by Laura Grace
Living the Authentic Life
The snow goose
need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do
anything but be yourself. --Lao-Tse
You are meant to live an intimate and
authentic life, a life that honors the depth of who you
are, a life that nourishes your heart and expands your
mind, a life that is unencumbered with what others
think, a life that empowers you to be who you really
And yet, with the pressure we feel
from others and life in general, the question may
remain, "How can I live such a life?"
"What steps can I take toward being just ‘me?’"
In my own life, I have found the following practices to
be invaluable and successful components in experiencing
an authentic life:
Taking care of yourself
Nurturing your body, mind and spirit
must be a priority in your life. Accept that you can
only give to others to the extent you are giving to
yourself. Putting yourself first is not
"selfish," but "Self-full."
Dare to be yourself
Strip away the mask and let yourself
just "be." Take time to have fun and allow
yourself to find humor in being human. Know that your
purpose for being born wasn’t to live life according
to what society deems correct. Your purpose is to
discover your true self and live from that awareness. If
you resonate to the color violet, then be violet, not
brown. I once read a quote from Rabindranath Tagore who
wisely asked, "That which oppresses me, is it my
soul trying to come out in the open, or the soul of the
world knocking at my heart for its entrance?"
Give only from the heart
Doing anything out of obligation
dishonors both you and the other person, and will only
leave you feeling resentful. Do an "inner
check" before you say "yes" to anyone. If
resistance surfaces, do another inner check. If
heaviness or resistance occurs again, trust what you
feel and do not commit to something that is not in
alignment with your heart.
Look inward for your fulfillment, not
Within you resides a wellspring of
creativity and love. Turn within to become aware of what
is driving your needs. Is it because you are feeling
unloved, scared or lonely? Practice giving what you want
to receive. Extending love, from the heart, is the
fastest way to fill any emptiness you may feel.
Take time to appreciate how far you
have come on your journey. Notice what you have worked
through and your commitment to growth and healing. Doing
so builds both an inner and outer abundance over time.
It will help you to see the glass, or your life, half
full rather than half empty.
Let go of guilt!
No one is harder on us than we are on
ourselves. And many of us feel guilty for taking care of
ourselves, setting healthy boundaries and saying,
"No." Having been programmed to feel
responsible for others, we often find it hard to
recognize our own needs. Practice dropping any guilt you
feel for honoring yourself. Guilt is limiting and
crippling and does not serve you. Living an authentic
life means being free from what others think. It
requires giving yourself permission to live life
according to what your heart and soul desires.
Become aware of your intentions
If your intention is to be real and
congruent, then everything that is not authentically you
will reveal itself so you can choose to release it.
Spirit will illuminate anything in need of releasing
when you set your intention to grow. Yet if your
intention is split: pleasing others, wanting one of the
Three P’s: Power/Prestige/Prosperity, etc., then you
will experience the effects of your split-mind thinking
and your life will never, ever, be completely
fulfilling. Practice purifying your intention.
Ask, listen and follow
We need only ask and we will find
that our relationships, finances, work, and relationship
with our self begin to transform. How many times per day
do you ask for help from Spirit? And, how often do you
listen to it? And then, what about following what you
hear? The amount of inner peace and happiness you
experience in your life is directly proportionate to the
amount of energy you expend on asking, listening and
following the Voice within.
Be willing, right now, to ask for
guidance in developing an authentic relationship with
yourself. Ask for guidance in releasing beliefs,
thoughts and behaviors that do not honor your true
essence. Start with, "Who am I, really? For so long
I’ve based my perception of myself on what others
think that I’ve forgotten who I am. So, who am I,
truly?" and, "What steps can I take to live an
authentic life?" Finally, be willing to hear the
gentle yet firm Voice, and trust what it says.
Such is the life of the authentic
© Copyright 2003
Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.
Read Laura's Past Columns at SoulfulLiving.com:
2003 Column - "Rising Above the Battleground"
2003 Column - "Healing Through Your
2003 Column - "Are You Going with the Flow?"
2003 Column - "Living the Soulful Life"
2002 Column - "The Power to Change"
2002 Column - "Peace Begins at Home"
Column - "Spiraling to Higher Ground"
September 2002 Column - "Cradled in Nature's
August 2002 Column - "Recovering
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the U.S. and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed books The Intimate Soul and Gifts of the Soul, and the creator and teacher of various programs including the Self-Mastery Program, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose, and Cultivating the Intimate Life. Please visit Laura's web site at:
As a spiritual counselor, Laura provides assistance in person and by phone. You may contact her for a free brochure at: