In a recent blog she told us about what we can learn from the animals around us……
She talked about the importance of fully listening and connecting in the moment - about how her New Forest pony Cindy had taught her the importance of Being Present.
Today she talks about another clear lesson which Cindy has instilled in her - the importance of Authenticity.
Authentic is the ‘quality of being real and true”. It is about knowing and doing what makes us feel alive.
When Cindy arrived to be with us, she and my daughter were both 13. They were clearly besotted with each other and Cindy loved my daughter's lightness and energy. I wasn’t so confident with Cindy myself, and tried to copy how my daughter behaved with her, but Cindy didn't respond to me in the same way, and was patently unimpressed.
Cindy was clearly confused by the gap between who I really was and who I was trying to be.
Although Cindy had arrived with ‘behavioural’ issues, it soon became clear that her problems were mostly physical.
I started to use my knowledge of health and healing to help her become more comfortable. When I began to offer her help, she would often come and stand with me, presenting the body area where she needed support. She would sometimes change position and present different areas and then move away when she felt it was complete.
As soon as I started being myself and bringing my gifts to her, she was able to bring her gifts to me and our connection began to change and deepen.
Cindy taught, and often reminded, me how important it is that we develop our own gifts and talents. And how inspiring it can be when we live from the Heart and truly connect.
It is so easy to be drawn into the ‘should’ mentality -
I should be / do ….
I shouldn't do / say …..
But living by the ‘should’ means we are living someone else’s idea of who we are.
From my personal experience, and in my work, I believe the way to discover contentment, fulfilment and Authenticity is to connect to our own true nature and follow our own heart.
We may not be able to change everything all at once, but like most things, we can start small. Many of us have lost the knowing of who we are, how we feel and what we want, but it is still within us and there is no time like the Present to start to uncover our gifts and talents.
1. Find and Follow your Passion
You don’t know what it is?
Try different things and note how they make you feel, maybe things you enjoyed as a child - do you like creating things, watching things grow, learning something new, being in nature? When you find something that makes you smile, or makes you heart sing, start to explore it and surrender to where it takes you.
You found it?
Great, spend some time every day, doing it, even if it is just a few minutes. Really connect to how you feel, and where you feel it. Gradually try to recreate that feeling in everything that you do.
2. Do what makes you feel good
Check if it just gives you a short term good feeling, or does it satisfy you at a deeper level.
3. Learning to express yourself
It’s always good to express ourselves by using the word ‘I’ - in that way we can only express what we are feeling, wanting or needing.
Drawing ourselves away from the word ‘You” can help us to focus on our own internal dialogue and help others to understand how we feel and what we need. It can also help to stop us putting the responsibility for our own feelings onto others.
It’s not selfish to express our feelings and needs, it gives others permission to do the same. However, we can’t expect others to either want or be able to fulfil our needs.
Being Authentic means allowing and encouraging others to be Authentic also.
4. Believe in yourself
Start learning to trust yourself, even if you sometimes feel you are wrong, eventually you will learn what trust feels like and it will become more reliable. Developing a strong sense of self belief helps us to remain true to ourselves even when challenged.
Choose one authentic and positive belief about yourself and give yourself some praise. Speaking it aloud can be more reinforcing.
5. Clear all the ‘stuff’ that is no longer serving you
We often carry old emotional baggage, even if we are not aware of it, which automatically recreates old patterns. Clearing this is a good way to begin to awaken our true selves.
Physical clutter can also get in the way, choose a small area, a drawer, or a file and keep only what you really need. Or start by making a clear space with only those things that have meaning.
Avoid taking on other peoples ‘stuff’ - check in with yourself as to whether something is 100% yours or maybe belongs in part to another.
6. Be Present
Being fully present enables us fully able to listen and connect in the moment, both to ourselves and to others.
Cindy has been, and still is, a formidable teacher, inspiring huge respect and always willing to reward a try - if she believes it’s good enough! She hasn’t allowed herself to become shut down, has always challenged me to be a better human (at least in her eyes), and guided me to understand and acknowledge the wisdom of horses and other animals.
I have done my best to help her physically (that’s been a learning curve) and I can now say that at 22 she’s healthier and better than ever. More about this next time when I talk about how ‘Moving out of the Comfort Zone’ has helped her.
Cindy continues to try to educate me in the ways of horses and awaken my human gifts and talents, and I am forever grateful to her.
When we all have the courage to be Authentic, what a Wonderful World it will be.
If you would like to talk to Maria more about how she can support you in your journey of autheticity, you can contact her via her page https://integralhealthshrewsbury.com/about-us/our-practitioners/maria-franklin/
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About the Centre
The Centre for Integral Health was started in 2013 by director Ben Calder after studying Integral theory since 2011 and over 10 years of professional practice of kinesiology and Bowen fascia Release Technique, coupled with the desire to explore the application of the Integral Model in relation to health.read more