The ABCs of Authentic Me is a timeless collection of simple truths that will connect you to inner peace, infinite joy, unconditional love, profound wisdom, and unabashed courage-creating your distinctive masterpiece.
Through a unique perspective, these truths elicit essential qualities that may lie dormant and can now be awakened with a fresh awareness.
These ABCs are the basic tenets to living a fulfilled and colorful life, starting today!
So however you define a great life:
• Finding inner peace and feeling more connected to your own truths; and/or
• Being more focused and clear in your dreams and desires; and/or
• Sharing your creativity and gifts through service and contribution; and/or
• Being an emanation of the one and only divine expression of you.
You can change your life to be the beautiful and harmonious dance it is meant to be!
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Read an Excerpt
The ABCs of Authentic Me
A Collection of Simple Truths to Change Your Life
By Jess Ly
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Jess Ly
All rights reserved.
As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. We may have a general map or even a detailed map, but no map can capture every terrain, bump, and path ahead of us. A map outlines only the options to get us there; we still need to be the ones to choose how we arrive at our destination.
For many of us, taking big steps can be frightful and debilitating, riddled with various usages of the word how: I don't know how. How can I learn it all? How will I have the money? How do I know what the other person will feel or do? How do I start? How? How? How? And we end up taking no steps whatsoever.
Sound familiar? If so, stop the incessant thoughts, and congratulate yourself. Yes, I said congratulate yourself. Why? Because you took the time to acknowledge your feelings, and that simple act alone sheds light on the most important thing—you, and the desires of your heart. What could be more important?
We never know how anything will turn out. Life is not designed that way. For some, this unknown is an exciting adventure, while for others it can trigger their greatest fear. You choose. But know there is one certainty that always exists: you can act with certainty—meaning you can lay the choices in front of you like a map and simply choose to act on something by taking one small step at a time.
Even those of us who think we know what steps are appropriate can't be certain the results will prove favorable—especially if we measure them as successes or failures. Having more socalled failures extinguishes the flames of desire, leading us to want to give up. We must instead look at the whole picture: the essence of who we have become along the way, the experiences that expanded our knowledge, and the wisdom that fuels us to continue when we don't always see a way. This walk of faith is our guide, and it supplies the courage to keep taking action, knowing we have no choice but to reach our destination.
Choose to Act
If and when you feel in doubt,
Step into the fear and come out.
That even with the smallest steps you take
A breakthrough you will make.
And with each action comes greater courage to be had,
Knowing clarity and opportunities start to add
To a life of infinite manifestation,
Just awaiting your choice and consideration.
Ask for what you want. Ask others for help. Ask for a miracle. Ask yourself what you can do today to change whatever it is you want to change. Ask the universe a question, and just listen ... See what comes back. For some, this is equivalent to saying a prayer.
Asking is an incredibly powerful tool. Often we are worried about what people might say, think, or do in response to our asking, and we become crippled by this imagined reality. Or we tell ourselves all the reasons we can't do something before we ask; this cuts off our own legs before we even start. If we know this doesn't serve us, why do we continue not to ask for what we truly want, especially for things we deem too farfetched to have?
I think the answer is simple: because we really don't want what we say we want. If we did, we would ask again and again and again until the answers present themselves as a new awareness to be had and new steps to be taken—until, at long last, we've gotten what we wanted.
Ever notice how children are not afraid to ask for what they want? There are no barriers to how big or small their wishes are. And in the case of getting an answer to a question that does not satisfy them, they "why" you to death!
What is this childhood quality that adults seem to have forgotten? Children know what they want, and they are not afraid to ask for it, because they really, really, really want it. They somehow know that just because something didn't show up today, tomorrow will always present new answers in the way of opportunities.
So don't be afraid to ask. Better a voice without expectations than expectations without a voice. As Wayne Gretzky said, "We miss 100 percent of the shots we don't take."
Choose to Ask
To know yourself is to ask for what you want,
As lived by the most enlightened savant.
For he understands it is not what we can see
But in our asking as a trainee
That the goods come in due time,
And so our hearts receive with sublime.
We all have moments when things don't go their way. However, when we find ourselves in a rut, playing victim, stressed out, and blaming others, our situations, and ourselves we are not consciously aware of the choices that dictate those outcomes. The power of awareness is beneficial in all situations, but here are some real-world examples, from what may be considered big to small.
1.) When someone cuts you off on the freeway and you are ready to reciprocate in kind—with disregard and in retaliation. Take notice and ask yourself, What is going on inside me?
2.) When your spouse or significant other tells you that you are wrong, and you feel defensive. What is the root cause of you putting your guard up?
3.) When you are consistently worried about your bills and finances. What is the basis for this overwhelming cycle?
4.) When your parents make you feel bad because you didn't become the professional they wanted you to be. What is triggering that feeling of resentment? Of unworthiness?
Now we are going to dig deeper. In these moments, ask yourself the following questions, and write down your answers, if that helps you.
Am I fully living in this moment?
Is anything really harming me in this moment?
What conditioned thoughts and beliefs am I running through my mind?
Have I expressed everything I need to express?
How is my body reacting?
Does it feel good or bad?
How is my posture?
How is my breathing?
Is my energy high, low, or somewhere in the middle?
Once you are calm and connected to this awareness, make a different choice—one that empowers you. That is the beauty of life. We get to choose, and our expanded awareness helps us choose more powerfully. It is okay to take baby steps as long as you are taking them with increasing strides as you build this muscle of awareness.
Choose Greater Awareness
What is awareness in you and me?
And how do we practice it to set ourselves free
From the pain that is keeping us emotionally stuck
And blaming sheer and unfortunate dumb luck?
First we must remember to take every moment back to now
And notice the thoughts or sensations we can choose to disallow.
From this space of conscious choice we will see;
The mind will support all that we invite it to be.
A friend once shared with me something that a wise and older coworker of hers said repeatedly during stressful times: "Just be." As much as we were both in awe of such wisdom, we were equally perplexed by how to "just be." What does one need to do to feel the sensation of just being? Years later, after doing the inner work, I embraced its undeniable power. Like the Nike slogan "Just do it," which connotes physical action, this state of "just being" implies action in how we choose to feel—or not feel. It is a labor in our state of beingness. It is a choice made in the present moment to embody peace and acceptance from inside out. There is nothing that needs to be done per se.
Additionally, the inherent power in be preceding another word does not need to be taught. For example, when we say "be good" to a small child, there already exists an internal guide to what it means to behave well. Or when someone suggests that we be kind or be present, we instinctively know what that feels like. We all innately know, even if for a split second, what it means to be here. At any moment, feel how owning the state of being can influence any degree of disharmony. Be ___________. Be it. And be often.
Choose to Be
I get now what it means to me
When someone suggest to "just be."
It does not mean to not feel or do,
But in the "now" I must go to.
For calm and clarity I shall find,
And life is whatever I choose to design.
As I start to "be" here often,
I let go, and all instantly softens.
What is breathing? Here's the scientific definition: the cycle of exchanging air into metabolic waste, more commonly thought of as inhaling and exhaling air. Breathing, especially when done in a slow and proper manner, can directly influence our relaxation and spiritual expansion (functions of the parasympathetic nervous system), preventing us from being ruled by our unconscious or conscious stressors and triggering a fight-or-flight response (functions of the sympathetic nervous system).
But what is air to the soul? Let's dig in. Simply speaking, air is creation. It creates each moment that we get to be alive. What a gift!
To the soul, air can be experienced as life force—or chi, as the Chinese call it, and prana, to the Indians. These cultures believe that if we can control the state of our breath, we can gain mastery over the activities of our mind. This mastery over the state of our mind is the essential element for health, well-being, vitality, and conscious actions toward the fulfillment of our desires. Though this mastery, we can experience our very essence.
Through slow and mindful breathing, endless moments of joy, sadness, excitement, anger, creativity, courage, love, etc., can be fully experienced. And the true beauty of these experiences can be interpreted through a breathtaking moment (pun intended).
In this moment and in all moments, let us breathe ... and breathe slowly.
Choose Conscious Breath
What comes and goes often, like the still of the night
Yet is known to exist as much as pervasive light—
The very life force that permeates all that comes to being?
Without its vital touch, life will cease, we are agreeing.
A mark of life's miraculous nature we must take in,
Moment by moment into our body temple until the next cycle
At lunch one day, a friend and I discussed the dynamics at her job. She was often confused, and even upset at times, as she explained how her group lacked understanding and commitment in working with her. She felt she had to bear the weight by working extra hours and redoing what she thought they did incorrectly. I knew that she was looking for empathy from me, and she got it. However, it wasn't in the manner she had expected as she listened for the usual "I feel you, and I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm sure you will figure it out."
Instead, knowing she viewed herself as shy and introverted, I painted a scenario that I knew would elicit her fears and inadequacies. I asked, "What if your colleagues were to invite you to a party where people, including your colleagues, questioned your level of sociability and commented that they thought you were uptight and not enough fun. And what if that happened over and over again, despite your many attempts to be otherwise? Would you start to resent them or withdraw from them?"
I continued, "But what if one glorious day you were met by a compassionate soul, someone who felt your fears and matched your level of sensitivity by warming up to you with his or her welcoming and patient nature? Would you not start to feel accepted and more comfortable? Would you not suddenly start to let your inhibitions and walls come down in that trusting space?
"Now imagine the people in your group feeling similar fears and inadequacies looming inside of them. Would you be more willing and better equipped to extend compassion to them? If you did, would this make your work world a better place?"
When you want a happier world, consider asking where you can extend compassion, first to yourself and then to others. Try increasing this compassion exponentially. How would your frequent deeds of compassion change your world? How can they even affect the world at large? It always begins with us. As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
Compassion, compassion, my dear old friend
Is a quality that can only be heaven sent.
What a person of courage you are
When you dispel all judgment both near and far.
You wash over me so lovingly,
In my heart I can now clearly see.
What is the basis of life? And what helps us grow and expand in awareness? For me, it's curiosity. Why? Well, let's take the example of a baby. Take a moment to picture—or rather remember—yourself being a baby. Do you recall, even without your awareness of it, that you were curiously exploring the lay of the land through touch, movement, sight, sound, and smell? Through trial and error you fell and got back up (both literally and figuratively), developing the awareness and experiences of your own existence.
Back when we were babies, our curiosity guided us and led us to ask questions of the world. Back then, we wanted to learn. We needed to learn to make sense of our experiences. Learning was implicit and repeated; it didn't require much analysis. Learning came from a place of innocent exploration and expansion of self. Much of our behavior did not stem from what we thought we should be doing, but rather from a genuine interest. Thus it was experienced as curiosity for curiosity's sake rather than with preconceived notions. We were free to be just who we were at our very essence—innocent and expansive.
Go back to this innocence (without judgment, that is), and take time in your busy life to get curious about someone, something ... anything. And witness how much you can learn and grow in this state.
All we need is to understand
That life already has a plan.
And what do we need to know
To learn ... to express ... to grow?
Is that when we are innocently curious alone,
Life we will show us how much we have grown.
The definition of detoxify, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, is "to remove a poisonous or harmful substance from (something)." For me, this includes detoxifying mind, body, and soul alike. By detoxifying, we are recalibrating ourselves to feel more balanced, to be happier and lighter. Let me give you examples.
Mind. With your mind, think of all the times you have said to yourself or to someone else, "I can never do _________ (fill in the blank)." Says who?! Replace that limiting belief with something that can be just as true. For example, "I can't do this. I am not successful." Well, what is your definition of success? Can you believe that success is not without unsuccessful attempts? Can you separate "failed attempts" from "failing"? Now try this on for size: Can success be defined as simply the courage to get back up when things have not gone your way? How would your thinking change when you accept this? How would this affect your perception? How would your reactions change if you recognize that things are never simply black and white—and that our minds are excellent at filling in the blanks and adding meaning to otherwise innocuous experiences? So, if and when a thought is not working for you, why not choose to keep the toxicity at bay?
Body. Give your body a regular cleanse to remove all the impurities inside. Don't make it a hard and onerous thing. Start with just one day. Drink a lot of water, take an herbal detox tea, or eat raw foods. However you decide to go about it, it is more important to make the process easy and routine than to make it arduous or difficult to maintain.
Soul. When you are feeling resigned and you lack hope, allow the feelings of stress to come up, feel them, acknowledge them, and then let them go. Do this over and over. If you still need to, take time out for a nap, time to relax, or time to do nothing. Just stop everything for one moment. Let this help cleanse your soul and move you back into grace and flow.
Remember, take baby steps, and be gentle with yourself as you grow stronger in mind, body, and soul. Remind yourself, reaching your destination is a process and not an event.
What toxins live inside me?
Are the stresses of all sorts what I think them to be?
Do I have clogged drains that need to be cleared?
Is there a routine of detoxing to which I can adhere?
Once I remove the debris that causes me to run slow,
So fast does life start to instantly flow.
Excerpted from The ABCs of Authentic Me by Jess Ly. Copyright © 2015 Jess Ly. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Ups and Downs, 109,
Final Words, 137,
About the Author, 139,