Authenticity, Power and Tall Poppies

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Your Power Lies in Your Authenticity

In a previous article and interview with Janet Neal, we touched on the concept of how our power lies in our authenticity. Janet and I talked about the barriers of programming we all need to overcome to excavate buried treasures from within ourselves. If you missed that, you can read about it and tune into the video of our conversation via the link at the bottom of this article.

It’s interesting to note how the word ‘authentic’ and ‘authenticity’ have surfaced prevalently in current times, along with the terms ‘transparent’ and ‘transparency’. There’s a correlation between these concepts that runs deep in the veins of so much more going on in our world today.

And while in can sometimes seem that we’re so far removed from achieving this in all areas of national and global systems, thought and words ever precede actions when it comes to change.

Why is authenticity a rarity?

Children don’t need therapy to achieve authenticity. They come that way. We all do. So what happens and where does it go? Think about it:
When did you depart from your authentic self?
You may be thinking that you haven’t… that you are authentic in all that you are today. Or, you may be wondering who the real you—your authentic self—is and how you would know.Our authenticity gets covered up by layers of conditioning, like cloths tossed over a lampshade, year after year, causing the light from that lamp to appear dimmer and dimmer. It’s such a gradual conditioning process that it happens without us even noticing it.

[Tweet “Our light does not grow dimmer. It just gets covered up.” @LeAuraAlderson]

Some of this enculturation is necessary to mold us into beings who can get along amongst many other beings in society. We are all conditioned to our cultures, from the culture of family, religion, community, friends, age group, era, teams, profession, workplace and all kinds of subcategories within these.

But the problem comes when culture inhibits our becoming more fully all that we can become. Dr. Bruce Lipton speaks of these concepts extensively in his books, The Biology of Belief, and The Wisdom of Your Cells. Dr. Lipton describes his own excruciating process of awakening to a limiting mindset within his own academic and scientific field. Lipton experienced a shutting down of inquiry by scientists who—by definition of science—should remain ever open to disproving beliefs and never resting on assumptions, proven or otherwise.

We’re All Conditioned by Our Cultures

Most of it is about fitting us into molds that sometimes may not really be a fit. When we don’t fit into societal norms—no matter the era—we get labeled. For Dr. Bruce Lipton it was something akin to a mad scientist label, and yet his experiments were proven and repeatable. In eons past it involved beheadings, witch trials, and heresy burnings. Today, it’s usually not lethal, thankfully, but can involve the labeling with clinical terms that explain our maladjustment, which is often accompanied by medicine and a recommendation of counseling or therapy.

In the film The Marketing of Madness, there’s an entire expose’ on how we have arrived at so many apparent ailments, diseases and psychological problems. That documentary exposes facts that should disturb and alarm us all. In the book, Virus of the Mind, by Richard Bodie, he uncovers the process of conditioning thoughts, called ‘memes’, which essentially means, spreadable ideas or thoughts.

In my work in strategic intervention coaching, fitness mindset, meditation and psychology, I’ve observed that most maladies can be traced to a sense of disconnection from spirit, purpose and self. I won’t write that “book” here, but in short, one way out of that maze is by reconnecting with our authentic selves, and one way to begin that is through a process of questioning everything with a sense of adventure and discovery.
Every adjustment we make to fit into the mold of the masses, is a layer added to the lampshade of our diminishing light.


We—our natural authentic selves—do need training so as to fit into polite society. But there are so many shades of grey to ferret through in the process of discerning what is real versus what is simply the opinion of someone else as to what is appropriate or inappropriate; what it is we should and shouldn’t do toward developing our aspirations and following our passions. We also discuss this concept with Janet Neal in her interview for Boomers Reinvented.

Some Australian friends told me about the Tall Poppy Syndrome there. Apparently it’s a national conditioning of old that has created a negative mindset toward achievers… toward anyone who stands out tall from the crowd.

In Australia many are becoming increasingly aware of this dynamic and are seeking to rise above it. But while Australia has the “tall poppy mindset to dissolve, no matter where in the world we go, we will find similar cultural ceilings which—deliberately or unintentionally—can hold us back from being all that we can be.
Too many people go through life unaware of the clouds of conditioning blocking the light of their potential.
They bow their heads against the chance rain of criticism, raise their collars against the chill wind of harsh words, and trudge along seeking to just get by without hassle, and without being noticed. There they stagnate, lulled into the safety of a complacent obscurity where the minimal is required to get by, as comfort is sought above all.

It takes tremendous effort to break free of conditioning and habit… and the conditioning of habit. But that is where joy lives. Our greatest joys come from our greatest accomplishments. It is the nature of life.
“If it was easy everyone would do it.”
We’ve all heard the phrase. Maybe some of us have said it.

So here’s the divine paradox: while it’s not easy to push through barriers and constrictions of conditioning, whether it’s our own or that from others, neither is it easy to live less than we can be.

Living less than we can be is not a happy place.

It’s hard to put forth more effort, more discipline, more learning, more growth and more contribution under the circumstances of busy lives and schedules. But at some point in our evolution, the status quo becomes unbearable.

That’s when we get to that place where staying the same is not easy, where we feel that inner agitation that won’t let us stay in learning limbo. That’s the place where we have to make progress or life becomes miserable.

That discomfort is just our soul pushing against the constraints we’ve created or allowed, always unintentionally. Like toes scrunched in shoes too small, it’s no longer a fit. If we’re feeling agitated, that’s a good thing. It’s a wake-up call to assess, regroup and grow, and to get on with what we’re really here to do. If we don’t know what that is, no worries, we will find it along the way. We just head in the direction we think we should go and once we’re in that journey, the way will become more clear.

“It is in the journey that the way becomes more clear.” LeAura Alderson

If you’re feel stuck in an old way of being, it’s time for a change. If you’re not learning and growing through new adventure or ventures daily, it may be time to shed the old skin and don the new… to look at each day through fresh eyes… to be as a little child and wake up eager to learn and play each day.

If you’re happy where you are doing what you’re doing, that’s fantastic! Just be fiercely honest with yourself. One way to tell is if you feel like you need to excuse anything you’re doing to yourself or anyone else, then in all probability you know there’s something more you could be doing that would add value and substance to your life. Or, you could be stuck in the memes of conditioning that contradict your individual expression. Only you can decide what it is for you.

If for you, winding down and relaxing is what truly nourishes your soul, then go with that.

There’s no one solution for all of us, and we’re not at the same place of need or same stage of growth at the same time. If you’re not truly content and regularly sustained by a deep and abiding inner joy, then it may be time to shake things up a bit.

When we prepare a beautiful and delicious meal, there’s a lot that gets tossed and disposed in that process. We trim the vegetables and meats, we discard the peels and seeds that aren’t edible, and we end up with the best parts to craft into a gourmet meal that can be made to be a work of art.

That’s culture.

Culture, in this analogy, is the beautiful meal as the expression of the highest possible for those foods and the chef to achieve, and the recipients to enjoy and appreciate. We don’t spend time relishing the discarded waste from the meal. That’s the garbage… the refuse. Take the culture and leave the cult.

Enculturation is the cult or refuse of culture.

Don’t live there. Don’t be inhibited by constraints of belief, judgement, fear and conditioning. Culture brings color, beauty, art, elegance and meaning to any society, group, family, organization, etc. But it also imprisons free thought and self expression. So get rid of the memes that harm and hinder. Reconnect to your authentic self.

Natural Habits for an Authentic Self

Whole foods and movement to nourish the body.
Learning and creativity to nourish the mind.
Compassion and contribution to nourish the heart.
Presence and gratitude to nourish the soul.
For more on how you can achieve more authenticity in your life, read Seven Steps to Authenticity.

The Biology of Belief, by Dr. Bruce Lipton
The Wisdom of Your Cells, by Dr. Bruce Lipton
Virus of the Mind, by Richard Brodie


The Marketing of Madness (available in DVD from Amazon)

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