80% of our communication is non-verbal. On a very basic level this means that if our words are not aligned with what we really feel or what we really are, others can pick-up on our lack of authenticity.
That's not our biggest issue, however...more problematic is when we don't even realize we are being inauthentic. What does it mean to lack authenticity? When our body, mind and emotions are not synchronized we create a mis-attunement to ourselves. It is basically impossible to attune to another is we can't attune to ourselves. Learning to attune to yourself can change your life in magical ways!
Amy Cuddy explains on Ideas.TED.com that "Certainly being inauthentic is not the same as intentionally deceiving someone, but the results look similar. Presenting an inauthentic version of yourself strikes the observer the same way as intentional deception does, thanks to your asynchronous nonverbal behaviors. The less present we are, the more poorly we perform. The two are mutually reinforcing."
What happens when what our body knows becomes what our conscious mind knows? Perhaps, this is the simplest definition of authenticity, presence and actually LIVING! Most of us are really not afraid to die, but afraid to truly live fully. To live fully is to be "in the body." I find myself enjoying ideas and mental pursuits less and less and intrigued more and more by the practices focused on the somatic knowing. There are so many practices to explore....dreamwork, 5Rhythms, contact improvisation, voice work, somatic-focused meditation, etc etc. It's not an instant fix, but dedication to somatic practices yields amazingly rich rewards and delicate insights.
We are in a time when trusting ourselves becomes absolutely essential. In a world where inauthenticity appears to be richly rewarded, we must reach for our truth with new fervor! We are here to live...not to tune out.