The authentic self is the soul made visible. –  Sarah Ban Breathnach

Life is a series of conscious choices. Every moment present us with an opportunity to choose to be authentic. Merriam Webster defines “authentic” as “true to one’s own personality, spirit or character.” To me, living authentically means making choices that are in alignment with my value system. It means taking responsibility for my life, and for my choices.

It’s easy to blame things outside ourselves when life isn’t going the way we want it to, whether it’s the governemnt, the weather, or other people. We can’t control everything. Life happens, and trouble finds everyone at some point. Life is not meant to be perfect. But we can control how we react to life as it happens to us, and by making conscious choices, one moment at a time, we eventually create an authentic life for ourselves.

This often means listening to our own counsel, rather than to the advice of everyone around us. It may mean making choices that may be frowned upon by society. It may mean questioning the status quo.

These days, far too many people live fear-driven lives, only reacting to circumstances that are often perception and not reality. The media plays a key role in creating a fear-driven culture. I stopped watching the news several years ago because it kept me in an energy I did not want to live in, and it has made a significant difference for me.

Living a life spent in fear diminshes us. Sure, I worry at times. After all, there’s always plenty to be worried about: money, health, life, death. But I refuse to believe that real life is nothing but a reflection of a primetime newscast. Yes, bad things happen in this world, and people are drawn to drama and conflict. But there’s also compassion and kindness in the world. I’d rather focus on that.

For me, fear is one of the primary signals that I’m not living in alignment with my authentic self. Our true nature is based on the energy of love – a vibration that is aligned with universal consciousness, the Divine, Spirit, Source, God – whatever you choose to call it. Love cannot coexist with fear. They’re energetically too far apart.

The payoffs for living an authentic life are tremendous:

It’s a lot easier than the alternative. Constantly having to put up a fake facade gets exhausting. It’s really much easier to live authentically than to constantly pretend you’re someone you’re not.Not being true to yourself puts psychic stress on your system that can be as detrimental to your health as any other stress.

You’ll attract positive people. You will find that your tolerance for negative people who always complain about something will diminish. You will find that people who also view life authentically and with a “glass half full” attitude will naturally gravitate toward you. Misery loves company, and if you live authentically, you’re no longer an energetic match for the complainers.

You’ll be happier. Living authentically will make you feel more alive. Being who you are feeds your soul. You will think for yourself, be more optimistic, and make better choices.

Have you ever seen a cat who didn’t live an authentic life? They never hesitate to go after what they want, whether it’s your lap, the coveted spot on the cat tree, or the sun puddle. Not surprisingly, once again, as is the case with so many of life’s lessons, cats are the master teachers.

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17 Comments on Sunday Purrs: Living an authentic life

  1. Ingrid,
    This post is so true, but where i find myself struggling is ironically when my kittehs are involved! I worry that I will fail them in some way….especially with Squeebert, the little innocent kitty that is made of spare parts and goes to the vet waaaaay too often. This is something that I have to be conscious of on a regular basis….that every minute is has the potential to be a moment of kindness and compassion, but that needs to extend to myself, not just the critters I serve!

    Thanks for the thoughtfulness. I always need a reminder!

    (ps. email me and let me know how i can put a photo icon up when i post here….i can’t figure it out!)

  2. Well stated and very encouraging. In a world that is increasingly pressuring us to conform to unrealistic expectations, we need to support each other in being true to our deepest hearts. Thanks!

  3. Ingrid, is this a new direction for your blog on Sundays? This echoes core themes at my both my blogs and for my life coaching clients. It’s easy to forget our core values in the whirlwind of the media and social media. We need reminders like this post, to stay grounded and aware of our true selves.

    • I’m glad this post resonated with you, Layla. Conscious Cat Sunday was always intended to be about lessons from our cats – a reflection of The Conscious Cat’s core purpose of conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans.

  4. Hi Ingrid, found your website this morning while Googling sites about “tortis”. Hubby and I rescued two kittens in August and had planned to foster them until hold enough and socialized enough to go to our local non-kill shelter. We of course fell in love with them both, named them, and couldn’t give them up. ” J.B. Boots” and “Carmela” both joined our little family (we have two other cats). We’ve learned a lot about tortis – never had one before – very talkative; mischievous; and very loyal. All of our cats have different personalities, but ‘Mela as I call her, is one unique cat. Her antics keep my friends in stitches. Our cats have taught us well how to be “authentic” and couldn’t perceive ‘Mela as anything but herself – she has taught me how to live in the NOW and stop worrying about the future. Cats do indeed provide good therapy.

  5. Hmmmmm Ingrid….me thinks you may have written this just for me. Truly hits home as I have had my share of life “obstacles” and am trying so hard to keep a positive attitude.

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully insightful post. Here’s to being authentic….


  6. Wonderful, thought-provoking post, Ingrid. I radically cut back my news viewing for the same reason; I just wish good news received as much media attention as bad news. That being said, I *do* watch online news video of whatever is being covered by my son, a TV reporter in Fargo, ND.

    Love the point you made in the last paragraph! I won a huge basket full of cat goodies the other night at a charity fundraiser, and couldn’t wait to get it home and unwrapped so I could share all the toys and treats with the girls. One of the items was a Turbo Scratcher; Annabelle had fun sniffing the catnip and swatting the ball, but Mozart took one (brief) look at it as if to say, “Umm,” and walked away. We never have to worry if our cats are really happy with our gifts, or just being polite! 🙂

      • Actually, Mozart is female; everyone assumes she’s male. I named her when she was a very young kitten and I wasn’t sure what sex she was. :-] She got the name because whenever classical music played on the stereo, she gazed at the speaker in rapt attention. If it was anything by Mozart, she jumped on top of the speaker and leaned over, as if trying to look inside!

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