Authentically Speaking

“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else”-Judy Garland

Being authentic is being 100% yourself always but it doesn’t always come easy and it takes daily work.. Deep, inner work. Start by stop comparing yourselves to other people. Be the best you ALWAYS and start by choosing yourself. When you start the work you begin to be your truest version of yourself, you will find peace and you will no longer be a second rate version of someone else.

When we speak authentically we begin to live a life of passion, fulfillment and joy.

It’s hard work digging deep to figure out who you really are and speaking your truth. We have all been there. Begin by taking the steps to see who you really are. Are you more like Mrs. Jones next door that you have been keeping up with for years? Or are you super competitive at the office, the gym, yoga studios and other social settings where you will try to do what the others are doing for that recognition? Is this who you are? Are you in an unhealthy/unhappy relationship or marriage, but feel bad speaking your truth? Are you living a lie? Are you leading or following?

Free your mind, set your voice free. It is healing and feels good.

It took me years and I am still digging. Sometimes, I don’t like what I find, but I am a work in progress every day.

When I started teaching yoga three years ago and writing dharmas, Putting my thoughts and stories on paper and sharing with my class felt great. Then the blogging started shortly after, and that was even more healing. Journaling found it’s place in the line up and now I am authentically speaking on my podcast.

Authentically Speaking is another tool for me to share my stories and have people near and far share theirs. Real people, who inspire others, have a story they would like to share to help themselves and help others along the way. Men and Women who are learning, practicing, sharing and teaching.

So far on Authentically Speaking you have listened to ,a writer, traveler, and hopeless romantic share his story about healing after heartbreak through writing and finally speaking it out loud. A teen with type one Diabetes inspiring others how to live with it and not to be ashamed. A Creative Designer who overcame her fears, and loss of her mother at 15 years old and said she is now “FREE” after authentically speaking.

Someone recently asked how I was choosing my guests. I am asking authentic men and women who live their lives authentically, inspire others, who have a story to share that will help people who may be going through similar situations. From divorce to sports. Living with a broken heart or trying to mend one.

The next two months on Authentically Speaking will be inspiring and educational.

A single mom who left her 9 to 5 job to follow her dream.

A resilient, strong, principal, author and LGBTQ Advocate who authentically speaks about being gay, marriage, raising kids and the curricullum that is sitting on the Governor’s desk.

A holistic health coach who authentically speaks about hormone health and helping women all over the country using natures gifts.

A Spiritual Healer who left her corporate job to create beautiful healing tools and sharing her gifts authentically.

A role model for athletes who is so grateful to impact young men on the field and off and building a quality life of his own.

A Doctor with an insatiable thirst for learning and helping those in pain.

A Global Wanderer who is filling pages with stories of seas she has sailed, miles she has walked and the beautiful blue skies she has flown.

A couple who has overcome addiction, cancer, and together making an impact by helping others.

A mom spreading awareness to all the Big Hearts, so the Little Broken Hearts can be mended.

A strong mom with a strong family and supportive community with a SUPER STRONG baby girl who is fighting everyday against Hurlers Syndrome.

This is only a taste of the guest line up.

With so many more topics and genuine people who have inspirational stories to share authentically. Stay tuned as we learn, share and heal as we speak our truth.

Are you learning, sharing, practicing, teaching and inspiring others authentically? Share your story by emailing maribethwoodford@gmail.com to possibly have a chance to be a guest.

Yoga for my Mind and Soul on the Other Side of an Altar.

It’s been a LONG time since I went to church for a full mass. Sunday was worth blogging about.

I have been thinking about it for a long time but just couldn’t seem to get up the nerve. There are so many situations that occurred why I have not continued and I will share a few with you now then I will tell you about my experience Sunday.

We grew up Catholic. I went to Catholic School pretty much my entire life, my parents went to Catholic School, my grandmothers both attended church daily and I was married in the Catholic Church.

Guilt! That feeling of guilt that I remember feeling if I did not go to church every Sunday. The guilt was not from my mom, but it was a deeper feeling that I felt from the church/school itself.

Now you all probably know what the last is. Yep. The disgusting database of sexual abuse by priests. I am not here to write about that but when I told Woody I was going to church, he was shocked and said “do me one favor when you go”. “Think of our kids”.

I get it. I agree. I still went. I felt the need to go and trying to keep those horrific thoughts out of my head.

Prayer has always been something I believe in. I pray every night. Contemplative Prayer.

I have faith and I believe.

I do not believe you have to go to church to pray. Since Kelsey was struck by a car this September, I pray more and more. Shit, I have been praying so much I am actually enrolled in a 21 Days of Prayer to Change Your Life Course. It’s not a religious course. These are prayers about The Strength of Vulnerability, Letting Go, Forgiveness, The Power of Prayer and THANK YOU!! A big one for me. Anyway; back to my field trip to church.

I did not go alone. During a few of my classes, I have been talking about going back to church. One of my beautiful students, Mrs. Kate Liggett invited me to go with her. Kate talked about this young, “hip” priest at St. Martha’s. Kate described his physical appearance as “Jesus Christ”. The picture was embedded in my head. She said he was engaging, funny, and people love him. That is all I needed to hear.

Sunday after class I met Kate at Church.

I was nervous. My belly felt nauseous. That guilt of not being there in so many years was settling in.

We sat in the front.

Once the Priest got to the altar, I could not believe my eyes. He is young, hip, wore Dock Martins and had a Mala Bracelet on and holy shit; HE LOOKED LIKE JESUS!! Ha ha.

Not a grey hair in his hippie, long hair.

As mass began, I thought I had remembered the prayers of the catholic church, but that certainly changed. That’s how long it’s been.

Now it was time for The Sermon. I could not believe my ears. This priest started off talking about rock, paper, scissors and was engaging with the parishioners of all ages. People were laughing and participating. I could not stop smiling. I was 100% fully engaged.

Next up musical chairs!! I won’t get into the entire sermon, but the first thing that popped in my head was Wayne Dyer, his daughters book and the dharma and blog I wrote a few weeks ago. This priest reads Wayne Dyer!! We spoke about the same thing!! “Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You”.

As he continued to conclude his sermon; his ending was simple and true. “You never know when the music is going to stop, so live everyday like it’s your last”.

I finally found somewhere to go to listen to a really good dharma. Yoga for my mind and soul while sitting on the other side of an altar.

Thank you Kate!!!

xoxoxo