One of my friends had a tough week. There’s very little that’s worse than someone you care about having troubles, and there being nothing you can do to ease their pain, whether it be mental, physical or emotional. It’s hard to be grateful when you know someone is hurting.

But I am grateful for my friends, and that we can talk to one another. I’m grateful to know that there are ears willing to listen to me when I am down, and that others trust me enough to talk to me.

My mindfulness/journaling word for the week is Authenticity.

It’s used in the books I’m reading in the following sentences:

  1. Polly had given Laura a ride to the store, but rater than wait for SnaggleBuggle to extricate himself from an argument with Clare about brand authenticity, Laura had decided to walk home. Abbi Waxman
  2. That’s all right: boredom is an authentic emotion just like any other, and you’re allowed to feel it. Kate Peers
  3. In a world where language is too often used to manipulate, poems can help us find our authentic voice. Caroline Kennedy
  4. Memory is a fickle thing, but other than names and certain identifying details- which I have changed out of respect for others’ privacy- I have endeavored to document my family’s undocumented years as authentically and intimately as possible. Qian Julie Wang
  5. Make sure to carve out some time and space so you can tap into your deepest, most authentic desires. Shira Gill

How I’m going to think about authenticity this week:

  1. Do we have trouble being authentic?
  2. Do we want to be authentic, or is this a word we throw around because we are struggling to find out who we are?
  3. What does authentic really mean in our day to day lives?
  4. Has authenticity become a marketing term? When we think authentic do we think brand?
  5. Am I authentic?
  6. Are we afraid to be authentic?
  7. Quote 3- is poetry more authentic than prose?
  8. The word authentic was used the most times in a home organization book- in our homes do we try to show who we want to be instead of who we are?
The Smaller Orchid by Amy Clampitt

Love is a climate
small things find safe
to grow in- not
(though I once supposed so)
the demanding cattleya
du cote de chez Swann,
glamour among the faubourgs,
hothouse overpowerings, blisses
and cruelties at teatime, but this
next-to-unidentifiable wildling,
hardly more than a
sprout, I’ve found
flourishing in the hollows
of a granite seashore —
a cheerful tousle, little,
white, down-to-earth orchid
declaring its authenticity,
if you hug the ground
close enough, in a powerful
whiff of vanilla.

Poem Attribution © Amy Clampitt, The Smaller Orchid

45 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness

  1. Very timely. I can relate to all of this.
    I read a quotation from someone, I don’t remember who said it, that made me laugh: “Authenticity is the new bullshit.” Here’s to showing up as we are and being true to ourselves, whatever we call it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s funny, because as I’ve been thinking about this word, I realized how it’s something we no longer value in the right way. You’re quote is spot on!!!


  2. Authenticity is so important and yes I think there are times we shy away from it. Afraid to be real and show our vulnerable selfs but its so freeing. And if I want others to be real with me than I need to be real with them!
    Sorry about your friend. Hope she has a better week coming. You are right, hard to not be able to do anything BUT you giving her a listening ear and your friendship is so very much!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting points to ponder. I was much less authentic (which to me means refusing to hide behind the expectations and ideals of what you “should” be) when I was younger. I felt a push, or maybe a need, to become someone else thinking I would be happier. That didn’t work well. Gaining age and maturity has given me freedom and I’m grateful for that.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. LA I agree, and I think most of us do become more authentic with age because we know ourselves better. But, there is also a simplistic authenticity with young people. There is a youthful innocence that automatically generates from them. That’s what inspires them to hope and dream. They think they will change the world. And some of them eventually do just that. To those of us over 60, we know they will one day discover that life is way more complicated than they ever imagined. But still, their hopes and dreams are authentic while they are initially dreaming them.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’m going to write a blog for Tuesday…I’m thinking it out now…about a book and how often the word feminist is mentioned in it…I’m wondering how often we use words to appear authentic


  4. I am going to be authentic here – most of the time I just don’t “get” poetry. I am very practical minded, and when I read it, I think, “what the heck are they talking about?” I do think words in any form can be authentic – or not.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think LA that’s why spoken word poetry is so much more relatable. When it’s presented orally the listener is able to understand the emotions better. Sometimes the tone of a written word doesn’t come across in the same way.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Right with you Betty on not “getting” poetry. I had a light bulb moment on this back in 2013 when I attended an introduction to poetry, taught by a poet here in my workshop. Found out (from our teacher @ least) poetry can have more than one interpretation, depending on the person reading it, and what they hear. That was freeing. and it is perfectly fine not to “get” a poem. It is a very subjective art form.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for your comments. I am very practical minded. Poetry seems to be written to be abstract while other writing seeks clarity. There have been a few poems I “gotten” and appreciated.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s true that the word authentic has become overused lately, but the actual definition and what it represents, will always be genuine. Especially, in poetry.
    When you read, or hear authenticity, you feel it deep down inside and know it’s real. And that is indeed powerful. So it doesn’t matter to me that the word is overused as long as the emotion is legitimate.

    When I taught poetry and later in retirement worked with spoken word poets, their stories were truly authentic. Young people expressing their private fears, traumatic events, their daily lives through poetry. Those stories were extraordinary. You cannot fake that kind of authenticity.

    There’s a difference between the poet who stands up and sobs through her poem talking about being raped, or the trans student shaking when describing the moment he told his mother that he was transitioning to becoming a “she”. This poet broke down expressing in detail how his mother cried and kicked him out of the house. Those young people were their authentic selves. And they were also brave as well as brilliant in their form of poetic expression.The year after the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school, I was judge at the Louder Than A Bomb Florida poetry competition. I’ve never seen such authenticity. The poets from MSD bared their souls telling the horrific story of seeing their friends killed right in front of them. There wasn’t a dry eye in the auditorium. Authenticity is real. We need more of it in this world.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Just had a long conversation about this word. I don’t think about it in a marketing sense. I think it’s about being true to yourself and showing your true self to others. That’s a beautiful poem, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Authentic = not fakey
    Similar to genuine in the aspect of the old stamped motto, “Genuine Cowhide/Leather” – not fakey plether, etc…Just as an example.
    I especially agree with Leslie K’s comments. So I don’t have much more to add except the above

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ll preface this with “I’m really tired tonight and that may affect my response.” I don’t use the word authentic very often. By the time I had read all your quotes, I found the word to be irritating and perhaps overused in a not very authentic way. 🙃 It reminds me of marketing words like “natural” and “gluten free” on a myriad of products that fit those labels by virtue of what they are, not anything special about them.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Unlike some others, I feel that I was very authentic up into my 20s, but then I started to see how this was causing me to fail in relating to other people, so I gradually became less authentic in some ways. I’m striving to reclaim what I so callously discarded in the name of social currency. In the quotes you’ve offered, I’m not sure authentic is exactly the right term. It almost becomes meaningless.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was starting to think the same way about the word when I saw how it was used…in my 20si adapted too much to others and lost myself…then I got it back

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was thinking more about this topic yesterday. There is only one me, (and only one you). 🙂 If we don’t do “us” nobody else will . Someone shared a video w/ us a couple of weeks ago that featured a diverse range of musicians, from all over the world. It stirs something in me to be more in touch with the real me, Feel free to delete the link if you think it’s off topic. Have a great weekend LA !

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this. I think that the word “authenticity” is frequently thrown around without much regard for its actual meaning, but it’s an extremely important part of living life the way that you want to.

    Liked by 2 people

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