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Updated: Jan 29


Although this article is written from my own female perspective, the themes within it apply to any gender and can benefit all.

In a world that often emphasises conformity and comparison, the significance of embracing one's authentic self cannot be overstated. Being true to who we are, our values, passions, and unique qualities, is a powerful act of self-discovery, self-love and personal growth. I believe that living with authenticity is crucial to be able to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

So many of my one to one coaching clients over the years have talked about being afraid to be their authentic selves. Especially when it comes to exploring their spirituality or having a job that is considered by many as being too ‘woo woo.’

Then there are the creatives I work with, who feel trapped by the hearts and likes on social media and the marketability of their work. Do they stick with what sells or do they dare to really progress their work to perhaps places that are less pretty or popular but feel totally authentic in their expressive honesty? Artists of all kinds can feel creatively curtailed by their own success.

Painting of angel with halo kneeling down, in indigo blue paint, on a white canvas
KNEELING ANGEL - Acrylic on Canvas

I know how both groups feel. For years I kept my spiritual business, working as an intuitive coach and healer, totally separate from my life as an artist and creative, including having two web sites. I hardly ever promoted my spiritual business on social media for fear of ridicule or worse. Alongside that, as an artist I too find it hard not to be drawn to paint what sells or gives me that dopamine hit every time someone on social media likes my latest work.

My anxiety about being seen as someone working in a spiritual field, wasn’t logical, yet the fear was often visceral in its intensity. I hear this often from women, we all know it’s not rational, but fear isn’t always rational, yet it can be crippling and seriously hold you back from living an authentic, prosperous and happy life.

The Effects of the Persecution of Women for Their Spirituality Runs Deep in Our DNA

Painting of THE BURNING  - Acrylic on Paper
THE BURNING - Acrylic on Paper

Throughout history, women have faced persecution for their spirituality in various forms, including by the church and during the witch trials. Embracing your authenticity was dangerous, in many societies, women's spiritual practices and beliefs were marginalised, suppressed, and even condemned as heresy.

During the 15th to 18th centuries the inquisition and witch trials were widespread, with thousands of women (and some men) being accused, tortured, and executed based on allegations of witchcraft. Women who displayed independence, non-conformity, or exhibited traits contrary to the expected norms of subservience were at risk of being accused. The trials and subsequent executions were marked by injustice and a systematic effort to control and suppress women's spiritual autonomy.

Is it any wonder many of us still feel afraid to put our authentic selves above the parapet? Times are changing though, and I find it exciting to see the young women and men all over social media, tuning into their higher selves, freely talking about spiritual subjects and living their spiritual truth loud and proud, in a way many of us couldn't imagine at their age. Utterly and unapologetically authentic.

What was once considered woo woo, is now big business and I am here for it! In these crazy times we find ourselves, nurturing our soul and spirit is so important. Having people out there offering us tools and opportunities to do so is vital. Those of us who are older and have been on this journey most of our lives, we now have a chance to shine and to support and inspire younger spiritual stars and our contemporaries who finally feel safe to explore their spirituality.

Enhancing Relationships

Authenticity serves as a magnet for genuine connections. By embracing who we truly are, we attract like-minded individuals who appreciate and resonate with our unique qualities. When we drop the façade and show up authentically in our relationships, we foster trust, openness, and meaningful connections.

This is what I try to encourage at my retreat days. They are a chance to bring together people walking a similar path. I love offering a space for spiritual souls to connect and find their tribe. Making new likeminded friends, to share their journey with. Isn't that what we all want?

Creatively Authenticity Unlocks your Unique Voice

When we stay true to ourselves creatively, following our instincts and inner calling rather than just the money, we can bring forth original ideas and creations that set us apart from others. Authenticity encourages fresh and innovative artist expression.

I had a creative block a few years ago. My art was selling but I was bored. I decided to do a series of paintings that would be just for me. I didn’t expect anyone to see them and because of this I painted with unabashed joy. Honestly, I was literally ecstatic painting them. Though the subject of the paintings seemed dark, as I was painting shadow aspects of myself, it was exciting and thrilling! I felt liberated and painted 70 in quick succession on a fabulous creative roll.

What was amazing was how popular they were and how many of them sold! They spoke to people, and it was such an eyeopener to the fact that when we paint from the heart, we will always resonate with another.

I am currently in the middle of devising a days creative workshop, where I will assist others in painting their shadow, dark or light, in a free and expressive way. It really is a liberating experience.

FOUR HEAD PAINTINGS - Acrylic on Paper

Unlocking Personal Fulfilment

When we allow ourselves to be authentic, we unlock the doors to personal freedom. Shedding the weight of societal expectations and embracing our true nature empowers us to make choices that align with our values and desires. By embracing our authenticity, in whatever area of our life, we liberate ourselves from the confines of trying to fit into predefined molds, enabling personal growth and expansion. Being authentic can put us on the right path and align us with our mission and purpose in the world.

Inspiring Others

When we have the courage to be our authentic self, we inspire others to do the same. By embracing our unique qualities and living a life true to our values, we become a beacon of authenticity for those around us including our partners and children. Our unwavering commitment to being genuine can motivate and empower others to embrace their own individuality and live life on their own terms.

By leading through example, we create a ripple effect of authenticity that extends beyond ourselves.

Embracing Vulnerability

Authenticity often requires vulnerability—an act of courage that involves being open and honest about our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It is through vulnerability that deep connections are forged, as others recognise and relate to the genuine human experience we present. By embracing vulnerability, we create an environment that encourages others to do the same, fostering a sense of understanding, empathy, and compassion.

The day I started to build my new web site, bringing my two career choices together, in one place, for the world to see, was so liberating! I only wish I had done it sooner.

In a world that constantly bombards us with expectations and pressure to conform, embracing our authentic selves, in whatever way feels right for us, becomes an act of self-preservation and personal liberation.

Being true to who we are not only grants us personal freedom and fulfilment but also inspires others to embrace their individuality.

It is through authenticity that we can foster genuine connections, nurture personal growth, and create a more compassionate and accepting world.

So, dare to be yourself—unapologetically, authentically, and beautifully.

a collection of multi-coloured bottles

My one to one sessions can be a great way to get an insight into your authentic self. I love to support people in awakening to all that they are.

'Life-changing. Seriously. That's what Claire is. Simply being in her presence is enough to pull you out of the lowest of moods. She has an uncanny ability to see exactly what path you need to be on and is determined to help you get there.'

Emily Rush

Below is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago, that I feel works perfectly with the theme of authenticity.

What Lies Within

Inside and under that which we show the world

There is so much more than even the closest lover can see

Our true colours

The dreams, the secrets, the longings almost forsaken

The anguish suffered and the losses borne bravely

The resentments held, the deep love and devotion, perhaps unrequited

Our inner self is a beautiful tapestry of all that has been

And all that may be

The potential and promise

Even if our time remaining might be brief

It’s still there, still waiting

What colours have you not dared to share

Due to fear or lack of self-belief

Is it the blue of creativity, longing to be expressed

The pink of forgiveness, to set you both free

The red of anger, voice your pain, be heard

The green of hidden desires, give them freedom, make them manifest

Or the purple of a spiritual calling, trust in the Divine

At the end, will we regret what we did and who we were

Or what we left undone and who we might have been

You only get to be you, your unique self, once

There is no second term, no role reprisal

Live your life well and share your colours freely

In doing so, you can help inspire those still cloaked in sepia tones

Painting of WHAT LIES WITHIN - Acrylic on Canvas
WHAT LIES WITHIN - Acrylic on Canvas

Experience how art therapy can transform your life - here.

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