How Authentically YOU Are You?
By Lisa McCourt
The secret to a juicy-joyful life is mastering the ability to be you – all of you – all the time. One of the qualities Buddhists strive for in the path to enlightenment is called “sameness of being,” or “sameness of bearing.” It means being exactly who you authentically are, no matter who you are interacting with. The examples given are usually in reference to how we address those we perceive to be in positions of power above us or beneath us. For example, one who practices sameness of bearing would speak to the president of his company in exactly the same manner he spoke to the janitor of the building he worked in.
My “Aha!” moment with this principle several years ago went beyond mere power-positioning. I had been happily giving successful out-of-town personal development workshops as part of my author-visits to schools across the country, but had not yet attempted that genre in my own home town. When I did finally decide to offer a workshop at a local metaphysical center, I sent out an e-mail inviting everyone I knew. I thought of it as a bit of a coming-out with my new career direction, away from mainstream publishing and into the more spiritual and metaphysical realm I’d been privately passionate about for so long.
I bombed horrifically. It was by far the worst workshop I ever led and that was entirely due to my own internal, last-minute freak-out. I hadn’t anticipated it happening, but when I looked at my audience and saw my neighbors who knew me one way, intermingled with the parents of my kids’ friends who knew me another way, intermingled with my very metaphysically-minded friends who knew a completely different side of me . . . I froze. My brain literally could not sort out who I was supposed to be in that moment. I suddenly became uber-aware that many of these people had come merely to support me and were not actually interested in my subject matter. That shouldn’t have made any difference, but it did.
It was humbling to realize the extent to which I still routinely contorted myself to fit what I imagined to be people’s expectations of me. And like all painfully uncomfortable experiences, it provided a power-boost for my growth in that area. The Buddhist “sameness of bearing” principle took center-stage in my self-dev routine after that and it’s still a pivotal piece of my consciousness practice. Thank you, Universe, for that awful experience.
Take the “Sameness of Bearing” Challenge:
- For one full day, observe your interactions with everyone you come in contact with.
- Notice the differences. Do you have a particular tone of voice you use exclusively with your lover? A smile that’s reserved just for your best friend? There’s nothing wrong with having special ways of interacting with your most significant others. But if you find that your demeanor fluctuates greatly, depending upon the company you’re keeping, it can be a sign that you’re wearing metaphorical masks to please the various people in your life. Maintaining these facades can drain your energy and put barriers up between you and others.
- Think about how it feels to be with your favorite people. Most likely the ones you enjoy most are the ones you feel the most yourself with. Take note of your behavior around those people and set a deliberate intention to present yourself in that way to more and more of your acquaintances.
About the Author: Unconditional love expert Lisa McCourt is a dynamic speaker, seminar leader and author whose 34 books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide. Her new book, Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self, teaches people to embrace “radical authenticity” to fully experience unbridled joy in life. Lisa lives in South Florida with her two children. For a free Juicy Joy audio program, visit www.LisaMcCourt.com.