When I was in my 20’s I thought “being real” meant using the F word emphatically and doing the opposite of what the “mainstream” people did, whatever that might be at any given moment. So I swore often and quickly turned left when I saw the popular culture turning right.
Mindfulness, and some good old fashioned growing up, showed me that “being real” means clearly seeing what is really in my mind and heart and staying with whatever I notice rather then distracting myself with something (choose your favorite; movies, food, shopping, gossiping).
The road to getting close to your own truth and “being real” is paved by letting yourself care about what you care about, love what you love, hate what you hate and get close to the truth of how you feel, even if it is something you think you “shouldn’t” feel.
Mindfulness does not tell us that being real is acting out all of these feelings; instead, it invites us to experience and witness them internally. In contrast to my time of displaying my “realness” out loud for all to hear and see, this kind of realness is a sweet and personal experience. In fact it has little to do with what others see in you at all. This realness is a felt experience of being more fully yourself.
I met with one of my teachers recently and during our session she reminded me to stay close to what was happening for me in the moment. I became aware of a very deep feeling that surprised me as I uncovered it. I told her that it was so tender that I wanted to keep it to myself. “Then do.” She said, “you don’t need to tell or explain it to anyone if you don’t want to.” As she said, “What is important is that you feel it and know it for yourself,” I began to feel relaxed, open and calm and… really like myself.
Then I told her about it, because I wanted to not because I “had to.” She understood completely. It turns out that when we connect to deep truths in ourselves, they are very much the same as the deep truths in others. This became even more evident to me when I had the privilege to sit with one of my students later that week and guide her in much the same way I had been guided. My own heart warmed as I saw and heard my student coming into contact with her “realness” and when she chose to describe her thoughts and feelings to me… I understood completely.
Rebekkah Teaches Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga to individuals and groups.
She offers individual Mindful Living sessions in person, via phone or skype.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like support for living a more mindful life.