Authenticity or Safety?

“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” -Brene Brown

Errrrr….that sentence terrifies me.

If you have experienced even one of the listed consequences of not living authentically (as predicted by the amazing researcher, Brene Brown) it probably scares you too. Also, if you have never experienced them (anxiety, depression, grief…etc) please call me and tell me all your secrets to life. Thank you.

“Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity” –Janet Louise Stepenson

Being authentic requires a constant checking in with the self. We need to ask ourselves: Why am I pursuing the things I am working towards? Is it for me or someone else? Do I really want this or that or I do I want it because everyone else has it? Am I doing this because it is easy? Am I trying to make it hard for myself? What do I really want? What matters most to me?

Authenticity requires reflection and reevaluation. It requires acceptance. It requires saying Yes! and No! It requires speaking your truth. It requires courage. It means not waiting. Being authentic can mean disappointing others. Many times it requires going against the crowd. It means listening to yourself and following your gut. It means not listening to advice, even good advice (like this). Being authentic means going after dreams, letting go of doubts, and exposure. Being authentic means freedom. If you dare to be authentic, it means you are claiming your freedom to be yourself.

Stop living someone else’s life. You have so much more to offer as yourself.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” –May Sarton

This is us having fun and being silly...feels authentic to me... :)

This is us having fun and being silly…feels authentic to me… 🙂

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Fraternizing with Fear

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

Fear fascinates me. I have seen it box myself and others in so we can’t see our way out. I have seen it kill amazing talent, ideas, hopes, and dreams. I have seen completely rational, intelligent people become completely crippled by worry and anxiety. I have felt its paralyzing grip as I tried unsuccessfully to hide from it under the covers.

I have also seen it overcome, it looks AWESOME.

Facing our fears head on is exhilarating, so please do that whenever you can.

Sometimes we can’t so easily get to the other side of fear. I’ve dealt with it in a variety of ways. Once, I decided I was going to conquer fear once and for all by jumping out of a plane…At the time I really thought this would help cure the fear out my life for good. After it was over I was still scared of not being “enough” and public speaking. DIDN’T WORK. So, I don’t particularly recommend the technique unless it is on your bucket list.

This is me signing the death waiver before going sky diving for the first time.

This is me signing the death waiver before going skydiving for the first time…that is my “I’m terrified laugh.”

Here are some things that have actually helped me around fear: Facing it, focusing on how good it will feel to do the thing I am scared of instead of the thing itself, remembering to stay present, laughing, reaching out to supportive people, taking a nap to get back to my rational self, acupuncture to rebalance the insane chemicals it makes the body produce, really good hugs, spending time in nature to gain some perspective, coaches, gratitude, meditation, anything self-nurturing, yoga, and love (giving it wherever I can and accepting it wherever and from whomever is willing to give it.)

“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Frick “FINE”

Settling – a gradual sinking to a lower level.

“How are you doing?” “Fine.” we answer. Well, I guess it is a better feeling than everything sucks right now, but at least with “everything sucks right now” we know we need to change or do something different.

When we are fine, there can be a slump, things are going okay so we stop pushing ourselves and pursuing other things. Eventually something happens to rattle us out of sleep walking. The rattler could be a new person, a tragedy, a new perspective, new experience, old journal entry, book, quote, blog, event, or sometimes a wake up call from a friend. The rattler is meant to catapult us out of monotony so we can remember that we are not someone that is okay with “fine” or an auto-pilot life, and hopefully, we do something about it.

An incredible life does not happen by accident, it happens on purpose.

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I want to fully pursue my ideas, I want to learn to dance the way my grandmother did, to teach more and more people how to stay well, to have amazing relationships, to give incredibly and whole heartedly, to be fully present, to explore the world and myself, to tap all the potential I can find within myself that could possibly contribute to a better world and a better me. In order to do any of those things I am going to have to keep growing, learning, and risking failure.  At some point I am going to get insanely uncomfortable. Sometimes I am going to have to make myself do crap I don’t want to do so that I can get closer to everything I would like to be and that can be hard. So sometimes I am just going to have to force myself to do those things anyway, because FINE is not fine with me.

What do you want? What are you waiting for? No one is coming and you are never going to feel like it, so go get it now.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great.” Steven Pressfield

Katie Fisher Day: Sending Love

There is something very sentimental about the cookie. The memories I have attached to them fill me with tenderness and warmth. My grandmother stores them on the counter in a cracked Ernie jar and always has some at the ready, just in case, anytime of year. Those cookies have brought smiles to the entire family, the jar a treasure chest filled with the best kind of gold. We were artists when we frosted her sugar cookies together at Christmas time, and now the tradition continues on with my niece. I remember I was about to drive home from my aunt’s house and when I got in the car there were two bottles of water and several homemade fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Can you think of a better surprise before a long ride? The memory is forever etched in my brain because I was so touched by the thought and love in the gesture. Which is why, as someone who normally would tell you to stay the heck away from sugar, I am instead telling you to get baking, because there is nothing more powerful than spreading love. On March 12th, in honor of Katie Fisher Day, spread the love, bake and send some cookies! It will be awesome for you and the person that receives them.

About Katie Fisher Day: Katie Fisher day celebrates the life of a brilliant engineer, a beautiful dancer, and a wonderful daughter, sister, and friend. Among other wonderful things she did in her life, she baked cookies for her brother every single week for the four years he was away at college. She never missed an opportunity to make her loved ones feel more loved. In the summer of 2010, Katie was killed in a car accident. She was 24.

So, in an attempt to honor her memory and to show each other some measure of the love that Katie showed to us, we’ve decided to try to encourage people to be a little bit more wonderful to each other. March 12th was Katie’s birthday. We declare it “Katie Fisher Day”. Our goal is to get everyone in the world to follow Katie’s example, and send some cookies to someone they love. To participate please visit KatieFisherDay.org and get baking.

And whenever you can, be a little bit more wonderful to each other.

20141211_205543 Hot Cocoa Cookies for Katie Fisher Day.