How To Express the GENUINE You

Post by Sharon

It's impossible to get to our baby boomers' ages without having been influenced by family, friends, teachers, mentors, bosses, children, siblings, ministers, social media, popular entertainment media, and other sources that we interpret as directives.

So, who is the genuine you? It's not too late to meet and honor that person, but it takes upsetting that very apple cart that determined the homogenized you that you feel they can know and predict.

Let's get down to the characteristics that are you - with that you will either create artistic expression, fashion/appearance, attitude, jobs, associations, friendships, goals, etc... 

First, I begin by explaining that you don't have to be "genuine" you in every aspect of your life. Perhaps you simply need a looks/wardrobe makeover to utilize what God gave you or perhaps you need some new career goals that are in alignment with what you are adept at, what you adore, and what you believe is your calling.

Let's do the name 3 things test first (I have included my three for example of what it's like to fill this out) 

Name 3 colors you most love
sunflower yellow

Name 3 scents that are joyously sentimental to you
coconut suntan lotion

Name 3 places you'd rather be right now
quiet beach on the Chesapeake Bay
swimming pool
stream in the forest

Name 3 talents you have always exhibited
making up stories

Name 3 emotions you consider priority

Name 3 causes you are passionate about
independent art businesses
overcoming anxiety/panic disorders

3 most important things in my life
people I love
using what God gave me

3 things I did that I thought would be impossible
having a child after cancer
getting published as an author
overcoming panic disorder in my 20s

3 things I want in the latter half of my life
a partner to share it with
travel and new experiences
to spend the majority of my days in my bliss (gardening/art/writing/photography)

If we sit down with the our answers and look at our lives, what do we find is genuine about our situation right now? 

I look at my colors, scents and places I'd like to be and I get a sense of the spirit of my soul. I am sunshine and citrus, beach and garden, arbors and orchards, sea and sky. 

These aspects can be expressed in home decor, creative projects like paintings and writing, music and blogging, fashion, scents, makeup, hair, accessories, cooking, entertaining. When you know your three talents, you know ways to express those elements. 

The three emotions you find are priority is critical to finding GENUINE. If you spend more time in anger, resentment, terror and the like, you probably aren't hitting those three target emotions you find to be most valuable. 

The easiest way to get back into these three emotions you find to be so important is to stop often in situations and ask yourself "how would (gratefulness) handle this situation?" "How would (loving) handle this situation?" and "How would (playfulness) handle this?" 

When something happens to you, like say your boss gives you some criticism - find the emotion you want to project and react to it in that manner. The results might amaze you.  

Being emotionally genuine isn't a reflex, it's a choice. If you decide to take a criticism personally and become hurt or angry, that is a choice. The choice is in how you explain it to yourself, "he hates me," or "he has ridiculous standards no one can obtain." 

If you take that criticism in and run it through your three priority emotions, you will find a vastly different outcome and that is choice. The choice is to interpret it as, "he doesn't want me to make the mistakes he made." Then, you feel gratitude. 

In my case, I would utilize gratefulness, telling my boss, "thank you. I really want to refine my skills and I appreciate knowing where I can improve." 

You think this is ingenuine? Not really - go back and look at the three emotions you think are critically important to your happiness? If you believe being a grateful, playful, loving person is the place you want to reside, that is genuine. You genuinely value those things. You are not likely to report that you value being critical, angry or guilty. Those were not what you wanted to be, only what you allowed yourself to focus on maintaining with gathering evidence and incidents to justify them. 

Every day, to remain grateful, I end my day in bed reviewing in my mind all I am grateful for that day - all the things I did, all the things that unfolded, even the simplest of things like the 5 minutes with my face turned toward the sun during lunchtime. 

By focusing my examples and evidence of grateful, I continue to create it and appreciate it each day. That is a genuine state of being. It's extremely genuine as I value gratefulness and I am owning that part of me. 

Your causes and what you consider to be important to you are very key in the goal to being genuine. If you consider a cause important or certain aspects important in your life and yet your daily world doesn't reflect time spent on these priorities, then something is definitely out of sync.

Reflecting on what you overcame that you never imagined was possible is a great way to prepare yourself for any changes ahead. 

Let's say you believe mentoring is important and you value people you love, but your days are spent not passing your knowledge or guiding another toward their purpose and you don't bother to text, call or visit and spend time with those you love, then you are in a false state, not genuine.

Maybe you are a grandparent and you aren't passing on a skill or knowledge. That's a real shame if mentoring is important to you. Perhaps it's time to have a macrame day with your granddaughter or get your grandson up on a horse. 

We each have a moment in our lives that sticks in our memory forever - a moment of such absolute joy that you are bursting out of your skin - you want it to stay that way forever, you drink it in, you are so thankful you want to fling your arms wide and smile at the heavens. 

What was that moment where you felt more like you, more connected to the world, more joyous as ever - not a bad thought or worry in your mind, just utter pleasure - 

I was on a boat on the Chesapeake, heading out to the lighthouse I played at when I was a child at our summer home. The air was wet and saline, my hair curling and whipping around me. The rocking of the boat, the feel of the waves under me, the dolphins escorting us, the blues and whites were the most genuine location, most genuine love, the most genuine memories and passion. I was home! 

Technically, the most genuine moments of your life involve a sense of synchronicity.  You are part of the environment, what's going on around you, and deep in your soul you let go and allow the emotions, the connectivity, the "this-is-where-I-am-meant-to-be" feelings, and everything is suspended by time, events, past, future - it is only present.

Meditation is a splendid way to be involved in the moment and know that feeling of genuinely who you are when all else around you is pushed aside. 

Sometimes, doing what you creatively enjoy like painting or gardening, woodworking or hiking, praying or snuggling a loved one brings on that in-the-moment and this-is-the-real-me feelings. 

The more you engage in these things, the more you not only recognize genuine moments, but you know precisely how to get into them. 

My life can be busy but because I am an artist and a writer, I find inspiration in the crazy moments just archiving what it's like. What were the sounds? If it had a musical soundtrack what would this moment sound like? If I were to paint this emotion, what colors would I use? So, even in moments that seem tedious like sitting at DMV awaiting your driver's license renewal, you can look around you at the people, pondering their lives, what jobs they are away from to stand in this line, where are they going after this. You can be in the moment without tormenting yourself that they are calling number "8" and you are "52." 

When I launched my genuine life upon leaving my marriage where I molded myself to my partner's needs or wishes, I reowned whole parts of me. I am a comedian at heart - I have a playful sense of humor. I do not make excuses for it or hold back a witty comeback. I say "y'all" and wear bright colors. I snort when I laugh hard. I huge people I just met. I listen to people's stories. I create all kinds of things from fancy food dishes to repurposing chairs, oil painting, writing books and short stories, braiding my hair and wearing a cowboy hat. 

I'm on-spot being interviewed because I know and love my subjects and I want to teach and give new ways of looking at things to the listeners. When I wear bright beachy colors, people tell me how sunshiny I look. I am conveying parts of me, whether they are in fashion or common. 

Forget what you were told about what you should like, what you should value, how you should voice or express yourself. 

Genuine is something that rings true for everyone and it truly comes from the heart and soul.