A.J. Mahari, Counselor, Author, Life Coach and Mental Health Coach, takes a look at what it truly means, in every day life to be seeking authenticity. Mahari believes that we are all in some aspect of attempting to actualize (or reclaim a lost) authentic self. Authentic self, is of course, the soul seat and heartbeat of any and all authenticity we can manifest in our lives. It is who each one of us truly is when we can break away from all that is the domain of the image of the ego.
Does it seem like authenticity is the buzz-word of this young century? Is it over-used these days? Has it been applied to too wide of an application in what it means to your life, to your personhood and/or your quest for more awareness of and/or connection to your self?
Have you stopped to think about who you really are? Have you given much thought to actually defining for yourself what it means to be in touch with, connected to, and living through your authentic self?
What is it that makes authenticity such a written and talked about thing? Is it just a new-age fad? Is it being over-exposed to the point where it is too confusing or seemingly meaningless in what is for most people, an otherwise hectic fast paced and stressful life?
Do you ever wonder, how the heck am I supposed to find time to figure out who this authentic self in me really is or what it really means? Do you feel that taking the time to examine this might just be too much of a luxury for you? Or conversely, do you feel it might be a waste of time because it seems so vague to you?
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Do you think you know who you are? If so, ask yourself, am I achieving my goals? Am I reasonably happy? Am I satisfied with my self (or sense of self) and my relationships? If perhaps you are not sure who you are or you have goals that you haven’t yet been able to achieve, choices that seem too daunting to make, boundaries that are too stressful to identify, communicate, and/or uphold, relationship drama or chaos that is causing you endless pain, then you will benefit from getting to know just who you are versus who you may want to more fully be.
Life coaching can certainly help with getting to know who you really are. It can also help you to identify, then develop strategy to achieve your goals. I work with clients in my life coaching practice often who need to examine and get more in touch with their own goals, wants, needs, choices, decision-making processes, boundaries and ending negative or toxic relationship patterns and so much more.
What is authenticity?
Authenticity is the expression of an integrated self— a self that is whole and reasonably healthy. The authenticity expressed by this integrated self is consistent and congruent. The expression of authenticity from an integrated self is not contingent upon ego-expression, which is made up more of appearance, of image, and is by its very definition false or inauthentic.
Authenticity is derived from the flowing consistent and congruent expression of one’s integrated and aware truth in conscious and evolved ways that are spiritually based and that are kind, genuine, giving, and loving. Authenticity is not about the gratification of the ego – the image of what is often referred to as a false self.
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Authenticity is what flows from any and all expression that is free of pretense. That is free of all that ego encompasses in thought, feeling, and experience. Authenticity is the heart of human connection. It is the vehicle through which honesty, integrity, and positive regard for self and others flows consistently in ways that are not compromised by low self-esteem, lack of self worth, or by needing to take anything, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically – needing any energy or validation – whatsoever from without because the integrated authentic self has its own positive energy spirit source that is free of pretense and that comes from within and rises out of a conscious awareness in each unfolding moment.
Authenticity is a peaceful pleasing fullness that has been cultivated from within one’s heart, soul, and mind. It is an interdependent relational stance from which to engage others. It is not needy. It is not encumbered by the wants or needs of ego.
What is an authentic self?
An authentic self is an integrated self. It is a self that is as whole as a human self can be – not perfect but consistent, congruent, and not bound to the ego-driven illusions that the false self or the unintegrated pretentious self is invested in pursuing. The authentic self has no need to be in pursuit of the ever-illusive pseudo-gratification of itself in ways that separate it out from itself and as a result from others and from feeling connected to others in independent and healthy ways.
An authentic self is a self consciously cultivated in its being sought after. It is an intention in action to bring a deeper meaning to daily life and to the understanding of who one is and how one is inter-connected to humanity generally, and others specifically. Consciously seeking to find, live from, and evolve one’s authentic self requires a conscious intention to continually unstep the ego’s efforts to be the focus of one’s identity.
The measure and meaning of who you are is all-too-often wrapped up in all that you may not be right now or may not yet be. The way that you define who you think you are, or the way that you may experience not really knowing who you are is often wrapped up in defining yourself more from what you do. It can be all-consumed by a need for ego-gratification. An ego-gratification that is a chase for what cannot be satiated and that exalts the fragmented self – the false self – in ways that continually separate one from who he or she really is. This separation from one’s authentic self can be a very painful way to live.
The authentic self is a self that understands its intrinsic value and worth for its beingness. It does not require the ego-gratification of what it does or what it has to make itself whole. The authentic self is positive, hopeful, and unfettered by the comparisons of image-ego-driven others.
Manifesting your authentic self is something that requires you to make a conscious commitment to stop pursuing the ego’s interest in or need to protect what is a false image of who you really are – who you are fully meant to be.
Your authentic self is the self that you were born into this world to evolve into fully being. Your authentic self is a journey ever-unfolding in your personal evolutionary enlightenment. It is not a destination.
How does authenticity manifest from this authentic self?
Authenticity manifests from the authentic self in consistent and congruent ways that are not at all tied to ego. Authenticity manifests from your soul, your faith, the hope that you have in your own ability to seek, quest after, and find more integrated, authentic, and enlightening ways to be more fully conscious in open and honest ways to being the you that you have always been meant to be.
Authenticity only manifests itself from your authentic self when you open your awareness and seek consciously to channel this spiritual energy through yourself in ways that do not need to take any ownership of it. Manifesting authenticity means an unconditional and vulnerable openness that is fully present to the unfolding moment without pretense, without need for image, without ego, without qualifying conditions or the seeking of any external control of anyone or anything.
Authenticity can’t help but be manifested from one’s authentic self. For it is the expression of this authenticity that is the essence of the healthy, well-balanced, integrated self. Authenticity manifests naturally from the authentic self from the very empowering nature of being one with your spirituality and your actuality – an actuality realized in your every day reality.
This unfolding of manifested authenticity from one’s authentic self is a process and journey in and throughout life. It is not a destination.
© A.J. Mahari, January 13, 2009 – All rights reserved.