I feel porous lately. Life is sinking in, not just rolling off of me as I rush through it.
I don’t want to lose that porousness. I want to soak up more of life, even though it means I’m opening myself up to great pain as well as great joy.
So I made this list for myself to remind me to be accountable, vulnerable, authentic, open and honest. I hope it serves you as well.
1. Stop pretending you have your shit together.
This one always makes me think of a friend of mine who can do anything. She could probably fly if she wanted to. Every time I see her I feel this need to prove I can do anything too. It’s subtle but it’s there. We have a regrettably superficial exchange and I leave wondering why I always fall into the trap of pretending I’m something I’m not.
The backstage of our lives is never as refined and beautiful as the act we put on for the world. When I compare my insides to other people’s outsides, I feel inadequate. When I put on pretenses I feel inauthentic.
I’m trying to notice when I feel the urge to prove myself or protect myself, and soften a little instead—soften right where I feel the urge to harden.
2. Become accountable for your life.
When things are going along great, I like to take all the credit. Then things start getting uncomfortable—or what I label as “bad”—and I want to put the blame anywhere except on me.
I’m trying to become accountable with the small things. When I’m accountable, I take back my power to respond instead of react, to participate in my process, and to choose what my next step is. The more accountable I become with the small things, the easier it is to own up to the big things.
3. Speak your truth.
And listen to other people’s truth.
In order to speak my truth I have to know it. Which means I have to listen to that small voice inside of me that too often gets ignored.
You know the voice: the one you tune out because you’re afraid it will ask you why you’re living your Plan B life instead of your Plan A one.
These days, I’m trying to have the tough conversations I’ve avoided my whole life, with others and with myself.
4. Show up for the people in your life.
Starting with yourself.
The other day, as one of my parents was talking I literally felt myself shutting down. I didn’t want to listen to it, let alone deal with it. (This is where number three comes in handy.)
Now, in the moments I want to tune out what’s happening, I’m trying to tune in instead. I use the mantra “Honor the present moment” to help me stay focused on whatever or whoever’s in front of me, no matter how small or unimportant it seems.
This isn’t a recipe for a easy life. It’s a recipe for an authentic life. Season it with love and compassion, and feast on your life.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Jamie Khoo/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: love Maegan/everystockphoto