A Crisis of Authenticity – Ep#038 Why Being Your True Self Matters For Your Health

In last week’s episode I shared with you about the phenomenon of Cold Depression. In many ways the Crisis of Authenticity is a very much related topic. Because it’s this state of being alienated from ourselves that has the potential to create debilitating stress in our bodies. Living disconnected from who we truly are, who we are meant to be in this life manifests as chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, emotional reactivity, digestive imbalances and more.

Whether it gets expressed in people pleasing behaviors, staying in a toxic job, relationship, perfectionism, unhealthy body image, unhealthy body manipulation, this lack of authenticity in our lives ends up being one of the most serious drains on our life force.

There’s no shortcut to living as your authentic self – it requires a conscious commitment and genuine inner work. This awareness creates the space to shift your consciousness, release subconscious programming and explore a nurturing relationship with yourself.

Living authentically is a dynamic life long journey back to a sense of who and what you really are. It begins with with awareness. I share how the tools of self exploration, along with the technology of Kundalini Yoga and meditation became the path back home to my authentic self.

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Podcast Transcript

0 (1s):
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.

Christine Okezie (23s):
Hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for tuning in today. So on today’s special solo show, I want to dive into a concept that’s in the holistic health and wellness field that gets bantered around a lot. And that’s the notion of being your authentic self. See, as I reflect and go deeper into the understanding of what creates true wellbeing, and frankly, what are the biggest obstacles to having that? I have a greater appreciation of why authenticity that is being true to yourself is at the core of mental, emotional, and physical health. And I think an exploration of this topic is particularly meaningful in this unique time of collective social upheaval and human evolution.

Christine Okezie (1m 11s):
No one on planet earth has been untouched by the events of the past year. All our lives have been shaken up the familiar, the routines ways of doing life that anchored our identity have changed radically. And we’ve all been compelled to shift more if not most of our attention on our inner lives. So perhaps you’ve found yourself more than once on some level confronted with the question of who am I, what matters most to me? How do I want to spend my time? How do I want to find, how do I reconnect to joy, passion, and purpose in my life? What are my beliefs, dreams, and desires.

Christine Okezie (1m 54s):
Now in last week, show of the podcast I shared with you about the phenomenon of Cold Depression and in so many ways, this episode, what I will call the Crisis of Authenticity is a very much related topic because it’s this state of being alienated from ourselves that showing up as chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, emotional reactivity, digestive imbalances, and more because when I know, is that anything that has us living away from who we truly are, who we are meant to be in this life has the potential to create serious debilitating levels of stress in our bodies.

Christine Okezie (2m 39s):
So what does it mean to be your authentic self, to live an authentic life? Essentially, it means there’s a congruency in what you feel, what you think believe, say, and do they all line up. So first and foremost, living an authentic begins with knowing yourself. It starts with being curious about your attitudes, towards things, your patterns, values, and beliefs to become your authentic self. You need to understand what guides you, what drives and inspires you in life. And by definition, when you’re living authentically, you’re guided by your inner voice, you are internally directed as opposed to externally focused when it comes to decision-making living as your authentic self means, you have an ability to understand the complexity of your own feelings and emotions.

Christine Okezie (3m 39s):
And you go thus with your gut, with your intuition, instead of doing what you think will please or appease others, being your authentic self means your actions are rooted in deep personal truth. There is a genuine knowing which is not easily swayed by external pressures. It also means having the courage to embrace vulnerability, where we can acknowledge our own limitations, see being authentic is honestly seeing and accepting our whole self, our all parts of ourselves, the good, the bad and the ugly, as I like to say.

Christine Okezie (4m 19s):
And to be clear, this is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. Becoming more of your authentic self is a process because it’s unwinding from years, sometimes decades, really of conditioning that began in childhood. Lessons that we learned about how to express or not express our emotions. Messages we got about our own self-worth, our belonging in society, about agency in our bodies, how we needed to act and be in order to be safe, seen as worthy acceptable. In other words, not get kicked out of the tribe.

Christine Okezie (4m 59s):
So losing connection from our true self it, while it starts in these very small, subtle ways, as we grow up learning that our authentic expression is somehow not welcome or valid. And knowing what our own needs are, well that can’t be correct because someone else knows better. A useful example that I see in my work is regarding the authentic expression of our emotions. So many of us learned growing up that showing our true anger or sadness, even our joy in that case,if yuo will, it’s just not okay. So we got the message to hide our emotions and stuff them down, or let’s say when it comes to our relationship with food and listening to our bodies, many of us were told that we had to be members of the “clean plate club”

Christine Okezie (5m 48s):
or that we had to “watch” when it came to eating or else, something bad might happen; or a food was oftentimes used as a reward or a soothing mechanism early on, mostly unconscious interventions on behalf of well-intentioned parents and caregivers, I get it. But nonetheless, what does a child learn? My body’s messages are wrong and someone else other than me knows better than my own intuition about what my body needs right now. And of course, then there’s the rest of all the other programming that we absorb around gender roles, race and cultural norms, money, career relationships, et cetera.

Christine Okezie (6m 28s):
Now, the tragedy is that without a conscious course correction, living as this conditioned model of who we should be, can pick up serious momentum over the course of our lives. Thus cutting us from having a deeper, intuitive, and loving relationship with ourselves. Now, whether it gets expressed in people pleasing behaviors, staying in a toxic job or an unsatisfying relationship, perfectionism, an unhealthy body image, unhealthy body manipulation; his lack of authenticity, this lack of congruence in our lives ends up being one of the most serious drains on our life force.

Christine Okezie (7m 11s):
And this disconnection from our true self also underlies disconnections with others in our lives. It truly affects the experience of our health and life overall, as well ascertainly our wellbeing, our family, our creativity, our interpersonal interactions. It’s, what’s at the root of that cliche midlife crisis, I think, or perhaps just the general malaise so many of us feel, and to be clear, this lack of authenticity, isn’t just happening in midlife. In fact, I would say it’s happening even earlier in our young people who are facing so many more barriers to expressing their true selves with the pressures of our social media driven world.

Christine Okezie (7m 55s):
Now there’s no shortcut to living as your authentic self. It requires a conscious commitment and genuine inner work. And to be clear, living authentically is not an all or nothing proposition. We can’t always be living a hundred percent authentically, a hundred percent of the time. It’s an endeavor. It’s a lifelong journey. And certainly it’s always changing, because life is well, life is all about learning about ourselves, right? We’re continually challenging old beliefs sorting through our baggage. Yeah. The thing is authentically is about learning to face our fears and our doubts.

Christine Okezie (8m 37s):
Being able to reach deeply within ourselves And find out what makes our heart sing. What makes our spirits soar. It’s finding where our authentic self, our true self feels the most alive, the most free, And then having the courage, to live from this place. So what’s the antidote. Well, the antidote actually is that we need to surrender to the truth that you are already innately whole enough and complete, and truly nothing that you do per se can add to that.

Christine Okezie (9m 17s):
But first we have to do the work of peeling away, all the layers of unworthiness fears and insecurities, all these things, these lower vibrations, that distort the perception of who and what you actually are. The path of living more authentically as your true self begins with awareness. And this awareness creates the space to shift our energy, to shift our consciousness and nurture the most important relationship in our lives. And that’s the relationship with ourselves.

Christine Okezie (9m 57s):
Now, in my experience, this is best cultivated through mindfulness and self inquiry in combination with mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation, but you can begin to ask yourself some important questions. Like, Where am I self-sabotaging in my life? Who do I think I need to be, to feel worthy, acceptable, lovable? Where do I hold back from sharing my thoughts, feelings and beliefs in my relationships, What are the things that make my heart sing and what keeps me from actually doing them?

Christine Okezie (10m 43s):
Where can I forgive myself? And finally, I think a beautiful clarifying question to ponder is what is my soul trying to tell me now, this type of self-reflection is done from a place of tenderness and compassion as you sit and perhaps journal later with these questions, we want to notice the feelings that arise in our bodies. We want to observe any corresponding, physical sensations. We want to be curious, welcoming, and kind. Now I’ve been a seeker for the last 10 years, and I’ve done my fair share of inner work, but I want to share that for me, the ultimate doorway to connecting to my authentic self came from the practice of Kundalini, yoga and meditation.

Christine Okezie (11m 36s):
These tools helped me contact a capacity within myself that guides me to feel an inner peace. And in fact, the practice of Kundalini yoga and meditation is actually known as the Yoga of Awareness because it gives you these powerful tools so you can start to learn how to trust your inner knowing, how you can confront repressed fears, unexpressed, pain, how you can explore and elevate who you are at your very core, underneath all the layers of conditioning and experience.

Christine Okezie (12m 16s):
See the fundamental purpose of Kundalini yoga is to enhance health and wellbeing by enlivening our connection to our Sat Nam. It’s the most basic mantra used in Kundalini yoga, which literally means true self, it’s an invocation to link up with our true identity. and that is our soul. Acknowledging with this mantra, Sat Nam, is that what we are is genuinely so much more vast than we can comprehend right now. So Kundalini yoga and meditation for that matter, it’s not about being blissed out, feeling energy, seeing auras.

Christine Okezie (13m 1s):
These are all beautiful, wonderful experiences, for me, it’s been experiencing a deeper sense of what and who I am. The techniques of the practice loosen the grip of the subconscious. And we start to have a sense of identity, a sense of myself as this energetic presence of light, you know, and, and that sense of identity, it just becomes clearer and more accessible in my awareness, the practice of Kundalini yoga has actually helped me refine my self-concept to include these more subtle attributes, these more subtle aspects of my nature.

Christine Okezie (13m 43s):
And having that in our awareness helps us feel more authentic, more accepting, and kind toward ourselves. The practice works on our physiology and our psychology essentially to purify anything like fear, anger, grief, that’s obstructing the flow of creativity, joy, and radiance. All that naturally wants to express through us. See when our life force energy flows freely, we feel mentally clear, emotionally balanced and connected to our true self, connected to life. There is a sense of freedom and an experience of a lightness of being.

Christine Okezie (14m 29s):
And I believe that this radiant field that we have in our awareness, we can recognize this as our soul. Our true self, becoming aware of our authentic self is needless to say a journey of turning inward, where we can experience not the false self images that our ego generates, but the true self that lives from a place of compassion and pure creative consciousness. What I think is very powerful about living as your authentic self, when it comes to our health and our wellbeing is it gives us a strong sense of agency.

Christine Okezie (15m 12s):
When we know ourselves, we can start to trust that we have an ability to positively impact our health and our life. So I often say that deeper awareness brings choice, the choice, whether to act or not, and this choice brings freedom. So I’m very grateful for these tools of Kundalini, yoga and meditation in helping me on my journey to be more authentic in my life, to live more as my true self, it’s been a journey of falling deeply in love with myself and not in a self-absorbed narcissistic way, but truly where I have the sense of being my own best friend, where I can go within myself and be a place of refuge.

Christine Okezie (16m 0s):
when things around me are crazy. These practices and these tools have honed and ability to help me maintain, or at least maneuver better to get to a place inside where I can find a genuine sense of peace and happiness. My favorite quote that I came across recently was by the author, Sarah Ban Breathnach. And she says, “the authentic self is the soul made visible.” So I hope this has been helpful my friends, I do want to tell you if this resonates with you in any way, and you have some interest in exploring the practice of Kundalini, yoga and meditation and finding the tools to create true wellbeing.

Christine Okezie (16m 52s):
I want to remind you that I have just a few more spots left in my new upcoming program, “Find Calm and Restore Vitality”, Therapeutic Yoga for Balancing Hormones. This starts on January 20th. The information is on my website as well as in the show notes. And I would just love for you to be part of this very special experience of coming home to our true, authentic selves. So thank you so much for listening, and if you would be so kind to leave a rating and review for this episode, I’d be grateful. And if you haven’t already hit that subscribe button, I ask you to do that as well, so that you don’t miss the episode that comes out every Thursday. And it also helps me keep the podcast growing.

Christine Okezie (17m 34s):
Thank you again. Bye for now.

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