Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. ~ The Princess Bride
Ahhhh, the concentrated simplicity, the pure authenticity of Inigo’s singular, laser-focused life, along with the means and conviction to achieve his goal, with ne’er a doubt despite dueling a six-fingered scoundrel!
¡¡ Such is not my life !!
And I dare say I will never achieve a singular, laser-focused life for I have far too many complexions. So, although I may not have the capacity <<nor desire 🙂 >> to have such a singular focus, I do wish to understand what authentic means to me, within this odd and mysterious vessel I find myself inhabiting, this changeling life-form. <<and for the record, i do not recall choosing to inhabit this life-form, nor being given any instructions on how to manage it…how absurd, i say!>>
I digress; my apologies.
I always seemed to be looking for something, always a little distracted because there was something more important to be attended to, just ahead of this moment. ~ A Life of One’s Own
Upon my recent realization – and consequent desire – to ferret out my own authenticity, I begin to assess my daily actions. What I discover shocks me! A pattern of choices emerges, in which I forfeit my authenticity for the path of ease, the path of non-authenticity. This path of <<supposed>> ease does not honor my core beliefs, instead it is the lazy or ‘safe’ path; the one where I beg, borrow or barter for love, money or time.
I begin to notice that I undermine my own goals. I am…
…always making resolutions and expecting the desired behavior to follow from my act of will alone…my life was a plan-less mixture of all things. ~ A Life of One’s Own
In this red-hot moment, I know not how to remedy my plan-less life, but I am certain I no longer want to follow the baaah-baaah-sheep of changelings <<who never thunk their own think!>>.
The need……to discover one’s true likes and dislikes…not a borrowed, mass-produced ideal…is obvious. ~ A Life of One’s Own
I am quite clueless where to seek guidance on authenticity because being authentic is a singular work, unique unto each person, so how can anyone else help me find my authenticity?
As I stumble through my days, looking for a springboard to launch me upon my journey, I happen upon a small, jewel of a book, in which the author embarks upon the journey of creating a life of her own, nearly a century before me.
I am delighted to have finally found my springboard and launch myself into the century old words, thrilled at the prospect of tasting my own authenticity.
The author begins quite simply, by posing age-old questions.
What kinds of experiences make me happy? And in what conditions does my happiness occur? ~ A Life of One’s Own
I am unclear how these questions link to authenticity but continue onward and dive into the author’s struggle with something I have long struggled with: the conundrum of seeking-through-thinking.
I was still trying to figure out what I wanted by thinking, and had not yet discovered that only when I stopped thinking would I really know what I wanted. ~ A Life of One’s Own
STOP. & DISCOVER >>>
Stop thinking…and discover. I recall writing about this very concept in one of my earliest blog posts concerning wisdom, and I even went a bit further…forgo what you know in order to learn anew…as did the author.
Remembering Descartes, I set out to doubt everything I had been taught…I tried to learn, not from reason, but from my senses. ~ A Life of One’s Own
When I read this quote, I was immediately reminded of the balance of feminine and masculine, within each person.
<<imbalance is a more apt description, for our society, as a whole, does not value feminine energies, and lest you confuse this with feminism, i am referring to the natural balance of energies upon which all life is sustained – feminine & masculine, in equal parts>>
I continue to experience surprise and delight as I read this century old book, this little charm perched between my knees, as I find it addresses this unusual notion!
…every human personality is two-sided, every man or woman is potentially both male and female….two fundamentally opposite and yet complementary tendencies. ~ A Life of One’s Own
At this point in my reading, I feel a familiarity with every word, all of them resonate with me, and I am certain I have reached the pinnacle of bliss when the author surprises me with her true genius; she decides to engage her feminine & masculine energies, simultaneously.
First, the author engages feminine energies by choosing to experience life through the natural flow of her senses…
Certainly, I had never suspected that the key to my private reality might lie in so simple a skill as the ability to let the senses roam unfettered by purposes. ~ A Life of One’s Own
…SIMULTANEOUSLY, the author engages masculine energies by seeking to reveal the facts of her sensorial experiences.
If I was to argue out for myself the best way to live…must I not begin with a clear understanding of the Universe? Since I was suspicious of my own power of reasoning…I decided to look at the facts of my own life…simply by observation and experiment. If it should turn out that happiness did not matter I should have a chance of finding out what was more important. ~ A Life of One’s Own
And her genius continues. The author is wise enough to question herself and her methods, while forging ahead into unknown waters.
I knew well that these questions of happiness were too personal to be caught in the precise formulae which science demanded, but…could I not learn to observe, make my own hypotheses and check them? ~ A Life of One’s Own
Two Minds + POSSIBILITIES
At this point, the author embarks upon her journey by writing her daily sensorial-experiences of life. YAWN. <<i imagine these readings will be tedious and boring and think to set the book aside… >>
But, I continue. Plus, I do as she did. I write. Free-flow. About my daily sensorial experiences. And…OMG.
I seemed to have two quite different selves, one which answered when I thought deliberately, another which answered when I let my thought be automatic…I discovered my automatic self might not hold the same views as my deliberate self…I had tried to make decisions without stopping to hear what my automatic self had to say, assuming my deliberate opinions were all that mattered, or even existed. ~ A Life of One’s Own
I have long known I have two minds in one brain and understand how each cognizes uniquely unto itself, without regard for the other, but what I did not fully understand is how different their belief systems are, how uniquely they feel about the same situation(s) in life, and how powerful each of their voices are, even though I am usually aware of only one of them!
<<i am quite adept at listening to my quiet mind, but not as adept as i thought…the free-flow writing experiences reveal beliefs and feelings in me that i did NOT know existed…it is freakin’ weird to read my non-stop blabbering and wonder ‘who is this inside me? why do i not know this voice?’>>
I do not have much time to concern myself with two very different minds because life begins to act upon me…due to my conscious effort of sensorially-experiencing every moment.
Life becomes an unexpected wonder!
…the effort of recording my experiences was having an influence on me…I was beginning to…seek ways of expressing occurrences which had before been lost in vagueness…and continually lit up new possibilities. ~ A Life of One’s Own
I wrote my thoughts freely without any attempt to control their direction…the act of writing was a plunge… I discovered I want a chance to play, to do things I choose just for the joy of doing, for no purpose of advancement. ~ A Life of One’s Own
My own free-flow writing begins to unfurl me and allows me to experience moments that are purely sensorial – full of wonder, innocence and joy. I recall one moment so powerful that I pause now to share the words that sprung to my mind as I witnessed the following photo of a friend’s sunrise, in North Dakota.
i inhale the tiny, fractional shifts of color which dance before my eyes…i feel the undercurrent of time…the ever-changing Presence of the present…joy without knowing…meaning without purpose…and me…making love…to this moment to moment to… ~ me
WIDE Focus, Please
The author’s experiences a very impactful moment in her journey, and I have long known what she discovered, yet I struggle daily to engage in this art.
I found that there were different ways of perceiving…there was a narrow focus…and there was a wide focus…it was the wide focus that made me happy. ~ A Life of One’s Own
This ‘wide focus’ does what all wide-lenses do, they allow the entire picture to come into focus…in order to experience a broader range of reality.
I had tried to live a masculine life of objective understanding and achievement…it seemed my masculine side, unwilling to let go its purposes, had not dared give in to receptiveness, for it feared the loss of its own identity…hence, the narrow focus…a feminine attitude to the universe is just as legitimate, intellectually and biologically, as a masculine one. ~ A Life of One’s Own
It is upon the discovery of a wide focus that the author’s words take on a different flavor. I notice her daily writings relax and deepen into each experience, with less worry about the outcome(s) of her experience.
Instead of trying to force myself into doing…I began to enquire into what I was doing…my interest gradually shifted from what to do with my life to how to look at it. ~ A Life of One’s Own
- What is my definition of Authenticity?
- What actions in my life are 100% authentic?
- What actions in my life are less than 50% authentic?
- Is there a correlating factor for these less than authentic actions?
- How difficult is it for me to leave the herd and ‘think a thunk’ for myself?
- What experiences bring me joy?
- Have I tried learning sensorially, and not through logical thought?
- If yes, did I learn/experience things previously unknown to me?
- Are my feminine and masculine energies balanced?
- <<if confused by the previous question, try searching online “how to balance my feminine and masculine”>>
- Do I have a practice in my life to calm the ‘daily-mind’ in order to hear quieter voice(s) within?
- If no, would free-flow writing help me discover these voices?
- How often do I feel wonder, innocence, rapture or joy?
- Are these moments bound to big events in my life, or can simple, daily situations bring about these experiences?
- HOW OFTEN DO I VIEW MYSELF AND THE WORLD WITH A WIDE FOCUS? <<i hope daily 🙂 >>