Authenticity

Women Inspiring Women is one of my favourite things and the foundation of my personal journey in writing and co-creating Tara Cronica. I took part in a Women’s Networking Group where the subject was The Inner Journey of an Authentic Leader hosted by the founder Tana Heminsley.

The moment I sat down I was curious and engaged as to what would transpire in a room filled with successful, strong, independent women. I had only interacted with a few of the women in the room but knew who they were from company events. Tana was an inspirational, she was calm, very present and approachable, making everyone feel they were in a safe place. I would describe her as a woman who genuinely cared and truly found her purpose. She was aligned in my eyes with what she was meant to be doing, guiding women to find their authentic self and teaching them how to apply it to business as a leader. First step is locating where you are…

We shared openly how we felt when we were authentic or the best version of ourselves. We did a task where we finished a sentence: My Authentic Self (At my best, above the line, I am) : ________.  I chose supportive, compassionate and attentive. I am not yet in a leadership role, however I consider myself a leader in life. I related this task with how I felt when giving my teenagers advice and having them leave feeling empowered. We each spoke our truth with ease having our core values and moral compasses engaged. I remember taking a moment to put into words how this made me feel when they left the room.

“I slowly feel myself align with motherhood…letting my body float over the crest of the wake after a swim in an ocean of uncertainty…a sense of relief as I allow my arms to relax opening my heart to what is…what was and what will or could be…my body floats to the surface…effortlessly drifting down the later side of yet another swell in this ocean we call life as a Mother.” It was a moment of Motherhood bliss. I was my authentic self, not judging or needing to react, not forcing my opinion from life experience, just being at ease with my truth, and theirs.

We also finished a sentence: “Personality/Ego (When below the line, I am)_______. I chose self doubting, worried and not balanced. We uncovered our vulnerabilities which seemed to have a common thread among the variety of personalities in the room. We identified how it felt to dip below our authentic self into the Personality/Ego. Being aware was a step in the right direction. We could all agree it feels much better to function above the line in the authentic realm. Having said that laughter filled the room when someone admit-tingly dipped below the line repetitively during the day. As funny as it was to hear others joke about dipping below the line, it was authentic to admit with ease and laugh about it, which in turn connected each of us on another level. We supported each other by adding a relatable nod and challenged one another to think about how to prepare ourselves for triggers that take us into the shadow of our true self.

Triggers can come from within, our own inner dialogue, self sabotage or a personality we don’t see eye to eye with. One of my favourite quotes “Thoughts become things, choose the good ones” ~ Notes from the Universe. Learning to identify what your triggers are will help you navigate through them more quickly. Preparing yourself before you meet with a personality that triggers you will allow you to stay on track and keep the task at hand in focus. We all left with new tools in our kits that will help us lead authentically, recognize when we are a little off balance and how to regain our composure and move forward.

Tana also emphasized how important it was to be kind to ourselves when they ventured down a less favourable path losing sight of our true self. We have all been there from time to time and that’s okay, we are allowed to wallow as long as we don’t plant roots.

My take away goes something like this…“When we align ourselves with others who lead authentically, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, understand the importance of our own inner journey, implement and fuse our core values with the values and ethics of company, magic happens!” 

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Moral Compass

moralcompass
625565_10151296502307032_1928783634_nMoral Compass ~ An inner sense which distinguishes what is right from what is wrong, functioning as a guide (like the needle of a compass) for morally appropriate behaviour. The full range of virtues, vices, or actions which may affect others and which are available as choices to a person, to a group, or to people in general. 

From a very young age we are taught right from wrong, good vs evil. We are all born with a clean moral slate, that gets tarnished along our path in life as we live and learn. Tarnish isn’t permanent, what is beneath the tarnish can be polished to bring back the shine that comes from within, if we are aware of our own moral compass.

images“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is so basic and rightfully labeled the Golden Rule! How is your moral compass these days? I think if we all checked in once in a while and asked ourselves what worked well and what we could improve upon in our daily lives, whether it be at work or personally, we might learn a few things about becoming better human beings and be more productive.

I think the teaching or guidance needed to differentiate between right and wrong is slipping between the cracks in the younger generations. We have lost the art of communication. No one take the time anymore to communicate and find out what we can do to improve ourselves. No one wants to hear the truth anymore. It’s almost frowned upon.

The days of a hand-shake agreement are lost. Ones word is no longer something you can take to the bank, so to speak. I hate to say it because I am a silver lining seeker, but I think generally speaking the human species moral compass is off kilter. Moral values, integrity, respect, consideration and honesty are becoming diluted in our society. People with their moral compass intact are becoming few and far between.

I leaned the term Kaizen at work the other day and I think its principal can be used at home as well.

Kaizen” is a Japanese approach to the workplace that has proven to be a famously effective Best Practices strategy with companies like Toyota, Sony and Envision Financial among others. “Kai” is defined as continuous improvement while “Zen,” a more familiar term, is loosely translated as for the better or “good.” Therefore, kaizen is to make “continuous improvements for the good.” Make sense?

Kaizen follows three principles: 1) process and results; 2) systemic thinking (the big picture); and 3) non-blaming, because to blame is counterproductive and wasteful in practice.”

How can you not improve by following this practise? It resonated with me and I plan on using it in my daily life.

“The two focal points of the principles are continuous improvement and respect for people. The principles for a continuous improvement include establishing a long-term vision, working on challenges, continual innovation, and going to the source of the issue or problem. The principles relating to respect for people include ways of building respect and teamwork.”

I like to think I have been on the right or good side for the majority of my life but I am human and have strayed to the wrong side on more than one occasion. Nobody’s perfect. There is a reason we are taught to do things a certain way and although it’s not completely clear as a child, it does become apparent as we age and grow into young adults. The right way is also debatable, and not always the short route. Being open to learn is a start in the right direction.

I used to tell my kids that they were not bad kids, sometimes their actions were not the best choice but in order for them to learn they needed to push buttons and boundaries to see the reaction that followed. Take away the ‘reaction’ and they have no compass to direct them along the right path. This is no different in the lives of adults. If you allow someone to treat you with disrespect, how can you blame them if you don’t give them an unfavourable reaction? That is how we learn. We do, we see and we either do again, or change to get the outcome we were hoping for.

Every action gets and deserves a reaction. Sometimes we are the one who acts and sometimes we are the ones who react. Both allow us to grow and evolve our human spirit.

So the next time someone reacts to your action, ask yourself  ~ “What could I have done to get this reaction?” Think about how your actions affect those around you and put yourself in their shoes to understand and be aware that your word through voice or script can affect those around you in a positive or negative way. It’s your choice!

Svaha ~

Tracy signiture

 

 

 

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