April is always a month of reflection for me because it’s my birth month. And consequently, I usually disappear the most during this month. Since I usually don’t discuss what I do all day, I’ve decided to publicly share my daily list of things that have occurred each day that I’m grateful for.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
If you’re unfamiliar with Brene Brown, I need you need to stop what you’re doing and check her out now. She is most famous for her talks on vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. Ok, now come back. Your life is changed, right?? Brene’s teachings are everything and more. Put her, Elizabeth Gilbert and Oprah Winfrey together, and they are my Holy Trinity on all things authentic.
What Brene understands is that to be shamelessly authentic, we must choose it. She says, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving – even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it. Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives. – The Gifts of Imperfection, p. 50
Being shamelessly authentic involves a lot of introspective evaluation. With all that that said, I want to share with you five ways you can be shamelessly authentic right now.
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
A few weeks ago, I was in New York for a job interview. That’s not information I’m willing to divulge because, what if. What if I start telling everyone who asks about the position and then I don’t get it? Did I jinx myself by speaking too soon? Although I do believe in keeping some things to yourself, other times, sharing the journey can make the desired outcome more real. I mean, the only real reason I didn’t want to discuss it is because of uncertainty. But as I’m reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, I’m realizing how much fear of the unknown is just an excuse not to live our best lives.
Sometime towards the end of last year, I started to get really bad pelvic pain. I know developing an intolerance to dairy can happen later in life but I really hated coming to terms with it for myself, as I LOVE dairy. After consulting with my dietitian friend, I decided to start eliminating trigger foods from my diet. It seemed like it was working. But I really wanted to go back to diary so I did. And I was fine. I never could determine what the sudden pain was from until 2015.
“And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?” – Unknown
I was hesitant to write a post about relationships (again) because it’s not my favorite thing to discuss, especially not on this space. I pride myself on being transparent so I knew that if I did discuss it, I’d have to tell my truth, despite what someone else might say or how they might feel.
And the truth is, I thought I lost. I was embarrassed by this perceived loss. I didn’t think it had to end but..
Have you ever gotten played so much that you thought maybe you had a problem? Maybe you weren’t funny enough or attractive enough or talented enough. Maybe that’s why time and time again, you’ve received nothing but rejection?
As the clock struck twelve one month ago, I got on my knees and recited a prayer of gratitude to my God. At first, I didn’t know what to say. I felt like I owed Him a deep and reflective conversation. Over and over again, I emphatically whispered thank you until I felt like He heard me. I slowly opened my eyes and realized, I really just turned 30 years old. I was alive. As tears formed in the corner of my eyes, I got into bed and drifted to sleep.
One of the most vivid memories of my early 20s was going out for drinks with friends and somehow finding myself dry-humping a wall. Ah yes, those were the days. But in a month, I will be thirty and I don’t know how. How did I get here? First of all, thanks God. But for real though? Just the other day, I was 18 without a care in the world. At 25, I was still turning up like you wouldn’t believe. Now? I can’t wait to get home on Friday and sleep off all of the exhaustion from the week. A drink? My stomach can’t take the thought.
The following advice in this post is almost all a result of my first hand experiences. Everything that I’ve gone through in my 20s, has molded me into the woman I am today. Of course I’ve had many regrets that I later took back because without the experience, I would not have gotten the lesson. I’m still learning the lessons. But if I could share with you what I wish someone would’ve shared with me, this is what I would say.
You know that feeling you get when you leave the hair salon with freshly styled hair. Your self-esteem is on fleek! There’s not a cloud in the sky, birds seem to be singing a melodic song, people are laughing and carrying along. You look good and no one can steal your joy.
The New Year always presents societal pressures to have your entire existence figured out by end of day one. What a daunting task. And yet, if we do not plan, we inevitably plan to fail. So I took a step in the direction of what some people believe will lead to success.