I’m walking on a snow-covered path in a national forest in Minnesota. It’s mid January 2018 and the last day of my “snowcation.” In my mind, this walk in the fresh snow was going to be the beginning of a new period of renewal and creativity for me. I’ve wanted to resume creating content for my book and new retreats since before Hurricane Irma hit last summer.
My intention for this trip was to have time in nature, clear my head, and reflect. I was looking forward to returning home refreshed and inspired and to write about living an authentic life. But that didn’t turn out to be the case…life had other plans for me.
Instead an authentic life event happened. I took my phone out to capture a beautiful image of a natural ice sculpture in a stream, when all of a sudden I received the news that my beloved stepmother Patti had passed suddenly that morning. In that moment I had a full body visceral feeling not only of shock and sadness, but a deep knowing that my life had just changed forever. Instead of writing about living an authentic life, I found myself having to live into it
What do we do when we’re walking down one path and then life experiences point us in a different direction? Instead of feeling inspired to be creative, I found myself turned upside down, driving back and forth across the state of Florida assisting my dad in planning, getting settled, and re-organized after the passing of his beloved wife of 38 years. Although I was truly honored to be there for him and the rest of our extended family, I felt overwhelmed, ungrounded and thrown off balance. It brought me to a deeper understanding that although I can plan and have goals and aspirations, living an authentic life truly happens from moment to moment.
What does it mean to live an authentic life? Authenticity is defined as genuineness….the proven fact that something is legitimate or real. REAL LIFE HAPPENS! You just don’t one day start living an authentic life….it’s a series of experiences. Each life experience takes us deeper and gives us the opportunity to reflect.
I often tell my clients during their 1:1 Soul Play Healing Sessions to play with getting comfortable in their discomfort. I’ve found that growth and inner change can take an immense amount of courage and strength.
I had to really dig deep and go within to make the shift to where I was being led. I found myself struggling to try and be creative. I felt a pull to keep going down the same path I was going before Patti’s death. It was difficult to truly let go and surrender to the present moment. I was being guided to be of service. Period. No creating, no pushing, no doing. This was genuine…this was real….this was living authentically.
So how can our souls play with living authentically when life has other plans for us?
I’d like to share my “Soul Play” practices that supported me on this journey:
* I listened deeper and made stillness my friend
* I allowed myself to go deeper & deeper into the experience
* I wrote daily in my journal to keep me connected to my heart, and I allowed my heart to lead
* I practiced living in the moment and trusting the process
* I spoke my truth without letting the approval of others get in my way
* I set healthy boundaries even in the midst of disappointing others
* I reached out and asked for support
* I focused on my self-care (healthy food and lots of water)
* I let the tears flow
* I moved my body daily
* I allowed myself the time I needed
* I focused on appreciation and all I had to be grateful for
* I celebrated the memories I’ve shared with my family
Patti, My Dad, & I
I realized I didn’t have to look for content to write about, I was actually living the content… living the story so I could write about it later. As we go through life and fully participate, the content is always there.
Living the most authentic life possible continues to be a daily aspiration for me.
Even when life has other plans!
What does living an authentic life look like and feel like to you?
What do you do when life has other plans for you?
YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IS YOUR SOUL MADE VISIBLE.