On the commencement of 2018, I made a New Year’s resolution, I have tried them before and some I stuck to and some I did not. However, this one was different. The pact I made to myself was to spend 2018 finding me, the real me, the authentic me and see how the way I live my life is in true alignment to this. I started the journey with key questions: Who is the authentic me? Do I know the authentic me? Am I living as the authentic me? You see it occurred to me, I have spent my life acquiring skills (education), applying skills (job) and gaining more skills (moving up the career ladder). On a personal level I am a girlfriend, daughter, sister, auntie, friend, cousin, niece, granddaughter and the list could go. Now I am roles. So for most of my life I fluctuate from role to skill and back again.
The first thing I found out is I know myself really well in the ‘doing’ mode of life. I am determined, ambitious, passionate about what I do, extremely organised, reliable, friendly, speak my mind, get things done – not waiting around boom they are done!
I also know myself really well with the many different facets of roles I play. Whatever role I am in I have these basic ingredients: empathetic, caring, nurturing, I will give you my time (hours of it), I have the ability to say the right thing at the right time and I am very honest with it. What I found out is I didn’t know myself that well in the ‘being’ mode of life. My ‘being’ sense of life had been drowned out by helping others and all the multitude of tasks to do with work, keeping a home, having car and you know the rest.
Your authentic self
So to achieve this personal goal of mine – to get to know the authentic me better. I soon realised I need to spend more time learning me as a being. To be honest I still don’t know if I ever knew this side of me before I went on this journey of authenticity or it just got lost with trying to do too much. However, it has been an empowering journey.
The first thing I noticed was the connection I had with my energy – the life force in me. If we are talking terms, the Chinese call it Chi, the Native Americans call it the Great Spirit and the Indians call it Prana. There are many variations and names given, but for me, here and now I am going to refer to it as energy. At first I just became really conscious of when I felt energerised and when I felt drained. The conscious awareness of my energy was the centre to me living mindfully. The sense of being was a consistent flow of positive energy that created great peace within and more joy in the interactions with my external world. The more I focused on attaining this sense of being, the more time I spent in it and the easier it became to connect and sustain this aspect of me. I already knew I could not create mindful living from negative thinking and emotions: anger, sadness, frustration and so forth. Those emotions that make your energy feel stuck, dense and tired. So I moved from knowing to consciously redirecting my thoughts to positive ones, which changed my emotional state which entered me into this bliss of being. The more I practiced this mindful approach to my very busy life, the less tired I felt, the more joy I felt and somehow I had more time. Now don’t get me wrong I am still living in the same twenty-four-hour universe you are, but I seem to get more done, felt less stressed and I could see tangible results in the projects I was doing. I felt more present when I spent time with my family and friends and I really slept well. Something I haven’t done for decades. I moved from busy doing life to the productive being one.
Doing an energy inventory
I did an energy inventory of everything: the people I spend my time with, the colours of clothing I wore, the style of clothing, the stuff in my house that I accumulate over time, the things I buy because I tell myself I ‘need’ them and so forth. The places I regularly visited, the places I should visit more often like woodland areas where I find peace, grounding and the rejuvenating process. I energy inventoried the exercise I did (what did my soul like doing and what was I doing just to keep fit?). Every aspect of my life has begun an energy inventory process not from a to do list mode, just as it comes up from a sense of being.
The New Year resolution is still shaping, the authenticity is still exploring, but the fundamental thing I have learnt on this journey is we rarely give ourselves the time to get to know ourselves, I mean put the self as a conscious priority not just an autopilot transmitted version of us. Finding me is about the relationship we have with ourselves, I strongly believe that this is the key to mindful and blissful living which needs a voice, a platform, a recognition in our lives. In giving my authenticity a voice, a platform, I have sustained a more appreciative, energised and happier me.
About the author: Kelly Seaward became a teacher in 2003, graduating from The Central School of Speech and Drama. She is also a Hypnotherapist, Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Currently she is a MAPP student at New Bucks University. Her passion is helping people to live positive, more joyful lives through changing their mind-sets, self-development and education.