Authenticity, what is it, really? pt. 1

Newsletter Index: (click to jump to any of the following) Weekly Check-in, Blog, Upcoming, Introducing, Christian Corner

Last week we talked about finding a partner you can check in with each week. I would highly recommend having your check-in partner read this section of the newsletter for themselves and for you.

This week let’s talk about Active Listening and Active Sharing. When we check in with each other, it is important for us to be genuine in asking, “how are you?”. It is not helpful to ask something when you do not mean to, or have time for, taking time to listen. Also, it is not helpful when we are not genuine in responding to this question when we are asked. Consider these questions before engaging in this dialogue with someone… “Am I being genuine?” “Do I have time for this dialogue?” “Is this person or situation a safe space for me to be open?”

Some typical ways that people violate honest check-in moments are: in church, at busy events, at parties, or in places where there is not space. Saying, “Hi, how are you?” While walking by someone to get elsewhere is not a genuine interaction. Those are moments that we smile and wave or just simply say, “hello” and then continue on our way.

So think about when and how you will check-in with your check-in partner. Set aside a specific time you will do this. This can be in person, over the phone, virtual, however works for you both. When each of you ask and answer, be open and honest. Be Active in your asking and Active in your listening, as well as your answering. Active and honest.

Active conversations involve using your body and voice to show genuine care for yourself and your partner/friend. Both parties should set down their phones and look at each other if you are able. Consider that one or both of you may have a neurodivergence that makes interactions different than the normative standard. If so, communicate that with each other and learn about making healthy accomodations. Active conversations also involve showing that you hear each other. This can be done by rephrasing some things that were said then saying it back to your partner. These help to ensure you understand/they understand you.

I can’t wait to hear from you how Actively and Genuinely allowing someone into your world and checking in is working for you.

*Disclaimer: if you are in a place that you are not able to recognize what a safe person is, please do not engage in this without the help of a mental health professional or intuitive coach. I recommend BetterHelp for therapy services. If you would like to sign up with me for coaching, check out my services page for more information.

What does it mean to be authentic? Can authenticity change or is it static? How do we know? The modern Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines authentic as:

  1. a. Worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming or based on fact. (paints and authentic picture of our society) b. Conforming to an orignal so s to reproduce essential features. (an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse) c. Made or done the same way as an original. (authentic Mexican fare)
  2. Not false or imitation: Real, Actual. (an authentic cockney accent)
  3. True to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. (is sincere and authentic with no pretensions)

My trauma-informed and neurodivergent friendly eyes see quite a conundrum here. Read those meanings again and see if you can see what I see…

Authentic is both imitating something to the extent that it LOOKS real and being what something is.

I think this becomes a real issue because so many of us have been made to be authentic replicas of something that we are not.

Going back to meaning #1, there is no disputing that an “authentic replica” of a colonial farmhouse is NOT an “original” colonial farmhouse. And oftentimes therein lies great difficulty for those of us that have experienced significant early childhood trauma (specifically gaslighting/brainwashing/adult projection onto us) as well as those with neurodivergence, whose neurodivergence was not accepted. This extends also to households whose creed, religion, or philosophy was the only acceptable way of being and did not make room for originality or difference of thought.

Individuals experiencing such extremes in life have learned to “mask”. They have learned that they MUST become the authentic replica of “normal” people in order to survive and thrive in this place we call life.

I plan to talk more about this topic, but for today, I want to hear from you. Does this post resonate with you? How have you felt that you must become a replica of something other than your genuine self? Please know that I monitor comments and work hard to create a safe space to share. If you feel safe sharing your experiences, please do so in the comments section.

The upcoming Art Gallery & Maker’s Market is underway! We are looking for vendors and people excited to share this NEW event with the Chippewa Valley. The Market will highlight some excellent, local talent and charities. The Class will be an excellent resource for anyone wanting to come to terms with everything we have gone through as a collective society these past few years. I cannot wait to see you there!

Introducing my beautiful friend & owner of Amy Mae’s True Passion, Amy Mae Harwick. Amy Mae is a true artisan, wielding creativity as a means of bringing joy to burdened hearts.

Amy Mae has a deep love for people and even deeper love for animals. I am proud to walk alongside her in these upcoming events.

Thank you for joining me yet again this month in the Christian Corner of this newsletter. This week I would like to talk about healthy discourse and disagreement. I see a great need for us to be free to agree or disagree with others and allow others the same concerning us.

These past few years have brought out strong disagreements to the point of mass violence in almost all settings and from all types of people. Left, right, culture, creed, color, everyone has been out there fighting from behind keyboards or outright destroying people and entire cities.

No matter how we view the things that have happened or who we think caused them, we must accept that all types of people have done these things now and throughout all of human history. So, why change now? My friends, we are to be the light of Christ. We are to be the salt of the earth. We are to be a city on a hill. We cannot do that if we are engaging in any form of hate or attempts to control others.

Control seems to be what I see as the main issue in dysfunctional disagreements. One or both parties cannot seem to just be ok with not agreeing with each other. And please note, everyone does this. Whether we are dismissing someone’s views on gender equality or someone else is dismissing our views on Christ, ALL are involved.

I hope I have set the tone to continue this conversation. Next week be ready to roll up your sleeves and dive in with me as we go deep into this issue and how we as Christians can make changes. My ideas may or may not be what you would think. I would love to hear what you have to say about this in the comments below. *Note: I do not allow any hateful or dysfunctional arguing in my “spaces” be them online or in person. You are free to speak your mind. I do ask that if you want your comments to be kept up rather than deleted, that they be seasoned with salt and have large measures of grace.

-Kayleen Soden, INHC, CBHC, Life Coach

Published by Kayleen Soden INHC, CBHC, Wellness Coach

Hello there. My name is Kayleen Soden. I am a Wellness Coach. I love all things nature! I also enjoy time with my animals, books, and family.

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