What is Authenticity and Are you Authentic?

What is Authenticity and Are You Authentic? | Sedruola Maruska

I was stalking browsing my Instagram feed the other day when something I read stopped me dead in my tracks.

The reason I stopped wasn’t because I was so in awe of the information, but that it slapped me directly between the eyes. The whole tableau was wrong which is why it knocked the air out of me for a few moments.

Here was an “influencer” (judging my the number of followers they had as well as likes & comments) saying something to disparage other influencers. It was a simple sentence “these people out here trying to say they’re authentic with their curated feeds, makeup and clothes.”

What??

In looking through her feed it was clearly ‘curated’ because it was lovely. But why question someone else’s authenticity, hold yourself up as ‘better’ when you’re doing the same thing?

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The Question

So, I since I’m on a journey of self-discovery this year, I began to ask the question. What is authenticity? How do I know if I’m being authentic or not? We’re all out here doing our thing. You may be all about makeup while the next person is all about curing disease, is one more authentic than the other?

If my area of expertise asks that I dress a certain way most of the time and you happen to catch me “out of character” does that make me inauthentic?

What is Authenticity and Are You Authentic? | Sedruola Maruska

I grew up in a religion with many rules one being no jewelry. Mind you people could wear expensive watches, brooches and other adornments, but shame on you if your ears were pierced. What’s the difference? It always perplexed me, but I digress. When I was 26 I started my downward spiral personal walk and decided, against all inner-programming to pierce my ears.

When I’d go to church (because I was not yet the heathen person I am today) I’d wear my earrings. There were two reasons for that:

  • 1) I didn’t feel in my heart that wearing earrings were “bad”
  • 2) I wasn’t trying to be something I wasn’t.

There were times I thought of not wearing earrings to church because I hadn’t worn them all week, but I’d always wear them. I knew that had one of the good church folk seen me wearing earrings, and I took them off for church (out of respect) I would be labeled a “hypocrite” the ultimate in in-authenticity. That was not me, so I wore them (maybe to their offense) to church every week.

To me, being true to myself was more important than what the ‘good’ church folk would think. But to them, was I being inauthentic? Did they look at me and think I was not being true to myself because I was not being true to the church teachings?

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The Definition

As I pondered the question I realized I needed to consult the oracles at Merriam-Webster. Although I felt I knew the definition of the word, having someone so strongly berate others made me feel I knew nothing.

Authenticity – Noun – Form of Authentic – true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions

Hold up! Did you read that? “True to one’s OWN personality, spirit or character…” What does that mean?

It means that being authentic is being true to yourself. If you’re putting yourself out there in a way that is true to who you are, your character, values, ideas so on and so forth, you are being authentic. The only person who can know if you’re being inauthentic is you.

Being authentic is not based on what I think you should be or do, but on what YOU think you should be or do. When we encounter in-authenticity we know. Something in our spirit tells us. If we’re listening, we tread lightly, if not, we get burnt.

In-authenticity is when you portray your marriage as the one to be aspired to, but you’re in hell on earth. In-authenticity is when who you are and what you portray do not align. It’s not when someone looks at you and says you’re not authentic based on what you’re wearing.

The great James Baldwin says “I can’t believe what you say. Because I see what you do.” Being authentic is when what you say and do are aligned.

My Conclusion

So, after I pondered the post, consulted the oracle and explored my psyche I came up with this: What we say, do or criticize always says more about us than it does the other. Although I knew where the poster was coming from, they showed their insecurity more than anyone else’s in-authenticity.

We don’t need for others to fail in order for us to succeed. If we stay true to ourselves we’re better off. If I don’t like what someone is sharing, thankfully, I can stop following. I’m also free to stay the course on what I’m working to accomplish. Throwing shade on what you’re doing, because it’s closely aligned to my venture, doesn’t make me better. It means I’m distracted.

In the end I examined myself and found being true to me is my authenticity. Speaking, living & sharing my truth is being authentic.

Go, speak, live and share your truth, no one can tell you you’re not authentic if you’re being true to yourself.


Giving the Cold Shoulder

Giving the Cold Shoulder | Sedruola Maruska

So this hot new trend, uhhhh, cool new trend in clothing for the summer is the “cold shoulder” look. You know, where your shoulders say ‘hello’ and you have sleeves on the rest of your arm. (look below)

The thing about having been around for awhile is this, you see trends come, go, then come around again. Some trends linger. . . this one has lingered and grown. About 5 years ago I bought a beautiful top. It’s sheer with the cropped front and longer back (another “trend” in play right now) and cold shoulders. I’m a classic kindda gal who also doesn’t change sizes very much so I usually buy pieces I think will last. Yes, I do still have the top.

Fast forward a few years and everywhere I look I’m seeing cold shoulder blouses with long tails and short fronts. Intuit much?! Funny how that works. So, this summer I’m grabbing a couple more cold shoulders and having a bit of fun. I started with this blouse by OASAP. I found them on Instagram (follow me on IG) and fell in love. . . how could you not? They have tops, bottoms, accessories (check out my earrings) and more at unbelievable prices.

I get excited because if I’m going to be “trendy” I don’t want to pay a ton for it since trends change. . . Now, if I find a lovely “classic” piece, I will dish the dough cause, I have some things in my closet that are over 15 years old and still look A-MA-ZING!

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You’re Worth It

Let’s not start with the negative self-talk “that’s for young people” “that won’t look good on me” or “My shoulders are too _______” oh, I know where you’re going! This trend is for anyone willing to put a bit of sexy on! It doesn’t take into consideration any of the things you’re thinking about, it just wants you to feel and look amazing.

I have to admit I thought I’d feel uncomfortable with this top. It’s got straps and a slight ‘V’ front and sleeves that fall off my arm, how is any of that comfy. Then I put it on and nothing fell out (not that I have much to fall out, but that’s not the point). It was easy to maneuver in, play in and relax in stress free!

The top is super light so it’s like you’re naked. A quick glance down reassured me I was still dressed and looking ubber hot!

For the summer OASAP is having tons of sales, they want you to look cute! Just click Here to explore the whole place or on the images below to got directly to my top and earrings!

Hey, have some fun shopping. . . I’ve been to the department stores, they don’t have a beat on you, or me. Clothes catered to our “age” are not as fun!

Giving the Cold Shoulder | Sedruola Maruska

Giving the Cold Shoulder | Sedruola Maruska

Giving the Cold Shoulder | Sedruola Maruska

Giving the Cold Shoulder | Sedruola Maruska


Being Smart is Sexy – Resist & Persist

Being Smart is Sexy, Resist & Persist | Sedruola Maruska

Being smart IS sexy.

In college I met all types of men & women. We were embarking on this ride called life. There were classes to take, activities to join, places to go and people to love. Looking back I see how my years in college were vital to shaping the years to follow.

Relationships were always tricky. Navigating different personalities and philosophies could end up in a lifetime union or in disaster. But relationships were always part of college life and they were a distraction from school work and the great beyond.

I remember several times thinking to myself “I wish he didn’t talk.” Ladies, let’s be real, you know exactly what I’m talking about. He’s cute, ladies love him, and you’re wondering why he had to open his mouth and show you the hollow of his mind. . . .

Being Smart is Sexy, Resist & Persist | Sedruola Maruska

Don’t be hollow

Ladies, don’t be the “I wish she didn’t talk” girl.

I’m not worried about the men, they say what they want, when they want. They don’t have the same censors we do.

I’m worried about us. We spend the better part of our time diminishing ourselves and pretending to be small when we’re not. We’re surprised when a fellow sister does open her mouth to say what she feels or thinks. Sadly, we’re so conditioned that we turn on her for being who she is without apology.

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We dress our silence or smallness up as being humble, failing to realize that smart is sexy. Being able to speak full sentences strung together to mean something, is sexy!

That’s why we wonder about those “hollow” guys. It’s because we don’t understand why we need to pretend we’re on their intellectual level, when clearly we’re not.

I’m not exempt. I’ve made myself small. I’ve kept my mouth shut for fear of sounding too smart, too dumb, saying the wrong thing, not having the facts and a host of other reasons. Thing is, men don’t censor themselves that way.

That’s why when they go on about things that make no sense we feel uncomfortable. Our self-censorship puts us in situations where we’re not challenging our intellectual capacity.

We think we need to be small to fit into someone’s idea of who we “should” be. When what we should be doing is showing them who we “are”. We’re varied humans with thoughts, ideas, opinions and feelings. Learning to express them in a way that speaks to our truth without diminishing another is sexy. Smart is Sexy!

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The result

Have you noticed how when we put ourselves out there and find someone who can keep up, it turns us on! Can you imagine, that’s how he feels too? Contrary to popular belief, men (let’s not generalize, many men) find smart, incredibly sexy in women.

We don’t give them enough credit. They know that a smart woman will be a help to them along the way. They know that you being smart doesn’t diminish their intellect.

Smart is sexy! I don’t say that thinking it’s to find a man, I say that so you can feel your strength. There’s a new breed of people who are doing their best to make smart seem “stupid”, I’m not here for that.

Resist the temptation to fit in with that culture. Persist in your pursuit of more knowledge. Smart whether it’s book, street, emotional or social is important to keep ideas flowing and innovation happening.

Feeling, looking and being sexy because of your smarts is just a lovely by-product. Step into yourself. Love yourself. Enjoy those things that push your intellectual growth and challenge your ideas. Be smart! Not just because smart is sexy, but because your survival depends on it.

Now, more than ever, women are at the forefront of major innovations and change. We need to keep pushing forward so we keep going in our becoming.

Becoming stronger.

Becoming bigger.

Becoming more respected.

Becoming more confident.

Becoming smarter.

We are always becoming when we are constantly learning and allowing that learning to be challenged.

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Used to be women weren’t allowed into places where men were talking policy, strategy, or other such “smart” things that we would never understand. Now, we’re showing that we not only understand, but we have innovative ideas about how things can be done in all areas, from our homes to the world.

So be smart, stay smart and keep becoming smarter! This new idea that smart is “stupid” is stupid.

Let’s not be afraid to share the ideas we have and to push through when we’re being cut off. Let’s do as men do and remove our censors so we can put the ideas forth that make a difference.

Smart is sexy. Yes, we’ll still have to prove ourselves over and over again, but lucky for us, it simply makes us better.