It’s no secret that I believe authenticity is the ultimate path to living your most vibrant life.
But... what does "authenticity" really mean?
I hear that word thrown around a lot these days, but I'm not sure we do a great job at slowing down long enough to really define it and fully understand it.
I’ve always said that authenticity to me means finding alignment between who you are and what you do. Basically, it’s having your outward actions match up with your inward values.
BUT, the other part of the equation that I don’t talk about as much in that definition is what often STOPS us from doing that.
Why is it so hard to line up WHO WE ARE with WHAT WE DO?
That, my friends, is where the idea of FREEDOM comes in.
Being authentic means breaking FREE of who you think you should be so that you can instead be who you really are -- just as Brené says in the quote above.
The world often delivers a picture to us of who we need to be in order to be accepted into mainstream culture. We are expected to be successful, agreeable, lacking flaws, professional, realistic, stoic... the list goes on.
By acknowledging these expectations for what they are and realizing that lasting satisfaction comes from true, internal acceptance regardless of the expectations of other people, that’s when we can really start to discover the benefits of freedom in every aspect of our lives. That’s when we can start to experience real authenticity and the sustained contentment it creates.
So, this month I'm going to ask you to Color Your Soul with FREEDOM.
Together we’ll explore three different sub-themes that will act as our "mindfulness mantras" throughout the month, all of which are ways that freedom has shown up in my own life. Those mindfulness mantras are: PLAY, POSSIBILITY & ACCEPTANCE.
Freedom is PLAY.
Play is something that we don't often think about as a necessary part of life. Play seems frivolous, lacking in priority, and decidedly unessential. BUT, as Greg Mckeown reminds us in his book Essentialism, it's in fact the opposite. Having a sense of play and giving our imaginations space to roam is absolutely essential, not just in idea generation and productivity but it also within our creativity, which needs freedom to roam and to encounter inspiration!
Freedom through play is about allowing yourself to do something “simply for the joy of doing it and not as a means to an end.” It's about giving yourself permission to have fun, to explore, to discover, and to liberate yourself from whatever constraints you’ve placed on yourself in the past.
Freedom is possibility.
Over the course of my life it has become clear to me that so many of us are held back not by any visible or tangible constraints, but by chains that are actually invisible and of our own doing. We decide what we think is possible and what is impossible for our lives, and by deeming something beyond our reach, we in turn limit our own potential. The more we can focus on what's possible, the more we can imagine and dream and ask “What if?”, the more we can expand our consciousness and find freedom from our self-imposed limitations.
Freedom through possibility is about stepping outside the perceived barriers that you have for what your life HAS to be or HAS to look like and opening yourself up to the beauty that it could be.
Freedom is acceptance.
Probably the hardest of the these freedom mantras to adopt is that of self-acceptance. Sometimes the most oppressive chains that bind us are hidden within the stories we tell ourselves about what we're lacking or what we've always been lacking. BUT, when we start to realize that we are ENOUGH as we are, that we are worthy of love and that we are beautiful as we are, we can start to free ourselves from the negativity that stems from our scarcity mindset.
Freedom through acceptance is about feeling whole in spite of your perceived imperfections. It’s loving yourself where you are, not where you wish you would be. Through acceptance you’re able to free yourself from any lacking or comparison you may feel.
My hope is that by exploring these themes all month long, together we can unlock whatever might be holding you back from your best, brightest, FREEST life.
I truly hope you enjoy the art, inspiration, digital goodies, and weekly journal prompts included in this issue. Know that it was all created and curated with LOVE for you! If you have ideas about what you like or what you want to see in next month's issue, let me know by emailing me!