This week's mindful mantra is about living the values, virtues and characteristics of the type of person you wish your child to be through being that person yourself. Our child can only see a purpose in particular traits if they are experiencing them and witnessing them at home, in their safest and happiest place by their most beloved people; their parents. This week's mindful mantra is about living authentically.
“Authenticity,” as defined about 13 years ago by psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis, is “the unimpeded operation of one's true or core self in one's daily enterprise.” We cannot live an authentic life if we are not first self-aware, while accepting our strengths and weaknesses. In this way, living an authentic life means a deep connection with your values and beliefs, acting in a way that is deliberately consistent with them.
As Dr. Shefali has said, "parents need to be the embodiment of the values they want their children to absorb". If we are not walking the talk, than how can we ever expect our child to? It's like yelling at your child to stop yelling.
Living authentically is not an easy job, I get it! We all have an inner tape and ego that often likes to focus on the things we may have missed out on or didn't do (guilt over the past) or on the things we should do or need to get done (fear of the future). It is when we face and shake off these guilts and fears and begin to live to our truest values and self that we are able to embody and be the person we wish our child to be.
Self-knowledge and self-awareness are the cornerstones to authenticity. By owning who we are and displaying an honest and natural self, we are showing our child how to own and be who they are, giving them a life long gift of being comfortable in their own skin.
By modelling authenticity around our child we have a hand in not only our relationship with them, but the relationships that they have with their friends and the relationships they'll have with their partner and children, if they too decide to become parents one day. This puts into perspective the importance that our parenting has in the relationships that stretch far beyond our own.
This week, be a reflection of what you'd like to receive. If you want love, give love. If you want truth, be truthful. If you want respect, give respect. What you give out to your child, partner and community will return back to you.
Living authentically is not only about providing your child with the best example, it is about freeing yourself from the masks we so often put on, thinking our truest and most honest selves might not be what the people we encounter want to see.
This freedom is invaluable when it comes to striving for a happy and mindful life. If you can relate to having different masks for different people, let this be the week you work at taking those masks off, living authentically and free. If you happen to find yourself slipping back into old habits of covering up your true self just bring an awareness to the moment, forgive yourself, and keep trying. We are all human, doing the best we can, and with that comes accidents, errors and mistakes. Try not to ever be too hard on yourself, and keep putting your best foot forward.
You are doing a great job, so relax and enjoy the freedom of living authentically.