My sister-in-law painted an ocean-hued Walt Whitman quote for me that now hangs in my office - a daily reminder of why I write, speak, and coach.
“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls.”
I didn’t start out to be a writer. I was going to be an elementary school teacher, but life had different plans. After detouring into a career as an event manager, I transitioned to stay-at-home-mom with our first son and found a love for dabbling in the blogging world. Suddenly I needed to jot down my questions to process how I was growing and discovering life from a different perspective, and share it via cyber oblivion.
I remember the first time I felt adrenaline pulse through my fingers after pushing _publish, _and glimpsed at the beginning of what has become my journey toward authenticity.
Toward writing, sharing, and inviting others to look within and ask themselves, “ What am I feeling? Experiencing?Challenging? Discovering? Who am I when no one is around? When am I most alive? How are life’s detours inviting me to become a deeper version of my truest self?”
I believe with the fight for authenticity comes the vulnerable work of allowing my outside to match my inside. To be congruent, and willingly push into the uncomfortable. This discomfort comes in endless forms of loss, moves, a shifting identity, health scares, marriage challenges, financial fiascos, transition, and even the mundane. But I want to open-handedly allow those unplanned circumstances to chisel me into a rooted human, more alive today than yesterday. You see, choosing the uncomfortable path is where I’m alive. It is where I long to encourage, challenge, and offer insight to others who desperately want to be made new.
Redefining real; this is my pioneering heartbeat.
This journey of pressing into the uncomfortable is not for the faint of heart. Daily, I’m tempted to give up. To quietly shut down my honest thoughts and feelings, and subtly acquiesce into what appears safe and normal. I recognize how easily I could go back down the chiseled path of people pleasing and over-performing, but there is no freedom for me there. Only bondage and a superficial top layer of whom I thought I needed to be - rather than a whole, deeper space to live authentically from.
So, I choose to write, coach, listen, and share my story about celebrating authenticity. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s true. The more I write about turning life upside down for a different perspective, or allowing challenges and detours to reveal my truest self, or inspiring others to be brave in those same moments, I find that heart-fluttering passion colliding with my purpose.
I’m a real-embracer. An authenticity cheerer. And it means willingly walking through the messy parts of life like cancer, pain, and loneliness to discover what I’m made of - to have a story to share from, and a risk worth inviting you to. It is all for the sake of becoming the most beautiful, truest version of who we are intended to be. Because when we get in touch with the realest parts of ourselves we can create, teach, parent, love, and inspire more fully.
Who’s with me? We’re picking up our pant legs and stepping into the mess, knowing the beauty of inner transformation and revealing of our souls awaits on the path.
Photos by Karen Hernandez