Aligning with the authentic self is predicated on listening. Deeply.
Yet, how many of us truly listen to our deepest self? Through habit, many of us find it easier—and in a sense preferable—to listen to the ideologies of our culture, our family beliefs, and/or any habit patterns that have taught us how to fit in.
Another way to say this entirely is—we look for security in the noise and we lose track of the signal.
There are many noisy habit patterns and cultural beliefs that we can list—but here I will settle on one example of a powerfully entrenched way of being in the world in many industrialized and capital economies.
How many of us listen to cultural ideologies that tell us that “busyness” has superior value to peace, joy, and dynamic stillness?
How many add to, and build, the “busy is what I need to be!” narrative without ever listening and responding to the song in their hearts or questioning why “busy” became the marker of social status and coolness?
Going against the noise, and what appears in front of our eyes, is a challenge not made for the faint of heart, but if we are called to do so—and we respond—it allows us to change the way we experience the world.
How do we know if we are listening to habit patterns and beliefs that are out of alignment with who we truly are?
There are mental and physical markers/sign posts. These markers include suffering born from anxiety, stress, confusion, fear, and lack of trust. A side effect of lack of trust—we often try to control and manipulate: people, circumstances, or the truth of our actions.
To put it most simply, if we are not resting in the power of our authentic self, we are not fully self-expressed. We are more akin to automatons, expressing ingrained ideas in order to assimilate and fit in—and unwittingly perpetuate long-standing narratives that have not been serving us for an extended period of time.
The process of alignment to the true authentic self is a process of letting go of old habit patterns and beliefs and learning to hear and listen to the subtle internal clues.
To do this we have to surrender. People hear that word and shudder, thinking it to be passive. But that is actually a misinterpretation of the term.
Surrender is active. It is an opening and a turning towards the authentic self.
There is a profound and subtle nature to surrender because everything must be given up. Any level of holding – mentally, emotionally, or physically—must cease. Not only the concept we hold of ourselves through our titles, jobs, names, or bank account balance but where we are holding on in cellular memory even.
The process of alignment to our true authentic self is deep work, requiring courage and willingness.
It can be uncomfortable sometimes to let go of the old and step into the new. For instance, sometimes intense anger and rage surface in respect to places where we gave up our power or our power was taken from us.
Likewise shame, guilt, and remorse can surface in respect to the times when we took, or attempted to take, power from another.
Negotiating strong emotions can be challenging. With the right knowledge, motivation and support however, it is possible to do so.
Here are a few of the steps necessary on the path:
1. Quiet/still the thinking mind through meditation.
2. Get radically honest with yourself.
3. Cultivate total awareness: Know why you do what you do (and don’t do). At. All. Times.
4. Open blocked mental, emotional, and physical energetic pathways.
5. Grow your capacity to understand and be with whatever arises: anger, rage, fear, joy, etc.
6. Speak and act from your heart.
These steps are not a linear progression. They are simultaneous.
Wishing us all a new (or renewed!), contemporary, and global narrative:
A Life lived in harmony with our authentic nature.