Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Art Therapy and Being Authentic
How do we know when we are being authentic? We are authentic when we are acting in a way that feels truthful. I know that I am not being authentic when I pretend to be indifferent when I am not. I also can catch myself being inauthentic when I present myself as more or less than I am. When I don’t respect my emotions and I laugh when I need to cry or when I fake beliefs to be accepted, something inside me realizes that I am not being authentic. I know that I am not being authentic when I fake emotions to please others. When checking in with ourselves to see if we are being authentic, here are some basic questions to consider:
1) Am I honest with others about my feelings in contexts where talking about feelings is appropriate?
2) Do I consciously strive to be truthful in communications?
3) Do I talk openly, and straightforwardly about that which I love and enjoy?
4) If I am honest about saying that I feel hurt, angry, or upset?
5) Do I stick up for myself and honour my needs and interests?
An Art Therapy Exercise For Being Authentic
Have some art supplies in front of you. Feel your feet on the ground and just sense into them. What do you notice? Take a deep breathe into your stomach, what do you sense there? Bring your attention to your hands. Bring your awareness to your head and notice how it is feeling. Now, gently turn your attention inward. Think of a time when you were not authentic maybe to accommodate someone else’s believes or feeling. Notice, where in your body you sense this memory. Is there an emotional quality to this sensation? Ask this part of you to speak. Without judgment, just staying Present for yourself ask this part of you if there is anything that it is wanting. Gently bring this self-Focusing session to a close. Now reflect on a symbol or image that comes to mind when you think of the word authentic. Draw your personal symbol.
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