“The most courageous thing a person can do is to live an authentic life.”

Terri Amos, a spiritual coach, also thinks “We are all worthy of living fully with overflowing abundance. If you don’t believe this for yourself, then I ask that you look at your limiting beliefs… and let me tell you, we all have many.”

Scarlett JohanssonShe adds: “Freedom comes from within. It comes from getting to know who you really are, releasing all limiting beliefs. And as you release your limiting beliefs and stand in your truth, your example shines a light for the whole world to see.

“Freedom will be yours when you give yourself permission to live authentically.”

From her article Authenticity equals Freedom.

It can be fun to obscure our identity sometimes, such as going to a masked ball (like actor Scarlett Johansson in the photo), but as psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel, PhD notes, many of us, especially creative people, have a deep need to live a meaningful life.

“People with existential awareness recognize that their prime challenges are to live life in a certain way and to experience life in a certain way,” he writes. “For the sake of simplicity we will call the former the challenge of doing and the latter the challenge of being.

“These are interrelated but distinct challenges. The former is the challenge to land on meaningful work and to keep busy in ways that we will call active meaning-making. The latter is the challenge to feel well even when you are prevented from making meaning or not inclined to make meaning.”

From his article A Recipe for Authentic Living: Making Meaning.

But career and financial success can disguise a lack of authenticity.

“At twenty-five, I was a television literary agent.. I had an office with a view, an assistant, an expense account, power lunches, clients, and business cards… From the outside, my life looked great… There was just one problem: I was absolutely miserable.”

That is a quote by Christine Hassler, from her book “20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction.” See the post Making good use of your quarter-life crisis.

Ivanka TrumpIvanka Trump (who graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School) is vice president for acquisitions and development of the Trump Organization, helping make major real estate deals worldwide.

But she articulates an aversion that probably many high ability people have:

“What would be scary for me is to exist at the Trump Organization in a minor capacity. Mediocrity terrifies me.” [The New York Times December 27, 2007]

In the book Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life is a quote by poet Wallace Stevens about listening carefully for meaning:

Let Your Life Speak
“I don’t ask for the full ringing of the bell. I don’t ask for a clap of thunder that would rend the veil in the temple. A scrawny cry will do, from far off there among the willows and the cattails, from far off there among the galaxies.

“Perhaps our callings, the wisdom of our true natures, can only be hinted at, anyway — filtered through symbols, dreams, symptoms, happenstances, synchronicities and the like.

“They are not shown to us directly, but only mediated, for the same reason that the goddess Athena had to come to the aid of Ulysses disguised as a mortal, and for the same reason we can’t look directly at the sun. …

“We thus need to learn to recognize our calls in many disguises, and know that the channels through which they come are like pierced ears — we have to keep rings in them or they close up.”

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