Live Your Authentic Life

I’m just wrapping up one of my 3 day Graphic Coaching Clinics and I’m impressed anew at the quality and personality of the people who come — unique, passionate, interesting, creative – and willing to invest in themselves and innovative learning (even in the midst of financially rebounding times).

These gals (this session we had a entirely female crew) are an interesting breed because they follow their instincts and pursue what intrigues them – even when it’s ahead of the mainstream curve (which my visual work is).  Because they are willing to listen and follow the call of what attracts them, they are rewarded in many ways … not the least of which is living an authentic life (which they already have or are in the process of creating).

The Socialization Process:
Some people are born authentic.  Actually, we are all born authentic … but many of us have it trained out of us through various means of socialization (family, school, religion, business, etc).  It can be a real journey to re-claim who we truly are and what we are interested in – instead of pleasing others or defaulting to the path of least resistance.  Controlling authorities, groups and systems can exert a lot of pressure to make us conform, especially when we are younger or performing care taking roles for others.  Leaving a lot of us (particularly women) with a delayed individuation process that can weave through our thirties, forties, fifties and beyond.

Soul-Directed Not Selfish:
From the women I coach, and from the pushback I sometimes get in my own life … I know that some of the resistance that keeps us from pursuing and being who we truly are (especially for women) is the fear that we are somehow being selfish in doing what we want or like.  That we are suppose to consider how our lives impact other people (parents, siblings, spouses, children, colleagues, employers, etc) and run things through the sieve of others before we consider our own feelings and desires. 

Yes, there are of course balances to be considered with other people in our lives.  But too often I see women leaving themselves out of the equation entirely … in all that considering of others, they have forget to include themselves in the list.  What about you?  What about your desires?  What about your interests?  Don’t you also count and matter?  It’s it your life after all and it can go by quickly!

I am a person with a lot of drive.  I have always felt like I have something I am suppose to do (although the ‘what’ hasn’t always been as clear as it now is).  This propulsion was explained to me in a private session with Theo as being ‘soul directed’ – that my soul is literally pushing through me.  They explained that others who do not follow their soul direction like I do might view my life as selfish.  Its not they advised – its soul directed. 

Perhaps you are the same.  You feel a strong drive, attraction or connection to something that cannot be quelled – when you shut it off, you live in misery or greatly diminished capacity (which is how I felt when I tried to be what others wanted me to be).  That is your soul trying to work itself through you!

What Are Your Soul Interests?
You, like my Graphic Coaching Clinic attendees, may be highly attracted to the visual way of working – something in this creative medium just ‘speaks to you’.  Or, you may have other interests or activities that intrigue your soul.  The important thing is to be aware of what you are truly interested in and to somehow pursue it. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I interested in?
  • What intrigues or fascinates me?
  • What catches my attention?
  • What do I want to know more about (even if I have no idea currently about how it fits into work, being practical or earning a livelihood somehow)?
  • What, if finances were no option, what would I be doing or pursuing?
  • If I knew how much time I had left in life, what would my priorities be?

Feed Your Soul by Taking Action:
No matter what your answers are to the questions above, it behooves you to find a way to somehow pursue your interests – it’s literally a matter of soul. 

How can you bring the quality of what you are interested in, into your life?  Maybe you can’t stop everything to pursue your interests right now but there must be a way that you can begin to integrate it, even just a little bit, into your life – now

Read a book. Take a class.  Listen to a tele-seminar.  Have an exploratory conversation or interview with someone who does it or has it.  Get some small token of your interests as a starting place (I remember I used to troll art supply stores and buy pens, markers and pastels, long before I even knew about the graphic recording world that I would one day be a part of).  Don’t ignore your soul any longer.  Do what you can to give it what it wants – one little step or gigantic leap at a time.

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P.S. For a great f-r-e-e resource to help you navigate the journey to an authentic life, check out Kimberly Englot’s Authentic Life Interview Series running Nov. 16 – 20 (I’m one of the 12 speakers). Register Here.

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© 2009 Christina L. Merkley

You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other helping professionals in her innovative ways of working.  For more information visit:

One comment on “Live Your Authentic Life

  1. Sue on

    The question of “am I being selfish” has come up for me several times before. I appreciate your description of needing to run everything through the “sieve” of others before considering our own desires. Balancing one’s own desires with the needs and priorities of others around us is important, but we don’t ALWAYS have to place our own needs below those of others.

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