Authenticity – part 1
What does the word authenticity mean to you?
I’ve been in a deep inquiry around this word and its meaning, prompting me to sit and write some things out. This blog – and likely at least one more subsequent blog – are my attempt to speak to authenticity, call it out, explore its value.
What got me started on this?
In June, my friend Tristian Montoya shared a social media post, and it hit home. The author’s words are quoted below my own, and are a recognition of certain expressions prevalent in spiritual communities.
I sat with this for about 8 weeks, letting it sink into my subconscious and really process what it means to me to be authentic.
We talk about authenticity a lot in our consciousness communities. It’s lauded as a way of being, and a means to personal power, not giving any fucks, and speaks to our longing to be special – uniquely us and unlike any other. Western individuation.
Additionally, our collective inquiry is an attempt to be loved beyond our messiness. To celebrate it, even. To be all we are, imperfect, amazing, weird, “not normal”, and to be fully accepted for all of it.
Acceptance as the cure to the Core Wounds of abandonment and not being honored for who we are. These wounds are at the root of most of our human pain and foibles.
Here are some explanations and synonyms for authenticity from the web-
“…true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise. You’re honest with yourself and with others, and you take responsibility for your mistakes. Your values, ideals, and actions align.”
“Genuineness, originality, legitimacy, validity, bona fides, reliability, trustworthiness, truth, veracity, validity, credibility, accuracy…”
“The definition of authenticity refers to the proven fact that something is legitimate or real.”
“What is an example of something that is authentic? The definition of authentic is something that is original or true and not a copy of anything else. Conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief.”
Authenticity is a leadership trait, a hallmark of integrity. We come to trust those who are honest in their expressions and self-inventory.
Once you scroll down to the end of this post, you’ll read the words of author Hoda Fadel that made me cringe-y. Part of my past revealed; I was seen.
And the thing is, I effing (secretly) LOVE being called out on my shit!
When I originally read Fadel’s words, I accepted full ownership of having tried some of these identities on. And, quickly realized that part of my own disdain for many personalities in the broader communities is due to the over-identification with these new “archetypes.”
Although I was called out, I had already done the long shedding. I have shed, and shed, and shed, and, SHED so many of these layers. I was (am?) the goddess, the spiritual hustler, the money boss babe, the sex priestess, the lightworker, the conspiracy theorist…. And on it goes. (See below for the descriptions Fadel uses.)
The allure of glamours no longer held. I got to thinking about the ways I have aspired to a glamour, a façade that “shows or proves” I know what I know. That I am what I am. Like donning a skin or costume at Halloween wherein I am merely expressing a minute facet of my ego/identity.
These spiritual archetypes are rather prevalent in the community of life coaches, spiritual teachers, healer types and so on. As you read the descriptions, I bet certain people come to mind that you’re “friends” with on social media. (I sure know these people/patterns.)
Not bypassing or finger-pointing, taking responsibility to recognize and shed labels and archetypes makes it easier to look at the ways others are wrapped up in those facades as identity. It’s super easy to sit on our thrones of judgement and see/witness the ways others are inauthentic. Shadows we have resolved and those we haven’t acknowledged, aid us in this *seeing*.
Defaulting to these ultra glamourous archetypal identities can become a trap, causing over-emphasis on the costume, divorcing one from their true self. It’s overtly curated.
Easily and too quickly, I thought of people I know IRL and on social media, whose spurious posts, specious images and words wreak of falseness. All too often I’ve seen them blatantly copy the words, posts and identities of others. (Including my own.) This is probably the root of why we are all questioning our relationship to social media and feeling blasé about many people we encounter there. We feel the superficial nature of it and the fabricated, contrived identities of many who engage there, leaving us longing for true intimate connection.
I have concluded that I cannot trust nor fully respect those folks who place their entire existence and value upon glamours. Nor those who don one costume after another, after another. Instead, repulsion sets in. These people don’t reflect an inner authority nor a sense of safety in themselves. It’s tough to trust people who aren’t authentic.
Given that the work I do as an entrepreneur is incredibly esoteric, it’s challenging to find the words, descriptions and labels that help others recognize my abilities and understand what it is that I do. So, I search for ways to authentically articulate the intangible and otherworldly nature of my wisdom and application.
Behold the words of Hoda Fadel:
“Do you recognize yourself in this spiritual circus?
The Spiritual Tourist
The Spiritual Tourist loves to surf the very surface of the spiritual sea. For a spiritual tourist awakening is achieved by eating superfoods for he/she has found God in the kombucha. The spiritual tourist likes to sniff essential oils all day long and never skips a morning practice. They try to sit in lotus whenever possible or impossible.
Although spiritual tourists can be fairly new to spirituality, many of them are as old as the word namaste.
Frequently used words: namaste, raise your consciousness, aura, abundance, smoothie bowl.
The Spiritual Processor/ Downloader
They call any shit that comes out of their mouth “a download”. Because “ideas” are for the weak.
They have a remarkable skill in conceptualising every human nuance. Their favourite topic is feminine/masculine polarities and like to call themselves shadow workers yet they’re often enclosed in concepts and ideas with little ability to recognise shadow patterns playing out in their own experience.
As the name indicates, the spiritual Processor loves to process every thought/emotion on their social media. They often talk about boundaries for they weren’t taught how to say no as children.
Frequently used words: downloads, full body yes, full body no.
The Spiritual hustler
Commonly known as spiritual warrior/warrioress, they are the sis, the bros, the business owners and entrepreneurs.
Their highest inspiration is Tony Robins and ultimate goal to be on a TED talk.
Their life motto is still “work hard play harder” but this time “work” is “THE work”.
They are goal oriented and thrive on spiritual competition – who’s done the most “work”, longer vipassana, longer handstand, who lasts longer in an ice bath, whose dark room is darker.
They’re the public speakers, on a very special public platform such as their instagram.
Frequently used word: upleveling.
The dark lord / Sex Magick Priestess
When in doubt replace the C with a K.
The dark lords / Sex Magick Priestesses teach you how to manifest love and money through masturbation.
They think tantra means sex and darkness is your fetishes.
They’re polyamorous and often cynical.
The Money Boss Babe
The money boss babe teaches you how to make money by telling you how much money she’s making yet in fact the only money she’s making is from telling you how much money she’s making.
The money boss babe knows all the codes, she only speaks in numbers and figures.
Her best trick is to convince you that to pay thousands of dollars for her masterclass is the proof that you have achieved abundance consciousness.
The Flowy Goddess / Queen
These are the star seeds of the community, they’re often very good looking and haven’t passed their Saturn return.
The Flowy Goddess / Queen is often naked and revels on looking sexy on her social media, her inner peacock gets aroused with every like. She often posts her sexiest photos after a breakup.
The Flowy Goddess / Queen calls her insatiable need for validation “self-empowerment” and constantly defends her “too-muchness” by throwing the word “triggered” at you.
The Flowy Goddesses/ queens love to cheer for each other across the virtual platforms “you go queen” “get it priestess”.
The Flowy Goddess / Queen changes her name every full moon.
Her inevitable destiny is to become a money boss babe once she realises she can actually cash her likes.
The lightworker / grid holder
These are the “elders” version of the previous category, and are obviously the chosen ones.
The lightworker / grid holder is 50+ years old, she’s a psychic and can initiate you into any healing modality, remotely.
She sees angel numbers everywhere and is always busy holding the grid together.
In her free time, she will happily recruit you to her pyramid scheme money circle.
The lightworker / grid holder only speaks of spiritual ladders, the ones where she ranks herself on top.
Frequently used words: Light Activation, DNA upgrade, ascension, christ consciousness, Magdalena.
The Ayaspiritual also known as the medicine people.
Holier than thou, the medicine people never admit their addiction to the medicine for their every action is a ritual. They love to fast and can have unexpected anger bursts due to out of whack blood sugar levels.
Rightfully so the medicine people are highly superior to the common spiritual person for they have sat with Aya more times than you can count. After all who can argue with the grandmother?
The LSD toddler
The LSD toddler believes that he’s the preferred child of the universe. He doesn’t know how to make money and spends most of his cosmic life at the festival.
The LSD toddler is down to ingest any substance as long as it’s natural (LSD is of course an exception). He thinks anything from mama earth is healthy, apparently he hasn’t heard of poison.
He can get disillusioned from time to time by the saturnian nature of reality and disappointed from the spiritual community.
He often starts his facebook posts with “vulnerable share”.
The self-proclaimed Keyboard activist / conspiracy theorist
The self-proclaimed Keyboard activists / conspiracy theorists are so woke they can’t even speak with the average decibel of human speech, they shout and use CAPS letters to wake the sheeple up. It’s more efficient.
They suffer from great grandiosity and their chosen leader is “Donald Trump”.
They’re often the tea drinkers, bedroom gamblers for they make their “money” from Crypto trading or so they one day will.
They start most posts with a “trigger warning” and suffer from acute paranoia, their frequently used words are they, them and sovereign.
The non-Spiritual Spiritual
These are the angry ones. For them transcendence is a spiritual bypass and self-accountability is victim shaming.
The non-Spiritual Spiritual got disillusioned by a Guru at an ashram in India when they confused the teaching with the teacher. The non-Spiritual Spiritual can’t stand the sight of joy and have mistaken groundedness for grumpiness.
I may or may not have dipped a toe in one of these archetypes It’s alright to play hide and seek with ourselves under the cloth of these characters, as long as we don’t identify with our views and ideas, as long as we know it is a circus and we are but clowns.
As long as we don’t forget to laugh.
“The cleverest of all, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month.””
The biggest realization that came from this inquiry is a clear understanding that I am SO MUCH MORE than these skins-personalities-archetypes-patterns I have worn. I am more than the words and descriptors. Wearing these costumes is to play at and express tiny facets of who I AM in truth. That which is mostly undefinable, ephemeral and ever-changing.
I am not a performer at the circus, nor a clown. I am ALL of these. And none of them.