In search of authenticity

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol of wholeness. The imagery of the circle and spiral combine into a meandering but purposeful journey.  The Labyrinth represents a journey or path to our own center and back again out into the world.

Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. When we walk one it serves as a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to our spirit — “That Which Is Within.”

The “ah-ha moment” –

Most often, moments that trigger a period of introspection are experienced in the wake of a life-changing event such as an accident, or illness. This kind of self-discovery is also frequently reported by those in recovery from an unhealthy relationship, trauma, or addiction. My own epiphany dawned when I could see an opportunity to end a long period of emotional abuse. I was at an all-time low in terms of victimhood; no-one was coming to help me. Sometimes it is described as “hitting rock bottom”; a hard fall which forces one to drop behaviors or thoughts that have contributed to our downfall, and cast around for a life-line to begin the climb to a better future. It is only when we press the pause button long enough to take stock of what is important in our lives, that we can examine the values that embody the essence of who we are.

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

Oprah Winfrey embraced the intentional life movement when she explained it as ‘…thought by thought, action by action, you are painting your own canvas..’

There are many useful resources on the web to explain what intentional living is, and how to practice it. Some steps that I found helpful are:

1.Choose what matters to you:

Ask yourself:

What makes me smile, and feel like my life is worth living?

Of all my activities, which are the most important?

What do I want out of life?

2. Work towards personal development:

When your life includes some self-improvement and personal growth, it is more fulfilling and provides meaning.

3. Enjoy each moment:

Being mindful of the present moment builds self-awareness – your body, appearance, surroundings, others around you, their mindset and emotional state. It takes practice, but will really help you live with more intention and meaning.

4. Maintain a balance:

Living a balanced, full life means taking the time to ensure that all aspects of your daily life are well-cared for and feel ‘in balance’. It may be necessary to make adjustments as you go along, to even things out.

5. Find a way to make a difference:

Your mental and emotional well-being is greatly enhanced by giving back to help others.

Living with intention, you will find you have more passion for life; you are able to focus on aligning your life-choices with your values and beliefs which, in turn, enriches your experience and your own life.

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