When I was 25, I became a devotee of the spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson. One of her books in particular hit me straight in the heart: A Woman's Worth. After reading it, I was awakened to a power source within me I had never recognized before. This awesome awakening occurred upon reading the following passage:
A queen is wise. She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passed her tests. She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it. She has proved she can hold her kingdom together. She has become its vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself. She rules with authentic power.
At the time I couldn't comprehend what it would feel like to "rule with authentic power," but it sounded really groovy. I wanted to perceive myself as a powerful woman, but deep down I felt like a weak girl seeking my self-worth from outside circumstances. This passage helped me recognize that there were no shortcuts on the path to my authentic power. I would have to show up for life's assignments and pass my tests to release all that was blocking me from being my highest self. I did just that. Soon after reading this passage, I became a student of the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles and began to unlearn my false perception of myself.
For the past seven years I've been a student of the course. Through my dedicated practice I've come to understand that my outside need for approval is what blocked my authentic power. I was searching for meaning in the meaningless world I had projected. My awareness of these blocks was the first step toward releasing them.
The spiritual journey I embarked on left me no wiggle room for small play. I had to surrender to a new perception and chose to seek my power in an internal condition rather than an external circumstance.
Once I became willing to stop looking out there and look inward instead, my entire life changed. I began to earn my serenity and learned to find my source of peace and purpose from an inward condition. My neediness melted away, my insecurity weakened and my self-doubt transformed into self-assurance. In time I became a queen, and today I live in my authentic power.
I work hard each day to maintain my authenticity. A major part of the maintenance process is to know the difference between what it feels like to be living in my truth vs. living in my ego. When I'm living in my truth I breathe slowly, I feel fulfilled regardless of what's going on in my external world and I exude a genuine confidence that cannot be manufactured.
Living in my ego is quite the opposite experience. When I'm in my ego, my energy is frantic, I compare myself to others and I try to be something I am not. Knowing the difference between living in my truth vs. acting out from my ego keeps me conscious of when I'm not aligned with my authentic power. This awareness is the key to staying on a path toward authentic truth.
You, too, have the capacity to live in your authentic power. If you feel out of alignment in any area of your life, use my tools below to recalibrate your authenticity. Follow these steps and you'll awaken a powerful force within that has been eager to come through you.
Step One: Become Conscious of When You're Out of Your Truth
This exercise will heighten your awareness of what it feels like to be in your truth in opposition to what it feels like to be out of alignment. Take out your pen and paper and describe the differences between what it feels like to be in your truth vs. what it feels like to be in your ego. How do you act differently, talk differently, think and even breathe differently? Pay close attention to the differences in how you feel.
Step Two: Welcome the Assignments
I'll let you in a powerful secret: When you begin to look at your ego's false behavior, you've unconsciously asked for a miracle. The slight willingness to see things differently is the catalyst for spiritual shifts. These shifts can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable -- but that's a good thing. Remember that we must "pass our tests" to grow into our authentic power.
Step Three: Show Up for the Assignments
Welcome the life assignments that come your way and stay committed to connecting to your authentic truth. Have faith that there are no coincidences and that, as the course says, "no one is sent to anyone by accident." Every experience you have will be a powerful opportunity for you to strengthen your internal condition. Continuously recite the prayer, "I am willing to know my truth." Trust that you will be guided.
Step Four: Learn What Authentic Power Means to You
Authenticity is different for each person, but the one defining factor is that authenticity is a feeling, not an action. Throughout this process of awakening your authentic truth, you will come to feel an internal shift. You may not be able to put this shift into words. Simply trust that you're being led to know much more than what you once perceived to be real. Allow this new feeling to pass through you, guide you and energize you to experience a newfound self-awareness.
Though these steps seem subtle, you can trust that they are igniting transformational shifts within you. Stay committed to this process and invite the energy of the universe to support your assignments and spiritual growth. Be faithful that your authentic power is all you need to truly share your light with the world.
To learn more about your authentic power join me on 3/9 for my lecture entitled, Your Highest Self - Awaken Your Authentic Power. Details Here
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Featured in the New York Times Sunday Styles section as "a new role model," motivational speaker, life coach, and author Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Expanding the lexicon for the next generation of spiritual seekers, Gabrielle is the #1 bestselling author of the book, Add More ~ing to Your Life, A hip Guide to Happiness. In September 2011 Gabrielle launched her second book, Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles. In 2008 she launched her social networking site HerFuture.com for young women to find mentors.
Follow Gabrielle Bernstein on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gabbybernstein