“Use your influence to help others”
Good morning, women of purpose! I’m happy to reconnect with all of your amazing voices. I appreciate, honor and heart you all! Today, I bring you an empowering, authentic and trans-formative message from one of the most influential life coaches in the universe. Please welcome back to Authentic Woman, my authentic camaraderie in arms, Ms. Pauline Haynes!
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
Every one of us is unique and totally irreplaceable. We have all had connections with people, places, things, and experiences. No matter how much we try, each individual has his or her own take on the story or stories, even if two people were present at the same occasion/occurrence.
The word authenticity has been so seemingly over-used, but it is a beautiful word that aptly describes who we are. It helps to differentiate you from me and vice versa.
Or, as in “I am the Walrus,” the popular Beatles song
“I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together.”
We are together, and we are different. Singular. Unique. One of a kind gem. No two alike. Our claim to authenticity!
As I celebrate a birthday, embarking on another chapter of my life, I am flooded with memories. Some clear, some lacking in details, while others flow like a montage of unconnected experiences in my life.
Certainly I am more than pleased to be at the ripe age of maturity (some would say old). In fact it wasn’t so long ago that I thought of this age (my age) as old. Old is a state of mind, a way of being. My chronological age is keeping tabs on my psychological, mental, physical and emotional age, and the winner is a draw, depending on the day.
That is why I have to dig deeper to find, honor, respect and appreciate the essence of this woman. This authentic being – me!
There is such a rush as I write those words. It makes me humble to be alive. Right here, right now. Yes. I have stories to tell!
I may share some of the memories, but this is not strictly meandering down memory lane. There are some memories I still prefer to keep to myself (and will). If you’ve lived as long as I have, you better have some experiences you want to keep”mum.”
What surfaces as I consider my life, is not the details of my teenage and young adulthood, but the occurrences on a worldwide scale and its impact on us right now.
My personal life does not have worldwide interest or impact. I have no claim to fame. Sharing some of my personal experiences have (in tiny ways) touched some, and maybe as you read this, you also may feel or experience some slight impact.
One does not have to be speaking before an audience, or command the ears/attention of millions to have impact. Presence is enough. Integrity and intentionality. The impact is what you choose to do with that presence.
I have developed a certain grace and humility, even though that can also exhibit anger and outrage (depending on the circumstances). The humility allows me to connect to my breath, which allows me to connect to my body, which connects me to my thoughts, my surroundings, my behavior; and so the ripple continues. The connection of me to the earth, to you and on and on.
When I am in my presence, and I am aware, I can have an impact. I speak differently. I hear differently. I respond differently. I behave differently. I am in reverence of all that is alive, true, perfect and sacred. I respect me more and I respect you more.
I honor life! I am authentic.
There are some “firsts” for me that are memorable in a nostalgic way, while others are purely sentimental. Neither is good or bad. They simply are.
In bringing two children into this world, they are both firsts. My first-born was a boy, and my second born was a girl. The first. The only. They are memorable and nostalgic all rolled into a bundle of everlasting love.
Seeing the birth of my first grand child was overwhelming, exciting, magnificent and awe-inspiring. Giving birth is not the same as seeing a birth.
I remember the first time I was kissed by a boy, It was uneventful, and I’m not sure why I remember it. The memory is vague, but present.
I remember the first time I set foot in England. It was cold, dreary, foggy, and it was a new experience, coupled with the old. I was reunited with my mother. I also remember the first time I arrived in San Francisco. It reminded me of the TV series “The Streets of San Francisco.” I was awed by how large everything was. The Golden Gate bridge was luminous through the fog, and it made me smile.
I could go on for a while, but these are my memories, and I appreciate your indulgence.
We are currently embroiled in political bantering, narcissism, grandstanding, holier-than-thou-ism, deplorable and despicable words and behavior ism. Lies and half-truths, and more lies. This is a part of the present as the two-party system pits Hilary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald John Trump (R) against each other. They vie for the hearts, votes and respect of the American people – to become the next president of the United States.
The shenanigans are not pretty.
This time in politics, is following on the historical footsteps of the creation of these United States. The true colors of hatred and dissent are more visible and pronounced than the caring and concern that individuals who gave their lives in the Civil Rights movement fought for. This country came about through some unsavory actions.
The turning backwards is giving us the opportunity to examine our souls and our intentions. Perhaps it’s even allowing us to get to know the real history of this country and its people.
Singularly, authentically and collectively – serious examination is called for.
Barak Husain Obama has been the first elected black president of the United States, and his eight-year tenure has not been an easy one. President Obama and first lady Michele Obama have governed with dignity, grace under fire, and have endured the insults, slurs, disrespect and every imaginable obstacle that has been thrown their way. They have certainly not done everything right.
As two people with their hearts rooted in our African culture, they have not only survived, they are thriving! I share Langston Hughes’ “Lament for Dark Peoples” which gives a little perspective on the foregoing. It is as pertinent now, as when it was penned by Mr Hughes years ago:
I was a red man one time,
But the white men came.
I was a black man, too,
But the white men came.
They drove me out of the forest.
They took me away from the jungles.
I lost my trees.
I lost my silver moons.
Now they’ve caged me
In the circus of civilization.
Now I herd with the many —
Caged in the circus of civilization.
My hope is that the Peoples of every culture, every nation will have a life that is worthy of our history, or sacrifices, our dignity, our caring. Our unique strengths and weaknesses have meaning and make a difference when we think and behave collectively. It is the only thing that will save our humanity.