I realized one day not too long ago that I had strayed greatly from my authentic self. I know the term ‘authentic self’ may sound cliche, but there is a lot of powerful meaning behind it. Living our authentic life, being our authentic self, merely means to stay in alignment of what feels genuine to us. It’s NOT allowing ourselves to be so influenced by what other people say or think (or what we think other people say or think), or what we believe is socially accepted, that we’re not sure of who our authentic self is any longer.

In the movie “Runaway Bride” Julia Robert’s character realizes that she has no idea how she likes her eggs, she always makes them the way that whoever she’s with likes them. When we get absorbed into our life, sometimes this happens so slowly we don’t even notice. Whether we’re a student, a mom, a dad, a caregiver, a career person or anyone else, we often times become very distant from our authentic self without even realizing it. Then one day we wake up and realize we don’t feel very happy about our life and definitely don’t feel at peace.

Are you making conscious choices? Do you know how you like your eggs?! We all make hundreds of choices each day, from the smallest, “I’m going to hit the snooze button one more time” to the largest, “I’m going to ask her to marry me”. How do we know if we’re making them consciously?

The first step in making conscious choices is to reconnect with our authentic self. Once we do that, it establishes our operating and navigation systems. It’s easier to make choices that are in alignment with our values and principles when we recognize our authentic values and principles. It’s also easier for our navigation system to let us know when we get off course!

Making conscious choices that are in alignment with our authentic self empower us. It’s what puts us in alignment with our life’s purpose and allows us to connect with like-minded people. Take a look at your life right now. Rate how you feel about it on a scale from 1 (feeling very unhappy) to 10 (feeling blissful). If you’re anywhere under a 7, you most likely are not on a path that reflects your values and principles. Chances are you’ve been making decisions based on conditioning from your past or based on what you feel other people, whom you may respect greatly, think you should be doing.

We make choices in one of three ways. We are either fully conscious and aware; conscious based on past conditioning; or unconscious – basically on autopilot. When we make our life’s decisions by either the second or third option we sometimes end up blaming others for our experiences. We basically become a victim of our own life. I personally have no desire to live like this.

Choose to make conscious choices, not hindered by past conditioning. Use the information available to really see the options in front of you, balance it, look at it from all possible angles, listen to your intuition and finally ask yourself, “How does this decision make me feel?”. If you feel in any way that it is muffling your authentic voice, perhaps you need to change direction.

We always have choices. We may tell ourselves that we don’t. I’ve seen many a bumper sticker saying “Stuck in Ohio”, my home state, although when we’re courageous enough to make different, possibly unpopular choices, we really aren’t stuck at all. As a matter of fact, it’s very freeing and you will respect yourself more and more for making your own choices and staying in alignment with your authentic self!

Choices and courage always exist, they’re there awaiting us when we’re ready to embrace them.<3

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