December 9, 2013

Article of Authenticity. ~ Echo Giesel Widmer

For a long time I had this desire to find my niche—to find the one thing that defined me, the one thing that shined from somewhere deep within.

When I found it, I would awaken.

I was on the quest to find what it was that made me, me.

I knew who my friends were, who my parents were, who my past bosses were, who my teachers were and who my peers were. I thought I had it all figured out.

I was the exemplary student—the know-it-all, the crafter, the athlete. I dipped my toes into every pool I could. I was on a search for something and the only way I thought I could find it was to know everything about everything.

I had no idea how easy it would be for me to give all of that up.

I won’t say it was easy to drop the behavior. I was, for so many years, the person my environment and childhood had conditioned me to be. And something deep within told me that these “agreements” I’d made with myself, about myself, were irreversible. That I was a certain way, that I must think a certain way, that I must desire a certain way, that I must work a certain way.

But then one day I just stopped believing those internal “agreements”.

The truth is, my mind does not own who I am at at the most basic human level. As an individual, I have the right and duty to change my circumstance at any time that I feel it does not serve me anymore.

Once I stopped planning and searching, studying every move, things began to fall in place.

I mean things fell apart, and then things began to fall in place. It was a natural organic turn of events. Once I was able to breath, to truly breath, I stopped caring about everything else.

Society tells us to act out against disorder. We are trained from the birth to fear change, to fear disorder, to fear the unknown. But what I realized was those parts of life were the most intriguing to me. And for so long my fight against allowing them into my life, was just discomfort with the fact that I didn’t truly want to turn my back to them.

So I did what society asked of me. I got the Bachelor’s degree, and then I appeased society even more and went for my master’s. Not at all because I had a passion for it, but because my mind filled out the MPA application without asking my heart what classes she wanted to enroll in. So finally at age 25, my mind set me free and let me fall into place.

I began to travel. I began to write stories, poems, articles and anything else that poured out of my mind and into my pen or pencil. I began to capture life through video and photo so that I could impact my community in a way that my travels had impacted me. I went back to jumping off of things and began to jump out of planes. I began to love my body instead of hiding from it, and I began teaching yoga so that I could teach others how to love their bodies as well. I began to engage in beautiful conversations with strangers because I saw them as undiscovered friends.

I picked up hobbies, I mean lots of hobbies, lots. It became my new career—hobbyist. If I saw something that intrigued me, I learned how to do it.

Life began to serve me. I chose to embark on adventures that challenged me. I chose to confide in the people that made me happy, I chose to fall into the relationships that built me up, and I chose the countries that visited my dreams, to capture my wanderlust.

Life began to feel good. I slept better, I ate better, I looked better, I smelled better—I was a better me. I was a truer me, an authentic me.

So now, my challenge for others. Take a moment to breathe and close your eyes. Inhale and exhale equally through your nostrils and let your breath roll naturally from your body. Get lost in the ebb and flow of your breaths.

And when you reach that sweet spot of calmness, and your mind stills, begin to create a story in your head.

Do not immediately discredit it. Let your heart tell your mind for once, just what it is that it desires. And when it does, do not immediately make a rational list of all opposing factors.

We cheat ourselves out of things that will serve us every day, because we have been conditioned to think that as adults, we do not get to partake in recess. But your life is not meant to be anything more or less than you allow it to be.

Don’t blame yourself if you are not happy right now. We have all been there. We were raised there. But now that you are aware of this fact, it is your responsibility to be honest with yourself about what it is that you desire in life.

And if the list is too long for you to write out, that’s ok, because you have time.

Start now.

Start living right now. Right now. Not tomorrow, not in the new year, not on your next birthday, but right now.

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Assistant Editor: Zenna James/Editor: Rachel

{Photo: Elephant Library}

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