The Foundry: Core of individual authenticity
What is at the core of your individual authenticity? Who are you when the trappings of material possessions and social status are stripped away? So many people lose themselves in the “I should” or “I ought to,” as prescribed by modern society and culture. All you have to do is watch TV or read a magazine and see the pervasive advertising that tells you, “Drive this car, and you will be handsome, popular and successful” or, “Our perfume will make you sexy, desirable and sought-after.”
One look at the rich and famous is enough to make even the most secure of us question our worth, challenge our values and critical of our bodies. Are you serious, Madison Avenue?
We already have all we need to live a life worth living, to feel connected to self and others, to be contented and fulfilled. Finding and reconnecting with our deepest longings and truest nature is easier than you might think. We live and work in a glorious natural playground — planet Earth — that can help us recapture our essential and authentic self.
Get outside. Drink in the sights and sounds offered in nature: the smell of lilacs in bloom, the trill of a songbird or the gentle chatter of the creek. Talk with a tree — you might be surprised at the wisdom it will share with you. Let your inner child come out to play. Take off your shoes, and run barefoot in the grass. Dance under the stars; skip, fly a kite, explore.
Notice how you choose to show up in your own life. Are you walking around with a scowl, or do you smile at everyone you see? Have you practiced small and random acts of kindness? The smile you share may be the highlight of someone else’s day.
Notice how you interact and engage with others. Is this the person you want to be? Is this the person you truly are? Smiles are contagious — spread them freely.
There are multitudes of simple and inexpensive ways to improve the quality of your life. Make eye contact, sing and dance, listen to upbeat and happy music, sing out loud.
There are a plethora of volunteer opportunities that allow you to connect with your community — give freely from your heart. Is your work meaningful and fulfilling? Are you reading a good book that captivates your imagination?
Practice self-care. Journal, meditate or pray; exercise, eat a healthy and balanced diet; and get plenty of restorative sleep. Unplug your television, Turn off your telephone and engage with people you care about face-to-face.
Dare to dream. Play with kids or pets, and if you don’t have them, borrow some. Do you have a confidant with whom you can share your deepest fears and greatest triumphs? If not, cultivate one or two.
If you find yourself struggling, ask for help. There are self-help groups that might make all the difference. If that isn’t enough, find a therapist who specializes in your particular issues.
If you find yourself using drugs (even the legal ones, such as alcohol, tobacco or marijuana) to ease or escape the problems of your life, there is help available. There are people and places that work specifically with these issues. Pick up the phone, and call.
We at the Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat Springs provide residential and outpatient services for individuals who struggle with substance use. Call us, and know you are not alone.
Life can seem hard or it can be truly amazing. Which do you choose?
Denise Martinez is outpatient clinical therapist at the Foundry.
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CLARK — Eighth-grade students at North Routt Community Charter School in Clark traded in four walls and desks for snowsuits and ice fishing poles Friday as part of the school’s curriculum prioritizing outdoor appreciation.