s in how we are allowed to act or feel. If we cry, we are overly emotional.  If we stand up for ourselves, we cause drama. There’s all these rules society has because we are all afraid to face our own reflection in others.   We don’t want to deal with the hard stuff, with our own feelings and emotions, so we don’t want to see that in others either. We pretend like everything is fine, so we don’t want other people to stop pretending either, for fear we will be exposed,  Most of us don’t even know what we are hiding anymore. 

We’ve been hiding for so long, that now we are hiding things we don’t even need to.  We hide in the kitchen and eat oreos, or we sneak another glass of wine. We talk behind someone’s back, in hopes that it will divert the attention away from us.  We buy things we don’t need because everyone else has them. We drive new cars with huge car payments, because that’s just what everyone does. We upgrade our houses because they feel too small.  The truth is, we feel confined and trapped by our own standards, so we are searching to make outward changes that will temporarily make us feel better.

I was once well over 300 pounds,  through sheer starvation and a desire to fit into the jacked up world I lived in, I lost over 150 pounds.  I always thought if I could just stop being so big, I’d finally be happy. The truth is, I found out that it was a lie.  It was never my weight that made me unhappy. I was more miserable thin than I’d ever been overweight. So I put all this stock in something outside of myself to make me happy, and it failed me.  I lived in a shallow world where no one could ever be honest, and we all had to be perfect. It was horrible!

I’m sure we’ve all put our ideals onto something.  Maybe it’s a friend group, a relationship, a certain amount of money or social status, a bigger house, our own business, more spirituality.  The list could go on and on. 

Here is what I have found:  nothing is more freeing and liberating than clearing off all the layers that aren’t really you and living from a place of complete wholeness and love.  When you can show up in any situation as yourself, and be in love with you, whether anyone else is or not, that’s freedom. 

The truly  magical thing that happens when we begin to live from this place of what I like to call, Radical Authenticity, is we begin to easily and naturally drop our vices.  We don’t need the protective layer anymore, the coping mechanisms. We stop feeling the need to judge, and now we can love. We stop feeling the need to cram our bodies full of food that makes us feel awful, and then our bodies naturally start communicating with us again, and restoring health.  Our relationships become full and enriching, and the ones that were sucking us dry, fall away (that’s a good thing – trust me), our finances begin to not only turn around but become abundant. Everything changes. Every day sees to get better than the last. 

I know for myself, and for my clients, that starting that path to clearing off those layers that aren’t us, can be scary.  We don’t know what to expect, and humans need familiar. I also know that I have seen the most magical, radical transformations in my own life and in my clients lives.  Nothing will ever be the same again. 

So I say, if you find yourself screaming “yes!!” inside as you are reading this, don’t delay.  Give yourself permission to heal, to strip off anything that isn’t serving you. Not only will you be SO glad you did, but the surprising thing is the people around you will too.  

The side benefit of you being completely YOU, is that you subconsciously give others permission to begin their own journey to be completely them.  How beautiful is that?? We can change the whole world by loving ourselves enough to heal! 

On the other side of healing, is everything you’ve ever wanted and SO much more!

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