May 23, 2016

Living Life True to Ourselves

Uneasiness appears in different ways. There’s an uneasy feeling of “being on our way” while we’re doing the thing right in front of us. There’s a steady, low-level fear that something’s wrong. There’s an uneasiness about time: a perception that we never have enough time. And there’s a nagging dis-ease that we’re not living life true to ourselves. I think the latter is our deepest discomfort. When daily life consistently betrays our core values—when we play roles that feel false, take actions that feel untrue, and ignore our heart’s intention—we’re divided and this division exhausts us. So we’re vulnerable to fear, stress, and distraction. 

The cycle continues until we pause and listen inward: What are my core values? What matters most? And how can I re-align my actions with these true-to-me intentions? Small steps have a big impact. Bit by bit, we move toward wholeness.

Yesterday I felt pervasive unease. It was a day filled with doing. The doing consisted of activities that bring me satisfaction (gardening, helping friends, taking photographs). My uneasiness didn’t come from the activities themselves, it came from the urgency with which I acted. I felt an uneasiness of “being on my way”, “not enough time”, and “something’s wrong.” These appeared not out of nowhere, but because I was separated from what I most value: presence, kindness, integrity, love, and awareness. I felt distracted and lost. My internal messages were unkind. I wasn't living life true to myself. 

Meditation reconnects me with my bigger intentions and awareness. Yet in some moments meditation feels out of reach. So I plunked down in my grassy backyard. I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds around me: birds, cars, wind, laughter, lawn mowers, and squirrels. This brought me home to my senses, my aliveness, and my place in a larger world. It was a small opening—a small connectionbut it helped.

Living life true to ourselves doesn’t have to mean sweeping changes and radical shifts; it can be done in small, meaningful ways. Each time we move past fear and uncover another layer of ourselves, we make a leap toward freedom. The reality is this: We have but one precious life. How do we want to live it? Let's be fearless. Let's be true. Let's start now.

Guided Meditations|Everyday Mindfulness|Photography|Facebook Page


  1. These words resonate strongly with me, especially when I spend time in my home country again. So little time, so many things to do and people to see. I literally said it to some friends of mine: it feels like I am living my agenda, with time blocks and an organized schedule, not feeling true to myself. Wanting to see my people, my dear ones, of course, yet not wanting to hear the clock ticking, dreaming of being able to meet up with them more spontaneous, in a way that feels good for me, without strict time limits, without a to do the next hour. Life here in Provence is truly different: it teaches me to carefully listen to my body, to my senses, to my heart ... Less pressure, less stress, following my nature and letting the moment itself decide ...

    1. I always enjoy reading your insightful comments. Indeed, some days we have schedules and agendas--and they're needed. I've been trying to practice with letting go--not resisting--in the midst of a busy schedule. It's a difficult but rewarding practice. Thanks for sharing, Elke. Hugs to you!