Authentic Experience Requires Authentic Engagement
Authenticity in our day to day experiences can seem difficult to find these days. As we move ever deeper into a technological world, authenticity disappears. With automated voicemail at almost every level of customer service, self service banking, self service check-out, online shopping, online dating, careers on the web and so forth, we have an increasingly shrinking opportunity for person to person contact. And the sad thing is, we’re adapting to it!
We too have become rather robotic, following the trend, and have stopped looking for and even avoid, face to face contact as much as possible. We choose when we want to talk with someone and whom by censoring our caller ID, we choose to avoid those pesky lines by doing our own check-out at the grocery store, we choose the “drive-through” every chance we get so we don’t have to get out of the car, we choose to do our shopping from our desktops rather then go into the stores, and we choose to sit at our computer (phone, tablet, etc.) for hours on-end rather then have a real conversation, with real friends, at a real cafe, in the real world.
I don’t think this has necessarily been a conscious act, no one in their right mind would knowingly choose to fall asleep to the world around them, would they? I think instead this has been a slow sinking into oblivion as our sense of self, purpose and community crumbles beneath our feet. Yet, by partaking in this time saving, self-indulgent, isolating bubble – we’re missing something big, and something essential, to the human part of ourselves that makes up our humanity. What we’re missing is authenticity…..and probably a whole lot more.
Authentic experiences makes our life rich and full and meaningful. Authenticity, where you “show-up” in all your colors and are true to your own personality, spirit and character, where you have real connections with other people who are also true to their own personality, spirit and character, is a fundamental benefit, and inherent in the essence of, being alive. So essentially, if you’ve fallen prey to the more robotic trend of existence, and you know who you are, you are denying yourself this incredible opportunity to be fully living right now, right here, in this lifetime.
I know it is not your fault. You are simply a product of your environment, and trends and great marketing for that matter. But it is your responsibility to do something about it. So many of us feel such deep isolation these days and we don’t know how to get out of it, most don’t even know how to name it, we just feel numb to the world around us as if we can’t quite touch that which is real, a veil perhaps that can’t be removed, a bubble we can’t pop. Yet once we can identify the root of the issue, that perhaps we haven’t had a meaningful conversation with anyone in over a week, a month or a year, anyone that really cares that is, the veil starts to fade. And, once we take responsibility for our own deeper needs to stay connected with humanity, the bubble pops.
So how do we do this? How do we reconnect with our own authenticity and create more authentic experiences around us?
To reconnect with your own authenticity you must stop and look at who you are. Who are you anyway? Do you even know? Do you ever sit in your own space and time reality and simply feel that which is you? The real you not the fluffed up you with all your maskings? First and foremost, you must reconnect with who you are. When was the last time you felt fully alive? What inspires you? What is it about being alive that excites you? It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or if the world at large finds value in what excites you, it’s all about you and the pulse of curiosity that runs through your veins. Do you love nature photography? When’s the last time you took out your camera? Do you love adventure? When’s the last time you went on a discovery? Do you love collecting rocks? Making collages out of found objects? Foraging for mushrooms? Whatever it is that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning without an alarm clock, reconnect with that! This is not an end-result game where you’ll find what you love and then make money from doing it (this is such an overblown notion it’s exhausting), this is about doing something you love because you love it! Isn’t that enough?
Then, once you’ve re-discovered the part of you that makes you feel like you’re eighteen again, take that out into the world. Talk with people, ask questions, inquire into their minds, share your mind. Take time to stand in line and interact with other beings, go into the stores, make dates with friends, talk, feel, get away from your desk, your computer, your busy-ness and allow the current of life to flow through you rather then around you.
Technology is a brilliant thing, and yes, it has improved our access to information and to other people beyond what we could have even imagination only fifteen years earlier but has it really made our lives better? I know it’s made our lives busier, that’s for sure, but has technology made our lives richer and more meaningful? Only you can answer that question for yourself, many of you won’t be able to answer that question at all because you’ve never lived in a world without computers but what we all know is this, technology is here to stay. It’s up to us then, to learn how to manage it in a healthy, sustainable way and not fall prey to it’s ever increasing demands on the quality of our time and the quality of our life.
In essence, if you want authenticity, you must bring authenticity to the table.
Be the change!