This week has been all about being authentic. It is definitely one of my favorite intentions, I practice it daily! Authenticity did not always come easy to me. It has only been over the last several years that I feel I have been able to embrace my own authenticity. I can tell you it has been hard work, but like I always say the hardest things in life always provide such a large reward.
For years I would hide behind many masks. I would mold myself into being whomever, I thought others wanted me to be in that moment. I got so good at this I began to lose touch of myself. I remember a time when I felt anxious all the time, always worried that someone would figure me out, that I was a fraud. My teacher Baron Baptiste asked at my level one teacher training, who are you? I thought to myself, I have no f’ing clue. This thought left me feeling depressed and anxious. But it also inspired me to want to figure out why. Why was I so lost? Why didn’t I have a clue who I was? So I started to dig. Why was I so concerned with wanting to fit in? To blend in, to be just like everyone else. Why was I so afraid of being myself or possibly different then others.
How do we discover the answers to these questions? It’s actually quite simple. We ask ourselves over and over again. My minds first response was I don’t know. But I knew not take that as an answer. That “I don’t know” is just the mind wanting an easy way out, to stay in the comfort zone. So what to do? Ask again and again and again until the mind comes up with a different answer. Why do I feel like I need to fit in? If I don’t fit in what does this mean?
I discovered it dates back to my childhood of feeling different not fitting in. Most of the kids in my school weren’t jewish, and I was often teased because of it. As a child all I wanted was to be “just like everyone else”. I created a belief system that I was different and being different made me “bad”. Throughout high school, college, and into my 20’s I continued to prove this belief system to myself. I made it real, by finding proof from the outside world over and over. I now realize this is what the mind does, we have a thought and it is from this thought we create a looking lens, and from this lens is what we see. My thought was “I don’t fit in”, so I was looking from this perspective. In looking from this perspective I saw over and over how I did not fit in, how I was different, and in my mind how this was bad. If my lens was looking from feeling accepted I would have found proof from this lens. I find it so fascinating how powerful the mind is. If I had had a different experience as a youngster and interpreted the situation differently my entire childhood and young adulthood would have been different. I am so grateful I now have this knowledge. That I get to choose what I want to think and believe. I chose not to believe this belief system any longer. Once I gave up this belief my life began to change instantly. I began to find proof of the opposite. That being different is what makes the world so beautiful, and that we are all different. Once I was able to accept and integrate this belief system I was able to start dropping the masks one at a time. They need to fit in no longer felt so important, having everyone like me was not my concern, instead I began to attract the right people into my life, people that are aligned with me, that have integrity and who are also beautifully authentic. I was able to reclaim who I am in this world, and no longer feel lost or overwhelmed with anxiety.
If you hide behind masks, I encourage you to do the work. Ask Why? And when your mind doesn’t come up with an answer ask again and again. The answers are there. Many people are just so used to looking outside of themselves for the answers instead of from inside.. All the answers we need to live a happy life live with in us. The answers will provide us with the insight we need to become our best selves, and to live the most joyful life possible.