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How to live an authentic life .. and stay true to you!

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In a world that wants us to conform at every turn, it is often hard to be yourself! I find that surrounding myself with like minded non-conformists helps a lot! If I decide to bring back my pink hair (it happens every couple of months), I know that they will only smile and appreciate it. If I decide that working in an office is just not for me, I know that nobody is going to frown upon my lack of responsibility (my Dad may roll his eyes)!

It is perfectly OK to stand out, I think that sometimes it is fear that holds us back from living an authentic life. It is most likely that this fear comes from within, or from others who simply should not be a factor. Since my little man started big school I have noticed the pressure to conform, I have even had some fleeting thoughts of home schooling .. never going to happen, it just crossed my mind a few times when I was reminded of how rigid it can be at big school.

I can already see, only three weeks into kindergarten, that there is a lot of ‘shaping’ going on with these little humans. They are loud, filled with wonder and words and noise. It is not possible to allow this noise to go untamed all day every day in the classroom, I get that. I think that we as parents need to be mindful of the ways that our little humans are being shaped in the ‘system’ and be sure to do our own shaping too!

You have a voice too, a unique story and a purpose for being here that is different to any other human’s purpose. Own it, own your voice and never let it be silenced. I spend a lot of time pondering the meaning of authenticity, trying my best to be the same on the outside as I am on the inside, and the same offline as I am online. For me this is what it means to live an authentic life.

Is there something that you want to achieve that scares you a little? Allow the fear to surface and then pack it on its merry way, remind yourself that there are no limits to living a life that is true to you and your dreams. It might be something small, it might be something life changing. Listen to the murmurings of your inner guide and allow yourself to really tune into what it is that sets you apart. It is this that you need to pursue.

Being authentic will mean different things to different people, for me it has become about not compromising, as well as not conforming. I am not about to go out and break the law, that is not what this is about. I will always speak up when something matters to me though, and I will step up when something or someone matters enough to me. I can feel it inside if I am not being authentic, it is a little like anxiety .. it creeps up and makes me feel icky.

Listen to your gut, your inner guide, your intuition .. whatever it is that you call this part of YOU. Listen closely and act on the things that move you, the things that matter to you and the things that you want to be known and remembered for. It is not always easy, there are rules and expectations and for me it is about being authentic in a way that is also graceful, and respectful.

What does it mean for you to live an authentic life?

Image credit: one of my favourite photographers ever Janneke.

 

 

 

Doing what you love

What are you passionate about? My Top 10.

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Do you live with passion? What drives you to be a better you, to conquer your fears and realise your dreams? The things that you are passionate about will make themselves clear if you listen closely and live with intent as well as authenticity. It has been through my life experience that I have discovered my (many) passions, and it is through staying true to these things and letting them light my way that I choose to live.

These are some of the things that I am most passionate about:

♡ Choosing words carefully! As a parent, a Manager, a colleague, a blogger, a friend, a partner, a daughter and even a stranger..in all of the relationships and roles that fill my life, choosing words is a careful process. Of course I am also only human and at times my words are less carefully chosen and more ‘spewed forth’! Most of the time however I think about their impact before sharing them. They can have such a huge impact on their recipient/s and I think that with more life experience come more awareness of this.

♡ Saying no! It has taken me many years to build up the ‘no’ muscle, and it is one of the most important ways in which I set boundaries, and stay committed to my self care practice. It is important to deliver this response with careful thought and also a lot of respect and grace, practice makes perfect!

♡ Charity! If you have a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, an education and you feel safe going about your daily life then you are in a better place than many millions of others. There really is no excuse to ignore charity for those of us who live with the luxuries of technology, fashion, blogging, eating out and our other lifestyle choices. Every dollar, every action and every little bit of time volunteered makes a difference. Please if you do not already, support a cause that you care about.

♡ Manners! It is so important to me that my children are polite and respectful, and leading by example is the best way to teach. Treat every single person you encounter with the same high standard of manners, it is actually quite simple yet hugely impactful.

♡ Raising children who are a little extra-ordinary! I am not going to be forcing them into any beauty pageants or tennis camps, that is not what this one is about! It is about providing information beyond the standard school curriculum, and encouraging them to experience things that are a little out of the ordinary, so that they have a wider view of the world around them. I believe that we have an important role as parents to look beyond the basics, of course we want our children to be ‘happy and safe’ but the world needs more leaders, more compassionate thinkers and more young people ready to make a difference.

♡ Sharing as much as possible! It is not about glory, self gratification or simply over sharing for the sake of it. This is something at the very core of my being, if you are able to reflect on your own life lessons and share the nuggets of wisdom with others then this will change lives and possibly support so many others!

♡Authenticity! Keeping it real, no games and no lies. Simple, yet difficult for some. The online world is a bit of a micro version of the real world and sadly there is a lot of yucky stuff that seems to be magnified in this space. It is those who live with absolute truth, clear values, positive and kind attitudes and real authenticity who stand the test of time and who truly flourish.

♡ Celebrating! Cliches abound in this one, they are hard to avoid though, simply because they are filled with truth! We really do only have one shot at this crazy beautiful life, if you are healthy and able to rise each morning with freedom then there is plenty to celebrate! I am passionate about birthdays, holidays and the opportunities we are given to celebrate the people in our lives as well as our blessings. Grab every opportunity you can to share laughter, meals, champagne, sunsets, milestones and all of the magical moments in between.

♡ Quality over quantity! Friendships really do change over our lifetimes, some stay the same and others come and go, and this is OK. Be picky with your friends, the energy and the types of people who you allow into your life have a huge impact, our time is precious. As we experience more and more in life it becomes more obvious that less is more, in so many areas!

♡ LOVE! Are you passionate about love? Let it guide you always, in everything you do, choose love over fear and you will never look back!

What are you passionate about?