Keeping a Few Promises

Where did The Authenticity Project team go??

No worries, just off keeping a few promises...and we are back in full swing!!

We have been a little MIA in the past few months, and since our posted articles tapered off to less than a trickle, we thought it was definitely time for an update! Recently, life has been quite a ride for The Authenticity Project team, and we wanted to take a few minutes to share what we have been up to and hopefully kick a little challenge out to you.

Let me start by saying that when we launched an organization centered around following your heart, and being the most authentic version of yourself, we had no idea that we too had just signed up for the biggest ride of our lives. Something happens when you think on that word "Authenticity"; your life suddenly has no other choice but to move forward, and we are not talking a little change, this word brings about the 'big kahuna' kind of change.

So what has The Authenticity Project team been up to?

Well, it's maybe best explained in saying that we have ALL been out fulfilling a few promises we made to ourselves...

I use the word promise because that is exactly what it has become: a promise to become more and more authentic. To not rest in the idea that anything is "good enough", but rather become that bold and empowered spark we know we are each made to be.

So for us, promise-keeping has meant stepping out of comfort zones for everyone on our team. We have each been challenged to take that next big step, and just for starters, that has brought about huge moves in location for three of us on the team, one of us even moving out of the country. But it is about so much more than just moving.

For much of society, it seems this  idea of a promise has come to mean nothing, not because we have hardened hearts, but rather  because the first person we broke promises to was ourselves.  Somewhere along the line we simply gave in to the idea of "good enough" when it comes to our life, so when we start talking about doing what we know in our hearts to be right, keeping promises to ourselves can be a little tough.

So what if we kept the promises we make to ourselves? You know...those promises that are etched so deep in your heart that sometimes there is nothing that truly covers over the fact that those promises have gone unfulfilled. Perhaps for years this has been the case. Let's not take this lightly, those promises are seldom kept, and I would argue that, for some,  it is exactly where it all begins to break down. We know there are things we need to do, are called to do, things that speak to our hearts in a way nothing else can, we have a knowing feeling that there is something more.

Well for me, that keeping of promises had gone undone for much too long, and so I began to address those unchallenged dreams, ideas, and callings.  Long story in there, and I will share more as the months and articles unfold, but this summer has been about keeping one of the biggest promises I had stashed in the back of my live in California.

Live in California? That is a promise? Oh absolutely yes! California is the one place I have always felt the most alive, the most creative, the most community, and the one place I feel the most connected to the earth and, in turn, my soul. I have traveled to many places, but this is one state that every flight home to Colorado I was in tears. Each trip it seemed as if I found my roots- the perfect soil, then at the end of the week I would once again find myself gathering up the roots to return to "home". Those roots just never felt the same in Colorado. Don't get me wrong, Colorado is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, but it was not the place that fed my roots deeply.  Ultimately it was not "home".

Anyone who knows me would tell you that I have always wanted to live there and if you saw the amount of shells, pictures of California travels, and jars filled with sand decorating every corner of my mountain home there would be no doubt that I belonged in California near the water. BUT...and this is exactly where it stops for so many, and exactly where you know to start if you have been experiencing 'stuck' for way too long...there will always be a "but". Money, time, a job, moving, people, too expensive, all the responsibilities (real and created), the packing required, finding a place there, my cat who hates the car, and of course: I can't just move!  After a while the idea of moving to California became just that, an idea heavily dashed with excuses.  But in the back of my heart, I made a promise to myself each and every trip: one day I will live in California. Then a few years back I upped that promise and said in at least 10 years and last year a friend challenged me to make it 5 years.

Then came my father's death last summer and I found myself needing room to think and heal. So...yes, you guessed it, California became the chosen place I needed to be; however, this time I decided that first I would go alone, just me and my thoughts, and second, I would stay for three weeks so I could drive the coast all the way from LA to San Francisco. I have to say that this is a drive not to be missed, and the Pacific Coast Highway will unfold beauty at every mile, but it also acted as the most perfect balm for the deepest parts of my soul. Where is this place for you? Where do you feel most connected?

As the miles and coastline unfolded beauty, those promises in the back of my heart began to breathe again and since this trip was for healing, I decided to pay a little more attention. By the end of that drive that calling to live in California could no longer be years in the future, life was too short.

Some would say that my dad's passing sparked this, and in some ways it did, but I believe it was more the fact that I really took time for a chance to listen to those promises, really listen. I shut off for three weeks, opened my heart, and for once I decided that I was not going to numb out and accept the line that life was good enough where I was stuck. 

See, it's those types of promises I am talking about. And it seems that we find excuse after excuse to keep those promises at bay. The longer you numb out and ignore them it only pushes them deeper into your heart and somehow instead of fading away, those promises actually grow bolder. Finally, a day comes when numbing out becomes harder than just keeping those promises, and for me, that is exactly what happened. I could go back to Colorado and keep on keeping on, but now that promise would only act as a fog over everything else. I felt called to live where my heart felt the most connected and it was time. 

Funny how those obstacles fade the more we listen to our hearts.

So I moved, kept that promise and finally I am HOME!  Northern California is exactly that for me, home. Moving and changing jobs was not simple by any means, but I can tell you that I have never felt so alive, so healthy, so content, and so connected. Isn't there a ton to figure out and huge costs? Well yes, and this is no doubt one of the most expensive places to live in, but not as expensive as the cost of not living the life I had always wanted. That simply became a cost I was not willing to pay, a promise I was not willing to break.

For each of us on The Authenticity Project team, we have been trying to seek out the corners of our hearts that could use a little promise-keeping and sometimes that means taking a step back, spending a little time alone, finding a good listening ear, breathing in the air of some place new, or maybe breathing in the air right in front of you, and then taking the next step in creating the life you most want to live. 

So perhaps you noticed less articles being posted by our team in the past few months, maybe you are new to our site and this is your first read, or maybe you were out there on your own journey, but wherever the past few months have taken you we hope our little site sparks something.

We ourselves are the only ones who can change the journey, change our perspective, and keep the promises we know are hidden.  As The Authenticity Project team jumps back in with a renewed boldness, we challenge you to examine where you might have settled for "good enough".  Maybe this is your summer to decide those numerous "buts" are nothing more than achievable steps towards a new path.

What promise do you need to keep?  Let's step towards authenticity.

Heidi Rickard is the Creative Director for The Authenticity Project, you can contact Heidi