One of the hallmarks of Bee Wild is that we encourage an individual’s authenticity from the top down. Our owner, John Wright, is an example of a person who accepts and allows where people are in their life, encourages people to express their unique talents and skills, and takes care of his personal feelings, if he ever falls into judgment.
Encouraging Authenticity – DragonCon
QueenBee and our webmaster went to DragonCon over Labor Day weekend. DragonCon is the world’s largest SciFi and Fantasy convention, and from its birth has encouraged people to express their inner SciFi/Fantasy characters. This focus actually has created a huge industry for costume designers and makers, game designers, tv and film producers and actors, and writers.
We went to DragonCon for the first time two years ago and had a blast. Shared interests took down all the usual defenses to meeting new people. Everyone was part of the same family — those who love SciFi and Fantasy stories. More than 75% of the Convention’s attendees participate in cosplay (costumed play acting). The costumes are accurate, detailed, and represent every character who has ever been dreamed up in SciFi and Fantasy. You can see members of Starfleet Command; many of the doctors from the British SciFi hit, Doctor Who; and the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Making friends who share the love of a specific genre, book, movie, or tv program is easy. There are no judgments at this show. Attendees are encouraged to express themselves at the presentations, game playing, balls, parties, movies, and parade. Acceptance at its best!
Authenticity is Not Encourage
by the World’s Program
Most people don’t understand how programmed everyone’s thinking, attitudes, and behaviors are. We pick up opinions given to us by our families, churches, neighbors, teachers, ministers, doctors, nurses, cultural centers. Even though these opinions might not be our native viewpoints, we end up judging everyone we come in contact with through the lens of these programs.
Programming vs. Authenticity
One of our favorite mentors gave us this example that illustrates how we are programmed out of our authentic individuality, from birth. She told us that when her sister had a baby, the first thing her sister said is, “She has Grandma’s eyes.” Then, the husband said, “Yes, but she has my ears and nose. Don’t you think?” These innocent statements seem harmless, but they are already communicating to this little girl that her Mom and Dad prefer for her to take on certain characteristics.
Our mentor’s approach encourages authenticity. She said to her niece, “Hello. Welcome to the family! I love you very much.” Our mentor met her niece without judgment and did not program her niece to live up to any other family member’s expectations. She met the infant and welcomed her, as is.
Acceptance and Allowance Encourages Authenticity
People want to be accepted for who they are. They want to be valued for the contribution they make. They feel good when someone really sees or hears them. Conversely, they feel bad when they are judged or ignored. Don’t you find this to be true in your own life?
So, when you learn to accept that an experience is what it is and that it is neither good nor bad for you, then you will stop judging yourself. When you stop judging yourself, you’ll stop judging other people and become an encourager of authenticity.
This is a great illustration of what I mean. When you go to a buffet, do you eat everything or do you eat only what you like? If something you’ve never tried looks good, will you try it? If a dish you dislike is there, will you force yourself to eat it, based on someone’s opinion of what is acceptable? More importantly, will you go up to the dishes you don’t like and scream and yell at them, share your judgments with them, and criticize them into being more tasty? That would be silly, wouldn’t it?
The life experiences that come to you are just like the items on the buffet. Take what you love. Leave the rest behind, without judgment. Move on and enjoy what you’ve chosen.
Encouraging Authenticity as a Way of Life
When you keep interrupting the programs running your thoughts, behaviors, and life, they lose their power and will eventually disappear. At that point, you have more choices. Did you want to think that thought? Is there a better one out there? Did you want to behave in that way? Is there some other strategy you might want to try? Do you want to repeat the mistakes and triumphs of your Elders, or do you want to live life on your own terms?
Keep asking yourself these questions and remember that yelling at the food on the buffet is silly and futile. When you interrupt your programmed judgments of yourself and others, you will become an encourager of authenticity. People will be attracted to you because they feel so good around you!