When I write about the Authentic Self, what I really mean? I mean it is your deep sense of Self – the Big-S-Self – born of intimate introspection. It is an identity that is in alignment with your intuitive sense of yourself, and especially in alignment with your highest values. That sense of Self increasingly emerges according to how embodied and present you are. Conversely, the more you are lost in the head, thinking in an abstract, ungrounded manner, the more you are in ego – the small-s-self.
One definite indicator that you are not sitting with your Authentic Self is when you are residing in a state of chronic judgment and anger, and constantly being distracted by what others do, think, say or write. This includes being triggered by public figures, celebrities, politicians; and by organisations and groups (including other tribes and collectives). If you are chronically thinking about what someone else has said or done, you are in their frame. In other words, they are living rent free in your head. And you have given your power away.
This pervasive inauthenticity includes just about everyone on Twitter. And given that Twitter has been the effective town square for our media, public intellectuals and thought leaders for the past decade, it basically means we are being led by people who cannot – or will not – embody their Authentic Selves (it’s also why I rarely use Twitter, just quietly).
I’m not saying you can’t use Twitter consciously. Some people do (Eckhart Tolle and the Dalai Lama, for example). I’m just saying it isn’t easy maintaining peace of mind in a madhouse. And why go there, unless you are being “committed”? We have a choice where to place our attention, a choice of what to do with our time and our lives. And if we want to embody our Authentic Selves, we must choose wisely. This is part of wisdom – and its online version, what I call Digital Wisdom.
Here’s one very simple but powerful habit that you can adopt to help you embody your Authentic Self each day.
DO NOT turn on the internet or activate any unnecessary electronic media till after lunch.
For me, that means no texting, social media, news and so on till after 1.00pm. I also usually fast till 1.00pm, so that means there is abundant time to get settled and present in my body. I routinely do a morning meditation and/or an emotional alignment (allowing my thoughts and feelings a healthy expression). Then I sit and reflect for some time, deliberately choosing what I want to do with the day to come, or some future goals I have in mind.
This routine ensures that the thoughts running through my head are typically the ones I have placed there, not the ones some politician, media or social media actor shoved into my skull. And it means the algorithms can’t get at me till at least 1.00pm.
My aim is to ensure that my days, and my life, do not become an instrument of Big Tech’s toxic profit models. It is my preference not to become a useful idiot who is herded like some bone-headed bovine into online advertising spaces, to chew on Big Tech’s noxious cud. I therefore remain focused upon the things that are of most value to me, not those that are of value to the CEO of some trillion-dollar tech company.
I use the tech. But it will not use me. I simply will not let it.
Many of the ideas in this blog article can be found in Marcus’ most recent book, Power and Presence: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self in a Digitized World.