This past weekend, I went to a friends’ book club. Generally, I’m not great at book clubs. But in this case, I had already read the book and it really transformed the way I approach life. I was eager to talk it out with a group of people.
This book club was made up of some women I know really well, and some women I had never met. All, but me, are moms. All, including me, are figuring out how to live authentically and wholeheartedly.
We were asked to bring a photo that showed our authentic self. Not a picture of who we think we’re supposed to be. Not one with perfect hair and make-up, not one where we look especially great. We were told to focus on what was happening in the photo and why it represented who we truly are.
A theme emerged. In each of our pictures, we were in the moment.
We weren’t worrying about what was next, or what we had to do after to keep life moving along. We weren’t thinking, “what if this photo ends up on Facebook?” or “I might be getting an important email right now.” We were just embracing what was happening right there, right then.
That’s when we all felt we were our authentic selves.
Our authentic selves aren’t necessarily covered up by make-up and perfect hair. They are covered up by worries, demands and responsibilities. And as each day passes and more are piled on, we forget what’s underneath.
So we need to be intentional and choose to be in the moment. We need to give ourselves permission to let the world slip away, and know that it’ll be okay.
Dinner will still get on the table if I spend a few extra minutes cuddling with my boy.
My baby will still be an independent person if I let her sleep on me while she’s a newborn.
No one will miss me if I finish this ice cream cone with my kids.
And often pure joy and happiness doesn’t look like a perfectly manicured picture of ourselves. In fact, sometimes we look completely ridiculous. But it radiates something bigger, and redefines a “beautiful picture”.
Try it. Think of a picture that represents your authentic self. Is it a picture of you “in the moment”?