Even as I write down these two words as the topic, I am compelled to add the disclaimer that, I am writing this piece, not from the perspective of an expert on this subject. Rather, from the perspective of a curious learner who strives to explore the full meaning of these two powerful terms.
Well…there lies the irony. Will I ever be able to understand the full meaning of such intense words? Will anyone ever be able to comprehend the full sense of what these 2 words offer to this universe?
At a high level, the definition of authenticity is being true to self and others. Being genuine and real.
And mindfulness is being aware of the self, others and the environment, the impact each of this could have on the other.
While I believe that whatever I may have understood about authenticity and mindfulness is just the tip of the iceberg, even that seems to be a massive piece. A piece which will help me see through many people and experiences. Then again, did I say, it is like a treasure box?
The more I search, the more I get. The more I get, the more I am awed.
Two sides of the same coin
So, the treasure I am awed about recently is the realisation that, authenticity and mindfulness are the 2 sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. Authenticity without mindfulness is a void vessel making a lot of noise. Mindfulness without authenticity is a sponge sucking all the liquid and holding it.
With this realisation, I looked around and observed.
- It could be a very successful person who is trying to be authentic by giving a harsh feedback to a colleague who is going through grief and believing that this feedback is “required” for the person in grief to overcome it.
- It could be a life partner who is trying to be mindful of the energy created at home, in front of the kids by tolerating all the pain without expressing self while experiencing abuse from the spouse.
- It could be a rigid and tough parent trying to be authentic to the demands of the “role” as a parent, by not being mindful of the impact they are creating for the kids.
As I observe more people and their experiences, I am gradually realising that being direct in communication can many times be perceived by self as authentic. Similarly, being passive and tolerating can be perceived by self as being mindful. Hence, I am compelled to infer that one cannot practice authenticity without being mindful and vice versa.
As I dive deeper to explore this iceberg, beyond its tip, I am humming to myself…
Miles to go before I sleep…
Miles to go before I sleep.
As you dive deeper, I invite you to reflect on the following:
- In the situations, you think you are authentic, how much mindful are you?
- In the situations, you think you are mindful, how much are you allowing yourself to be authentic?
- In both the situations above, what are you unable to do or would like to do more?
Do you have the answers ready? Great! We are at a good place to start with.
Happy living with authenticity & mindfulness!
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