Dictionary.com defines “authentic” as 1. Not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique. 2. Having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; certified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master. 3. Entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa. 4. Law, executed with all due formalities: an authentic deed. And then it goes on to talk about music and cadence.
Thomas B. Macaulay wrote that the measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
I don’t know about you, but I remember many times I’ve done things when nobody is watching I would have never told anybody about! I don’t think I ever stuck a booger or piece of gum under the desk in grade school, but I did sneak cookies from my piano teacher’s kitchen cabinet while I was waiting for my lesson to start.
As an adult – good grief – it can be SO embarrassing to do exactly what you feel drawn to do in any given moment. I have felt held back so many times in the past, which is of course precisely why Spirit gave me the prompting to write about authenticity! I realize now no-one can hold me back but ME.
I’m thinking about this guy who regularly practices with a rope with weighted balls at either end (I’m Googling; it may be called a bolo) on the lawn outside my office building. He typically wears a fedora type hat over his dreadlocks. This may not seem unusual – especially if you are, say, on a college campus – but this is just outside a big complex of Shorenstein office buildings. There you’re more likely to see smokers on their breaks in business attire. This would also be unusual in my home town of Raymond, South Dakota, population 50. (No, I’m not kidding. As of the 2010 census.)
This young man seems completely unconcerned with what anyone thinks about him, and completely free. I’m drawn to his spirit, and now know that I will stop and talk with him the next time I see him.
Personally, I’m okay with embarrassing myself at karaoke. Stretching as a singer and voice teacher. Taking on new clients at the office. Making a new dish I don’t know how will turn out for a dinner guest. Dancing like no-one is watching. Making dress designs just for the fun of it. I sure as hell don’t want to go sky-diving or bungee-jumping. I might want to learn to ride a motorcycle rather than just being a passenger. Maybe try water-skiing again. And do more with art again other than just collages. Although I totally love my collages!
This is the first dress I designed on paper that got made into a real dress!
This is the physical representation of that dress design!
A sketch I did in 1994.
A sketch I did in 1999.
Collage circa 2010.
At the Sacred Success workshop, after a guided visualization, we were invited to go on a walk-about and find something in nature that would be meaningful for each of us. I knew within a couple of minutes that my meaningful “thing” was a dragonfly. The dragonfly is a symbol of Archangel Michael, and has been meaningful to me for years now. So it was no surprise I saw one within a minute or two of starting my walk-about. It immediately flew away.
I had my camera with me and looked for other dragonflies, seeing another once…running after it, begging for a photo. No dice.
What does meeting a dragonfly, asking that dragonfly to sit long enough for a photo session, and the dragonfly doing so, have to do with being simply authentic, you might ask?
That’s your challenge for the coming week. You tell me! Have you had a similar experience? What insights did it bring for you?
Authentically Yours, Laura