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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

My Definition of Authenticity: Be With Where You Are

Updated: Mar 19

As a few of you may know, I have launched my very first course: Becoming Authentically You With that coming up, I am finding the need to share my heart and what is going on with me on a deeper level than I previously have. I wanted to start with my current definition of authenticity. If I had to break it down into words I would use the following: BE WITH WHERE YOU ARE

So where am I at currently? I am working on balance, both within myself and within my relationships with others. There is so much moving through me currently that I am struggling to with two main things:

  1. BEING FULLY PRESENT: This means staying, living, accepting the reality of what is. Being grounded in the here and now, not dwelling in the past or worrying/fantasizing about the future

  2. FOCUSING: this has been the biggest challenge recently actually. I have a lot of conflicting priorities and focus areas, and have been known to multi-task. I'm finding that multitasking doesn't actually serve me... AT ALL. There are only so many hours in the day, and I'm not actually having enough time to get everything done that I would like to, so I've needed to prioritize and focus.

So how am I doing it? What is helping me move through these things to get to a more balanced state?




It's a cliche I know, we have all heard of Byron Katie (or maybe you haven't) and done "the work" but really intentionally focusing on this concept allows me to release expectations and attachments to how I think things should be, realize that NOTHING is personal. It allows me to step back when I feel triggered, take a look at why and come back to a space of really being present for what actually is.

I wrote a few days ago that I have lived my entire life in a battle with my mind. My mind telling me that "I will be really happy when..." or "I can't wait for that moment when..." or "JUST WAIT until I have mastered...." or "Imagine how great it's going to feel when XYZ realizes XYZ."

The interesting part about every single one of those statements? They are ALL fantasy. They are all my mind taking me away from the power and beauty in this present moment and making me think and feel that I will only feel fulfilled/happy/content/at peace when something else that doesn't exist in my present moment happens.

This concept has been introduced to me over and over and over again, but it hadn't fully landed until I devoted the last 30 days to truly being mindful and aware and living in the reality of what actually is.

It's resulted in a HUGE shift in my own consciousness.

It's allowed me to love myself on a deeper level, love my mind on a deeper level, forgive myself for my constant seeking of a reality that is different from what actually is, and come back to the current moment with a deeper sense of compassion and awareness.

The other key part for me here I realized there isn't a Freedom "From" it's a Freedom "In." What does that mean? It's again falling in love with what is. There is a freedom that is already present from actually falling in love with however I'm feeling in the moment. This was inspired by wanting to tune back into and have a personal "retreat" with Jeff Foster. What that meant is just that I tuned back into the re-play of his deep rest course. This was what happened when I gave myself a day off which I talk about below. I spent it cuddled up in bed with Jeff Foster, hah, no, I'm not fantasizing, I never do that 😂😇♥️

I woke up one morning this week feeling a bit off-center, feeling a bit sad. I meditated, still felt off.

Had a few meetings, felt even more off-kilter. As we know, it's been incredibly important to me and my current journey is being authentic with how I’m really feeling. Not running away from the difficult emotions or numbing them out as I have done in years past.

So I decided to retune into a few videos from Jeff Foster ( who without fail reminds me of the power and beauty in simply just holding space and being with myself however I’m feeling in the current moment.

Not feeling like I need to be “fixed.” Not judging myself for being sad, but just being present with my sadness. It’s strange and beautiful how deeply comforting it can be to hold myself and love myself and learn to fall in love with myself exactly as I am. I’ll be exploring this more deeply with Becoming Authentically You.


So how did I address number two and get more focused? Ironically enough, it resulted from giving myself the day off. The act of resting, just being, transformed my reality, even if it meant being with my sadness.

I was particularly drawn by this image of Egyptian Goddess Maat, who is said to be tied to justice, harmony, balance, and order.

I have been over-working and stressing myself out. I have been the worse "boss" of myself that I could be, setting horrible deadlines for myself, creating really aggressive marketing and sales plans, and then beating myself up when I inevitably fall short of hitting those completely unrealistic expectations and targets I set for myself. This has been building up for a few weeks now, but the only way I was able to realize how unfair I was actually being to myself was completing an "opposite day" challenge as a part of a mindfulness journey. My opposite day resulted in puting my workaholic tendencies aside and giving myself the day off. So, for the most part on that day, I tabled my "to-do" list in order to be there for myself and give myself that necessary personal retreat.

That act of resting and just being present, being there for what was allowed me to be in a much more balanced frame of reference now. Where I've released and let go of a lot of unnecessary drama (and frankly karma) that I was carrying to just relax into what's here with me now, and what's mine to do next, and how I want to feel.

I feel more free from the process of slowing down, tuning in, letting go, and coming back to the present. Spending the last few days intentionally focusing on balance and also honoring and being present with exactly how I was feeling got there.

So now I'm moving into a more balanced frame of reference where I'm clear on where I would like to direct my time, energy, and focus. I'm also more able to clearly provide to myself and communicate it to others.

But, again, it was only made possible by the act of being where I was at. Recognizing I was exhausted, overwhelmed. Pausing, being willing to stay in my sadness and discomfort to then affect change within myself and communicate it to others.

More to come here with Becoming Authentically You which you can find out more about here:

Interested in learning more about my personal journey?



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