By Follow Your Own Rhythm
What does it mean to live authentically…to be true to yourself… to follow your own rhythm?
To me, living authentically isn’t just about having a healthy mind. Living true to yourself is realizing that everything in life and on this planet is interconnected, and therefore everything you do affects the big picture.
The food you eat, the activities you engage in, the habits you form, the people you hang out with, the conversations you have, the way you interact with nature, the actions that you take, the behaviors you exhibit, ALL have to do with how authentically you are living your life. Everything affects something else and being authentic isn’t just about you, but about acting in harmony with the interconnectedness of life.
So living authentically is more of a lifestyle and a way of being rather than something you practice 20 minutes of your day.
When you live authentically, there is an underlying sense of awareness behind everything that you do, say and think which is what allows you to live your life in a way it feels most true to you. If you were not aware of yourself in this way, you would just be doing things out of impulse and reactivity, rather than out of conscious choice.
An authentic life is about living a type of lifestyle that is a reflection of your truest beliefs, values, and inner truths, even if that means going against the accepted norm.
Related article: "6 Myths of Being True to Yourself."
So just to recap, to follow your own rhythm doesn’t mean to just selfishly and carelessly go about your life in any way you want, nor does it mean ignoring your intuition when you feel the need to act. It is more about finding the balance between these two, and being able to tell the difference between your authentic and inauthentic choices.
So you want to learn how to live a more authentic life?
HERE ARE 10 THINGS YOU CAN START DOING RIGHT NOW
1. AVOID DOING THINGS JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE POPULAR, THE NEW, COOL THING TO DO, OR BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT IS "EXPECTED" OF YOU.
Always have a deeper reason for why you do or choose something other than because everyone’s doing it, how it will make you seem, or how it will gain someone’s approval. Do things and make choices because they make sense to you and feel right in your heart, whether or not they are popular. So many people miss out on doing what they really want to do because of the pressure to do what they think they “should” or are “supposed” to do based on some unwritten social rule that honestly, only exists in our heads. When it comes down to it, this pressure to be a certain way and do certain things only has power over us because we let it. Make a choice today to be authentic in your actions and decisions no matter how hard and no matter how many walls you have to break through. In the end, you will be much happier.
2. IGNORE THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK IN YOUR HEAD.
You have to silence the mental noise in your head that is constantly trying to put you down, make you feel stupid, make you feel small, make you paranoid, and make you feel insecure. These self-sabotaging thoughts are not real, and they become worse the more attention you give them. So anytime this negative self-talk arises in your head, recognize it and say “oh, here you are again trying to put me down...but I won’t let you because I know you are not real...I will not give you power to control me." This awareness of the thought literally breaks the thought pattern and it diminishes its effect.
3. GO OUT INTO NATURE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE!
Nature has a way of reminding us of how peaceful and beautiful life is. Its simplicity helps us clear our minds and connect with a much simpler way of being. The energy of nature is pure, loving, and harmonious; everything that you are at your core so it’s the perfect way to connect with your authentic self.
Also, things move at a much slower pace in the world of nature. When you’re out there, you’re sort of forced to slow down and appreciate the beauty all around you. Pay attention to these things; notice the leaves moving in the wind, the squirrels running around, the changing landscape, the diversity of life, the noises all around you, etc. Paying attention to the life that exists in nature helps you realize that you too are part of it, you are not separate from it, and from this perspective is where you can see the interconnectedness of our planet. But you have to get out there, no matter where you live, to see and feel it for yourself!
4. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE!
I don’t mean meditate everyday for 30 minutes, although that can help, I mean incorporate a more conscious way of being into your everyday experiences. Whatever you do in your normal life, do it with a sense of awareness. When you happen to get angry, recognize that you got angry. When you have negative thoughts, become aware that you are having negative thoughts. The moment you start to become aware of what goes on in your head, you start to separate yourself from the mental chatter and it looses its power over you.
5. SHOP AND EAT ORGANIC, NON-GMO, AND UNPROCESSED FOODS, AND TRY TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS THAT YOU EAT
For one, it is much better for you, and two, it is much better for the planet. Nowadays, everywhere you go, it’s so hard to trust the quality of the food because of all of the added chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and all of the processing and genetic modifications that it goes through. Can you imagine all of the toxicity that we intake just from the foods that we eat? Don’t you think this directly affects our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health? Of course it does! This is why it’s so important to buy organic, and eat foods that as closely resemble their natural form as possible i.e. whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.
My rule of thumb is this: Stick to foods that look like they came from earth.
Eating healthy is a huge part of living authentically because not only are you treating yourself well, but also treating the environment well. The less processing, the less modifying, and the less animals being raised for human consumption, the smaller the carbon foot print on the planet and the less suffering the animals go through. If you are interested in learning more about where our food comes from and how it affects us and the planet, check out the “Documentaries (MUST WATCH)" board on my Pinterest page, where I shared must-see food documentaries on this topic. Food, Inc. is a great documentary to start with.
6. RESPECT YOUR BODY AND APPRECIATE IT FOR THE BEAUTIFUL TOOL THAT IT IS.
This one body that you have allows you to experience life in wonderful ways. Respect and appreciate it by taking care of it. This means giving it good fuel i.e. healthy food as we discussed above, as well as keeping it young and active through physical movement/exercise, and just overall being grateful for the perfect machine that it is. Imagine having a broken or diseased body and how dysfunctional that would be. It would make your life so much harder. Just as a car needs regular maintenance so it doesn’t rust, break down, or die, your physical body needs to be maintained as well. It needs love and nurturing, so exercise often, treat it how you would a most prized possession, and say thanks for the complex yet perfect machine that it is.
7. SPEAK HONESTLY, GENUINELY, AND FROM YOUR HEART.
Make sure that your interactions with others are genuine and honest. If you have something heartfelt to say, say it. People are so scared of expressing their emotions nowadays, as if it was a sign of weakness, that they have veered in the opposite direction and have become numb to their feelings. We are human. We all feel. Whether you are a man or woman, we all have emotions. Don’t be afraid to express that part of yourself! It’s healthy!
Related article: "How to Deal with Your Emotions in a Healthy Way."
Try to connect with people on a human level, sharing what you feel in your heart, and being honest with the message that you want to get across. And if you don’t feel like talking, don’t talk. Don’t just talk for the sake of talking or just to fill the air and break the silence of awkwardness. Again, we are human. We don’t always have to have something to say.
8. DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR and TAKE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.
There is so much information out there, especially with the internet, that whatever you hear and read, you have to assume it’s only a fragment of the truth. Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself what feels true and what doesn’t. Mainstream media does a great job with trying to feed our brains with what they want us to think, so it’s especially important to stay alert and decipher what does and doesn’t feel right to you when it comes to that. When people tell you information, when they try to give you advice, when they are sharing their opinion, remember, it is from their perspective. You don’t have to believe everything they say. Stay true to who you are and don’t get suckered into being a blind follower. If you follow, follow with purpose and intention. :)
9. FOCUS ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.
There is always a bright side to every situation. It might be hard to see it, especially when you are completely down, but one always exists. Try to find it and keep your focus on it, while still acknowledging the bad, but not dwelling on it. And when it’s really hard to find the good in a situation, just always remember that everything that happens to us has within it a lesson for us to learn. Focus on what you can learn and do differently next time, and you will find the bright side.
Related Article: "What Makes Something Beautiful? (+ how to attract more of it into your life.)" READ IT HERE.
10. TREAT THE PLANET WITH RESPECT.
This planet is our home. Without it, we could not survive. In order for us to thrive, the planet has to be in good shape. We are interconnected. Therefore, we have to be mindful of the choices that we make everyday to ensure that we are doing more good than harm. If you don’t absolutely need something, don’t buy it. Why be wasteful? If you can use less plastic, do it. If you don’t need such a big house, why get one. Think twice about the choices you make and what you need versus what you want, and give back to the planet just as it gives to us in infinite ways.
11. Another one as a bonus, and this is very important; TAKE TIME OUT FOR YOURSELF!
Don’t be afraid to spend some quality time with yourself, by yourself, doing things that you enjoy doing (or doing absolutely nothing). Rejuvenate, reenergize, renew, and refresh yourself in any way that is most relaxing and reviving for your soul so that you can approach life from a place of inner fullness. After all, if you can’t be completely present with yourself, how can you be completely present with others?
I truly hope that these tips will help you on your journey towards living more authentically. If you want more tips like this, please let me know as I have lots more where that came from!
Do you have any tips on how to live authentically? Have you been practicing a new way that you want to share? Leave it in the comments below!
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