Authenticity happens in phases. It’s not a straight line–in fact, in my experience it’s quite jagged. It’s not a one and done. And just when you think you’ve got it down, your world will get rocked and you’ll say: Oh no! I thought I was through all this! Or some variation of that. I’m going to present a series of weekly steps on creating authenticity in your life. What could be more fun than getting to know numero 1 (you!)? No need to get overwhelmed. It’s authenticity one small, manageable task at a time.
What is authenticity anyway?
According to Merriam Webster it means: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. Ask yourself if you are true to your personality, spirit, or character? I lived in a world where I was forced into conformity for years. It’s mind-boggling that you should feel uncomfortable in your own personality, spirit and character, but if you were abused, neglected, threatened or ridiculed in your life, the thought of being yourself may terrify you because when you tried it in the past you were traumatized or maybe you don’t even know who you.
Have you forgotten that person you always wanted to be? As you uncover your authentic self, make it a practice to check in with them regularly. Kathy Bobadilla
Let’s start creating authenticity in your life
Creating authenticity in your life means it’s a time to take a walk down memory lane. No matter how bad your childhood was, you had plans and dreams for your life. What were they? Can you list a few things and what you loved about them? I loved writing, swimming, building sand castles, being buried in the sand (except my head of course), and looking for tiny frogs near Lake Michigan. Polliwogs were the bomb! I couldn’t believe that they could possibly grow into frogs. And I loved my guinea pig. It was small, furry and cute and I got to take care of it.
My memory lane
My mom and dad had all 8 of us swimming at young ages. In summers we’d swim in the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan. I splashed around and played in the waves as long as I could. My parents told me I never wanted to get out of the water. Today, I love swimming in cold mountain lakes like Lake Tahoe, California and Flathead Lake, Montana. A few years ago, I went to Cancun and played in the ocean for 2 ½ hours chasing waves. I felt like a kid again.
On summer evenings, we played Ooh, ooh grey ghost, which was like hide ‘n’ seek. We played at our neighbor’s yard which took up almost a whole block. One person was the ghost and the rest of us would hide in one of the many nooks and crannies around my friend’s house. We’d run and hide and the “ghost,” would wait a minute or two and then he’d start looking for us. Once he caught somebody, they’d join the ghost team. Whoever they didn’t find would come out after the first round, but they got the chance to hide again and so it went until there was only one person left to find. I was six years old and I remember how much fun it was. Today, I spend a fair amount of time looking for objects that have surely been hidden by the ghost–mostly my phone and keys 😂.
If you’ve read my posts you’ll remember I started to love writing after I read the book Harriet the Spy when I was about 8. She had a spy route and everyday after school she made her rounds and took notes on some of her quirky neighbors. I did the same thing–spy kit and all.
In high school I had an awesome English teacher who got me into reading the classics and writing. I took a creative writing class and one of my essays almost got published in the annual Creative Writing Journal. Having those teachers support me really boosted my interest in writing. And today? I am a…oh yeah–a writer 😂 😂 ✍️ !
Dancing and tumbling
My mom signed me up for ballet, tap and acrobats when I was four and I loved it! Clacking that floor, pliés and tumbling around on the carpet–life didn’t get much better than that. I love to dance. I’ve done the gym gig dance classes: Jazzercize and Zumba. Yoga fulfilled my acrobatic yearnings. And ballet? Well I discovered Essentrics, a graceful workout that stretches and strengthens all your joints and muscles. And guess who created it? A former ballerina. Kind of interesting, don’t you think? I did follow some of those childhood yearnings into adulthood after all.
New York City Dreams
In my twenties, I dreamed of working in New York City. It didn’t happen in my twenties, but in my fifties when I worked for the State I went to New York frequently to train our field office staff. So you may not be doing exactly what you did as a kid but it can show up in different ways.
It’s your turn
To start creating authenticity in your life take a walk down memory lane. Think about what you used to love as a kid this week and see if there’s some variation of that in your life. If so, pat yourself on the back, but don’t stop there. Dig deep and find something else you loved to do and re-introduce yourself to it. If you aren’t doing anything, think about what you loved to do as a kid. Wherever you’re at, jot down a few things, or if you’re not into writing, use your voice recorder on your phone or computer.
Did you used to love to bake (Easy Bake Oven—yes!)? How about reading? Dancing? Maybe you loved playing outside, going for walks with friends or hiking. Did you ever want to write a book? Did you used to keep a journal? Maybe you loved building things. Just give it some thought this week and record it.
Next week we’ll make a plan to figure out how and what actions you can take to re-introduce yourself to some of the things you picked out. Then we’ll talk about taking action on one or two things. This will start your journey to authenticity. I’ll leave you with a Henry David Thoreau quote to motivate you.
We are constantly invited to be who we are.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below and list some of the activities you came up with or click on the email button and drop me a line.
Until next week–from my pen ✍️ to your heart ❤️. Kathy