06 October 2010

Authentic Imperfection

"I'm too unique to be perfect!"

As mentioned in my last post I know that change is on the way and that change is going to impact not only my external life but my internal self as well. Being myself fully and living an authentic, honest life is becoming more and more central to my growth. While I've always tried to live such honesty I know from the gift of hindsight that my honesty has only been partial. I've honestly wanted to be the person that others have expected and that I've believed I've "needed" to be but in doing so, I've denied much of my personal truth.

Since my daughter was very young I have encouraged her to embrace and live her truth, so much so that she has "be true" in my handwriting tattooed on her inner wrist. With every fiber of my being, I've wanted her to do nothing but live 100% of her truth and she has and is. However, I have not taken those words to heart, I have not allowed myself to live my own truth and in denying myself that gift, I have limited my opportunities for growth and genuine peace and happiness.

Chookooloonks, by Karen Walrud is a blog that I read faithfully, enjoying her photography and taking her words to heart. She has written/photographed a book celebrating individual, authentic beauty found in each of us and now she has created an offshoot blog dedicated to that specific topic - "Chookooloonks - The Beauty of Different" (click on the title of this post to go there).

Her first post included an interview with Brene Brown talking about authenticity and the fact that being authentic is actually a choice and available to everyone that wants it. Karen also challenged us - me - to write down all of the things that bring joy and grace into our lives, no matter how "insignificant" those items may be. The purpose of this exercise being to make those things "real" then to put that list in a place that is easily accessible, a list that can be referred to time and again bringing authentic joy to the forefront whenever necessary.

So here is my quick and dirty list (some items have been omitted from the blog for privacy reasons):

* Photography
* Writing
* Laughing - a lot
* Time with my kids
* Thrift store shopping
* Shoes - yeah, just shoes
* Hockey - NHL and my nephew's league
* Photographing said hockey
* Decorating my home - and dream loft
* Driving my jeep
* Singing with the radio in said Jeep
* Going to the Library, Art Museum, Natural History Museum
* Eating dinner out
* Building then enjoying a fire in my fireplace
* Spending time in my home
* Driving in the mountains, preferably not on highways
* Being around creative, genuine people
* Embracing my uniqueness
* Sleeping until my body wants to wake up - not by the alarm
* Making others laugh - more with me than at me
* Shopping for clothes and shoes (yes shoes)
* Having a clean home
* Wandering through art supply stores
* Riding my bike with Ana
* Feeling safe and secure in my truth
* Watching my son become an amazing husband
* Being in good physical shape
* Accepting - actually seeing my gifts and allowing them to live in my heart - my heart swells in my chest when I allow myself this one little thing

I am determined that I am going to continue to look for and FIND more things that add joy and grace to my life so this is only the start of my list!
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