We are often so busy managing our busy lives that we forget to fill up our own tank of energy. How do we refill ourselves? Going to the spa or a yoga class helps us nurture ourselves, but learning to be at ease with who we are is more important to recharging our batteries. How can we learn to be at ease with ourselves? What does it mean to be an authentic person?

When we don’t know ourselves, we can’t have a healthy and balanced outlook on life. Self-power grows through self-appreciation and self-nurturing. Being at ease is accepting yourself. People, who know who they are, express self-love calmly and confidently. They’re extremely magnetic. Ease is everyone’s natural, healthy state. People who are not at ease with themselves must force themselves to be compassionate; they exhibit impatience and are unable to be fully present when you are with them.

You are a butterfly

Like butterflies, we are all in various stages of personal growth and spiritual metamorphosis. In the butterfly’s larval stage, it’s a caterpillar. The caterpillar has to shed its skin several times in order to accommodate its expanding body. It knows exactly where it is while it’s preparing itself and getting stronger for its final transformation. It goes into its chrysalis, into solitude, into the dark, and completely reassembles its cells to make itself into a new butterfly. Shortly before the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, the chrysalis becomes transparent and reveals the butterfly inside. To prepare for takeoff, the insect’s swollen body pumps fluids into its tiny, shriveled-up wings. This fluid, which comes from a reservoir contained in its abdomen, sustains the butterfly and allows it to expand its wings and fly.

If we were butterflies, what would happen to us if our chrysalis cracked open early and we had to emerge before we were ready? Could we eat what was in front of us? Would we fly any faster, any longer, any higher? I like to think that we develop strength and spiritual vitality when we crawl out on our own. Without this work, we would die. We really can’t choose not to emerge. That’s the natural way of things. Like the butterfly, we must pay attention to what is presented to us and integrate the inner world of awareness and the outer world of experience so these worlds inform one another. This is how we develop authenticity.

The Sage and the Mouse

There is a wonderful story in my new book The Oneness Gospel. It’s a favorite of the monks of India.

Long ago, there once was a kindly wise man who adopted a mouse. The Sage, who was also a great wizard, turned this mouse into a girl and lovingly raised her as his daughter. Under his tutelage and kindness, she grew to be serene and beautiful. She became his greatest joy. He gave her an education, and she received all the benefits of a life of refinement and abundance. When she came of age, and it was time for her to marry, the Sage, knowing she deserved the best, looked for a suitable husband for her. He presented the overseers of the cosmos to her: the kings of the sun, the moon, and the stars, all great and noble beings. They were the most excellent and honorable marriage candidates in the universe.

The girl who had been a mouse thoughtfully considered the life that each king could offer to her. She contemplated on the lofty power each one represented. Then, one by one, she rejected them, turning down their offers of marriage. Still only desiring her happiness, the Sage searched to the ends of the earth to find more noble beings who represented the different aspects of nature: the lords of the wind and the mountain, the ruler of the ocean. These he presented to her in a grand ceremony, hoping to honor and please her. Again, she kindly refused each one.

One day, the Rat Guardian, who was not invited to be presented with the other noble beings, arrived at the palace to ask for the girl’s hand. His greatest achievement was to tunnel through the hard structure of the mountains. The Sage’s daughter instantly fell in love with the Rat Guardian, whom she thought was the finest candidate of all. When the Sage saw this, he was perplexed. How could this be? Then he remembered that his daughter deserved to know her true self and know happiness. With this realization, he instantly turned her back into a mouse so she could marry the Rat Guardian and live with authenticity and happiness.

What’s the moral here? You can never deny who you really are. If you try to be something you’re not, there can be no joy, no feeling of completion. To be at ease, you must be who you are. If you can only be a mouse, then be that mouse and feel satisfied with the choices you make in life that arise from that authentic part of you. Being yourself will be your greatest joy. When you know your own truth and relax into who you are, life will always support you.

Every Blessing,

Author's Bio: 

The Rev. Dr. Charlene M. Proctor is the founder of The Goddess Network, an on-line educational resource for topics on spiritual growth, positive thinking, consciousness, and unity. Charlene inspires people to rediscover their own ability to lead authentic lives. Currently, she is a weekly empowerment expert for Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act, offering a spiritual perspective on everyday life to millions of viewers. She also offers advice on SelfGrowth.com and Beliefnet.com, the world’s largest personal-growth web sites. Her affirmations, lectures, and electronic programs reach a worldwide audience daily.