Wouldn't it be good if in one list you could get all the answers to life? I often think that if I write enough lists then I might just crack the code. Other times I write myself silly lists of solutions as affirmation to myself that I'm on track, and to remind myself that everything for a good life is within my grasp.
Here is a list of my top authenticity tips accurate on the 22nd October 2014 (until superseded by something else at an unspecified date that might be next hour, or next year). I thought I'd share it with you ;)
1. Get outdoors in the natural world more.
Being outdoors only ever makes me feel better. I might feel tired in my body, but I always feel rested in my core. My authentic means getting away from the urban landscape, and I know this isn't for everyone, but I still think a reconnection with real nature is part of our essence as high-functioning animals. If you can’t get out? Turn off all the lights tonight and watch a nature documentary. It reassures you that Life. Goes. On. Regardless.
2. Don’t spend as long on social media as you do.
This is a lesson I learn and relearn weekly, caught between the desire to be amongst it, and afraid of being enslaved by it. Speak to your people, send out a few links, make a bit of positive noise, and then go and touch a real book, re-pot a real plant, look someone real in the eye for a moment. Pinterest should only even be indulged in at the very zenith of your good-mood cycle. Never if there is a whiff of despondency in your heart. It does no good to see what you could have if you weren't so busy browsing for it.
3. Tell someone you love them and value them. Show them.
Why not make it someone you admire from afar? Someone who you just know could do with hearing it? And absolutely don’t do what I did: forget a dear friend’s birthday. It’s not forgiveable. It’s not cool, and it’s not excusable. If you’re too busy to remember the people around you then you have done something very wrong. Lesson learnt the hard way. This is the fastest route to unauthentic living.
4. Listen to the news once and then turn off the news.
Listening once will keep you rooted in your world. Listening once will be the reminder you need that you have it good. Listening once will make you grateful that you haven’t died in an epidemic, had your house destroyed by a hurricane or had everything you own burn down. Listening once will motivate you to do good, to be good and to create more good in the world.
Listening more than once, say 15 times, will do you damage. Listening on the hour, every hour and allowing the constant twitter stream pass your eyes, will make you feel more guilt and inertia than you know what to do with. Listening over and over will bring you despair and not hope, and the only people who win are the newsmakers. Listen. Act. Turn off. Do good.
5. Only allow in what nourishes, only let out what nourishes.
Be open to the people that inspire you. Open your heart to them and interact with them. Ask them for help, for support, for advice. And then give back in equal measures or more. Curate your life such that you only allow in the things that make a positive difference. If that person humble-bragging the whole time stresses you, then politely move away. Here’s a tip: don’t ever read a mainstream women’s magazine again. I stopped years ago and it was a wonderful decision for my self-esteem. We’re actually friends now. One of the best decisions I've ever made.
6. Make something.
Goodness me, make anything. Make a mess, make a pie, make a cake, make a handbag, make a doodle, make a self-portrait, make a line of best fit, make a noise into the silence, make a painting, a weaving, a pinch pot, a funny bird out of blu tac…if it’s rubbish who cares. At least you tried. And trying counts for everything if you ask me (which you sort of did because you chose to read this post!)