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Self-Cultivation through Authenticity

Here we are in the third week of April.  An April, like none other anyone alive now have ever experienced. 

How are you?  I mean, really, deep down, how are YOU? And, even underneath that…?

It’s about time for us to be Truthful.  

Feel what we feel, and not try to push anything away.  If you know me at all, you know I am a proponent for Authenticity. (It’s in the name of my business even) Yet. I find it difficult at times to tap into what’s truly mine, what’s real for me. 

So, where am I going with this?  My personal and professional theme for April has been Growth. Each of us is Growing in one way or another as we find new ways of operating, loving, and leading. 

To make the most of this growth cycle, we need to start telling the truth of where we are. What we are feeling (no judgments please) and verbalizing with vulnerability and authenticity to a safe circle/coach/friend some thoughts around “What’s our current Growth Edge?” And, to get there to tell the truth about where we are.

So where are you? 

We are such beautifully complex beings and our minds cannot keep up with the growth and changes as much as we’d like. 

So typically what happens is often when someone asks, “How are you?”, we respond in a way that is just off the top of our head, or with the words that are easy for us to say, or with concern about not wanting to add to any ‘negativity.’ Or, we don’t want to unload on this person believing they’re already going through enough (because goodness gracious, we need to think for them and feel for them as well)  Right?  Like, we don’t have enough going on just managing our own stuff! 

Or to put it another way, I don’t want to add to the negativity. I don’t want to add to another person’s shit. I don’t want to whine. I don’t want to feel what I am feeling and only want to concentrate on other’s feelings because it is easier to manage other’s shit than my own. 

Sound familiar?

Hmm. So, since we have a bit more time now to start really sitting with ourselves, what about really BEING with ourSelves? In Truth. Feeling ALL the feels. Noticing what’s going on in our hearts and bodies, not just our heads. 

And when we answer the question about how we’re doing, do you answer with, “Okay, I’m feeling grateful because I have food. I have work that I still get to do that I love and I have money in the bank. And I have a warm, cozy home. I’m really grateful.”

(It’s fine to be grateful, but what is under the gratitude? Because there is always more.)

Okay, great start! So now, what’s underneath that? If you go under the Gratitude, is there more? Yep, you bet, if we look for it. 

There might be some grief or sadness at this time because we don’t get to go out and be with people. We did not get to celebrate spring holidays that we traditionally do with our extended family in person. We might be missing being with our friends and/or hugging everyone like we normally do. Something we cannot do through a FaceTime or Zoom call. 

How can we fall back deeper down under what our mind is telling us we feel, or what our mind is telling us we should feel, or what the dizziness of our life is keeping us from feeling?

This is where I’m asking for you, for all of us, to begin a different way of Self-Cultivation. 

Self-Cultivation is beyond self-care. It’s deeper than that. Cultivation means creating the fertile soil or foundation that nourishes and allows for a living organism to grow and flower with more blooms and stronger stems than if you planted it in poor soil, without the sunlight, or enough water. 

And when you plant a seed in really rich humus or compost-enriched soil and provide the right sunlight, the right spacing so that it has room to grow and the right amount of water, It will thrive. 

So, in our own Self-Cultivation, to allow for optimum growth and resilience, what structure do you have in place? 

This means creating the space, and the grace, to grow and expand in ways that we aren’t even sure of yet. 

We do know that we need to breathe in a deeper way, we know we need to practice opening our hearts and minds, more and more. Open our eyes wider to allow our vision to expand as well. 

And, beyond that, to open into our Innate Wisdom, and Trust in ourSelves. Along with the universe, or the divine plan that is unfolding. 

So what are your Self-Cultivation practices? What are you doing for yourself to tap into your Center, your place of power, the seat of your creativity?  This is key. 

Some practices that I’ve been putting into place are:

  • First thing in the morning, I make lemon tea, a full cup of hot water with a couple of slices of ginger and a half a lemon squeezed into it. Then, I sit down with my planner before I do anything else. 
  • As I plan, l ask myself how I want to f e e l. This allows me to make choices, and to come up with things that will nourish me so that my thoughts will flow in the direction of whatever project that I’m working on. 
  • I also tap into what does my body want and need, what are my wellness practices for the day?
  • Then, asking and writing, what do I want to do for my divine self today? In growing and cultivating my relationship with Spirit… 
  • And what do I want to do, emotionally and heart-wise, to reach out to people beyond the intellectual pieces of what needs to be done for work?
  • And any other “needs to be done” stuff too –  complete taxes, clean the house, work in the garden.

Are you up for a challenge? What are your Self-Cultivation practices? Would you be willing to share them with the community? Do you start your day with a ritual? A routine? 

In speaking with a dear friend yesterday at our zoom coffee meeting, we came up with the idea and commitment to create some structure to allow for open inspired creativity to flow.

In a myriad of ways, we are all being called to grow and expand now. And these new fragile seedlings all need to be supported and nourished. Are you preparing your soil to plant the seeds?  Into the right environment, with enough space to allow what wants to come through us to come through? 

That may look like silence and solitude for a part of the day. 

It might look like sitting still and looking out the window. 

It might look like spending hours in the garden weeding and planting.

Everyone gets their thoughts and inspiration in different ways. 

Sometimes it is sitting still.

But in each case, it is a softening of your mind. Easing into your space. Simple. 

I know I get about half of my ideas by being still in contemplation, and allowing and creating the open space. But the other half come from when I’m doing what my grandmother would call “putzing.”  Others get their ideas in the shower, or driving or doing dishes.

Last thing, and definitely not least, is finding time to laugh, to play, to be silly. To make funny sounds in your mouth and to sing out loud and not care if it’s in tune or not. And adding something that makes you laugh, whether it’s watching comedy, or it’s tuning in to some of your favorite podcasts or music channels, whatever cultivates Joy in you. 

So often we have been taught to be quiet – as children, as women. There is something to be said about being able to express ourselves. A reset. See if you can give it noise, a sound, and allow that to come forth. Our anxiety, collective trauma, needs a voice. It’s probably going to come out in strange ways – so why not a strange noise. Sing in the car. Scream. Yell. Let it all out.

Let’s come back home to what’s real for you. 

How can you support your Lightness of Being? To be truthful and authentic? Add that to your Self-Cultivation practices.

So these are my musings and seeds of wisdom for this month. And I truly wish that this time is providing you solitude and space for Self-Cultivation and Authenticity to enable further growth.

Take excellent care. 

About Deborah LeeAnn

Looking to create impact as a spiritual and confident Leader? With Embodied Presence and Integral Development, we’ll illuminate your brilliance, ignite your vision, and inspire change by blending neuroscience, somatic exercises and transformational leadership development. Deborah LeeAnn Embodied Leadership Guide Deborah@DeborahLeeAnn.com