MATEO SOL: “12 Signs You’ve Lost Your Authenticity and Are ‘Selling Out'”

Authenticity is a big buzzword these days.

“Be more authentic,” “honor your authenticity,” “find your authentic self” — we hear these phrases scattered all over the internet and spoken about everywhere.

But what does being authentic mean? And most importantly, how can we tell when we’re being inauthentic — also known as “selling out”?

What is Authenticity?

Authenticity is the state of simply being yourself, listening to who you really are, and making decisions that align with your beliefs and values. Authenticity at its core is about deeply accepting all that is ‘you’ and honoring it above ALL else.

What is Inauthenticity (i.e. Selling Out)?

Inauthenticity, on the other hand, is about placing external things above your genuine values, needs, dreams, and artistic vision. When we ‘sell ourselves out’ we are essentially placing all of the most important parts of ourselves up for auction. Instead of making decisions based on our genuine beliefs, values, and personal style, we make decisions based on how much money, attention, fame, or acceptance we will gain from other people.

Examples of Authenticity vs. Inauthenticity

Sometimes reading examples helps to flesh out abstract concepts like authenticity. Here are a few examples taken from real life:

An artist has been contacted by a large publishing agency. They would like to mass produce her art but on the one condition that she change the titles and descriptions. Deep down, the artist knows that the titles and descriptions of her art are intrinsic to her work. She refuses the publishing agencies offer. She has made an authentic choice.

A father sees how gifted at writing his teenage son is. But instead of encouraging his son to pursue a career in writing, the father pressures his son to study business and accounting because it is the “safe” choice. The son then dutifully studies business and accounting in university. Both father and son have made inauthentic decisions.

A life coach who specializes in online mentoring wants to grow her business. In order to get more clients, she focuses solely on what is trendy and popular and writes/talks about those topics. She begins to lose touch with her original vision. She has become inauthentic.

A company is pressured by investors and shareholders to change its philosophy in order to be more “hip,” appeal to the new generation and make more profit. The company refuses to compromise their philosophy. They have made an authentic decision.

12 Signs You’ve Lost Your Authenticity and Are Selling Out

We are not perfect people. Perfection is an illusion. Therefore, it is guaranteed that at some point in your life, you will make an inauthentic decision that compromises your values, vision, or beliefs. It’s just part of being human!

Although we can’t be perfect, we can strive to be more conscious. Self-awareness and honesty are the two key qualities we need to prevent ourselves from slipping into bad choices.

If you’re concerned that you might be “selling out,” read the signs below. They will help to either confirm or challenge your feelings:

  • Your top priority is making bucket loads of money

  • You’re obsessed with getting new followers, fans or subscribers (e.g. on social media)

  • You let others make decisions for you

  • You let others dictate who you are + who you ‘should’ be

  • You follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing

  • You always follow trends even if they don’t make sense to you

  • You reveal only what makes you look good

  • You copy other people and their style/lifestyle

  • You ignore your gut feelings and intuition

  • You wear a mask around others
    You’re scared to be vulnerable and express your true feelings, thoughts, or values (which may be unpopular)

  • You make decisions based on how much attention, fame, money or acceptance you’ll receive rather than your genuine beliefs, values, or vision

Take a few thoughtful moments to make a serious assessment of the list above. Evaluate each point with an honest heart.

How many can you relate to?

How to Stop Selling Out

 

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

~B. Brown

 

I want to make a clear distinction here. There is a difference between selling yourself and selling out.

Selling yourself, in business and career fields, is about highlighting your genuine strengths and gifts, and offering those to the world. Selling out, on the other hand, is about compromising your personal integrity and letting external things drive you instead of internal qualities.

Also, not everyone has the liberty of making authentic decisions — but I want to emphasize that these situations are literally survival situations. For example, if a small business owner from an impoverished country was approached by a wealthy businessman who wanted to invest in and change his company, do you think it would be smart to decline? In certain environments and situations, making choices that go against our creative vision is essential in order to survive. But if you’re blessed to live in more fortunate circumstances where you’re not literally faced with starvation or anything else equally serious, then making authentic decisions is an intelligent way to live life.

Why is being authentic intelligent? Because you are listening to your heart and nurturing your soul. Money, fame, adoration, and approval from others will quench your ego’s need for safety and control — but that only lasts for so long. Soon, you will be left with a big, empty, gaping hole inside. The true joy, inner peace, and fulfillment come when you are living your truth and putting your essence out into the world.

So how do you let your essence — your passions, perspectives, and values — guide you? Here are some ideas; many of which I have discovered across my own authenticity journey:

1. Pay attention to how the decisions you make feel physically. Do you feel uncomfortable, heavy or dark sensations? Or does your body feel light and energized? Unlike the mind, the body cannot lie. Your body is the best lie detector out there. If you are about to make a decision that does not align with your values, your body will immediately feel and express that. Pay attention to warning signs such as heaviness in the heart area, tensed muscles, lightheadedness, cold shivers, and even physical cringing. Your physical warning signs will be unique to you (and can’t all be listed here), so search for them diligently.

2. Get your priorities straight. At the end of the day, what will TRULY fulfill you? Think about this question very carefully. Will you ultimately be happy with truckloads of followers, clients, money, or a lavish lifestyle, without feeling like you’ve stayed true to yourself? Money is important, don’t get me wrong. But how much money do you actually need in order to be happy and feel fulfilled? You might also like to explore what your main driving forces are: are you driven by power, success, fame, wealth or your individual and unique style, talents, passions, visions, and desires to make an impact? Focus on nailing down your main motivating force and ask yourself, “Is this healthy? Is this aligned with who I truly am?”

3. Explore inauthentic areas in your life. Intentionally carve out time and space to assess your life – that might even mean just sitting here as you’re reading this article and doing a bit of quiet reflecting. Think about areas in your life that you’re unhappy with. Have you lost your authentic voice in that area … or is the issue something else altogether? This process takes honesty. Write down every choice, commitment, and behavior that feels out of alignment with your deepest passions, perspectives, and values.

4. Make the hard choices. Once you’ve identified the inauthentic areas of your life, it’s time to act. You will need to carve out a plan — possibly multiple plans — to regain a sense of personal integrity. Ask yourself questions such as, “What must absolutely go and what can stay?” “What is true to me and what is false?” “What options do I have?” “What is the potential loss and gain in this situation?” “What is the best scenario and worst scenario?” “What is my plan A and plan B?” “What am I clinging to for dear life?” Use a tool like journaling to help you get out your thoughts, feelings, and plans in a coherent, organized, and structured way.

5. Integrate the experience with self-compassion. Once you have made the necessary change, it’s time for reflection. How did it feel to make such big (or small) changes? What parts of you felt threatened? What did you find it easy to let go of and difficult to surrender? How does it feel to walk your own genuine path? How can you avoid making inauthentic decisions in the future? These are all the kind of vital questions you’ll benefit from asking and exploring. Most importantly, integration is about accepting our humanness and all the frailty that comes along with it. Embrace your mistakes, forgive yourself, and let your hard-earned lessons make you stronger and wiser.

In this loud, confusing, and overwhelming world, it can be easy to slip into the role of selling out your integrity and authenticity to gain power, fame, or money. We are bombarded with messages from the media, social media, our colleagues, and even our friends and family members to be anything other than what we are. But in order to live fulfilled and soul-driven lives, we need to put a firm foot down. We need to learn when to say “no” and forcefully draw the line and protect our integrity.

I hope this article has inspired you to preserve your artistic vision, inner values, or deeply held passions. What makes life beautiful is how unique and varied it is. I hope you share your own unique flavor of authenticity with the world!

What is your experience with selling out? Do you have any tips to share surrounding integrity and authenticity?

Finally, I’ll leave you with a final quote. Tell me in the comments, do you agree or disagree with this statement below?

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”

~Andre Gide

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

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LIVE BOLD & BLOOM: “12 Of The Most Important Values To Live By”

What values are important to a life well-lived?

What do you want to be known for? What qualities do you admire in others and work to cultivate in yourself?

And how do those qualities reflect your core beliefs?

Your life values are those that, once you identify them, help you with decision-making and provide the building blocks for your character — specifically the one you want to have.

For example, if one of your top value in life is courage, you’ll likely seek out new challenges so you can act in spite of the fear that comes when you’re faced with the possibility of failure or rejection.

And if forgiveness has recently become one of your values to live by, you’ll want to remind yourself of your new commitment when you’re about to spend time with someone who has hurt you in the past.

But what is the point of identifying your values, and how do they contribute to your growth and happiness?

To answer this question, we’re exploring 12 of the most important values in life and showing how they influence everything you do.

But before we do that, it makes sense to explain what values are in the first place.

What Are Values in Life?

Values are about what you consider important to the life you want to live. They inform your priorities and, when practiced consistently, form the character you want to have.

They’re rooted in your core beliefs about what makes for a life well-lived and about the behavior you want to model for others (including children if you have them).

Shared values are the basis for a common code – a value-based compass – that speeds up decision-making and unites those who share that code.

By expressing those values, the common code articulates different aspects of the shared mission and becomes the key motivator for those who share it.

You can take each of the following examples of values in life to create a code or motto that motivates you to practice that value every day, so it will become second nature when it’s most needed.

12 Most Important Values To Life By

 

1. Courage

Courage is about doing what you believe needs to be done — not in the absence of fear but in spite of it.

You might feel disinclined to offer a genuine apology out of fear that the other will reject it, but courage will help you apologize anyway, because it’s the right thing to do, out of respect for the one you hurt or offended. Whether they accept your apology or not is their business.

Courage requires a step outside of your comfort zone. If you have no fear, you don’t need courage, but when something you know you have to do makes you feel sick inside, courage is what makes you do that thing anyway.

Courage code: “I do what needs to be done, even if fear comes along for the ride.”

2. Kindness

Kindness is about treating others the way you want to be treated.

It’s more than just holding your tongue when you’re tempted to say something unkind; kindness looks for ways to make life better for others. It takes delight in lifting others up and reminding them they’re not alone, invisible, or insignificant.

Kindness and compassion are closely related; the latter involves the readiness to see a situation from someone else’s perspective and to give them the benefit of the doubt. It also takes into consideration what the other person has gone through and chooses to respond with kindness rather than anger or vengefulness.

Both demonstrate at least a subliminal appreciation for the connectedness of all living beings; when you show kindness and compassion to others, you benefit (at least) as much as they do.

Kindness to yourself is also important, and it’s the basis for self-care. Don’t forget to be as kind to yourself as you want others to be.

Schedule time each day for reasonable and thoughtful self-care, and practice mindfulness to be fully present for it. In practicing kindness to yourself, you also make yourself better able to render kindness to others.

Kindness code: “I treat others as I want to be treated — with thoughtfulness, patience, and respect.”

3. Patience

When someone is pushing your buttons, taking your time or attention away from something you want to finish, or making your life harder in some way, you practice patience by putting yourself in the others’ shoes, trying to see the situation from their perspective, and responding with kindness and respect.

No one wants to be treated like an inconvenience or a burden, and sometimes your priorities have to change to make room for something (or someone) more important or more likely to help you grow.

Patience code: “No matter how I feel when someone interrupts me or gets in my way, I always treat them with the same patience I hope for from others when necessity compels me to interrupt them or get in their way.”

4. Integrity

Integrity is about acting and speaking in accordance with your beliefs.

If you say one thing but do the opposite, witnesses to this contradiction aren’t likely to recognize you as a person of integrity. They’re more likely to accuse you of hypocrisy.

Though you may not be fully conscious of the disagreement between your words and actions, if you believe one thing but your actions profess a contradictory belief, you might feel a growing unease and unhappiness with the way you’re acting.

It doesn’t feel right. And you’re faced with a choice: either change your belief, or change your actions.

Integrity code: “What I believe is made clear by what I say and do.”

5. Gratitude / Appreciation

When gratitude is a core belief, you make time for it every day. You prioritize both feeling gratitude and expressing it — in your thoughts, in the words you speak or write, and in your attitude and actions.

You might create the habit of writing a daily gratitude list. And if you recognize the importance of emotion to the fullest experience of gratitude, you’ll likewise place a high value on a daily mindfulness practice.

Showing appreciation to others for their words and actions is also essential to making this a core value. Just as you appreciate it when others thank you for a job well done, for a thoughtful gift, or for rendering the help they needed, others appreciate that recognition too.

And far too often, we act as though others must already know how much we appreciate them. Don’t assume that they do; make sure of it.

Gratitude code: “In the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, I feel and express gratitude for the good things in my life. And I make sure everyone who has done something good for me knows I appreciate them for it.”

6. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is about letting go of anger and resentment toward those who have hurt or offended you.

You’re not saying what they did was okay or not a big deal; you’re acknowledging that what they did was hurtful but choosing to forgive them in order to be free of the anger and resentment (toward them) that are making you miserable.

In forgiving them, you take back your power and choose happiness and peace of soul for yourself, even if the one who hurt you has never shown the slightest hint of remorse.

Everyone has a capacity for forgiveness — just as everyone has the capacity to hurt others with their words and actions — but not everyone has cultivated a habit of forgiveness.

We learn to be more forgiving by forgiving more. If you write morning pages, add a short list of people you forgive, adding what you forgive them for and something you appreciate about each person.

Forgiveness code: “I forgive those who have hurt me, because I know I’ve made mistakes and hurt people, too, and I want to be free of this anger and resentment. I choose freedom, and I choose to genuinely want (and work for) the good of those who’ve hurt me.”

7. Love

Love sees the good in everyone, and it wants good things for them. You may not always know what’s best for someone else, but if you love them, you want their ultimate happiness, and you want to see them grow.

You recognize that no one reaches adulthood with their character fixed and unchangeable; we’re all a work in progress. Things your 20-year-old self would say might appall your 40-year-old self. It’s part of being human if you’re a human that continues to grow.

Did someone you love do terrible things in their 20’s or 30’s — things they would never do now (in their mid-40’s)?

Forgive them for not knowing better before they learned whatever stopped them from doing those terrible things. And forgive yourself for not knowing that human beings are all capable of terrible things — just as we’re also capable of growth.

When you love someone, you don’t base that love on the kind of person they were ten or twenty years ago, or on the person, you hope they become or that you wish they were. Your love tells them, “You are enough — just as you are today.”

You recognize that their beliefs and behavior may change as they grow, but since your love doesn’t depend on what they believe or on whether you agree on everything, your love doesn’t lessen with time and with the challenges those changes bring.

Love code: “I love with both passion and understanding; real love is wide awake.”

8. Growth

If growth is one of your core values, you look for opportunities to grow as a person and to help others grow, too.

You take the time to identify your values and your overall mission, so you can live in accordance with it and become more and more the person you have to be in order to fulfill your mission.

You know that growth isn’t a destination but a process, and you want to enjoy that process and help others to enjoy their own.

You might take an interest in coaching or in group growth opportunities, where members support and encourage each other. You recognize true and wholehearted collaboration as an asset and a growth facilitator, and you prioritize growth over comfort and security.

Real growth might mean shaking things up at home or at work, but the more committed you are to your growth and to that of those you care about, the less you mind rocking the boat.

Growth code: “Every day, I’m growing more into the person I want to be.”

9. Listening

If active listening is a core value for you, you value others’ input and invest time and energy in learning how to see things from their perspectives.

So, it makes sense that when someone wants to tell you something, you give them your full attention and thoughtfully consider their words.

Whereas before you felt tense with the expectation of having to defend your beliefs against an unfriendly viewpoint, you’ve learned (through practice) to listen with genuine openness rather than an ego-centric fear of being proven wrong.

You recognize that you don’t know everything, and you don’t see even familiar things from every angle, so you appreciate it when others share their perspectives. And your body language as well as your feedback shows them you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say.

Listening code: “I listen to others with my full attention, so I can learn from them and show thoughtful consideration for their ideas.”

10. Respect

If you want to be known for treating all human (or living) beings with respect, you probably base that respect on something more fundamental than someone’s rank or social status.

Otherwise, why would you consider it a priority to treat all humans with equal respect — regardless of their age, income, or background?

Or why would you put more energy into making sure the least exalted among you is treated with respect than into making sure others treat you with the same consideration.

It doesn’t mean you don’t consider yourself equally worthy of respect, but you find it easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes, so in making sure they feel respected, you feel more respected, too.

Respect code: “I treat all living beings with the same respect with which I like to be treated.”

11. Self-Giving

Another word for self-giving is sacrifice, but self-giving has a more positive connotation. Essentially, you’re giving of yourself — your time, your attention, your energy, your treasure, your abilities — to help or enrich another.

Real love doesn’t hesitate to give of itself until it hurts, knowing that the momentary pain is nothing compared to the benefit won by that self-giving.

The word “selfless” implies that someone has given so much of themselves, they’ve reserved nothing for their own use or enjoyment, but in giving yourself — if you give out of love — your joy is in what that gift brings to others.

Self-giving can be overdone but only when the motive is pride (or insecurity) rather than love.

Self-giving code: “I give of myself to others not only to connect with them but to acknowledge our connectedness. What I give to them, I also receive.”

12. Vision

You may be used to talking about vision in the context of a specific person’s “vision for the future,” but the larger sense of vision is not something that you own or that comes from you; it comes through you and inspires you and others.

Because the larger vision isn’t confined to your ego, the power of that vision is free to attract, illuminate, and flow through you.

Your vision is connected to one that is infinite and uncontainable — you do not exist to serve yourself at the expense of others; you exist to cooperate with others in the creation of a community that benefits all living creatures.

Your personal vision — what you see as your response to the larger vision — informs your personal mission and the process by which you live out that mission.

It’s not about the lifestyle you want or the things you’ll have when you’re “successful.” It has more to do with allowing yourself to be led by the greater vision through your personal links to it — your intuition and inner wisdom.

Vision code: “I live according to a vision guided by my inner wisdom and judgment.”

Now, it’s your turn.

What are your values? And what will you do today to put one (or more) of them into practice?

One small action today makes more of a difference than you probably realize.

Think of each small action as a seed you plant that, as long as you nurture it along the way, grows into a healthy tree with roots and branches, shedding seeds of its own.

Your values are the life in every seed you plant. Choose the best values, and make them part of your blueprint for personal growth.

And may your courage and passion for growth influence everything you do today.

 

~via LiveBoldandBloom.com

ANNA LEMIND: “Your Cat Can See Things That Are Invisible To You”

Cats are considered by many as symbols of mysticism because of their elegant and flexible body, as well as their gaze that can “magnetize” anyone…

Indeed, as recent scientific data show, there is another reason why cats have a title of ‘mysterious’ creatures. It’s all because cats see things we cannot see with our eyes!

Cats, like some other animals, have the ability to see psychedelic stripes on flowers or fancy patterns on the wings of birds, which are invisible to human vision.

The secret behind the super vision of our four-legged friends is the UV light. According to a recent study cats, as well as dogs and other animals, can perceive this type of light which humans can’t.

“There are plenty of things that reflect UV radiation, which some sensitive animals are able to see, while we are not,” said Ronald Douglas, professor of biology of the City University of London and co-author of the study. “For example, these may be certain patterns on flowers that show where the nectar is, or traces of urine of an animal. Also, reindeer can and see polar bears as the snow reflects UV radiation, while white fur does not.”

Therefore, cats, dogs and reindeer can detect with their eyes animals with white fur, while most people will only see… white snow.

Douglas, who specializes in optics, and Glen Jeffery, professor of neuroscience of the University College London, argue that cats, dogs, hedgehogs, rodents, bats, weasels and the okapis can detect significant levels of ultraviolet radiation.

“For decades, we have known that many invertebrates such as bees see ultraviolet light,” continued Douglas, saying that even birds, fish and some reptiles were recently added to the same list.

“However, scientists believed that most mammals cannot see ultraviolet light because they have no visual pigment with maximum sensitivity to ultraviolet light, but instead have lenses like those of humans, preventing ultraviolet light from penetrating into the retina,” he said.

The professor explained that the visual pigments are those that absorb light and turn it into electrical activity, which, in turn, is transmitted through nerve cells. It seems that it is not always necessary for sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation. Instead, transparent parts of the eye such as the cornea and the crystalline lens in some animals transmit wavelengths of ultraviolet light.

This ability allows more light to pass to the retina, “something that would be very useful for a nocturnal cat“, he continued.

It could also explain why cats show so much interest to ordinary objects, such as a piece of paper. Sometimes chemical substances are added to paper, textiles, laundry detergents, shampoos and cosmetics in order to make objects look brighter. Once these optical brighteners absorb the ultraviolet light, they may look differently in the eyes of animals that are sensitive to UV rays.

Some people, for example, those who have undergone cataract surgery, also can see some of the UV light, but most cannot.

“We all know that ultraviolet radiation can be harmful,” said Jeffery in Discovery News. “I work a lot in the Arctic, where the UV radiation levels are too high as there is much snow and ice. The surfaces reflect 90% of UV radiation, with the result that animals are exposed to it. If you do not wear goggles, your eyes will hurt within the first 15 minutes.”

However, studies on reindeer have shown that repeated exposure to ultraviolet light does not bother them at all.

It is possible that cats, deer and some other animals that can detect UV rays have a protective mechanism. Also, scientists believe that UV light tends to create more blur.

“Humans are good at one thing: they can see more details,” added Douglas and concluded:

“Maybe that’s why we have a lens that ‘blocks’ ultraviolet light. If you do not have it, the world might appear more blurred.”

 

 

~via BodyMindSoulSpirit.com

CHRISTINA SARICH: “A Wise Sage Reveals the Practical Truth About Your Third Eye”

Third Eye Pineal Gland

There are countless descriptions of the powers of the pineal to transport us into other realms, but perhaps no other explanation is as clear and concise as that offered by Jaggi Vasudev, commonly known as Sadhguru, the Indian yogi, and mystic.

This wise teacher tells us that the mysteries of the pineal are found beyond its physical location in the body. He explains that we can believe in peace, but true ecstatic union with the Divine can only happen through the pathless path – that is a transcendence of the physical reality which we currently are experiencing.

“This is a dialectical culture. You don’t take these things literally, logically. You need to always read behind it…. The third eye is not a physical thing. It is just that if you’re energies reach a certain peak within you, you have a new clarity of vision of  life. You see everything from a completely different dimension.” – Sadhguru

Sadhguru discriminates between the myth of the God, Shiva, who will open his third eye, and see the entire Universe, clearly for what it is, or destroy it by burning it all up with an awakened power, and the actual reality which this story represents to any seeker of an opened third eye. He describes the ‘dialectic culture’ from which this story originates, and says that it has been confused by a literal translation.

When we remove the distortion of the story, it is similar to eradicating the distortion of our experience which is also so badly slanted towards egoic, physical fixation, such that we cannot see ourselves, and our world as other, more enlightened individuals may from ‘other realms’ of consciousness.

As Sadhguru has said meditation cleans the flashlight so that our third eye can function as it should:

“Intelligence is like a flashlight. If you flash it, it’ll just show you what’s in front. Knowledge is like a projector; if you switch it on, it projects its own story. Now, if you came with a flashlight and you flash it on these paintings here, you will see the paintings just the way they are. If you came with the projector, which also has light in it, and you turned it on; you don’t see the paintings. You will see something else, maybe Jackie Chan fighting. That’s the difference between knowledge and intelligence.”

Sadhguru further explains:

Now, the moment your intelligence gets entangled with identifications, it is all screwed up. It doesn’t show you things the way they are. It’ll distort everything. Knowledge means a certain accumulation. In that sense, knowledge is an impediment, but if you see things the way they are, that is not an impediment. That is the only way you can walk clearly.

When you become meditative, you will see, your intellectual capabilities will increase many times more than what it is right now. Not because meditation makes you intelligent, but because meditation clears up the mess, the muck that’s gathered on the glass of the flashlight. As your meditation deepens, it just clears up the muck more and more and the flashlight becomes more and more powerful. It shows you things more and more clearly.”

Meditation allows the pineal, the third eye, to truly SEE. He explains exactly how this process works in this video:

WakingTimes.com