Living Authentically

Mar 25, 02:32 AM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

There's a lot of media buzz and lip service being given to living an authentic life. But what does that really mean? And how does it happen?

The January issue of Body Sense had a brief but very relevant article about getting real and living authentically. I'm borrowing liberally from authors Kathleen McIntire and Erin Cote and adding a few aromatherapy tips to their life plan:

Know what really matters. When you worry about what others think of you, you've dropped your authenticity. Be willing to march to the beat of your own drum, whether that means living a self-employed lifestyle, committing a chunk of your day to exercise, or buying your clothes at a resale store. Need help figuring out what matters? Try some meditation with vetivert essential oil.

Own your decisions. If you can't live with a decision, then it's time to retool your motivations. Lemon oil helps clear uncertainty and promotes clarity of thought.

Be realistic. It's hard to change your lifestyle overnight. Plan major changes in small steps. As a friend is fond of saying, "The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time." If you're feeling overwhelmed, a bath with petitgrain is a great way to relax and reframe.

Learn to say "yes." Be flexible and allow spontaneity to enter your life. A last minute lunch invitation or movie date may be just what you need to live joyfully and keep things in perspective. Diffuse sweet orange to encourage spontaneity and positive feelings.

Practice self care. It's so easy to forget your own needs when you're surrounded by spouse, kids, pets, friends and coworkers. Schedule time for a massage or a quiet visit to the park. Geranium essential oil encourages self care, and is a delicious addition to unscented body lotion.

Get real about money. So many people overspend to finance a lifestyle they can't afford. How important is that $7 a day Starbucks habit, really? It's OK to be happy with less. Bay laurel encourages you to think expansively while working with what you've got.

Take a break from doing. Just be. Spend 10 or 20 minutes a day sitting quietly with no agenda, emptying your mind of the past and future, just enjoying the present. Frankincense deepens breathing, slows you down and helps you focus on "just being."

Know when you're not at your best. You're no good to yourself or anyone else when you're too tired or worn out to function. A brief walk, nap or a restorative bath with rosemary and lavender will recharge your batteries and your focus.

Love yourself. This is easy to say, but hard for many people to practice. You cannot invite love into your life until you open up to loving yourself first. Anointing the heart daily with rose otto can help get you there.


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