There are so many quotes I love about living an authentic life.
“You do you.” (My son laid that one on me a little while ago. It was intense. Wisdom comes at all ages.)
“Be the best you that you can be.”
Liza Minelli said:
“I would rather present a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of Mama.”
Quote above the Temple of Apollo at Delphi”
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”
*My comment on this is: if you realize you ARE enough, you are truly rich.
And here is one by a more modern day philosopher:
“If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know your nature. If you don’t know your nature, you don’t know where to exist. By knowing your nature, knowing yourself, you know what to be and how to live. And that only comes from knowledge of self, knowing yourself.”
AND to quote The Who:
“ Who are you? Who the fuck are you?”
How long does it take to know yourself?
Which would you choose?
What DOES it take to know ourselves?
Do we really want to know?
I can only answer that question for myself.
What it has taken for me and what it may take for you may be VERY different.
We invent ourselves depending on our circumstances and the road we are traveling.
We also reinvent ourselves when we see that “persona” isn’t getting as much attention as it once did; or none at all.
We morph ourselves into what we THINK or believe is needed for our job, our relationships, and our social media.
What if everyone was BRAVE enough to drop the pretense, drop what you THINK others want and just be ourselves?
First, do we have any idea who we are?
What really makes us tick?
What are our strengths, our weaknesses?
Are we willing to even admit that we have weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, foibles, flaws (both internally and externally), shortcomings and imperfections?
We are very happy to reveal the GREAT things about ourselves and our lives, but what about the not-so-great things?
In your life and your chosen profession, career, or art there will ALWAYS be someone who is better looking, more accomplished and more talented than you; AND there will ALWAYS be someone who is not as good looking, less accomplished and less talented than you.
That is just life.
We have put ourselves under so much pressure, to look a certain way, feel a certain way, to make sure we present ourselves in a certain light to others, AND not to age.
Ok, if you aren’t a nice or good person, and you are WILLING to admit that, then there is some work that has to be done BEFORE you can be on the way to self-discovery.
It is a part of self-discovery to admit you are a flawed or a difficult person, BUT the real you and the good you IS in there. It may be covered up in pain, hurt, anger and feeling devalued.
BUT IT IS IN THERE!
PLUS, the concept that anyone can be calm, cool and collected all the time isn’t reality.
I have seen the most self-actualized, present, and focused person lose it.
We have emotions.
Many of us have A LOT of emotions.
There is nothing wrong with emotions. It’s when those emotions control you, and detour you from living a more healthy life, that we need to examine them.
Is happy all the time possible?
Is it even healthy?
I don’t believe it is.
Insisting on happy all the time is denying the ups and downs of life. It is unsustainable.
We ALL have ups and downs, ALL of us.
Look at all of our great leaders; especially the non-violent leaders.
You still see pain, frustration, and anger.
However, it is how they managed it and what they knew about themselves.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, (and still today The Dalai Lama) they all had really, REALLY horrific days when they were working for justice and equality.
They suffered and they knew they were suffering.
They didn’t wallow in it. They took action over themselves and that stood as examples for others.
We allow our external world to dictate how happy, talented, intelligent, attractive, fit or valuable we are.
As for me, I have to call Bullshit on that.
SIDEBAR: Let’s get this right out in the open.
My nearest and dearest know this about me and don’t judge me. I have been afraid to show this side of me to the general public.
This is my new dedication to me being me.
You might be saying in this day and age "SO WHAT? We all do. Everybody does in his or her writing and videos."
I'm not everybody.
I was born in a time where it was not as acceptable or common-place.
I was taught that intelligent people don't swear.
WELLLL, I hate to disagree but some of the most brilliant people I know have been known to toss around a profanity, or two...or three.
It is powerful and sometimes really important for emphasis. That is me, and I trust you are ok with that.
If not, that’s fine but that’s not going to change ME!
I don’t pepper every sentence with profanity but I use it optimally.
If it is against your religion or your beliefs to swear or read anything containing profanity, I respect that. (And don’t read on.)
It’s just not me.
That is one of the acceptances of my authenticity.
I was so concerned that I would be judged as a meditation teacher or teacher, of any kind if I used profanity when I felt it was crucial. As they say “I’m over it”. (Let me clarify: unless I am teaching youth. I know the boundaries.)
Have you seen Osho’s video on the work f#@!? Oh, forget it...fuck...there I said it! It’s hilarious and a great lesson. If you aren’t familiar with Osho, Google him. He has wonderful present-day insights on life, mindfulness and the Science of Inner Being. He is not perfect and he knows it. He makes no pretense. Like him, don’t like him, it’s your choice. Isn’t that WONDERFUL!??!! Isn’t that LIBERATING??!!!
Another topic I want to introduce is what I call PRO-AGING.
Why are we so against aging???
If we are really fortunate we will all age, because there is only one alternative to aging.
My grandfather would say every year on his birthday: “I’d rather be having a birthday, than not”. Sadly, He is no longer having them.
Embrace your age. With age does come wisdom, experience, knowledge and insight, if we allow it.
With age also comes laugh lines. I prefer those to frown lines.
Here is what my authentic self is going to talk about in my upcoming posts:
Making meditation part of your daily life. It's easier than you think and most likely you are already doing it.
My journey teaching in juvenile justice and excerpts from my book and screenplay.
My current and former creative and artistic influences.
What got us where we are today?
Watch as I learn to play new percussion instruments. Join in with me!
The hilarity and frustration - mostly hilarity - of learning new languages.
My world travels with my husband. YES, he will finally peak out his head. He’s a bit social media shy.
Our Zen Master Chihuahua service dog. Yes, he's a REAL, trained service dog. My staunch advocacy FOR real service dogs and against fake service animals and support animals.
How I got over my vanity and ego and let my hair go silver. (By the way, I LOVE IT!)
The strange and bizarre things that shape who we are.
Having a healthy marriage later in life. Living and breathing those wedding vows.
Ideas to keep your mind and body healthy at any age.
Dealing with the death of a parent.
Dealing with the death of a beloved pet.
Having friends of all ages. (My friends, I am lucky to say, are between the ages of 19 and 90!)
Lessons learned, what we are learning, and what we are looking to learn.
Excerpts from my comedy film screenplay. First, it was a sitcom, then Hollywood got their hands on it and it took a detour into a reality series (that was paddled over a cliff), and now it's a comedy film.
Let’s talk mental health. Releasing the taboo. Did you know that one in four people deal with a mental health issue? That means someone in your life is experiencing the challenge.
Feel free to write in with suggestions, questions, and ideas for posts. IF it is a part of my life, I will write about it. If it isn't, I may still write about it!
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As always, THANKS FOR READING!
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Award-winning singer, TV producer & actor. Former stunt person, professional water skier, circus artist, choreographer, stage director, artistic director, cinema owner, restauranteur, fitness center co-owner and all around busy person! Published writer & songwriter. KaZ uses voice, movement & rhythm to bring a new twist to meditation.