Slivers of Authenticity
For the past 15 years I have almost exclusively meditated with my eyes closed. It’s what we see most people do when we look at others meditating or see photos. It’s what we’re often guided to do. For me, it’s also what’s most often felt like the right choice.
On that note though, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the difference is between the right choice, the “good” choice and my most authentic, my most sovereign choice. I’m turning 40 in a few months and in keeping with that mid-life cliché I’ve been looking back at the life choices I’ve made and I am wondering how many have been truly mine. How many choices have I made that were completely in keeping with my authentic self versus the many facets of relationship I am in — with family, with friends, with society and culture?
“There is a huge difference between being authentic and being good.” This is what Dr. Shefali says in her new book Radical Awakening: Turn Pain into Power. Embrace Your Truth. Live Free.” In that book she also says. “The problem is that good is only a benign cover-up for something far more sinister.”
It’s only now, approaching 40, that I feel I really have an internal understanding of what that even means for me. Isn’t it best to sometimes make the choice that serves our community above ourselves? Serves others needs beyond our own? I’m not saying I know the answer to that but I have learned that choosing the good choice, over the most authentic one, has it’s own set of consequences and vice versa. I’m also learning that many times in the past I thought I was making an authentic choice when it might just have been the “good” choice disguised.
So how do I know what choice I am making as I move forward in my life?
This is where I have felt the call to find conscious space with my eyes open. It’s interesting how observing this now moment, observing the “outer world” from presence can help me tune in to my most authentic self. And here’s the thing, I aim to do this many times throughout the day. I mediate almost everyday. And I say almost to be completely transparent. If you read my last blog post then you know, I have two little boys I am with almost all the time, so finding quiet space by myself is sometimes a challenge. I also know it can be a challenge for many, in many different life circumstances. So throughout the day I also find moments to live with my eyes open, and sit “in meditation” here, to be present and make choices (if choices need to be made). This is my compass. This is my North.
And I feel in my truth that every human on this Earth has access to this, our most sovereign, or most authentic space. You can find it right now. Feel the soles of your feet while you read these words. Notice your next breath as it moves your body. Here you are.