Sitting on the ground yesterday in the beautiful Perth sunshine, I got chatting to one of Morgan and I’s friends on the street who’s clothes we are honoured to wash weekly. For the purposes of her privacy I am going to call her Sarah.
Sarah and I were catching up on each other’s week and she told me that she had just started to read 50 shades of Grey, and I was interested to hear what book she was up to as I too had read the series I told her. We started snorting with hysteria though as I went on to explain…
“Isn’t it funny though how you totally need your man around when you read it as they are absolute turn on books (*note, Sarah is in a loving relationship). Except you have just read about how wild and hot and steamy Christian and Anastasia are and then when you go to do it you’re still just Starfish”.
Cue tears streaming down our faces kind of laughing because we both knew it was true.
The conversation continued on just talking about the normal things of life, kids, family, relationships, you know – the usual kind of conversation you’d have with anyone.
Mid shift I walked over to the toilets laughing quietly to myself again about our conversation about the 50 shades of Grey books, which made me think about the countless other times I have had that conversation with so many women since reading the book in 2012 – women in parliament, good girlfriends over a wine, strangers when I used to see them reading it in parks.
And walking back over to where our friends and Morgan were sitting that sunny afternoon, it dawned on me that THAT is sincere authenticity.
Not the fact that I can talk about sex or ‘risky’ books with anyone – that’s not the point. But the fact that no matter who I am with, no matter what I am doing, no matter where I am – I can just show up as who I am and say the same thing in front of a friend on the street or a member of parliament.
Now – do not get me wrong. I am acutely aware that some conversations aren’t appropriate in front of a Priest (for respect) or a 4-year-old (due to age appropriateness) or a Prime Minister (for, well, I suppose for respect although I personally think they’re just normal human beings) – so I am not talking about that. I know that sometimes, sure what we say or how we can act does have to differ slightly person to person – but there is a huge distinction between managing respect and being sincerely authentic.
Managing Respect comes down to just knowing what volume to be at I believe, but still always living in to who you authentically. And by volume, I don’t mean that literally.
I’ll give you an example.
Back when I worked in Federal Politics, I used to always have to go in to what I called ‘the big boy meetings’ – with Ministers of portfolio’s, or CEO’s of big corporations (i.e Alan Joyce), you were constantly also meeting ex Prime Ministers (my favourite one being the time I got to have a chat with the Hon John Howard) and current Prime Ministers (who at the time was Opposition Leader – Tony Abbott).
Now. If you know me well, (or not even well, if you just follow me on social media recently or over the years), you know that I am a pretty crazy, cheeky, fun human who has an affinity for the word fuck, being silly and champagne, unicorns (yes, even at the age of 28) and hot chips– just to name a tiny aspect of me.
So when I would go in to these ‘big boy meeting’s’ I would always manage my respect, BUT I would show up sincerely authentically as myself.
What does that look like?
It means knowing that in some moments, sure, the word fuck is not the best option so to not use it. It’s listening more than talking sometimes, it’s showing the more mature side of you whilst ALL the while being wildly authentic.
So what does wild authenticity look like in a situation like that (parliament) whilst managing respect.
It looked like dressing up as a love heart on valentine’s day and handing out chocolates to all the federal members – because who doesn’t want a chocolate from a love heart on valentine’s day.
It looked like never ever taking myself too seriously at any and all ‘party’ functions and almost creating the loudest most fun, hilarious group situation where we could actually let our hair down, laugh and all show up with our sillier sides.
It meant having a drink with all the serious Shadow Ministers at the end of the sitting week and starting a “peaks and pits” of their week – going around in a circle sharing what we could do better, and what we did well that week (and for grown men & women who run our country to look forward to that session we used to do in the chairman’s lounge all waiting to fly home – was such a fun thing for me).
It meant telling Alan Joyce to his face that although I loved his airline, if we didn’t get chocolates back on the Thursday flight home I’d start a revolt (tongue in cheek) and get us all to start flying Virgin instead. (side note: guess who had chocolates back on the flight home by that Thursday night….. me.
You see – you can be respectful when you need to be – all huge examples above – but you can still ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up sincerely as yourself.
We are moving in to a world where authenticity is the new currency.
We are seeking authenticity over perfection.
We are asking for everyone around us to throw down their masks – and bare their souls.
We are obsessed with compassionate acts and unconditional love (well I am) – which is birthed from humanity stepping away from who they were told to be and stepping in to who they were born to be – authentic powerful beings.
We are hungry for freedom – authentic, delicious freedom.
The universe is calling forth a rebellion of a new kind – and more and more are listening to the call, not being able to resist the pull to put down their masks, light their own fire and step more in to their sincerely authentic selves.
And it’s beautiful and inspiring and extraordinary to watch.
Sincere authenticity IS the black and its here to stay, so don’t be afraid to step in to your own true divine self more and more.
It’s speaking up when your soul says to.
It’s owning who you are in front of a priest, a member of parliament or a homeless person.
It’s saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
It’s being exactly the same person as to who you are in ‘real life’ as to the person who you are showing up as online (side note; I always feel like I shouldn’t even need to say this one, but in 2017 I still do think that reminder needs to be in there).
It’s taking off every single last mask you have been holding on to, throwing it in to the fire and burning them once and for all.
It’s owning the bad ass extrovert parts of you along with the graceful and introvert parts.
It’s having the balls to live your boldest, grandest, most TRUE life – and if that means being the quietest librarian the world has ever seen or the most impactful world leader the world has ever known – BEAUTIFUL – just make sure you are showing up exactly as you are every.damn.day.
My only wish for you today though, is that you start somewhere – and I suggest that somewhere is in the next instance you go to crack a joke but don’t because you think it’s not ‘cool’ or you don’t speak up on a topic you’re actually red-hot passionate about – you actually DO instead, because THAT is who you are.