Authentic is such a complicated and misinterpreted word, and it took me a long time to understand what it really meant. I spent a long period of my life being incredibly codependent, both in relationship with others and when I was alone. It took me 20 years to realize that being self-loving is not the same as being selfish. Speaking your true mind, full of vulnerability and flaws and laughter and softness and opinions without compromising your boundaries is the heart of being an authentic person. We speak so much about the power of "yes" but forget that "no" can also be a positive idea, especially when applied to over-commitments or contradictions to what actually moves us forward. Learning how to be authentic has also taught me how to relax and make room for PLAY! Life doesn't have to be so serious all the time, and speaking your truth even when it is uncomfortable can be done with playfulness, and is actually the path to finding a community that actually loves you as you are rather than one you have to change your true self to be a part of. I'm so glad I'm finding that true inner me again, now that I am actively trying to love myself without anyone else's approval. I celebrate people who can speak their mind and help others be brave enough to speak theirs as well. Let's resonate with one another. To quote the late great David Bowie, 'Love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves.' Go be the true you. All the rest will follow.