San Diego Edition

Four Steps to Authentic Living

How to Live a Deeply Joyful Life

Reddogs/Shutterstock.com

1. Connect with the inner voice.

Uncovering authenticity comes from within. We learn to discern and heed the inner voice of wisdom through daily silence, a still space that allows messages to resonate. This ever-present guidance system is always spot on.

The key is to connect often. Be grateful for the fruits of quiet moments. Maybe they occur during prayer and meditation, in the shower, walking in solitude without earphones or driving with the radio off. Breathe deeply, cherishing an open heart. Gut feelings often presage inner knowing.

2. Realize the difference between soul and ego.

Connected with our soul—the seat of everything positive, the venue of all potential and light—we experience spaciousness, unconditional love and complete support.

If accusations, blame or heavy judgment arise, it’s just the ego trying to maintain the status quo. By dismissing its raging, it dissipates.

3. Reconnect with authentic selfhood.

We must banish every misconception and lie we tell about ourselves. Falsehoods define us just like the things that are true.

Take a good, long look in the mirror and ask, “Who is this person? What has made me who I am today? What experiences have created this unique divine work? Are my eyes alight or dim? What am I feeling? Am I weighed down by burdens, exhausted by current choices?” Simply ask the questions; don’t look for answers, but be wary of the ego’s vote
for falsehoods.

4. Find some crazy joy.

Beginning today, do one new thing daily that brings joy. Temporary happiness builds and reinforces joy, but soul-deep joy weaves a base of strength within. It’s an attitude—an outlook.

When we are flourishing spiritually, emotionally and physically, it evokes joy in how we live and feel. Move out of familiar comfort zones and do something unexpected. Pursue a heartfelt desire long delayed. Watch a comedy with friends. Take a dance class. Call an old friend. Volunteer somewhere nurturing.

Be in this moment. Understand that this is what life will feel like when living authentically, free of masks and pretense—when each day is meaningful and suffused with joy.

Remember, authentic living is about the journey, not the destination.


Jan Desai is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and visionary who transformed her life at age 50 by breaking with conventions. She shares her lifetime of learning at JanDesai.com.


This article appears in the July 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

CBD Oil: Facts for Dog Owners

CBD oil is the fastest growing natural health trend for people—and the same is true for our canine companions.

Designing Exotic, Budget-friendly Travels Abroad

Diane E Lohmeyer, owner of DEL Tours (which stands for Designing Exotic Locations as well as her initials) developed her love affair with international travel nearly two decades ago when she met her husband, Dan, an international consultant.

Refresh Your Skin with a Professional Chemical Peel

Chemical peels can help improve the appearance of pigmentation, acne, fine lines and wrinkles, scarring, sun damage, large pores and rosacea.

Shakti Fest Returns to Joshua Tree on Mother’s Day Weekend

The Shakti Fest community of yogis, meditators, conscious parents and spiritual seekers comes back together for its ninth season, this year on Mother’s Day weekend May 9 to 13.

Letter from The Publisher

What is sustainable living? It means many different things to me. By definition, it’s the practice of reducing the use of natural resources to the best of your ability.

Comments posted are subject to review and removal if they are not in line with publication guidelines. Opinions are those of the person posting them.

Add your comment: