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What being authentic means - and what gets in the way


Authenticity is one of those fascinating subjects - an important part of the spiritual journey. The egoic mind feels threatened by it, because the true energy of authenticity means the demise of ego led behaviour. If we logic it solely through the intellect, then we can rapidly lose the meaning behind it. Authenticity is a simple way of being that rises spontaneously, without control, from the core...

What does ‘being authentic’ mean?

    'Authentic' is a descriptive and powerful word, deserving the space to breathe.
    So here I feel to shine a little light on the subject by sharing a perspective on what being authentic really means, perhaps even dispelling a few myths in the process.

'Authentic' means from the source or origin. Being authentic in a spiritual sense means 'as expressed directly from the source', through the soul. It is the raw, naked, unhindered expression of beingness of the soul. Authenticity is a quality of being. That’s why we say ‘being authentic’ not ‘doing authentic’.

Observing authenticity in others

One of the easiest ways to observe authenticity is to notice creatures in nature: a hedgehog, a squirrel or a butterfly. They have no agenda other than to be ‘who they truly are’.

They have an advantage over many humans, without the hindrance of an ego, showing us a great example of what it means to be authentic. Another great example would be a small child. There is often a time in a child’s life, before they are washed through with conditioning, fears and expectations, where they are free to simply be. They are real, liberated and authentic - for a while at least. People within indigenous cultures often exude authenticity - especially if they never lost their connection with the soul and the source.

We see authenticity in people from all walks of life - people who are just really comfortable in their own skin. They feel real and natural. They say it ‘how it is’, yet with compassion and awareness. These are the people we trust in life - because they are real.

    You can’t ‘try’ to be authentic. You can’t train yourself or follow a technique to learn. You can however, self-realise and allow your layers of baggage to fall away. In so doing, authenticity will arise more and more as a divine expression of your being.

Authenticity is all about the moment. It’s about now. It’s about presence. It’s not only seeing beyond the veil, but being beyond the veil and bringing that through to the experience of being human.

Authenticity is what is left over when the mind steps out of the way and let’s the soul shine through.

Authenticity is when you are being you, from the core.

Authenticity is pure beingness.

Accepting our darkness

It may be that you can't be fully authentic because a distortion is coming through. You might feel an authentic impulse, that becomes distorted by a filter. In which case, you have the option to be real at least. Being as real as we can possibly be, distortions n'all is a powerful precursor to authenticity. This means we are able to see how we are not being authentic and peel away those layers - leading to authenticity.

    It’s acceptance of all our inner darkness - each of us have it - and not being afraid of what others may think of us. It’s not placating others, at the expense of being true to ourselves. It’s not showing others our likable traits in order that they accept us, because of fear of being rejected.

It’s having the courage to be true to ourselves.

It’s not a doctrine of spiritual correctness!

Authenticity doesn’t mean that we always have to bare all either. Honesty doesn’t necessitate splurging everything out in a mighty torrent of emotion. It might mean that we have to be silent, to say nothing or that we are meant to contain our emotions; work with them ourselves, because it is not the right time to share.

    This is different to withholding because we are afraid of the consequences - but rather honouring what is divinely given in the moment. It may equally at times be totally in the flow to bare all, yet consciously, despite the perceived consequences.

Being authentic means that we observe what is appropriate for each given moment. Our actions are not dictated to by conditioning, fears or expectations. Every moment is unique and cannot be predicted, nor can the outcome of our actions.

True compassion

Sometimes being authentic requires being the bearer of undesirable news. True compassion is finding the courage to do this because you know that it is the ‘right’ thing to do.

    It can be really tough being a messenger in the face of opposition, yet, that honesty may hold the key for a greater spiritual unfolding for others. It might be the most loving thing that you can do. (A little tip - letting go of the need for thanks, appreciation, the need for approval or to be liked helps a lot... The Importance of Feedback Loops for Energy Workers)

Authenticity will determine exactly what is meant to be shared. It will determine exactly how the energy is given. Being authentic requires the courage to deliver.

What get’s in the way of being authentic?

  1. Fear of what other's think of you
  2. Being swept along by other people’s energies
  3. Being trapped by others expectations - 'being labelled'
  4. The spiritual identity

Fear of what others think of you:
It’s difficult to be authentic if you are living in fear of what other people think of you. It may be a natural expression of your soul to be considerate and kind to others, but if you adjust your behaviours to keep the peace or please others so that they’ll accept you, then you aren’t being authentic.

Being authentic might mean that the relationship no longer serves either of you and you go separate ways - an essential step forward to make space for new, more suitable friends who meet us where we are at. It may equally mean that the relationship evolves and you both evolve to a new level of connection together. Who’s to say! When we live in fear, we don’t get to evolve, we just run around in circles, recreating the same suffering for ourselves. We don’t get to be the authentic us.

When you live in fear of honouring your true expression, you create a dead feedback loop for your soul. Your energy is drained, because, energy that is not authentic can only ever be replenished by the mind or emotions (which are a limited resource) - whereas energy from the source is ever-present.

Being swept along by other people’s energies:
Some people are highly sensitive and lose themselves when around others. It may be authentic to harmonise and align with others, but their own vibration gets drowned out. They can no longer hear the voice of their own soul. They are swept along by the strong current of other peoples energy, unable to find their own flow.

It might feel like you have no choice, or that it’s just your configuration, that it's just the way it is - but there IS a choice.

It’s a matter of awareness and learning to honour your boundaries. Boundaries are important for highly sensitive souls. This takes practice. It involves continually bringing consciousness to your own soul and energy field when around others and then learning to tell the difference between you and them. It's knowing what’s yours and what’s someone else’s
(See article: Being an Empath for tips and advice for highly sensitive souls)

Trapped by others expectations - 'being labelled':
In personal relationships with family or at work, people often find that they’ve been categorised and labeled. People are typically hemmed in and related to by the people around them, by certain behaviours, traits, gifts and faults, with very little room for change. Every engagement with you will confirm their expectations as they subconsciously re-affirm them.

I am incredibly blessed to live in a house where we respect one others constantly unfolding nature. We are continually evolving and growing, accepting change as a natural part of our evolution. A funny thing happened to me last month though, when I went to stay with my Mother. She’s a beautiful soul and very accepting of ‘me’, yet something from the old days slipped back in to highlight the incredible power of expectation - to keep me on my toes, I think!

    I had jet lag and was feeling a bit wobbly after traveling half way around the world and flipping my body clock upside down. I’d randomly bumped into the door frame as my spatial awareness went to pot, to which with a smile, my mother cheerfully said: "you’ve always been clumsy haven’t you".
    It threw me back momentarily.

      Have I always been clumsy?
      Am I clumsy?
      Something from my childhood perhaps.
      But is this really me?

    Something didn’t feel quite right, yet my reality was being presented to me under no uncertain terms. I sat with the notion, paused for a while and then replied... “actually, I haven’t really been clumsy for a long time now.” The truth is, I DID used to be clumsy though! At home I had a reputation for bumping into things. It was expected and reaffirmed light heartedly throughout my childhood. It was my reality. I even remember being given a mug with Mr Bump on it (Mr Bump is a sweet clumsy cartoon character, who bumps into things a lot, covered with bandages). I used to smile all the time too, I had many positive attributes, but I didn’t get ‘Miss Sunshine‘ - I got ‘Mr Bump’! So, I was clumsy.

At the age of 26, it suddenly dawned on me that I had a choice. I didn’t feel at home here on earth. I was ethereal in nature and had little reason to be embodied, naturally living out of body, ungrounded, living in the ‘clouds’. Expectations of who we are, as projected by those around us, can silently bubble in the background without us realising it. We are all aware that if you tell a child he’s naughty enough times, eventually he’ll believe it - the same can be said for just about anything.

When we become aware, we can do something about it. So, in my twenties, I stopped letting others determine my reality and over time became present, aware and you guessed it, embodied. The clumsiness (which was never ‘really’ me, but a tool of deeper self realisation) fell away almost instantly.

The spiritual identity
This is quite common in the spiritual world.

I’ve often seen the spiritual identity acting ‘authentic’. This happens when an ego/false self or shadow of the soul, knows exactly how authenticity ‘should’ look like and emulates it.

This is one of the biggest pitfalls in the modern spiritual movement. The problem is that a spiritual identity emulating authenticity may carry a vibration that is closely aligned with the real thing - because a fragment of the soul is embedded. It always has a fabricated undertone though and from presence can be spotted a mile off.

Swinging too far the other way

Of course, it’s common that when people realise they are ‘people pleasing’, ‘trapped by expectations’ or ‘washed through with other peoples energy’, the spiritual identity can then swing in completely the opposite direction, in a valiant effort to rebalance and make up for lost time.

So I have seen people pleasers become incredibly selfish. I have witnessed people who have been brain washed or hurt in some way, reject just about anything with authority. People liberated from being trapped by others expectations also run the risk of becoming thwarted by a false sense of self empowerment.

    Beware of over compensating with stubbornness! It’s understandable, but not authentic.

It can be useful to swing the other way for a short while, to feel the polarity of the distortion. It can help to shake off the distorted behaviours. Although why replace one distortion with another?

Natural evolution of the soul

The wonderful thing is that authenticity is our natural state of being. It is boundless. It's the return to who we truly are. Our soul will, one way or another, always urge us back to our true and authentic origins. If we can allow anything that is not us, simply to fall away, we can be who we are divinely given to be.

Once we realise, we need not wait a moment longer.

Soul to Soul

Related Pages
Unleashing the Soul: how free are you?...
Understanding the Moment: are you being fooled by the present?...
The Power of Being video: embracing our higher beingness


Wow, you talked about all the aspects of the problem. To me authenticity is more of a frustrating problem. If feels like it will just never happen, this 'natural' state.

So one of the things I am working on now is on not needing to be authentic, or not expecting of myself to be authentic, now or ever. It can be quite foggy sometimes, that the expectation itself prevents being authentic, if it makes sense.

These days I can feel the tightness around this whole thing, and self-judgment. I know something is wrong, but is it really constructive to go around and think about it all the time: oh, I am not authentic (this is what I did so far). So I am learning to let authenticity go Smile

Very important.

And, in general, I am finding myself in a paradox recently. It feels like it's time for me to accept being everything that is the opposite of 'spiritual', to be perfectly fine and ready to live and die like this. It seems that this is the way for me now.

So I am not authentic. And this is perfectly ok.

I have only one question: why were we created in such a fake way? What is this torturing process for? I know this is a silly question, but I think I just can't 'forgive' and accept this world as it is. So this question arises all the time. I find it hard to digest the suffering of being disconnected. Why like this? Oh, why?! hahaha

Thank you for the great article (also very in time)

Trinity's picture

It sounds as if you are embracing what you can feel - not needing it to go away; not needing it to be any other way. This too is an powerful step for many, especially if you have a strong and active intellect that would 'own' or become attached to the process.

'Accepting what is' with your filters, distortions and all, is an important precursor to authenticity. It involves acceptance, trust and non attachment to the outcome. If you can master this one, then you are doing well Smile

There are many reasons that humans live in a 'fake' way. The important things is that one we realise, we can do something about it.

You can't really forgive (both your self and the world) unless you really touch the space where we are all connected. You can't forgive unless you can look your darkest demon in the eyes and see the light at the centre of his being. You then unleash the same depth of light from your own soul.

When you touch the space of unity consciousness, where we are all united - then you will find that all you see outside of yourself is a reflection of what is going on inside of you. The tricky thing is that this is not graspable by the intellect in a way that helps.

Ultimately, when you forgive the world (or anything outside of you), then you forgive yourself. Then you move on and evolve through it.

I am not sure if that helps - I felt to share incase it sparked something at a soul level within you.

A lot!! I just had 3 'sparkles' in there Smile

Very important points for me. For example, I've learned to admit, see and accept the monsters, and I did feel the light (because it seems that without it I can't really accept), but I never paid attention to it, I was more focused on monsters and their forms. So now that you wrote it I could finally also notice the light part that was there, and that the next step is to learn to see the light in everything, and reach the light when going into stuff.

Another thing really hit me about forgiveness. I had the two parts disconnected. when I was asking about "why so ugly world?", you know, I was always asking something on the outside, as if somebody has created it and I am a victim. I feel that I have to make a connection between myself and the creation somehow, stop separating it from myself, looks like this is the way... And then I can make my peace with it. I never saw it this way. So thank! Really really meaningful to me.

Also you kind of summarized and organized some disconnected pieces I was experiencing and realizing during the last year and brought some order into the mess in my mental Smile

Still a long way to go...

It's really interesting also that I feel so lost all the time, and it seems to me I'm never doing 'right', but then you say something and I feel like, ah, ok, I'm ok haha

So thank you! Smile
Big hug

Trinity's picture

Wonderful. You are welcome. I am pleased that I can help these pieces of the puzzle land and make sense for you.
Keep embracing those gems and sparkles that you find.

It is nice not to be alone in the lost club. An illuminating message Trinity, the reminders don't fade, they just keep reminding unconditionally.
The great thing about Mr Bump is, he's always there to bump you when you lose self.
Fear of what other's think of you
Being swept along by other people’s energies
Being trapped by others expectations - 'being labelled'
The spiritual identity

There are so many distortions hidden within the points above. As I am sitting here I have a strong feeling of how trust plays such a key role in all of this. Trusting self when everything else around you is saying not too. In my mistakes is where the answers lie. Yulia, you mentioned the paradox, it feels like that is where the pearl rests waiting through eternity to be discovered, when we are ready to recognize it's beauty, our own beauty.
The moments are the teachers of our forgiveness and if we patch them together within our quilted soul one at a time, they will lead us to heaven.
I think in many different ways we all gravitate to Openhand because it gives us a safe place to bump into things, to learn the transition from crawl to walk. Off I go on my day to practice true self. How many band-aids will I have by night fall!! Love. Mike

Trinity's picture

Yes, there's nothing like 'Mr Bump' to keep remininding us to wake up Smile

Trust is key! Thank you for bringing it up. When all the odds seem to be against you and there is not another person around you who seems to agree - yet you still feel deep down to do it anyway. Trust will give you the strength to be you and follow through every time.

I remember when I was a first a parent with a baby; in fact when before I'd even given birth. Everyone around me was at odds with my natural parenting choices. Not vaccinating, being vegan and ultra healthy not having a pre-natal scan, breast feeding 'my way' (I when he was hungry, not 4 hourly), carrying him with me at all times (like they do in native cultures - rather than leaving them to sleep in a crib alone). In their eyes I was just weird and either too loving or not loving enough (depending on what they had an issue with). It was important that I experienced that though. What a gift to take me deeper. It was important that I lived in one of those judgmental type towns, out in the sticks, behind the times. Then, just getting through each day, felt like me and my child against the world. Although, it just made me stronger in myself...

The main thing that sustained me through those times wasn't courage, but it was TRUST. I found that as long as I trusted in the pull of my soul, that the strength and courage to follow through was always there.

with Love

Thanks Trinity, those were the words I needed to hear! I am feeling pressured into quitting breastfeeding my 7 month old baby, by many people close to me. For reasons such as "you really need some alone time without the baby"
and so that the father could spend an entire day or weekend with the baby (she refuses to take the bottle, smart girl!).
I'll stick with what I believe is best for my baby though sometimes it's hard having to defy the views of everybody around me.
By the way I think it's sad how many babies are being bottle-fed, at least here in Finland.

Trinity's picture

I am glad that it meant something to you Maiji. Seven months is still so young. Humans have some strange cultural beliefs about what is appropriate compared to other primates. Cultural beliefs can be a huge block against being authentic.

I expressed breast milk a couple of times when my child was a baby so that I could go out for the evening - I put in a bottle and he totally refused it, preferring to go hungry.

Trinity's picture

Just because your truth is different to everyone else,
it's doesn't make it wrong.
Feel the pull of your soul and allow it to guide you
in every moment... ♥

Thanks for the brilliant article Trinity....had a similar experience with my mum the other day. Happily dealt with the tightness quite instantly but realise from reading your experience I didn't share that with her - this time Wink - so thank you for the reminder & the much deeper understanding your article offered with such perfect timing <3.

Love Jaq

Trinity's picture

You are very welcome Jaq.
Thank you for sharing - I am pleased to hear that it struck a chord.

tonya's picture

This is a lovely article, Trinity. Beautiful and heart felt.

Much love, Tonya x

Wendy369's picture

THANK YOU Trinity - this is one of the most useful articles I've come across on authenticity. I'll have to read it several times as there's so much in it. This topic is really at the heart of relationship to self, others and environment.

matthew's picture

Thankyou Trinity for another timely and helpful article, i notice myself being affected by most of these at sometime or other. definately still
work in process...... xx

susiemcampbell@cox.net's picture

Hi Trinity,
Wonderful article and all the points you mentioned are my life in a nutshell right now. I so needed to read this so thank you so much for reaching out and explaining so eloquently. What yu wrote made perfect sense like a jigsaw coming together.......so one more piece of puzzle in place, now to work on the rest Smile xxx

This idea of authenticity feels to me to be the natural state each being longs for through life. It is the spark that pulls us into the moments of joy and for some reason it is a place we struggle to remain for long.

I know when I am there because I feel the ease of life, even in the fire there can be ease if its within my own authenticity of being. I see my swings and there are many but the beacon of authenticity no longer strays far from shore anymore and for this I am grateful. I sense this core value of authenticity to be the light that shines in front of me and the honesty I bring to it determines the brightness of my shadows along the way. Mike

susiemcampbell@cox.net's picture

That's lovely Mike xxxxx

divinespark's picture


This is such a stellar article on what being authentic means. The distinction between "real" and "authentic" rings true. So helpful. I used to feel that it was better to live in silence rather than express when caught up in distortions or worse to present as "positive" when I didn't feel that way. Lots of conditioning to break through around this. Being silent feels like being buried alive. And in that regard, I am always touched by your openness, honesty, and willingness to express vulnerability. Powerful example you are. I stumble a lot with the right balance and blending of the rays, but at least I'm expressing and gradually refining.

With much love and appreciation,

x Catherine

Js's picture

Just an incredibly well written and beautifully expressed inspiring write up Trinity.


Trinity's picture

Catherine - I so hear your soul calling to break though! All these reflections of YOU.

Thanks for the beautiful words guys Smile I am finding it difficult to write at the moment, so that's all I have to say.

with Love