Authenticity Resources…

“Authenticity is everything! You have to wake up every day and look in the mirror, and you want to be proud of the person who’s looking back at you. And you can only do that if you’re being honest with yourself and being a person of high character. You have an opportunity every single day to write that story of your life.” Aaron Rodgers

Please take a moment to watch the video below. It will provide you with hope and context for a wonderful new way forward. Be sure to complete your Journal of Grace in the next 7 days. God Bless, Team Grace


Selected Text From Grieve With Grace™…

Following, I have extracted a small portion of Chapter 6 of Grieve With Grace for your benefit. Enjoy!

It’s not that purpose cures grief, it’s that a heightened State of Grace leads to a heightened sense of purpose.

This means that stone by stone, we must build the archway of Grace over the valley of dread, and feelings of great loss.

When we are ready to move on from mourning and grieving to joy and living, we must each, in our own way, set the stones in place to build our bridge of Grace over the tumultuous river of lost souls.

Who have you been? How has Gratitude shaped you and those around you?

Being Grateful for the challenges and opportunities you have in life is fundamental to your success, and is key to moving from grief to Grace.

Who are you now? How has Resilience made you mentally tough but remarkably kind?

Being Resilient in the face of adversity, especially the loss of someone very important to you, is also a pivotal key to moving from grief to Grace. You can and will bounce back to become a new you, but to do this, you must answer this all-important question…

Who will you be next?

This question is the ultimate test of your Authenticity.

Conditions have changed and being the old you is no longer a consideration. The new reality is that loss has changed you, everyone, and everything close to you.

It is this recognition that permits us to transition from incessant grieving to living in Grace. It is this inescapable truth that makes it possible for you to complete your archway of Grace over the river of dread.

You might be interested to know that in Colorado we have a river that is so aptly named by Spanish explorer Juan Maria Antonio Rivera in 1765: The Animas River or “Rio de Las Animas Perdidas”—the River of Lost Souls.

No question, we do not want to be sucked into the raging river of lost souls—cascading down the walls of grief into a frenzy of denial, depression, anger, and a hopeless feeling that never seems to abate—as many believe we must.

And some believe it to be inevitable. Instead, we must, as I found, personally and authentically build our bridge of Grace across this vast abyss of condemnation.


How would I—how could I—span my life from where I was to a newly defined, rebuilt life with new possibilities and a wonderful future? After just losing the single most important person in my life?

This was the question that I knew I had to answer, much sooner than later if I were to make it through this heart-breaking, life-changing ordeal.

Since Jan’s death, my life changed overnight. In so many ways.

None of it by my choice. I had to face reality.

My Jan was gone. I was still here. I had to face the facts of my life, as all who grieve must.

It was time to stop the lamentations and rise above my dismal existence. I had felt the total depths of despair. And I had felt every ounce of love for Jan that is humanly possible and will continue to love her forever. In fact, even now my love and respect for her grows.

Early on I kept wishing my life—and hers—was back to the same as before. This was my constant wish, hope, and prayer. Just give me back my life. Please. Now. But, the reality of it is, my life is never going to be the same as it was.

I needed to start focusing on my life instead of my loss. I needed to focus on what’s most important now and who I am going to be from this new point forward.

Authentically. Truthfully. With hope and Grace.





To Grieve With Grace means you will heal With Grace.

By adding Resilience with Gratitude to become Authentically you.

I mention this because being the real YOU is the keystone to living a Graceful life on the other side of your torrent of tears. If you truly intend to become the best version of yourself possible, now and in the future, you must be Authentic.

It is key to a great life and is the essence of what it means to Grieve With Grace.

No question, there are many triggers that cause us to grieve: Death of a loved one as in my case, suicide or loss from drugs and alcohol, divorce, loss of job, and death of a pet.

Unfortunately, the list is endless.

We all experience grief in different ways. But in the end, we must look in the mirror and deal with it in our own way.

I found comfort in honest reflection as Jan slowly lost her battle with cancer. She and I were completely Authentic in our lives, and in her death.

My hope and prayer is that you will see the capstone of Authenticity as your saving Grace as well.

Why Not Build The Bridge of Grace Over The Raging Tears of Grief?

• If not yours, whose values are you living?

• How Grateful and Resilient do you feel right now?

• When will you show the world the real you?



Moving Beyond Acceptance

The Healing Power of Authenticity

Below, you will find several credible (but easy to read) articles that will cement your understanding of the power of Authenticity in your healing from a great loss.

Now, we would like to guide your thinking here, giving you some specific ideas for actions you can use immediately. You can answer them personally, or use them as discussion group questions. They have been crafted to condense all the big points into actionable bits of great information!

Remember, to build your bridge of Grace you must move beyond merely accepting your loss. You must also accept responsibility for life after grief.

Your Authenticity Journal: Accepting Loss…

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Your Authenticity Journal: Accepting Responsibility…

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Appendix Listings For The Curious & Committed…

As promised, we have included several valuable resources here to help you move from grief and move your life toward Grace. My goal is to give you the information and tools you need to overcome that “stuck” feeling you might find yourself in. In researching the field of advice to help you move from merely accepting grief vs. accepting your personal responsibility to grow forward, I discovered a wealth of information you might find very comforting or completely useless.

I understand.

My readers may want to understand the scientific aspects of this subject. Some will take my conclusions on the surface, others may want something of a professional bibliography. I decided to take a simple approach and give you a few select articles to help you better understand the practical science behind Grieve With Grace. Many of the articles are very complex and scholarly reviews of each of our 5 keywords.

I selected a few that I thought were easy to read yet give you the full flavor of the topic. If you are a professional Grief Counselor you will already have your own knowledge base, but will find clarity in the references below. If you are a person who is interested in becoming a Grace Counselor, the following will give you a platform for understanding.

Article #1 Below: Develop Authenticity ~ 20 Ways to Be a More Authentic Person
Article #2: 5 Signs Of Personal Authenticity
Article #3 Below: 7 Core Qualities of Authentic People




Grace Counselor resources


Article #1: Develop Authenticity ~ 20 Ways to Be a More Authentic Person


Want to be your true self? Then try these 20 authenticity strategies.

Being your authentic self can feel risky now in our screen-obsessed world. We’re just trying to fit in, be liked, and be accepted by other human beings. And as a result, the images we present (on our social media profiles and IRL) have become mere presentations of who we think we should be and not reflections of who we really are. So how do we take off the mask we’ve been wearing and start to live a life of authenticity?

How to Develop Authenticity

Being authentic means that you act in ways that show your true self and how you feel. Rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself, you express your whole self genuinely. That means to succeed in being authentic, you first have to know who your true self actually is. And this requires self-awarenessmindfulness, and self-acceptance.

Why Authenticity Matters

After spending the last year researching and writing my new book, Outsmart Your Smartphone: Conscious Tech Habits for Finding Happiness, Balance, and Connection IRL, I’m now convinced that it’s harder for us to be our true selves now, in the technology age. We are constantly bombarded with media that tells us who to be, what to want, and how we “should” express ourselves. All of these influences slow chip away at our ability to be our authentic selves.

But by being someone you are not, you are telling yourself that who you really are isn’t okay. So hiding or suppressing who you really are can end up leaving you feeling lonelydisconnected from others, or even worthless.

How We Lost Our Authenticity

We are constantly balancing inner and outer aspects of ourselves in order to better fit in, to become more successful, or to find love. We are driven to find “our place” in society, and we want to be respected for who we truly are and what we have to contribute. Many of us are propelled even further, desiring to know and live our purpose, to find deeper meaning in our lives, and to feel the fulfillment that comes with becoming a more authentic person.

But at the same time, we live in a society that values superficiality, strives for perfection, and defines success as by the dollars in our bank account and not by how well we live our values every day. So how are we to be authentic in spite of the messages that try to convince us to be someone else?

Why Overcoming Inauthenticity Is So Hard

We were molded as children by our parents, teachers, religions, peers, and society to “fit in.” As a result, we developed beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that keep us acting in the ways we were taught to act—not in the ways that make us feel like our authentic selves.

This version of ourselves can be thought of as the “Adaptive Self”—the self that prioritizes fitting in, getting along, and generally doing what we’re told. This self is not without value and purpose—it helps us be functioning members of society. But if you’re feeling inauthentic, the Adaptive Self is running your life.

To reclaim your authenticity, you need to discover your “Authentic Self”—the self that prioritizes living according to your valuespursuing your purpose, and fighting for the causes you care about. For most of us, our Authentic Self is buried deep in our unconscious, where it remains hard to identify and let out.

How to Develop Authenticity

Here are some tips to help you find and express your authentic self.

1. Observe yourself objectively to develop authenticity. Learn to observe yourself like a fly on the wall. Watch yourself as you live in the present moment, observing how your “Adaptive Self” behaves, what it believes, how it reacts under pressure, and how it responds to challenges. Practice noticing which of these responses feel authentic, and which ones feel inauthentic. By identifying which responses are adaptive vs authentic, you can begin to notice the falseness and begin to see the glimmers of truth underneath.

2. Examine family belief systems to develop authenticity. Most people were raised in some sort of “family-style” environment during their earliest, most vulnerable years. Think back to episodes in your childhood, episodes that led you to stop being your authentic self and instead adopt some other way of existing in this world. By examining where our behaviors come from, we can learn a lot about our authentic selves.

3. Open a dialogue between the Adaptive Self and the Authentic Self. Invite the two aspects of yourself—the Adaptive Self and the Authentic Self—to have a discussion as part of a meditation or thought exercise. Respectfully introduce both: Thank the Adaptive Self for helping you function through some difficult and confusing times, and thank the Authentic Self for helping you feel whole, real, and self-confident.

Now invite each part of yourself to share. Ask a question, mentally, while urging each side to express itself fully, and then listen patiently to the responses. Encourage dialogue so that you may comprehend both points of view.

Try to be open to what both sides have to say, as they may reveal things you’re not expecting. For example, the Authentic Self may be afraid of rejection and therefore afraid to come forward. Or your Adaptive Self may be caretaking, trying to protect you from feeling hurt in the ways you’ve been hurt in the past. These parts of ourselves are running our lives this way for a reason. In this exercise, try to figure out what those reasons are. This may help you understand why you act the way you do, so you can decide if you truly want to act differently.

4. Identify discrepancies to develop authenticity. Try to become aware of discrepancies between your actions and your beliefs. If you catch yourself making a racist, sexist, or otherwise hurtful remark, ask yourself whether you really believe the words you speak. Are you just saying these things because someone else taught you to?

Remember, the Adaptive Self just wants to fit in. So it can often act in ways that are inconsistent with our authentic selves. This is normal. But if we want to be more authentic, we have to notice the address the discrepancies between our beliefs and our actions.

If you acknowledge what is true for you now, then you can better live your life according to the needs of your Authentic Self. But that kind of authenticity requires self-awareness and self-honesty.

5. Examine your doubts to develop authenticity. When exploring your Authentic Self, you may feel unsure of how to go about it. You may question whether it’s even possible to change what feels so deeply ingrained within you or is invisible to you. So keep an eye out for feelings of doubt.

Doubts can be like breadcrumbs that lead you to your Authentic Self. If you doubt something—a thought, behavior, emotion, experience—reflect for a moment to find whatever is underneath. Is your Authentic Self trying to tell it to “stop it?”

6. Develop the courage to face your fears. Humans tend to be most comfortable with what is familiar. The unfamiliar is often challenging, at least at first. Examining your inner core beliefs can be like exploring a foreign landscape you are unfamiliar with. So when you touch upon a disconnect between your Adaptive and Authentic Selves, your heart may race or your hands could get clammy. You may naturally feel afraid to look too deeply into yourself for fear of what you might find.

Our Authentic Self often has a lot of fear, sadness, and anger—our true selves were hurt and that’s why the Adaptive Self took over. However, the difficult secrets we hide from ourselves are what make us who we really are. So as much as possible, and as slowly as you need to, courageously explore the truth of what makes you who you are. Identifying, experiencing, accepting, and letting go of these buried emotions is exactly what fuels your Authentic Self.

7. Explore your values. Integrity, ethics, and living our personal values is an effective way to live more authentically. The trouble comes when we are so far from our Authentic Selves that we do not even know what our values are. So explore your values and figure out some ways to start living them.

8. Love yourself and have compassion for others to develop authenticity. Because it takes self-love for our Authentic Selves to emerge, embedding more love and compassion within yourself and your life is helpful. One way to increase your self-love is to set aside some time to take numerous deep breaths each day. You can add this into an existing meditation practice if you like.

Slowly deepen your breathing and when you are feeling fully relaxed and receptive, call love to yourself from your environment. Imagine each breath infused with loving energy. ​Whether as balls of energy, or bursts, or rays of light and love, invite love to enter your body via your breath. Draw love into your lungs and disperse it throughout your body, or send it directly to your Authentic Self. Keep breathing consciously until you feel the lightening and lifting energy of these “love breaths.”

Once filled with love, share some of it with friends or loved ones. Sending love to others tends to expand the love within!

9. Recognize that developing authenticity takes time. Examining our true self is a process—perhaps a life-long process—because we are ever-evolving human beings. It takes quite a while to winnow out beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve you and replace them with more authentic actions. But with some effort, you’ll soon find more genuine alignment with your true self.

10. Release patterns and beliefs that no longer serve you. When you docome across a thought, emotion, or action that doesn’t represent your Authentic Self, work on letting it go. Visualization is a good tool for this. You can place the thought, emotion, or action within a bubble or a balloon and let it rise until it disappears. Or if you are more hands-on, you can write it on a piece of paper, cross it out, and crumple up the paper—a physical action that helps your subconscious understand your intentions.

11. Ask yourself what you truly believe. Another pro-active approach is to simply start with pad and paper (or it can be a mental exercise) and begin listing your beliefs about yourself, beliefs like “I am not good enough” or “Nobody loves me” or “I’m stupid, fat, ugly, etc.” Then examine each one, expand upon it, and think back to how and when you acquired that belief, who gave it to you, why you continue to hold on to it, and whether it represents “the authentic you” that you want to be today.

Now create positive alternatives to those negative beliefs, such as “I am good enough,” or “I am drawing to myself a partner who loves and respects me,” or “I am perfect just as I am,” etc. And repeat the beliefs as positive affirmations to get them to stick.

12. Take it slow to develop your authenticity. Sometimes we are shocked by what we discover within our subconscious that has been hidden. Such sudden new raw awareness can disrupt our lives in unexpected ways. So use moderation and proceed cautiously. When you discover a belief or memory that has been thwarting your authenticity, allow a few days for you to adjust to your new realizations and view them with self-compassion.

How to Maintain Authenticity

Now that you’ve got a better sense of how to be authentic, here’s how to stay authentic.

13. Make telling the truth a habit. This is such a simple suggestion and yet it makes a huge difference! It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of lying for convenience’s sake—to further some agenda, to cover up some embarrassment, or to save face. These seem like “little white lies” that do not hurt anything. However, the more little lies we tell, the less we are accepting our Authentic Self, a self that is flawed. By being honest, we tell our subconscious that our imperfections are acceptable, therefore we are acceptable.

14. Make statements and decisions consciously. In this hectic world, we are making decisions all the time. Unfortunately, a lot of these decisions are made hastily in the moment with no forethought. So slow down and make sure each of your decisions supports your Authentic Self. And don’t let anyone push you into making a consequential decision before you are ready.

15. Speak your truth. When you speak your truth, authentically, you show others that you are responsible, that you can be trusted, and that you trust others enough to show your genuine, vulnerable self. The response from others is often positive, which helps make it easier for you to continue being authentic.

16. Develop yourself in authentic ways. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given advice for how to advance in my career—advice that is not suited to my Authentic Self. And whenever I follow this advice, ignoring my Authentic Self, I get lost.

Your goals may also fail to fit the typical “upward trajectory” or “career ladder” often promoted by society. So as you pursue your goals, pause to ask yourself are you pursuing the right goal, in the right way, for you? If not, you’ll likely have a hard time enjoying either the process or the outcome.

17. Continue to monitor yourself. If we can keep a behind-the-scenes monitor that remains self-aware at all times, we will be in a position to catch those “off moments” when we veer away from our Authentic Selves. Even if we have no time to examine what’s going on in the moment, we can note it down for review later, when we have time.

Take Authenticity to the Next Level

Ok, so you’re working on creating a more authentic life. Here’s how to keep digging to bring out a more completely authentic self.

18. Strive to improve yourself. If you want to progress, you will need to develop a growth mindset and learn from each lesson presented to you before you can move on to higher insight. If you do not do your daily homework of paying attention to what life has to teach you, you will continue to get the same lessons over and over until you learn them. By being open to new knowledge, you can grow more quickly and find the best routes for you to achieve sustained authenticity.

19. Listen to your inner guidance or intuition. People call inner guidance many things—the soul, god, intuition, Tao, and so forth. Following this inner guidance is key to discovering the Authentic Self. It is only when our Adaptive Self silences our inner guidance that we lose track of who we really are. So try to keep an open mind and ear for the guidance that you hold within you.

20. Find your life purpose. Authenticity and purpose are closely linked: A deep sense of purpose can help you to express your authenticity while developing authenticity will often help you discover your purpose! You may discover the courage of your convictions, and want to burst forward with passion to accomplish some worthy goal that moves you deeply enough to champion some particular sort of positive change. You may have an invention you want to promote, a company you want to develop, or a vision you want to manifest. So open yourself up to living authentically, and your purpose is likely to become more clear.

This article was co-written with Starr Sites.


Panger, G. T. 2017. “Emotion in Social Media.” University of California, Berkeley.

The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting with Your Divine Guidance by Margaret Paul.



Article #2: 5 Signs Of Personal Authenticity


Personal authenticity is a lifestyle decision that involves self-knowledge, moral integrity, and a commitment to maintaining one’s individual identity and values.

In our image-obsessed society, it can be difficult to find people who are authentically themselves. This is made more complex by the fact that authenticity isn’t black-and-white. It’s a personality trait, like empathy, spirituality, or open-mindedness, that must be created and consciously maintained throughout one’s lifetime. Truly, some of the people who seem most authentic at first glance are only most skilled at faking it. This is one of the great tragedies of our culture. As Vironika Tugaleva put it, “You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be.”

Here are five traits that authentic people cultivate with intention:

1. Acceptance

– The better we know and love our authentic selves, the less inclined we become to pass judgement on others. In fact, most of our condemnation is rooted in our own failures and insecurities. The more compassion we develop for our own flaws, the easier it becomes to accept the faults of others. After all, if you were happy with yourself, why would you want to bring other people down? As John Mark Green wrote, “The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.”

2. Integrity

– An authentic person will always choose to live by their values – even when the decision to do so is controversial or unpopular. Often, when we decide to present a false front to the world, it is because we want to avoid the criticism of others. It is easier to compromise our values than to rock the boat. However, a person who lives with authenticity would rather carry society’s disproval than their own. This is because they value their own character very deeply, and believe wholeheartedly in who they have chosen to be.

3. Courage

– Authentic living requires a surprising amount of personal courage. It takes a great deal of courage to take an honest look inward and discover who you truly are. It takes even more to present your most genuine self to the world. As Maya Angelou explained, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” Each of the other behaviors on this list is important. However, without courage, there’s no chance of making progress in cultivating any of them.

4. Forgiveness

– People who live their lives with a great deal of authenticity tend to forgive themselves and others more easily. They recognize that hurtful behaviors, mistakes, and even character flaws, are almost always unintentional. In their honesty, they are able to identify their own flaws and shortcomings. They are capable of recognizing their errors, making things right again, learning, and moving on with life. A person who practices this in their own life is more inclined to allow others the grace to do the same.

5. Introspection

– A lack of self-reflection can be the greatest barrier to authenticity. We cannot be our most genuine selves, after all, if we have no idea who that is – and unfortunately, most of us don’t. Take time to examine your inner and outer worlds. Look to your character with honesty and compassion. What mistakes have you made lately? How did you handle them? What are the things you do that you are most proud of? This isn’t about punishing yourself for your imperfections. It’s about the decision to look at your character with kindness and a commitment to personal growth.

“Don’t let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It’s your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don’t let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others’ prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Your identity is all you truly have. Don’t give control of it to society, cultural expectations, or even your loved ones. Take charge of who you are. Own it. Embark on the adventure of discovering your true self.




Article #3: 7 Core Qualities of Authentic People

Don’t look at what people say, but how they say it.



  • Authenticity is more than when someone believes in what they say. They must also have a realistic perception of reality and accept others.
  • Inauthentic people are self-deceptive about reality and look to others for approval and to feel valued.
  • Authenticity is grounded in healthy, non-defensive functioning and psychological maturity.

Authenticity is highly valued: On the whole, we don’t like or trust people who come across as phony and false. Not surprisingly, we avoid such people. We seek friends and colleagues who are authentic.

Authenticity is important, but what exactly do we mean by the term?

Often we judge a person’s authenticity by the passion and commitment they have for what they say and do. For sure, part of being authentic is standing up for what you believe in and speaking the truth as it seems to you, even if it is not what others want to hear.

However, the question is, authentic to what?

People can be committed to and passionate about lots of things, but this by itself is not enough. Authenticity is more than when someone believes in what they say or acts in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. An inauthentic person is equally able to stand up and say what they truly believe. We ought not to judge authenticity purely by the passion a person has for what they say. The more important part of the authenticity question is to look at the character of the person. What’s behind what they say?

Humanistic psychologists would say that by definition, authentic people possess a number of common characteristics that show they are psychologically mature and fully functioning as human beings. They…

  1. Have realistic perceptions of reality.
  2. Are accepting of themselves and of other people.
  3. Are thoughtful.
  4. Have a non-hostile sense of humor.
  5. Are able to express their emotions freely and clearly.
  6. Are open to learning from their mistakes.
  7. Understand their motivations.

This is what it means to be true to oneself. And conversely, inauthentic people…

  1. Are self-deceptive and unrealistic in their perceptions of reality.
  2. Look to others for approval and to feel valued.
  3. Are judgmental of other people.
  4. Do not think things through clearly.
  5. Have a hostile sense of humor.
  6. Are unable to express their emotions freely and clearly.
  7. Are not open to learning from their mistakes.
  8. Do not understand their motivations.

If behind what a person says and does is a defensive and self-deceptive approach to life, then no matter how passionate and committed they are to a cause, ultimately they are not being true to themselves.

Authenticity is ultimately about those qualities that show healthy non-defensive functioning and psychological maturity. Those are the qualities we need to look for.