Authenticity 101

While walking the dogs and finding some birds in the field flying from stalk to stalk, seeming to tease and flutter, hover above the field, I realized – not for the first time – that I am the only one here with a choice to be authentic.

Say what you will about free will, choice is a sticky wicket. When our dog Guinnie follows a scent and pulls me along or Cho runs off – with Guinnie looking after him with such longing – they are following a path ordained by their breed. They don’t fetch, they do run, they don’t do tricks, they do act dignified and break open our hearts. And that is our endowment of them. They are who they are. They are always doing their best. Even at his worst, Cho does his best. He trees the cat, that’s his best. He runs the deer. That’s his best.

And the birds, if they are beginning to nest, if they are not, they are doing their best. All the animal Beings who surround me are at their best. The consequences of their actions are no less or more, their mistakes are forgiven or radically alter their lives just as ours do. They just have less choice.

In my practice of Insight Coaching┬áchoice comes often as a shock to some. Authenticity is a goal. It can be a value. A place to rest if we are feeling brave. It can be hard to take a path that is authentic to us but not recognized as either valuable or necessary to those around us. We do not share the birds’ drive and it can be painful to follow our “bliss.”

I am not going to capitalize the word bliss, it is often mis-represented. It is not what makes us feel good, it is what makes us feel valid, necessary, whole. It does not always look like a good idea. A client who is a photographer, who is living his dream spoke of his mother mentioning an opening for nurses training in his area. He does not look like a successful nester to her. Nor did he to his first wife. Lucky for him his second wife is fine with what he does.

Because we make choices, because they are available to us, we can be fearful and doubtful. I find in my practice it is often hard for clients to ask for help or receive it. ┬áThe truth of our actions lies in our hearts, our values and our goals. Acting from fear or sadness or lack can lead us far from our hearts’ desires. When we know who we are, what we want and how to get there success is assured. It’s just that ol’ wicket that gets mucked up unless we are clear in our intentions.

One thought on “Authenticity 101

  1. Pam,

    Thanks for this post. I’m learning not to hear dissenting voices, and also to have compassion for them. In my tribe, an endeavor is worth the effort if it makes Serious Money. I’m a beginning farmer and a graduate student (at 55), and neither really rate. But I think my mom secretly wishes she’d had chances like this, and knowing that softens me. Fortunately, like your client, my husband is just fine with what I do.

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