Living Authentically: What does it mean?
I promised (or threatened: it depends how you feel about my writing, I suspect) to write about the ten Guideposts for Living by Brené Brown that are an important part of the book that has given me my word of the Year 2020: Wholehearted. I’ve read The Gifts of Imperfection, in whole or in part, a few times already this year, and fully intend to keep coming back to it. What am I searching for? How do I want my life to be? Am I brave enough to step past the societal and familial demands on me to say “This is what I want, and this is what I’m going to do to get it.”
The first Guidepost is Cultivate Authenticity and Let go of What People Think. Brene describes Authenticity as “…not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice — a conscious choice of how we want to live.”
Choosing authenticity isn’t easy: I know growing up that my tastes were eclectic, and often criticised (to be the only girl mad about sci fi in a class where everybody else is raving about Duran Duran and T’Pau for their music and not the origins of their names, to be a reader in a playground of athletes, to be the domestic Creatrix in a world that stressed Business and Career as the end of all ambition: I’ve fought hard for my Authenticity, and I’m damned well going to keep it) and I accept that there were times I talked about Simon Le Bon for an easy life, but the older I get, the less I really care about other people’s opinions. Perhaps my husband and children a little… but the rest of the world can go hang. You don’t like how I am? Tough.
I am an independent woman, who likes home and work, who loves her family and yet recognises the need for us all to be independent of each other. I like a wide range of films still, read a host of books from every shelf possible, love animals and fast cars, laugh loudly, dislike queue jumpers and will tell them so, have spent years being compliant and now have the voice and freedom to not be compliant.
I’m sensible enough to know that there are many ways to be happy, and kind enough to think we’re all free to do as we damn well please as long as it does no harm to ourselves and others. As Brene writes “When acceptance or approval becomes my goal, and it doesn’t work out, that can trigger shame for me: ‘I’m not good enough’. ” My authenticity rests on me being who I am: often kind, sometimes thoughtless but quick to apologise, opinionated, passionate about justice and ready to work for a better world for all. Wholeheartedly.
If you’d like to support me….
My new book, Cosy Happy Hygge is available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon now. As you know, I do the whole kit and caboodle myself, from writing to proofreading to designing and I’m very proud of this one. It’s about using rhythm and ritual to make your life a gentler, kinder place. Writing it has been an important part of my mental health recovery.
I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.
That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.
If you already have my books, or just want to support me as an independent writer, you can always just send me the price of a cup of coffee as a friend, to paypal.me/HyggeJem . I tend to use a lot of my spare cash on books that I review for the website, so every penny donated goes towards building my happy hygge life.
My first three books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.
Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
I have three Christmas books,
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.
A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.
Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.
If you buy any of the books or some of the items through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, as an Amazon Affiliate, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.
Truthfully, I’ll probably never make a living as a writer, but I do make a little extra income that gets ploughed back into books and magazines. One obsession feeds the other…