Newness for a New Year

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Living Authentically in 2013

What does it mean to live authentically? If you don't know who you are then could you ever live your life authentically? But, does a person ever really know who they are? I'm not sure, and perhaps arguing over the whole premise will never get anyone anywhere. I read a great book in 2010 that I've been thinking about a lot. In fact, I just bought a new copy so I can reread it. I first heard about Brene Brown from a friend who referred me to her Ted Talk. She wrote a book about living a Wholehearted life. Her book is The Gifts of Imperfection. I will probably write more about her book and maybe her new book, when I've read it. It is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. She talks a lot about living authentically, living a wholehearted life, and living in vulnerability. Great stuff. And, I feel like I'm often pulled from a life of authenticity because, well for a lot of reasons. But I know that for me, authenticity begins in deliberateness.

When I was 15, I discovered Henry David Thoreau, not a big revelation to many of you. But, I've stayed a Thoreau fan because of what he taught me and continues to teach me. 

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practise[sic] resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck the marrow out of drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it."  Walden, "Where I Lived and What I Lived For"

I'm not moving to a pond or getting rid of all my possessions; rather, I am going to live deliberately. I don't want to let all my indecision become my decision. I want to focus on the things that truly matter to me. And, perhaps find new things that matter greatly.