Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Abundance meets authenticity

"Once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
Margery Williams
The Velveteen Rabbit

This year I decided rather than set myself goals or resolutions, I'd choose a theme in which to live my life. The theme I chose was authenticity. This morning's essay in Simple Abundance was about being real, about being authentic. Sarah Ban Breathnach reflects on the lessons and themes explored in The Velveteen Rabbit. I don't initimately remember the story. They read it to us in our home room period when I was in my first year at high school. Our homeroom teacher, Mrs Smith, was one of the PE staff and was the least warm and fuzzy person I'd come across at the school. She was often late to home room and more often, completely absent, leaving the older girls in our homeroom group to take the roll for her. So anything that may have been grokked from the story, was completely lost on me as a teenager.

Having said that ... hopefully tomorrow Dylan and I will be able to go to the library and borrow out The Velveteen Rabbit. I can reaccquaint myself with the story and share another classic children's book with my son.

On the subject of authenticity, Breathnach outlines a very simple and common sense way in which to work towards a life of authenticity (if only I had found this at the beginning of the year!)

  • learn to acknowledge, accept and appreciate what it is that makes you different from others

  • learn to trust the wisdom of your heart and make creative choices based on what you know is right for you

  • endow even the smallest moment of each day with love

I have definitely decided over the past six months that the first two are essential to a life of authenticity. To me it's meant:

  • working with and not against the rhythms of my body

  • living up to the expectations I have in life, and not those of others ... to put myself first and do what I need to do for me. This has included not feeding energy into the melodramas of others

  • treating myself as important and precious, and making time to nurture myself and enjoy small luxuries

  • knowing that I need to have a balance between mind and body

  • working daily with my creativity

  • understanding my beliefs and the constructs around them, and how they inform my world view, my self view, my thoughts, emotions and reactions
  • understanding that imperfection is the only kind of perfection to aspire to

I had never stopped to think about endowing every small moment with love. I guess that's what being totally present in each moment is about - loving it, regardless of what it is.

Recently Dylan has been coming up to me and asking me if I 'still love him' - especially after we've had a blow up or an episode of challenging behaviour. I keep telling him that I love him always - I love him when he's happy, when he's sad and even when he's angry. A mother's love is unconditional and this is what makes the bond real and authentic. So it makes perfect sense to apply this same law of unconditional and constant love to every moment in life.

Breathnach comments that, "When you do these things, you become real to those who know and love you, but Real to everyone. You become authentic. " And real to everyone - includes bcoming real to yourself. What a fantastic journey to be on!


Catherine said...

Hi Jodi,

I think you've probably found Breathnach's outline at exactly the right time. At least that's been my experience when layering knowledge. I find something that speaks to me. I aim to incorporate it into my life/day and it slowly layers until I keep finding related material that resounds more strongly as time goes on...Just my 3.30 am theory

Wild Iris said...

Authenticity is a theme that also echoes through the books I'm reading. "The Four Agreements" and "The Dance of Anger" are helping me to see things in new ways. I've also recently discovered a book on children's behavior called "Beyond Consequences, Love & Logic" by Bryan Post, that is giving me insight into my past and my present.