Once in a while I have a conversation with somebody about Authenticity and what it means for them in their work. This month I have interviewed Cara Crisler. She is a dear colleague and coach and shares her vision of #Authenticity and how that influences #connection.
What does authenticity mean to you?
We all know the saying, “the more I learn, the less I know.” I certainly relate to this, and in fact see very little as black and white “truth.” Yet, there are is one thing I can definitely KNOW, and that’s my authenticity. The unfortunate thing is, a lot of barriers have formed throughout my life that prevent me from hearing, seeing, or trusting this “inner truth”—things like my personal emotions, longings, intuition, “gut.”
What is the importance of authenticity on connection?
So here is what I believe happens to most of us: Life events and very well-meaning adults shape us into someone different than who we really are by telling us from day one what we should/shouldn’t feel, need, say or do.
As a result, we lose the ability to listen to and trust ourselves fully as we develop all kinds of thoughts, beliefs, convictions and “survival strategies” simply to get the love and attention we desperately need as a child. We disconnect from our real selves and lose touch with our authenticity.
Here’s how it looked for me: After a few decades of working steadily, being in a long-term relationship, entering motherhood, and moving abroad to the Netherlands, I found that my old, deeply rooted strategies of pleasing, smiling my way through life, while living with a very harsh inner critic were no longer working well for me.
I felt a general dissatisfaction, though I wasn’t clear why and didn’t know how to change. I had gotten really good at hiding—from my own pain and hiding it from others. Therefore, I spent a lot of time being alone with it all, feeling disconnected from myself and others, and getting nowhere.
What can connection do to support authenticity?
My biggest lesson learned (especially since ongoing much personal coaching and Nonviolent Communication-based coaching training) is this: Engaging in self-connection—knowing my “inner truth”—is the first step for authenticity, which in turn is required for meaningful connection with others. To break it down:
I believe that connection is a basic, universal need, and yet many of us aren’t experiencing enough of it in our daily lives
A requirement for connection is honesty, at the level of personal feelings and needs and it is NOT about being transparent and direct with my thoughts, e.g. opinions, judgments, analysis
When we are connected to our personal feelings and needs, we are connected to our authenticity.
When we can share our authenticity, then we can experience meaningful connections with others.
How do Cara and Eva Authentic Living work together?
Other than finding an ongoing source of inspiration and support in what Eva shares on Facebook and in our private conversations, I believe that we share a similar vision. My vision looks like this: Those who are aware of their needs for authenticity AND human connection are self-empowered to fulfill them both.
After going through extensive training to learn how to recognize and fulfill my needs, I now have the mission to convey effective communication skills to people living abroad wanting to go from stress to balance, from conflict to harmony.
I do this as communication coach & trainer, transforming the inner critic into a supportive voice and building skills for connection in international relationships. I am passionate about helping women like me (and their families) – living abroad, highly mentally active, hard-working, longing for grounding, honesty, meaningful connections, and harmony.
In my first session with coaching clients I give ample safe space for the mind (generally a myriad of thoughts) to be fully expressed, uncensored and raw. I help translate the thoughts into “heart language” – actual longings and needs. With that as their new, more authentic focus, my clients are able to explore and practice creative new strategies that fulfill their needs and obtain their goals.
I find that this is a great place to start when there’s much (draining) energy and focus in our heads. And it can be just a first step . . . for those wanting to learn more, and go deeper into their body, that’s when I refer them to Eva, who knows how to guide her clients toward authenticity through Rebalancing Bodywork Therapy.
Read more about Cara and what she can do for you through learning connection skills. If you would like to talk to her, book your free discovery call with her.