What, really, is authenticity?
I had the pleasure of attending the celebration of the life of Napoleon Hill in Anaheim October 24-25. This amazing event was hosted by Greg Reid and Sharon Lechter, co-authors of Three Feet From Gold, the next version of the classic Think and Grow Rich.
At this event I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing some really inspiring people including Mark Victor Hansen, Bob Proctor, T. Harv Eker, John Assaraf, John Gray, Les Brown, Darren Hardy (publisher of Success Magazine) and many others, including Greg Reid and Sharon Lechter.
I learned a lot, and met other great folks who were attending the event, and also got a lot of validation for the learning path I find myself on.
One thing that especially struck me, more as a question than an observation, was a question I've learned from Byron Katie's "The Work" and that question was: "Is it true?"
There were some speakers/presenters from whom I felt total authenticity and integrity; and others ... well, I just can't put my finger on it, but it feels as if they are operating out of scarcity and lack mentality. And that observation got me thinking about my own thinking.
How often have I gotten caught up in what I "should" do because it's what "they" think or say or do? I know I've exuded a faker or poser or impostor mentality at times where what I say and what I do are not in harmony. I think there is probably a time in all our lives when we really are "faking it to make it," especially when we're starting out in new levels of awareness.
I am learning that there are cycles even to levels of awareness and that "success" (whether that's in the traditional sense of finances and material wealth or in finally figuring out the combinations that make us truly wealthy from the inside out) can come to people at any level of awareness.
I wonder how often people are saying and doing what they think is the "right" thing when they're really not feeling that way at all. We "fake it," sometimes even from ourselves when we're inauthentic with our actions and our thinking processes. We seek approval from others to validate what we're DOING, but we don't believe them when they tell us what we think we want to hear because deep down we know we're faking it.
So do we ever really want to hear the truth? And whose truth are we seeking? Carl Jung said that “He who looks outside his own heart DREAMS, he who looks inside his own heart AWAKENS.”
This can't be an easy process; however, if we're seeking true authenticity there can be no other way to find it. There is no painless quick fix to the search for authenticity, but there is a painful quick fix: to look inside and come clean.
I believe that authenticity allows connection because when the walls are down, the feelings can be accessed. As we spend so much time in our heads, trying to analyze everything, we distance ourselves more and more from our feelings where the true connections can be made.
Sure we have to begin to think, because that is where can make conscious choices. But the way to alter the results we're getting in our lives is to look at the results, trace them back to the actions which produced them, trace the actions back to the feelings and then look at the thoughts that produced the feelings.
The end result is not to think about every little thing all the time, but to transcend the need to analyze - to get beyond thinking to allowing. This is what Eckhart Tolle was telling us in A New Earth. When we can transcend labeling and judging and even thinking in words, we can allow the access to what Napoleon Hill calls Infinite Intelligence - and what Tolle calls Presence. And, I guess, what I'm calling Authenticity.
Practice BEING today - even for a few moments. BEING goes beyond thinking. It's a state of allowing what is to just be. Notice what you notice and see how that feels. Try not to have an agenda (I understand this could be difficult - the intention is the first step).
Our authentic selves do not have to be scary. If authenticity is where connection happens, that could be a real draw to letting down the walls. Human BEINGS attract human BEINGS.
Who BE you today?