Thursday, April 30, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Zealous

I grew up in church and this word always seemed to be used. You know "be zealous for the Lord."  Blah Blah!  Not that I am mocking the church, because I am not.  I am mocking using it around kids, because I honestly had NO idea what it meant! 

When I think about this word and being authentically zealous, I feel that it is the perfect word to wrap up my A to Z blogging. 

The whole purpose of the last 26 days of writing for me was to be real, to be authentic.  I want my life to be about who I am.  I want it to be about my journey.  As I think about that and ponder over how I can live authentically just blows my mind because there are so many ways.  One definition I looked up said "ardently devoted to a purpose." 

So being authentically zealous for a real life.  Being authentically zealous for journeying through this life with courage, adventure, honesty, and understanding.  There are going to be great days, and there are going to be tough days, but the reality is that as long as I am being authentically zealous for the journey.....well then there is nothing else to do but live, and love, and laugh along the way. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Young

Being young...we all want to stay young forever.  I want to stay in my 30's forever.  My 20's were great, but there were so many growing pains.  I don't want to be young like that again.  I would not go back to my teens either.   A time in my life when I thought that I knew everything, when in fact I knew pretty much nothing. 

I feel like being in your 30's you are still young enough to have fun, but not so young that you make the same dumb mistakes over and over.  Oh sure there will always be mistakes, we are human after all.  But I want to be authentically young.  I don't ever want to get too old to laugh, have fun, enjoy some good music, or a good beer.  I don't ever want to get too old to laugh at my mistakes, to ride a roller coaster, to travel the world.  I don't ever want to be too old to take advice, embrace change or dance. 

I want to always and forever be authentically young.  To live life with a young mind, heart, and spirit.  That will be a life well lived. 

What about you? Do you want to be authentically young?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! X-rayed

I had to stretch to think about this X word!  Then I finally settled on something.  Thinking about life and being authentic I thought....why not live authentically x-rayed!  I may have just made up a word here, but I am okay with that. 

What do I mean by living authentically x-rayed?  I mean being completely open, honest, and vulnerable.  I mean opening up your heart and life to people to see who you really are.  In an x-ray you are able to see inside of someone.  You are able to see the hidden things that are causing the problems.  The things that are stopping the person from functioning normally. 

Don't we sometimes just hide behind our smiles.  Don't we sometimes keep quiet when we really want to scream out to the world just how horrible we think our circumstances are at the current moment? 

Being authentically x-rayed means showing all of that underneath "stuff."  Not letting people or circumstances continue to hold you down.  Letting go of the things that you just don't want to be a part of and the people that continue to be toxic in your life.  Being authentically x-rayed means showing who you really are.  Being open to change and being able to be real. 

If someone were able to look inside and x-ray your heart, your thoughts, your everyday experiences...what would they find? 

Would you like to be authentically x-rayed? 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Wanderer

I don't ever want to lose my sense of wander!  :)  Wandering over this amazing earth is one of the greatest gifts I have been given.  I have loved the places that I have been able to go, and the people I have met along the way. 

Wandering takes courage, bravery, adventure, and a sense of openness to new things.  Wandering is something that not everyone gets to experience.  Some people know exactly where they are supposed to be and they never wander around searching for that place to call home. 

When I was 23 and first setting out on my grand adventure I thought that I would wander for a few years and then I would just know.  I thought that everyone just has this moment of knowing exactly where they are supposed to be.  I thought that once I wandered far enough, high enough, wide enough I would snap my fingers and belong somewhere. 

I was wrong.  There has not been any great moment in my life when I have just known that I belonged.  In some ways I feel like my life has been pretty lonely.  It is not a sad kind of lonely, it is just a lone journey.  I don't think I have yet to find the place where I can settle down and be myself.  I am not sure that I will ever truly be able to stop wandering.  It is not that I have regrets, because I don't.  It is not that I think I am not where I am supposed to be, because I am sure of my decision.  It is just that I don't feel settled.  I still feel like I could keep going, keep moving. 

I have to wonder if everyone feels this way.  Do we all just put on a smile and pretend like we know what we are doing, that we are sure in our choices?  Or are some of us just more inclined to wander then others? 

Perhaps you have a sense of wander?  Perhaps you don't. 

Are you an authentic wanderer?  Do you wish you were? 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Vivacious

I love this word!  I love thinking about being Authentically Vivacious!  That my whole being is lively, spirited, and bubbly!  I often don't think I come across that way, I am just not sure that I am wired that way.  Maybe I can be though!  I want to try and live authentically vivacious!  To live life with spirit.  To keep working towards the goals I have set for myself and not let anyone come in between what I want to accomplish and know that I should accomplish! 

How do you live authentically vivacious?  What does it look like to you? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Understanding

There comes a time in your life when you have to be understanding.  Understanding of other people's beliefs, thoughts, dreams, and faults.  I find that the older I get the more understanding I am in the small things, and the less understanding I am in the big things.  Why is that?  Or maybe perhaps what I used to think of as a big thing was really a small thing, and what I think of now as a small thing is really a big thing?  Hmmm....

For instance I really can't stand when people invade other's personal space.  It really, really bothers me.  I find myself not being very understanding.  However someone can have a car accident that was clearly their fault, but I just find myself being so understanding for that person.  I am just like..."oh they must have had a lot going on."  What is the difference in those situations?  Why can I be so understanding at one thing, but not the other. 

Another example is gossip.  I have a REALLY hard time being understanding when it comes to people gossiping about those that are close to me, but then I am perfectly fine about people gossiping about movie stars, or those that I don't know.  Why?  They are still people....why can I understand when they do it against strangers, but not those that I know? 

Being understanding takes a lot of patience, and compassion.  It takes looking at the other person and seeing their perspective.  I don't do the best at that. 

I am working on being a more understanding person, but it is a journey that is for sure.

What about you?  Are you authentically understanding? 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Tired

I am authentically TIRED!  It is the end of the school year, I am getting ready for my summer camp job that is probably going to end up bringing a little more stress to my life although it will be good stress.  I am so excited for camp.  In fact I get to go to Spring Camp this weekend.  It is going to be relaxed and fun, but I am also very TIRED! 

The end of the school year is bringing so many things....

*kids that are ready for summer
*about 10 million things to get done before May 22nd
*Grandparent's Day
*Spring Camp
*Working out every morning and evening
*sorting through things in order to get ready for next school year

These are just a few of the things I can think of right now.  I am not complaining...I just know that there are seasons in our lives.  This season is a tired least for today!  Tomorrow I might feel different! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Sensitive

I have always been sensitive.  Taking things to heart when people say something to me whether it is good or bad.  I think my sensitivity through the years has caused me to take things a little too seriously.  I always seem to look at things from the worst perspective possible.  Things that others might just brush off I find myself taking to heart and pondering over and over again.  Analyzing them to a fault.  Is there a point where you can have too much sensitivity?  Or should you just be authentic in your sensitivity?

I don't ever want to be someone who can't reach inside my heart and feel.  I don't want to be so hardened by circumstances or people that I fail to be sensitive to others needs.  So what's the balance?  I have come to realize that I can't allow people to cause me to look down on myself.  Yet, I have to understand where they are coming from and what they are saying.

So I keep being sensitive...realizing that people say things in the heat of the moment, they don't always know what they are talking about, most of the time people  are just trying to help.  Being authentically sensitive means not apologizing for my feelings.  I am exactly who I am, and I feel things that others don't.  But that is what makes me unique and real!

What about you?  Are you authentically sensitive?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Rebellious

This word means a completely different thing to me now, then it did about 20 years ago.  I grew up in a home/culture that frowned upon rebellion...I mean really frowned upon it.  I was scared to say something wrong, do something wrong...afraid to rebel. 

Then I got to be in my 20's, and now my early 30's and rebellion is pretty much in the forefront of my mind.  I try really hard not to have a rebellious heart, but it is just so much fun! 

I think you can be authentically rebellious without being rude or disrespectful.  Doesn't being a rebel mean dancing to the beat of your own drum?  Doesn't being a rebel mean having a chance to step outside of the box? 

In my authentic state of rebellion, I just want to be who I am.  I think that means sometimes I have to step outside of the norm....and just rebel. 

Want to rebel with me? 

What do you want to rebel against?  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Quirky

I absolutely LOVE the word Quirky!  There are just so many different fun ways to use this word.  A better way to think of it is authentically unusual.  I love my quirkiness.  Those traits that make me....well me. 

My adventureous spirit.  I'm guessing that I don't really exactly understand everything about myself that is quirky.  I am sure that my students and those I'm around for most of the day could easily tell you the quirky things that I do. 

Right now my quirkiness is pretty much centered around my health and being the best version of ME!  I am obsessed with getting healthy.  So much so that it is what is leading my authentic quirkiness. 

I post so many selfies it's ridiculous...but it's helping me stay I'm okay with it! 

Are you quirky in some way????  Please share!!! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Perfect

Perfection is basically the way that we all live our lives.  Some of us are more perfect then others, but aren't we all striving in some way or another to be the perfect ______________.  Maybe it is the perfect mother, sister, friend, fiancee, employee, employer, instructor, teacher, coach.  Whatever our call is in life we all feel the pressure to do it perfectly.  Don't we?  I mean how many times in the last week did I make a mistake and feel horrible.  I put SO much pressure on myself to be perfect. 

What if my idea of what perfection is, well what if it isn't actually the real idea of what perfection is.  What if being absolutely perfect means that I can make mistakes because that is how I get closer to the real idea of perfection?  Being authentically perfect doesn't mean that I do everything right 100% of the time.  I think it means that despite who I am, I am real in my perfection.  Knowing that my perfection is unique to me.  It doesn't need to fit in to what society views it to be.  It can just be my own own own ideas. 

How would you describe being authentically perfect? 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Openness

Openness is not something that comes easy to me.  Being authentically open is even worse.  Why?  Because I do NOT trust people.  I just don't.  I usually let people get to a certain point and then I just shut down.  I have been hurt too many times, and it is almost something I do without even thinking about it.  So, I think about people that I know that are authentically open...

*They are able to be who they are around anyone
*They are honest without being hurtful
*They accept criticism without getting offended

These are things that I strive for.  I'm not there yet, but in this authentic journey I will try a little more each day. 

What about you?  Are you an open person? 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Notorious

Authentically Notorious means...being known.  Known for what exactly?  I think known for who I truly am.  The journey that I continue to walk down everyday, and the way that my life continues to be molded moment-by-moment, day-by-day, year-by-year.  What are some things I want to be known for? 

*My adventureous spirit
*Being able to adapt in any situation
*Showing compassion for those that don't have as much as me
*Laughing at myself

There are other things I want to be known for, but I know I am not there yet.  I want to be known for always having joy.  For being that person that looks at the inside of every single being I come in contact with and valuing them for who they are. 

Maybe that is what I want to be authentically notoriously valuing those around me.  I'm not even sure that works...but maybe. 

What's your favorite use for the word notorious? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Memorable

I want to be remembered, don't we all?  I want to make a difference in people's lives.  I have lived in so many different places over the years.  When I think about the memories I hold in those places and with those people I am so blessed.  I want to live my memories out in an authentic way.  What does that mean?  Taking the time to remember.  Taking the time to let my memories become a story.  A story to be shared....a story to be laughed over....a story to be felt from the depths of the reader's soul.  My memories are more then just a few fleeting moments in my mind....they unravel to create a beautiful tapestry of a life worth lived.  I think being authentically memorable means sharing those memories.... please enjoy my memories.....

I grew up with two amazing sisters.  We are definitely three very different people, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  We have so many memories of adventures, fights, times of sorrow, and times of joy!  

One of my favorite memories is watching TV in my parents just can't beat that kind of relaxation.  

Cousins!!!!!  Snow....ponds.....woods.....there are so many memories with my cousins!  

Camp....I would not be who I am without camp.  Rawhide brought out the teacher in me.  

Memories don't come without a little bit of hurt and pain.  This is my car that caught on fire while I was in the house.  It destroyed our home.  Something that I will never understand,but in some ways am thankful for the rebuilding memories we have.  

Graduations!!!  3 Graduations!!!!  How amazing is that!  So thankful!!!

My first time overseas...India.  So many memories from that trip and the trips that would come in the future.  

Kayaking adventures.  This picture has a HUGE story to go with it.  Maybe I will share that story sometime, but for now it is here to help hold a memory.  

Pictures help me hold on to memories.  I am thankful for them, but even more I am thankful for the way they make me feel.  No matter what kind of day I am having I know that looking at any of these will bring a little joy.

What are your authentically memorable moments?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Loving

I think that our society has lost the true meaning of being loving.  We get so wrapped up in ourselves and how we feel that we forget loving means sacrificing everything for someone else.  Being authentically full of love means seeing people as created beings.  Seeing them for who they are and could be.  I find myself looking at the world and wondering how it became such a horrible place.  How do we go about our lives living these selfish, busy, non-passionate paths?  Aren't we tired of hurting people, of not making a difference in others...aren't we tired of being too busy to stop and see all the people we could be helping if we just took the time to LOVE? 

I love ice cream! How many people have said that?  I love you!  How many people have said that?  We are so into finding the love of our lives (whether that be a spouse, a job, or money), that we forget that love should really be about looking outside of our perfect little white-picket houses and noticing the family that doesn't have enough food to eat, or the father that just lost his job, the single-mother who is struggling to get by, the child that is being tossed around like yesterday's garbage, or the family member in our very own family that is ready to give up...because he doesn't feel important. 

As  a
single- never married person...I think some people think that I don't understand love.  The thing is that I think I understand it so well.  Not because I have had to love a spouse through thick and thin, but because I have had to be there for people when they are at their lowest point.  I have seen kids begging on the street.  I have seen women who have to use their bodies in order to feed their families.  I have seen desperation in the eyes of young mothers.  If we really just loved each really loved each other...wouldn't we take care of each other?  Wouldn't we stop spending our money on time and things that don't really matter, and start spending it on things that are going to change people's lives? 

What does authentic love look like to you?

*** image from

Monday, April 13, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Kindness

Authentically Kind...have you ever met a person that was just kind.  That person sees you, your flaws, and is kind anyways.  I have had the opportunity to meet some authentic kind people through my lifetime.  These people go out of there way to put others above themselves....always!  I have to ask myself what traits did I see in them that I could duplicate in my own life? 

*Always putting people first
*Listening without trying to speak or thinking about what I am going to say next
*Putting myself in other people's shoes
*Using kind words ALWAYS
*Having patience, even when I don't want to
*Loving others, no matter what

Being authentically kind is something that has to be practiced.  It is something that I constantly need to check myself to see if what I am thinking, and what I am doing is coming across as kind.  More then just being kind, it is the perception of the other person.  Authentic kindness means that others are put first.....

What does authentic kindness look like to you? 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Jovial

The definition for jovial is cheerful and friendly according to   I find it really hard to be cheerful all of the time, much less to be authentically jovial.  As a teacher there are many days when I feel like my students are doing things on purpose just to frustrate me.  Sometimes they are, and sometimes they are not.  I oftentimes thinking to do I keep myself cheerful and friendly during those times?  How can I let go of whatever is frustrating me and just work through the situation, and then let it go? 

I feel like being authentically jovial means finding the good things in every situation...because there are always good things.  I think it also means laughing at myself.  Oftentimes when I am finding myself not wanting to be cheerful it is because I am afraid of looking dumb in front of someone else.  Finally I think that being authentically jovial means not taking anything too seriously.  After all when I look back at the moment in question in another 5 or 10 years, is it really going to be that important?  Most likely it probably won't.  So why shouldn't I feel as cheerful as I can, in as many moments of the day as I can? 

What is your view on being authentically jovial?  Do you find cheerfulness and friendliness the same? 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Independent

Independence is what I always wanted from the time I was like 2.  At least that is what my parents have told me.  Isn't that what every 2 year old wants?  I saw a friend post the other day... that her two year old was like, "Me do it."  That's the phase of life....but I am not sure we ever truly grow out of it.  What does living authentically independent mean to me? 

I think it means that I go for what I want.  It means that I listen to people, but I don't let them get me down.  It also means that I don't trust a lot.  Most of my posts so far have been about good things I find in myself.  Being absolutely independent isn't necessarily a quality that I think is good.  I find that it means I would rather do something myself because I have found that I can't depend on others for a lot of things.  People let me down  A LOT.  Because people aren't perfect.  Too bad, right?  I find myself too often just wanting to be alone because people create drama, and I am soooo tired of drama! 

Often when I talk about the places I have lived, and the things that I have done, those that have never experienced true independence question me.  "What you really did all of that on your own."  You just packed up and moved to another country without knowing anyone.  Yes, I did and I survived.  Once when talking to my Dad, I was apologizing for leaving yet again and moving to the other side of the world.  His response, "We taught you to be independent, we didn't want you hanging onto our apron strings your whole life."  How thankful am I for that?  So very thankful! 

What about you?  Are you independent?  Do you find yourself untrustworthy that others will be there for you?  Are you too dependent?  How does authentic independence fit into your life? 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z: Humble

Humbleness is something that I think my generation ( boy I sound old when I say that) grew up with.  I was taught from an early age that I wasn't really good enough.  But it wasn't people putting me down, it was just a different way of life.  It was okay for teachers to put up star charts, and some kids to have 20 stars while others only had one or two.  It was okay for the reading groups to be leveled and for you to know exactly who was in the low group, and who of course was in the high group.  You knew that you weren't perfect at anything, that you were okay at some things, and that you were good at other things.  You also knew that there was always going to be someone just a little bit better. 

I feel like in today's culture we don't want kids to think that anyone is better then them.  We want them to value themselves and think highly of themselves.  I am all for this type of thinking.  I wish I had valued myself from an early age, instead of just figuring it out as an adult.  My life would have been completely different if I had seen my value early on. 

What we are lacking though is authentic humbleness.  This idea that it is okay to know that you are a valuable person, to know that you are great at certain things, but to be humble in how you present yourself.  Aren't the best leaders out there humble?  Don't we all strive to be leaders in some way or another? 

To me being authentically humble means being real in my strengths and weaknesses.  It means allowing people to see me for who I am.  To speak up when I don't have the answers and to open the door for help when I need it.  I am not perfect, but I am perfect at being me.  My flaws, my apprehensions are part of who I am.  In order for my life to mean something I need to be able to admit that there are things I don't know.  I need to be able to come in second sometimes and not beat myself up over it. 

How do you view authentic humbleness? Maybe it is different then me? 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Grateful

Sometimes I get caught up in negativity.  I like to think of myself as a positive person, but I know that I can turn things negative just as easily as the next person.  One way that I find myself changing that is by being grateful. 

Gratefulness is a concept that I think some Americans, especially kids find foreign.  Instead of learning to be grateful for what they have....they feel entitled.  This entitlement is creating a whole generation of people who just expect to get whatever they want when they want it. 

I could have been someone like that.  My American life was wrapped up in myself until I stepped on a plane and landed in India.  My first plane ride, my first country.  I saw poverty first-hand.  I witnessed children dirty, hungry, tired begging in the streets.  I saw mothers use their babies to get them food.  I saw despair and desperation.  I saw what life was like for those not born privileged, and I was grateful. 

I wish I could say that my gratefulness lasted after that first trip overseas, but it didn't.  It changed me, but not permanently.  A permanent authentic attitude of gratefulness would come later. 

How do you explain to people once you have been to a third world country what it is like?  I am not sure that there is any way except to experience it for yourself.  Many times I think as Americans we get caught up in going on 1-2 week trips to experience life in a third world country and we become experts.  In reality though...that glimpse isn't even close to what people experience on a daily basis.

I taught 3 years in Bangkok, Thailand.  During that time I will say without a doubt I learned how to be authentically grateful.  I saw people so desperate to change their situations, that they would sell their body to buy their kids some food.  I saw people so in awe of me because I was from America.  How can you put into words the feeling you have when you realize that just by being born where you were and into the family you are more privileged then much of the world? 

I learned to be grateful.  I learned to be grateful that I had a roof over my head, enough money to buy what I needed, and the opportunity to go to school.  I learned to be grateful that I was allowed to venture out on my own as a single female.  I learned to be grateful that I could have an opinion that differed from my family.  I learned to be grateful that I had seen the ocean, spent the night on an island, eaten exotic food, and made friends that had different beliefs then I did.  I learned to be grateful because I no longer saw the world through American eyes. 

Being authentically grateful means that everyday I am looking for the things that I have that are good in this world.  That opens my eyes and life to being positive and hopefully putting a little more positive out in the world. 

Here are some things I am grateful for today:

My town and our trails!!!  Love being able to go hiking!!!

Healthy Food!  The ability to eat healthy food, to get food that is good for me.  

The culture of my town.  We have so many great festivals!!!

The Color Run!!!!  

Flowers....and snow....especially both of them together.  

What are you authentically grateful for?  Has your amount of gratefulness changed as you have gotten older, or because of an experience? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z: Fearless

When I was little my fears were fixed on things that looking back now didn't really amount to much.  I am sure you know....spiders, the basement, fear of my stuffed animals coming alive at night.  Okay...that last one might be stretching it, but the fears of my youth were concrete fears.  Fears I could measure.  

As I have grown older though my fears have changed.  I have found that my fears have become less concrete.  My fears began to change in junior high.  I remember the beginning of the fear of not ever fitting in.  The fear that I would never belong anywhere.  That people would never really know who I was.

That fear grew as I got older....

Isn't that what we all fear?  We fear loneliness, rejection, and never being good enough. 

Isn't that what religion is all about?  People trying to find answers to that loss that they feel.  That loss so deep inside of never being good enough.

But isn't fear what drives us to succeed?  Somewhere we overcome all of the misgivings that we have by allowing that fear to lead us down the path to authentic fearlessness.

To me being authentically fearless doesn't mean never having fear.  To me it means grabbing a hold of that fear, and using it to overcome whatever is staring me in the face.

Maybe that means quitting a job that isn't bringing me joy.  Maybe it means saying I'm sorry because I said something in a moment of anger that I didn't mean.  Maybe being authentically fearless means waking up everyday and not allowing the negative things in this world to have power...anger destruction, loss.  Focusing on the positive, focusing on how to love others. Allowing that love to have the power to overcome any kind of fear.   Focusing on living life by being authentically fearless.

Do you think that fear is healthy?  Do you live life authentically fearless?  What does that look like in your life?  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z: Engaged

What does it mean to be engaged in the moment you are in?  What does it mean to be authentically engaged?  I have found myself on this journey in recent weeks to truly figure out who I am and what I am about.  It is not something that is easy, and it is not a journey that I think is going to end quickly.  In fact I expect to be on this journey for the rest of my life.  I expect to be authentically engaged in the act of figuring out my purpose, who I am...and how I dive into my daily life with the attitude of love, compassion, and adoration...forever!  

One thing that I have been challenged by more recently is to be present where I am.  Another way to say this is to be engaged in whatever is going on around me.  To be authentically engaged in my interactions with others.  I think there are a few things that this means to me:  

   *Look people in the eyes when they are talking to me.
   *Listen to what they are saying with compassion and understanding.
   *Don't be looking at my phone in the middle of a conversation, or thinking about social media
   *Understand that not everything that is shared needs a comment or remark, sometimes it is just okay to listen
    *Put real people before social media people. (I do realize social media people are real...but just saying that there is a time and place for social media and it is not when I am in the middle of a group of people)

I think this concept also goes into other types of things in my life....


****Tasks that must get done

****Times when I am relaxing

In everything I need to be authentically engaged.  I need to be there, be real....and stop allowing social media to control my every moment.  Maybe you don't have this problem...maybe it's just me.  

Do you find it easy to be authentically engaged?   What helps you to be authentically engaged?  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z: Daring

Authentically daring....

Today I went on a ended up being around 4 miles.  As I was hiking I was thinking about this post.  I was thinking about the daring things that have happened in my life.  I was thinking about being authentically daring. 

When I looked up the word daring on I got this definition:

              "adventurous courage, boldness"

 That means that authentically being real in your adventure/courage. 

I think that my life could be described as being authentically daring. 

How have you been authentically daring in your life?  Here are some of my courageous adventures:

 Seeing the Pyramids.  There is no way I can describe the amazingness that was going inside a pyramid.  To be around something that ancient.  The daring adventures that were taken through those tunnels...  Just being in Egypt itself was daring.  It the first country I lived in.  The first daring adventure I took as an adult. 
 Taking boat roads along the Nile. 

 Being an elephant owner for a day, will go down in history as one of my most daring authentic adventures, I have taken.  An animal so huge and so unique in the way it lives, works, moves, and connects to its owner.  Being bold, being confident and knowing that animal could crush me if she really wanted to.  She didn't though...but isn't that the risk I take?  Isn't that daring?

 Riding a camel up Mt. Sinai...before traveling was cool.  I will never forget the journey up that mountain.  There were times when my heart rate wouldn't stop climbing.  There were times when I wanted to turn around and go back, but I couldn't.  My heart and soul knew that journey would be one to fact it was.  That journey was the turning point in all journeys.  It gave me the confidence to keep going.  To keep living daring adventures. 

The many, many islands I have been able to see.  Each boat ride a little different from the last.  Each boat ride taking me to a place of daring escape.  A place to examine who I was when I arrived and who I wanted to be when I left. 

Sometimes I come across people that are in awe of everywhere I have been and the things I have been able to do.  Really I think it just takes daring yourself to go beyond your own limits.  Being willing to encounter people and places that are different then your expectations.  Living to gather information from all those that you come across.  That's what makes an authentically daring life. 

Have you lived an authentically daring life?  What are the daring things you have done, or want to do?  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z: Crazy

Does crazy have to always be something that we say in a negative way?  I often tell my students that they are acting crazy.  But what does crazy really mean?  Can you be authentically crazy?  I mean like crazy in a real, no apprehension kind of way?  

I think you can.  I think crazy can be something fun, positive and authentic.  Crazy doesn't have to mean out of your mind like going to the "crazy house."  Why can't it just mean that you are so passionate about being your authentic self that you are crazy?  

That's what I choose to see crazy as.  I choose to be my crazy authentic self.  The kind of crazy that never gives up on others, even when they are seriously messing their lives up.  The kind of crazy that would drive hundreds of miles just to spend a few moments with a dear friend. Crazy to the point of abandoning all thoughts of what others think and just being in the moment!   Craziness is not necessarily something to be looked down upon.  I think the most authentic people I know are the craziest!  I hope I am one of them!!!  

How crazy are you?  What is your idea of being authentically crazy?  


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Absolutely Authentic from A to Z! Beauty a young girl I wanted to be beautiful.  It was all I be able to be pretty, and adored.  I had no idea what beauty truly was.  Ofcourse I grew up hearing true beauty is on the inside, yeah...what kind of crap is that?  Movie stars, and models aren't valued because they are pretty on the inside, are they?  Ofcourse not...

That little girl grew up, and as she grew she turned into a young person that struggled with weight, body image, and self-esteem.  It wasn't necessarily that anyone told that girl that she was ugly, or overweight, or not pretty enough.  It was that she looked at TV, movie stars, and the girls at school who had the most friends, and she realized that she didn't match up to the expectations that society had put on her.  Well at the time she just knew that she didn't measure up. 

That girl eventually turned into an adult, who struggled with beauty.  In my 20's I struggled to be seen as different, to be adored.  I wanted someone to sweep me off my feet because then I thought I would finally be able to see the beauty that was within me. 

As a 33 year old I have finally been able to grasp some deep concepts that I wish I could have shared with my 6 year old, 15 year old, and 23 year old self. 

Beauty isn't about how skinny you are, what color of eyes you have, or where you come from.  Beauty is about who you are....truly how your heart loves, and the confidence you have to be who you were made to be.  Little girls everywhere are trying to measure up to the standards for beauty that society has set.  But what if it isn't about those standards, what if the beauty inside of each of us were perfect because we thought it was.  What if instead of growing up hearing how horrible women are who don't fit into the right mold are...everyone everywhere was told that they looked great...just how they are.  What if? 

Authentic beauty is beauty that is real, from the inside..from the depth of a person's soul.  Beauty is ever-changing.  There is no standard to beauty, it can be a tree blowing in the wind, a woman walking along the beach in her final moments of life, a young boy creating a mud pie as he plays with the family dog, a man digging through the trash..yes even that can hold beauty.  What will you find beautiful today?  How can you see authentic beauty in our world?