Living Authentically Through Your Business

written by Mary Luz Oscategui, founder of IMI

Beautiful Girl in Flower FieldIn a culture of conformity, an authentically lived life shines bright. Authenticity connects you to your deepest impulse, your deepest heart longing, and your deepest sense of what you have to give to the world before you die. Early on in our journey toward maturity we may have a tendency to be connected with some shallow impulses, which can lead to a kind of pseudo happiness. These shallower impulses can be stimulating, exciting, new and fun for a time, and often time they are mistaken for real passion, but a truly authentic life is far beyond all that and it gives us a much deeper sense of fulfillment, one that is felt through every cell of our body at all times. It is free of the highs and lows of the old way of life. An authentically lived life feels as if you could die in any moment and your gifts that you have given to the world would continue.

As a business owner and coach, I find living authentically through one’s business to be very powerful, transformative, expansive, and of tremendous service to the world. When you are earning a livelihood through your business that arises from your authentic self, you feel full to the brim with life, overflowing in every moment. One becomes more sourced in a deep love underlying all your business decisions, and a more holistic vantage point. Authentic actions arise from a holistic perspective, which involve, unify and balance both the “masculine” and “feminine” part of us.

However, living authentically is not so easy and in fact does not seem natural to many of us. Why? Well there are a number of reasons but the core comes from our family, societal and cultural influences which can condition us to live from a place of conformity, imitation, distraction and fear.

In consulting with many clients and students, some common challenges expressed to me are:

·My industry is growing and more of the same professionals are now available in my area.

How can I compete with them? Won’t they hurt my business?

·I am having a very difficult time getting clients. No one seems to want my services.

·People want my services but they do not want to pay much for them.

·I am working so many hours and am not getting in return what I financially expected.

·I expected a warm welcome from my fellow colleagues but instead I got snubbed off.

Additional behaviors include:

·Envy for a friend or colleague’s business accomplishments

·Negativity toward a friend’s or colleagues business that is kept hidden

·Fear of competition

·Loneliness due to their completion feeling threatened by their services

When living authentically:

·Competition becomes Co-opetition

·Fear becomes Strength

·Lack becomes Abundance

·Self-neglect becomes Self-care

·Loneliness becomes Togetherness

·Doubt becomes Confidence

·Envy becomes Praise

·Challenge becomes Opportunity

·A Follower becomes a Leader

So how does one begin to live authentically?

First it begins by a willingness and openness to knowing yourself, trusting yourself, accepting yourself and loving yourself. When you are not happy with yourself or do not feel satisfied with what you are doing, there is a natural need to be concerned with how others are doing things and a need to imitate how others do things in the areas you feel lacking. However, when you are fully living authentically, your uniqueness and expression can simply not be matched. And in fact you will never feel at odds with someone who is in your same profession because your authenticity is what will set you apart. Most recently, I attended a few open houses for schools in my area as my daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall. One of the local schools I visited explained that when they put on a performance of Scrooge and Wizard of Oz every year they allow however many children want to play a specific role play that role. So for example if there are five children who want to play Scrooge, they welcome all of them to play Scrooge or if there are three children who want to play Glenda from Wizard of Oz, they welcome all of them to do so. I was so impressed and joyful that children in this program are learning at a very young age that when playing the same or similar roles, how to embrace their authenticity, express themselves uniquely, and be supported by their whole community when doing so! What a great preparation and gift for our children and our world.

Next, taking some space for you each day will help you to connect with your authenticity and understand what it is that is getting in your way. Most often times we get so distracted by our work, errands, household responsibilities, entertainment, etc….that we lose ourselves. Therefore it is important to check in daily and spend some time with one self. This can be done through meditation, yoga, hiking, nature, or just by simply resting. When taking space, we also give ourselves an opportunity to visit the beliefs and stories we have for ourselves; most often which can be limiting and sabotaging to our authenticity. These beliefs and stories can play endlessly like a broken record unless we begin to take the time to witness their limitation, no longer accept them, and let them go. The process of letting go and accepting ourselves lovingly, requires forgiveness and healing. Quite often in our society we are taught to suppress our emotions and to avoid them if we can. In addition, when we may be too busy to deal with our emotions and frustrations, or suppress them. As a result, we accumulate them in our body and mind where they may end up expressing themselves through negativity in our attitude or as physical ailments in our bodies. When we allow ourselves to go through a healing process, we have an opportunity to welcome these feelings, discover their roots, and allow them to move through us and out of us so we may forgive, restore, and renew ourselves.

Lastly, honor rest. When a woman consistently exhausts herself to succeed without taking rest to replenish herself, she is sending a powerful message out into the world that in order to succeed you need to exhaust yourself endlessly which can easily affect her well-being. Your gifts and services to the world require energy and the more energy you have, the more you can give. Our natural state can also be a gift in of itself. For example, if our state is one of self-care and self-nurturing, then we will naturally project that in the world and inspire others to do the same. If our state is one of over-working and striving toward exhaustion, then we will also naturally project that in the world and inspire others to do the same. You may find that there are days where you do need to overwork but then they will be followed by days where you can take some rest. It just so happens that we live in a society that doesn’t consider rest as a necessity so therefore it is important to pay extra attention to it.

Now if you are already living authentically, another situation sometimes arises where you find that others who have not connected with their own authenticity may project envy and jealousy toward you. In some case they may even try to undermine you. If you have never experienced this before, it can be quite disheartening. However, this is where we need to keep in mind that this is there issue, not yours and an opportunity to let go of a projected energy that does not serve you or your business. Instead stay focused on welcoming a loving space where those who are also living authentically or want to live authentically will not only welcome you but create a community where you can all support one another.

This finally leads me to sharing with you my dream and passion for creating a community of sacred businesses with business owners that are committed to not only living authentically through their business but supporting one another very loving and openly. I invite you to become part of the Sacred Biz movement where we not only authentically explore, connect, and share an abundance of our love and gifts to the world, but where we also welcome a strong and supportive community of businesses who will forever change the world.

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