Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Practice of Being Real

--by Carol Carnes (Nov 10, 2014)

The practice of being real is something highly underrated. We have been taught to appear in certain ways to get the approval of others. We may have fallen prey to the image makers who tell us how to dress, what colors are “ours” and how to be politically correct. The pressure to fit in is strong but not very intelligent. The really great people we admire, the ones who have contributed to our greater good, are always those who refuse to comply! They invariably are radical thinkers, fearlessly individual but at the same time allow for others to also stand out.

Shakespeare said it best “to thine own self be true and as the night follows the day, thou canst be false to any man.” Those who know who they are, are not confused about what is theirs to do! They are able to enroll others by simply being present with their energy and vision. This is spiritual maturity. The opposite of that is psychologically adolescent. We are all unique and have something to bring unlike anyone else. To be afraid to shine is to deny our spiritual nature.

That being said, being real does not mean complaining and holding others responsible for our experience. Martin Luther King Jr. did not complain. He had a vision and he stood up for it, unwilling to be silenced. He learned from Gandhi, but he did not copy him or dress like him or shave his head. He brought his own true self into the movement for freedom that Gandhi modeled so well. We are not a different species of human from these two fine examples, but we do need to drop the pretenses and let ourselves be seen and known for who we truly are.

Carol Carnes ‚Äčis a New Thought teacher, an ordained minister of International Centers for Spiritual Living, a world traveller who has been in the company of HH the Dalai Lama and other world leaders in small group dialogues. She is a member of the Association for Global New Thought and an inductee into the Martin Luther King International chapel Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. 

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On Nov 7, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Being real means being true to oneself, one's heart. For me that means sharing my heart with others, offering FREE HUGS to strangers, telling Stories, learning Stories, being curious, being whimsical, being serious, being open minded and open hearted.I feel fortunate that I have allowed myself to be who I am for quite a long time. This came from growing up in a difficult household, my father suffered from severe clinical depression and tried to kill himself several times, he died when I was 22. My father was never allowed to shine. He never figured out How to shine. My mother has anxiety, she is so concerned about what others think, it completely incapacitates her. My brother turned to alcohol for comfort. I turned to Theatre. And in doing so discovered a place to Shine. To become and learn and grown and BE. I carry my bubbles and FREE HUGS sign with pride. I am a Storyteller who serves others to shine and share their stories. I am GRATEFUL. What helps me to stay true to myself is reminding myself of how fulfilling life feels when one is true to oneself. And I remind myself of the myriad of experiences I've had personally that opened up to opportunities for growth when I am me. Hugs to all of us on the journey!

On Nov 9, 2014 david doane wrote:

 Being real is our right and privilege and responsibility.  It means being myself, accepting my experience, expressing my truth.  What could be more important?  To me, that's what it means to carry my cross and lay down my life.  And my success in doing all that is limited.  I'm often self-conscious and concerned about someone being upset by my truth, and I hold back and don't be real, I'm sad to say.  I often don't avoid falling into the trap of the ego.  Sometimes I'm not afraid to "shine," such as in these Awakin posts -- perhaps the anonymity makes it easier for me.  When I am real, I feel great.  Being real is its own reward.  Sometimes being real really is dangerous, but usually it's well worth the risk.  I hope to expand into being real much more often.  I think it helps me to keep reminding myself that I have the right to say my truth and be my real self.  I'm being real more often -- it's the struggle of my life.

On Nov 11, 2014 D S Ranga Rao wrote:

 Being true to oneself gives enormous self-confidence.

On Nov 11, 2014 Bradley wrote:

 I think we need to be careful not to confuse being "real" with "doing your own thing". Suppose one has very strong beliefs, but they are not those of a kind and compassionate person. Should they be true to themselves? Should they be real?
Being real, or true to oneself, should be coupled with being kind to others. Being real means opening your heart and not being afraid to change. I feel most true to myself when I'm not trying. When I am just being, when I let go of my ego...that's when I'm being real. When I'm serving others without expectations, whether it be through small acts of kindness or just everyday interactions...that's when I'm being <3.

On Nov 11, 2014 Jyoti wrote:

Even my best friends tell me that no one our age has natural hair color anymore, and I simply smile and say I'll be a flag-bearer. I hold on to the experience when a little girl came up to touch my hair to tell me that she had only ever seen all white or all black hair, but never seen black and white hair on the same head.

On Nov 11, 2014 Syd wrote:

 Realness is a rich conscious life and being real can also be unsettling for me.  When I am emotionally honest and real I feel like I antagonize people and I embarrass them.  I want to communicate the whole of me, the bad along with the good, doubts along with certainties, yet not all people want to be aware of human incongruities.  I feel like others wish I was not so candid about myself.  I may feel if it is the authentic thing to do, to reveal myself with directness and be genuine, even at the expense of pain, but others do not like this message.  It can distance me from people because my willingness to talk about flaws and irrationalities that appears to be painful and disturbing for people.        
My being real can also move me into self-absorption rather than principles.  When I get caught into feeling something is missing in my life I want to find the source of my unease.  It can cause me to compare myself to others and I will believe others possess qualities I do not have.  Other people had better childhoods, better parents, or just better luck.  People seem more alive and more whole, better careers, more productive lives, better marriages.  The problem is being real can make me over identify with my inner deficiency and my wound. 
Gradually over the years I have learned my ego needs this constant support and reinforcement.  It needs to compare me to those other people.  For example, when I am feeling confused and unanchored to anything permanent within it creates this constant self-questioning and start comparing myself to others.  My ego needs this particular identity and then I go off in the impossible task of doing the best it knows how, looking at those people.  This creates this fixation that makes me extremely self-conscious and it profoundly cuts me off from any source of identity.  So from this I have learned I cannot do anything to be myself or to be real. 
Realness is now learning to rest and to become aware of Being itself is my true identity.  The more I try to resolve a particular image or even become a particular image the more I lose contact with who I am.  Realness is the immediate richness of Being.  It is not separate from anything and is learning to genuinely rest, which creates this creative flow.  It cannot be otherwise.  So to me being real is creating an opening to my hidden depths and simply resting in being true to this identity. 
This awareness has both devil and the angel, and I can be sensitive to both.  It is now transcending this ego self, a complete letting go, by being true to what IS.  The ISNESS is Being real.  It is a leap of faith and learning to allow nothing to “stick” in my consciousness.  This is edgy, like a walk into nothingness, yet faith is the support and everything emanates from there.  So to me, being real is realistic faith and is its own value without reference to anything or anyone.    
I need to say, being real is recognizing the miracle of your existence and is the significance of your presence.    

On Nov 11, 2014 Lfm wrote:

 I will never forget the words of my childhood spiritual mentor upon my entering into a committed relationship  with my boyfriend.  She said, "always  remember who you are!"
When I graduated from a Catholic College, Sr. Josephine's (my college advisor) final instruction was to "be who you are."
Mother would, too, offer that I do all things in the way only I know how to do them.
Since each of us is an "original" we out be more true to ourselves.  Uniquely, God "packed" us to "do life" in the only way WE can.  There are so many "ways" to accomplish the same task.  No ONE way is THE absolute correct way, we need to give "our bend" to life. . . Be ourselves.
Since I am the "boss of my body", everyday I have the opportunity to decide to "be me"or "to be "like" someone else."  (Additionally, I don't think God meant for us to be anyone other than ourselves.)

On Nov 11, 2014 Courage wrote:

 Kind of interesting Syd!  When I developed full blown anxiety at the age of 30 years old,  I started getting better, when I began to verbally share my reality.  It is healthy to "exhale" your truth.  Bottled up . . . no one learns, no one is comforted and no one is (God willing) restored to balance/wellness.
Truth sets us free.

On Nov 11, 2014 mrs kamal sujan wrote:

 Being real means acceptiing my emotions....even anger, frustrations and other neg emotions in me first ....being aware that each moment what i feel is my own truth and nothing but the truth ....for me the now....and the  aware acceptance of
the action that follows this acceptance....

On Nov 11, 2014 Syd wrote:

 “Truth sets us free" and from this I hear you saying nothing else is will satisfy.   Very good Courage and your tile speaks hidden words for you.  Because of your title I assume you have made this shift of seeing all good residing in others to now having your own realistic faith in yourself.  Courage appears to be your own inner strength.  Courage speaks of your maturity, being your own person, and now living in your own inner freedom.   Thanks!  

On Nov 11, 2014 Mala Tandan wrote:

I catch myself when I am being 'unreal' by the tightness of my body and the closeness of the mind- as if I will not allow anyone in that ambit ! When I have let go of what  I was hanging on to, I feel the space expand inside of me and I know then that is the real me! Everything is possible thereafter...

On Nov 11, 2014 me wrote:

 Actually, I very much "read" courage in you.  Unbelievable is YOUR strength and ability to stand in the fire!  The Lord is surely with you!  Amen to you!

On Nov 11, 2014 Syd wrote:

 Thanks me and thanks for your special value as a person.   Your caring and good heart makes a difference. 

On Nov 12, 2014 brett wrote:
 There is a certain amount of self awareness needed to know what is real. Being "real" is easily confused with permission to be angry from a wounded place and striking out at others since that is your authentic impulse. Having strong emotions is often considered "real" because it's powerful. Some people continually seek  out relationships to validate themselves. Some people continually reject affection so they don't feel threatened by intimacy, etc. These are real feelings, but not necessarily healthy ones. So I would say that just because something is real, doesn't mean it's healthy. The work of integrating these parts is the work of becoming truly real. I think the author is assuming that a large part of this has already occured.

On Nov 12, 2014 Avriane wrote:

 Syd,thanks for sharing. You very well formulate what a lot of people experience.  I recently read a quote:'We are spiritual beings having a human experience...', and that brought a deeper understanding along of my own life and the lives of people around me.  I receive Carol Carnes' daily message, and she really brings light. Go well, Syd!

On Nov 12, 2014 Always wrote:
 Monday evenings I teach "Theology of the Body" to teenagers at my church.  Week after week, I remind the class NOT to trust their feelings.  Instincts, yes . . . feelings, no.  "Feelings" react to things/people/circumstances. "Instinct" IS what YOU/ we have to stay level/more proactive/less reactive/logical/in sync with our strengths and CORE.  
Case in point:  My instinct and prayer directed me to my husband to marry (30 years ago).  Had I allowed my feelings to decide my mate, I would today be married to Bob (my boyfriend at 16).  Uncontrolled feelings mislead those experiencing and those receiving the rippling effect of the emotion . . . and often puts us in a place we shouldn't be.
Good to read your thoughts Brett.  Thank you!      

On Nov 13, 2014 Syd wrote:

 Avriane, I truly agree with you that what I wrote is similar to others.  Maybe I feel shameful and misunderstood by people, yet that does not make me unique.  It is simply good you are being real with me.  I also know from experience my ego-activity tries to make my personality feel real and valuable.  My ego energy needs to build up my self-image.  Therefore, realness is tricky, as I need to see if I am investing energy into cultivating my persona or am I a person embodying real authenticity.  Both are real, one is building an image (successful career, presenting myself favorably, achieving goals)   and the other is my value is not based on a particular achievement (Essential identity). To me, being real can be a concept or a belief and the other side it is no concept or belief. Being real can be cut off from the ground of Being and the other side Being itself is the source of my true identity.  The rich consciousness or being real is being aware I am not completely in control of either.
I will look into Carol Carnes’ daily message and again appreciate you being real with me.  There is nothing more satisfying, your realness meeting my realness, and liberating us both from this role we must play.        

On Nov 13, 2014 al wrote:

 I am glad you wrote!  I missed seeing you earlier this morning and so I prayed.  

On Nov 13, 2014 al wrote:

 Amen to your words.

On Nov 13, 2014 Syd wrote:

 Thanks al and inner peace to you.  

On Nov 14, 2014 Amy wrote:

 Amen, David!  To be real or not to be real . . . What would one rather be?  
(I'm drawn to real people! . . . Seems a waste of good time to pursue what/who is false/unreal.)

On Nov 15, 2014 a sister wrote:

 The last few days I have been enjoying the "real" in nature.  When walking my dog in the woods, I hear my steps in the gravel (on path) and fallen leaves (off path).  In my frequent "pauses", however, I really get to take in the "real" of the wind, trees, wildlife, temperatures, ect . . . Everything "doing it's own thing" . . . And it is beautiful!  Since that which God created before man hasn't "free will", all I experience in the stillness of the woods is most pure in it's reality.  
People (all of us) are sinners.  We choose our reality (what we say, what we do).  People choose who they are most comfortable "being real" with.  We choose who we'd like to draw near to and who it is perhaps best to distance ourselves from by the "fruit of their tree".  God called His creation of man and woman to be "very good", but in reality, our goodness comes from Him alone.  
Your question, should we be real (in our fallen nature), is thought provoking.