“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
- Carl Jung
Living authentically takes courage and it requires a deep recognition of our individual self. What is authentically true to one person may be worlds different to another. And as we stand in our unique diversity, we can still hold space for others to exist in their truth. There is a value for all when we begin to remove the judgments (both internally and externally) and begin to live through compassion and acceptance. There really isn’t a “right way” to live authentically, there is just “a way.” The path that we choose through our own prerogatives and insights is the right to our own creation.
Mindfulness adds another layer to authenticity because while the interpretation of mindfulness may be perceived differently to various people, certain assumptions around the intentions remain the same. So, how can each of us live in our own quest towards mindfulness, remain authentically centered, while also honoring others’ individual mindfulness paths?
There are many aspects of mindfulness that go along with living as more conscious humans. We can be mindful in the way that we care for ourselves and with others. We practice mindfulness when we respect our inner feelings, beliefs, and the observance of our full being. We are mindful in how we listen, respond, engage, and act towards others.
At the root of what mindfulness entails in all of these circumstances is presence, awareness and compassion. We practice presence, awareness and compassion when we accept ourselves just as we are, what we feel, and what we know. Similarly, when we invite others to be their own version of mindfulness through their genuine nature, we encourage them to be authentic.
A recent experience of mine may help to illustrate this relationship between mindfulness and personal authenticity. A former client reached out to me regarding an upcoming event that I will be hosting. Clearly this person was not aligned with the content of my offering. Diversely, I had my own opinions to why my event embodied mindfulness practices for a number of other reasons. In acknowledging this person’s strongly held attitudes (which essentially challenged my own beliefs), I was able to accept this individual’s stance and also honor what felt true to me. Rather than reacting through an emotionally triggered and immediate response, I left the conversation stagnant for a couple of days. Once I was able to process my thoughts, I did respond to this client and demonstrated acceptance for both of our perspectives.
Personal authenticity definitely evokes feelings and we are justified in noticing what creates movement within us. This response guides us to what we know to be true for us, and we begin to develop an inner mindfulness compass. While we may not always agree with how others practice their form of being, we can still assume common mindfulness practices through presence, awareness, and compassion. When we are able to abandon judgment of ourselves, we are authentically mindful. When we choose to abandon judgment over others, we are authentically mindful. We have the capacity to be the designers of our own authenticity and create what mindfulness means for us. While we may be more inclined to being thoughtful in certain areas, we are constantly defining our own path to the best of our abilities. Mindfulness is acceptance, and acceptance encourages our authenticity to have rightful power.