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Let Your Light Shine: You Can’t Be Original – You Can Be Authentic


tania marie author

The following blog post is not a new one, but a reshare of one I wrote 5 years ago that feels to be an important theme to impart once again. The next few months are increasingly going to be VERY full with everything manifesting right now to manage so I will try to share new things, but a lot of messages are key to recycle, as we journey along the spiral of life and need to keep revisiting things from a new perspective that will at some point (perhaps now) finally take hold for us and click into action! This one speaks to those of you facing fears or inertia to make those shifts and embrace your creative spark wanting through. It also speaks to my own processes I’ve continued to engage and currently am involved in, in writing my new book. I have found my authentic voice and regardless of what I’m writing not really fitting any particular genre out there, I’m writing it nonetheless and not comparing myself, not trying to be like any other writer, not trying to emulate what’s popular, nor am I worrying about what others may think of it, nor spending time wondering what will become of it. I’m doing just what Sarah (below) advises – listening to the creator within, while SUPER JOYOUSLY enjoying the process, and it’s leading me on MY right path. That’s all that matters. The journey, not the result. The BEING, not the TRYING.

Here is the post reshared here, as I couldn’t just reblog it:

As many visionaries in the fields of healing and creative arts are stepping up and into their unique roles they came to embody, challenges may present themselves to overcome. There are many factors that potentially may be blocking, limiting, frustrating, or discouraging you, but they all stem from the illusions of fear and in some cases can be hard to see for yourself, as you know just how to ingeniously hide and disguise them with self-sabotaging finesse. Sometimes the seeming challenges can also be linked with collective, divine timing and therefore patience, flow, and taking aligned, synchronized steps may be needed and remind yourself to enjoy and be present in the moment, rather than live in the future or past.

One of the recurring themes of fear I see is that of self-doubt, feelings of unworthiness, or self-devaluation. There is a tendency to disregard the unique gifts you have as being valuable and instead to compare or compete with others, rather than simply embracing and honoring what only you can share with the world. Energy gets diverted and drained in trying to emulate or live up to what you see “out there” rather than focusing and honing that energy into simply creating and channeling forth from “within.”

Some may feel that my approach of staying within my experience of art (as one example) and not immersing myself in other artists’ works, may seem counter-productive. Why would you not study, view, take technical classes, etc, for the thing you are doing as your work? Would you not want to refine it and have it be something more? My question to that is, who is judging the “more” and by what definition of refinement am I to be working towards? While I honor all artistic expression as valuable, my answer is, by creating from my heart in each moment and learning through the experience of doing, do I grow and evolve and create art that is uniquely from my expression alone and what I am meant to create, regardless of what standards the outside world has boxed art into.

This is not the way or process for everyone, but for me, it is how I stay authentic and true to what wants to channel through me. This is, in many ways, the way I operate in all areas of my life. I am not naive, but I do know that the innocence I retain in drawing from within, is my unlimited creative power.

To express what is most naturally authentic to you in your own way is what makes a difference. There are reasons we are each in an individual body, even though we are collectively connected. One of which is to naturally be who you are and to allow that to channel through your heart in the way that mirrors the gifts you chose to birth in with. Let your light shine.

This theme is perfectly and simply expressed by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance: A Day Book of Comfort and Joy. I hope you find some gems of supportive insight in what she shares:

You Can’t Be Original – You Can Be Authentic

One of the reasons many of us have trouble getting our Work out into the world is that unconsciously we’re competing instead of creating, which always short-circuits the flow of inspiration. A friend of mine is a gifted playwright. She denies herself the pleasure of seeing anything on the stage other than revivals of classics, preferably Greek. It’s too painful for her to watch contemporary work because she is addicted to comparisons.

Why do we make ourselves sick competing against strangers? I believe it’s just another sophisticated, seditious form of self-sabotage. If we don’t measure up, why even try? The fault line of comparison runs so deep in the lives of many of us it’s heartbreaking. I know women who quake at the thought of school bake sales because their brownies don’t sell as fast as those of another mother, and the psychic phobia over Halloween costumes is the last frontier in feminine psychology.

Five years ago when I published my first book, which updated Victorian family traditions, there were few popular books on the Victorian era available. But the late nineteenth century was just about to be rediscovered, and within two years there were so many books in the stores the market was completely saturated. Today it would be extremely difficult to find a commercial publisher for a Victorian book even if you channeled Queen Victoria as a spirit guide. This doesn’t mean if you are writing one that you should stop. The cycle of creation is cyclical. There’s a reason the past is prologue.

Sometimes you’re ahead of your time. Mozart was known to qualify his genius by declaring he was composing for future generations. There are literally millions of aspiring and working artists writing books, publishing poems, selling scripts, directing movies, auditioning for roles, designing clothes, entering juried craft exhibitions, starting home-based businesses, looking for an agent, praying for a lucky break. Don’t panic. It is impossible for you to be an original. But you can be authentic.

“God has lots of movie ideas, novel ideas, poems, songs, paintings, acting jobs,” Julia Cameron reassures us. “By listening to the creator within, we are led to our right path.” You aren’t the only one starting a mail-order catalog this year, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t know exactly what niche yours will fill perfectly. Why do you think you were offered the spiritual and creative opportunity?

Once you accept an artistic assignment from the Great Creator, it’s yours. Nobody can take it away from you, unless, of course, you relinquish it. Nobody can duplicate your work because there’s no one in the world like you. They can imitate, but they can’t duplicate. Your work is born of your sensibilities, temperament, experience, emotion, passion, perseverance, attention to detail, idiosyncrasies, and eccentricities.

When you’re authentic, so is your art.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses.  That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.  Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths.  We all derive from the same source.  There is no mystery about the origin of things.  We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.  ~Henry Miller

Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God. ~Guru Nanak 

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. ~Lao Tzu 

Becoming Authentic ~ Loving Your Trueness


the_velveteen_rabbit_by_coffinberry

the velveteen rabbit by coffinberry

Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always. ~Margery Williams 

I’ve had the Velveteen Rabbit on my mind a lot recently (I recently even purchased a copy of the book both for myself, and as a birthday gift for our 3-year old niece along with a stuffed velveteen rabbit of her own) and so I was inspired to post this excerpt from “Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach and “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams. I posted something similar a few years ago, but it just simply doesn’t get old in my book.

“On Christmas morning the bunny sitting in the top of the Boy’s stocking with a sprig of holly between his paws looked quite splendid. He was fat and bunchy in all the right places, with a soft, spotted white-and-brown coat, thread whiskers, and ears lined in pink sateen. The Boy was enchanted and played with the rabbit for two whole hours until family directed his attention to all the other wonderful parcels lying under the tree “and in the excitement of looking at all the new presents the Velveteen Rabbit was forgotten.”

For a long time, the bunny remained just another plaything in the nursery. But he didn’t mind because he was able to carry on long, philosophical discussions with the old Skin Horse who was very old, wise, and experienced in the strange ways of nursery magic. One of the rabbit’s favorite topics of conversation was on becoming “Real.” Here is the heart of Margery Williams’s mystical tale of the transformative power of love, The Velveteen Rabbit, written in 1927.

The Skin Horse patiently explained to the bunny that “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

Becoming Real doesn’t happen overnight to toys or people. “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

In order for toys to become Real, they must be loved by a child. In order for us to become Real, we must become lovers of real life in all its complexity and uncertainty. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we long to become Real, to know what authenticity feels like. Sometimes this hurts. The thought of losing our whiskers and having our tail come unsewn is frightening. In a world that judges by appearances, it’s embarrassing having all the pink rubbed off your nose. The Velveteen Rabbit isn’t alone in wishing to become Real without any uncomfortable or unpleasant things happening.

One of the ways that we become Real without too much discomfort is by growing gradually into our authenticity. As you learn to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate what it is that makes you different from all the other toys in the cupboard, the process begins. As you learn to trust the wisdom of your heart and make creative choices based on what you know is right for you, process becomes progress. As you learn to endow even the smallest moment of each day with Love, progress becomes reality perfected. Your black-button eyes might have lost their polish, but now these windows to the soul see only beauty. You become not only Real to those who know and love you, but Real to everyone. You become authentic.”

Getting “Real” Really Is Key


16141430_b0ac4bb6f1Little by little I’m seeing that people are coming to understand that there’s more to creating change than simply being “positive” and reciting affirmations, which is so refreshing. And so it seems that another round of inner reflection about your emotional landscape is coming up as an important topic again to reflect on, as you are working with integrating the deep roots of your experience.

I’ve written a lot on this subject including this August post:

It’s Okay to Feel ~ Allowing Your Humanness To Be The Reflection Of Divinity It Is.

So I smiled when I read this short MindBodyGreen article, a few days ago, by Aimee Dufresne: 

Stop Being “Positive” and Start Getting Real (Joy) In Your Life

In it, Aimee shares a few of her own simple hints and good places to start, to help you to “get real”.

As she puts it, just being positive is:

….”like trying to fit into the cutest pair of shoes that you want so badly but the only size available is a half size smaller than your feet. So you push and prod and tell yourself you can do it. You can bend your big toe and walk at an odd angle. Maybe the shoes will stretch if you wear them long enough. That chaffing isn’t so bad, is it?

Yes, it is. The further you push and force yourself into something that doesn’t fit, the more struggle and angst you will feel.”

So, if you have found yourself doing some of the spiritual bypassing, “fluffiness”, or denial with your emotions, where you “fake” a reality of feeling, crack a smile, and simply affirm otherwise, then you may want to check the links out and revisit your natural feelings in a deeper, holistic way.

Becoming Real


Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always. ~Margery Williams 

Being a lover of bunnies, make-believe, dreaming, hoping, loving, nurturing the child within, and authenticity I was inspired to share one of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s inspirational stories from her book: Simple Abundance – A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.

When I was a child I had more stuffed animals than I could count and I easily entertained myself for hours singing, playing, talking with, and simply loving them in my made up fantasy reality I went to daily. I was often off in another world completely consumed by the reality I created each day. I didn’t need any outside stimulation, although I often experienced much, and many friends, from the other worlds, but to me this was the authentic experience mirroring what was within- I knew nothing else.

I continued throughout my childhood, pre-teen and teenage years marching to the beat of my own drum and remaining in a reality of my own creation. Life was simply different for me, than what I saw around me, but this was something that as a child was so natural. But as time moved on and I was exposed to different things and conditionings than what I knew of as my experience, the inner dialogue started to ask questions and try to understand the differences I experienced from others.

This can be challenging to work through and process, but in the end I always came back to the fact that my natural experience of “different” was “normal” and most comfortable and authentic to who I was in my heart and soul and I didn’t like, nor operated successfully or healthily, any other way. When love came to be my experience, on a conscious level of creative choice, for and about who I was despite what I saw, felt, heard, or what anyone else would tell me, my life became “real.”

And this continues to expand exponentially and what may have at one time looked like make-believe, is belief in the making – my reality manifested.

This one in particular story by Sarah Ban Breathnach warms my heart because of the elements dear to me it holds. I hope it does the same for you. It builds on a precious story many of us know from our childhood: The Velveteen Rabbit. Here is Sarah’s sharing:

On Christmas morning the bunny sitting in the top of the Boy’s stocking with a sprig of holly between his paws looked quite splendid. He was fat and bunchy in all the right places, with a soft, spotted white-and-brown coat, thread whiskers, and ears lined in pink sateen. The Boy was enchanted and played with the rabbit for two whole hours until family directed his attention to all the other wonderful parcels lying under the tree “and in the excitement of looking at all the new presents the Velveteen Rabbit was forgotten.”

For a long time, the bunny remained just another plaything in the nursery. But he didn’t mind because he was able to carry on long, philosophical discussions with the old Skin Horse who was very old, wise, and experienced in the strange ways of nursery magic. One of the rabbit’s favorite topics of conversation was on becoming “Real.” Here is the heart of Margery Williams’s mystical tale of the transformative power of love, The Velveteen Rabbit, written in 1927.

The Skin Horse patiently explained to the bunny that “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

Becoming Real doesn’t happen overnight to toys or people. “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

In order for toys to become Real, they must be loved by a child. In order for us to become Real, we must become lovers of real life in all its complexity and uncertainty. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we long to become Real, to know what authenticity feels like. Sometimes this hurts. The thought of losing our whiskers and having our tail come unsewn is frightening. In a world that judges by appearances, it’s embarrassing having all the pink rubbed off your nose. The Velveteen Rabbit isn’t alone in wishing to become Real without any uncomfortable or unpleasant things happening.

One of the ways that we become Real without too much discomfort is by growing gradually into our authenticity. As you learn to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate what it is that makes you different from all the other toys in the cupboard, the process begins. As you learn to trust the wisdom of your heart and make creative choices based on what you know is right for you, process becomes progress. As you learn to endow even the smallest moment of each day with Love, progress becomes reality perfected. Your black-button eyes might have lost their polish, but now these windows to the soul see only beauty. You become not only Real to those who know and love you, but Real to everyone. You become authentic.

I finished typing this blog at 11:11 🙂

Let Your Light Shine: You Can’t Be Original – You Can Be Authentic


Bali Sunrise

As many visionaries in the fields of healing and creative arts are stepping up and into their unique roles they came to embody, challenges may present themselves to overcome. There are many factors that potentially may be blocking, limiting, frustrating, or discouraging you, but they all stem from the illusions of fear and in some cases can be hard to see for yourself, as you know just how to ingeniously hide and disguise them with self-sabotaging finesse. Sometimes the seeming challenges can also be linked with collective, divine timing and therefore patience, flow, and taking aligned, synchronized steps may be needed and remind yourself to enjoy and be present in the moment, rather than live in the future or past.

One of the recurring themes of fear I see is that of self-doubt, feelings of unworthiness, or self-devaluation. There is a tendency to disregard the unique gifts you have as being valuable and instead to compare or compete with others, rather than simply embracing and honoring what only you can share with the world. Energy gets diverted and drained in trying to emulate or live up to what you see “out there” rather than focusing and honing that energy into simply creating and channeling forth from “within.”

Some may feel that my approach of staying within my experience of art (as one example) and not immersing myself in other artists’ works, may seem counter-productive. Why would you not study, view, take technical classes, etc, for the thing you are doing as your work? Would you not want to refine it and have it be something more? My question to that is, who is judging the “more” and by what definition of refinement am I to be working towards? While I honor all artistic expression as valuable, my answer is, by creating from my heart in each moment and learning through the experience of doing, do I grow and evolve and create art that is uniquely from my expression alone and what I am meant to create, regardless of what standards the outside world has boxed art into.

This is not the way or process for everyone, but for me, it is how I stay authentic and true to what wants to channel through me. This is, in many ways, the way I operate in all areas of my life. I am not naive, but I do know that the innocence I retain in drawing from within, is my unlimited creative power.

To express what is most naturally authentic to you in your own way is what makes a difference. There are reasons we are each in an individual body, even though we are collectively connected. One of which is to naturally be who you are and to allow that to channel through your heart in the way that mirrors the gifts you chose to birth in with. Let your light shine.

This theme is perfectly and simply expressed by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance: A Day Book of Comfort and Joy. I hope you find some gems of supportive insight in what she shares:

You Can’t Be Original – You Can Be Authentic

One of the reasons many of us have trouble getting our Work out into the world is that unconsciously we’re competing instead of creating, which always short-circuits the flow of inspiration. A friend of mine is a gifted playwright. She denies herself the pleasure of seeing anything on the stage other than revivals of classics, preferably Greek. It’s too painful for her to watch contemporary work because she is addicted to comparisons.

Why do we make ourselves sick competing against strangers? I believe it’s just another sophisticated, seditious form of self-sabotage. If we don’t measure up, why even try? The fault line of comparison runs so deep in the lives of many of us it’s heartbreaking. I know women who quake at the thought of school bake sales because their brownies don’t sell as fast as those of another mother, and the psychic phobia over Halloween costumes is the last frontier in feminine psychology.

Five years ago when I published my first book, which updated Victorian family traditions, there were few popular books on the Victorian era available. But the late nineteenth century was just about to be rediscovered, and within two years there were so many books in the stores the market was completely saturated. Today it would be extremely difficult to find a commercial publisher for a Victorian book even if you channeled Queen Victoria as a spirit guide. This doesn’t mean if you are writing one that you should stop. The cycle of creation is cyclical. There’s a reason the past is prologue.

Sometimes you’re ahead of your time. Mozart was known to qualify his genius by declaring he was composing for future generations. There are literally millions of aspiring and working artists writing books, publishing poems, selling scripts, directing movies, auditioning for roles, designing clothes, entering juried craft exhibitions, starting home-based businesses, looking for an agent, praying for a lucky break. Don’t panic. It is impossible for you to be an original. But you can be authentic.

“God has lots of movie ideas, novel ideas, poems, songs, paintings, acting jobs,” Julia Cameron reassures us. “By listening to the creator within, we are led to our right path.” You aren’t the only one starting a mail-order catalog this year, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t know exactly what niche yours will fill perfectly. Why do you think you were offered the spiritual and creative opportunity?

Once you accept an artistic assignment from the Great Creator, it’s yours. Nobody can take it away from you, unless, of course, you relinquish it. Nobody can duplicate your work because there’s no one in the world like you. They can imitate, but they can’t duplicate. Your work is born of your sensibilities, temperament, experience, emotion, passion, perseverance, attention to detail, idiosyncrasies, and eccentricities.

When you’re authentic, so is your art.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses.  That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.  Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths.  We all derive from the same source.  There is no mystery about the origin of things.  We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.  ~Henry Miller

Even Kings and emperors with heaps of wealth and vast dominion cannot compare with an ant filled with the love of God. ~Guru Nanak 

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. ~Lao Tzu 

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