living your authentic life series… an introduction

For as long as I can remember I have been a self-help, self-improvement (I tend to like that term better). As a girl I can still remember the first time I set eyes on Oprah and wondered WHO is this woman? What is she talking about? There was something in her energy that spoke to me and as many of you know, Oprah’s message has always been about self-improvement, exploring who you really are and finding out how to be your best self.  When I was in high school I used to roam the self-help section in  Borders bookstore or Kramer’s in Dupont Circle. I was 16 years old. Honestly what self-help did I actually need? At 16 my self-help strategies should have been “How to get yourself a date to the prom”, but thanks to Miss Oprah I was drawn to authors Gary Zukov, Iyanla Vanzant, Cheryl Richardson, all of her early self-help gurus.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that my interest in self-help and self-improvement reading material really stems from my passion for self discovery. I love stories of people finding their passion, moving towards self discovery and becoming their authentic self. I can remember one story in particular that I constantly refer back to. A friend of mine was studying his Masters degree in Chemistry. He was an excellent student and received scholarships for his intellect. But, there was something missing. He didn’t LOVE what he was doing. There wasn’t a passion there. What did ignite his passion was…. carpentry. As a result, he finished his Masters and chose not to take the 5 figure salary, he chose to become a carpenter. I imagine if you spoke to him about this he would tell you that yes there were struggles and there were hurdles, but at the end of the day it was worth it.

For a couple of weeks I have ruminated about how to share my passion of self discovery with you. I don’t feel like an expert in this field. I am a passionate learner in this field. I am a discoverer, just like you.

On Saturday, I went for a run. Running tends to be the place where I get most of my insane ideas. Where I can think clearly and really articulate what it is I want to do and WHY I want to do it. While on my run it came to me. I want to share stories of people who live their authentic life. People in my life or people I read about on their blogs. People who inspire ME to be a better person and who truly reflect their authentic self.

So Saturday night I sat down at the computer and decided to go for it. I wrote out a list of questions and started emailing people. As I hit send I wasn’t sure what the result would be. This morning (Sunday) I awoke to NOT ONE response. Oh man. I immediately thought “this was a mistake”. Fortunately, not everyone gets up at 7 am on a Sunday and as a result by 9 am, the responses began to flood in. YES count me in! I LOVE these questions. Will do this after some thought- thanks for thinking of me! Phew. It’s going to happen.

So, starting Tuesday I will introduce you to someone who is living their authentic life. The series is appropriately called “living your authentic life” and I can’t WAIT to share with you some of the responses.

In the meantime, if you happen to know of someone who is living their authentic life or perhaps YOU are living your authentic life and you would like to share your own story, please send me an email : amanda[dot]coolidge[at]gmail[dot]com. I would love to hear from you.


6 thoughts on “living your authentic life series… an introduction

  1. Amanda – what a great idea! I can’t wait to see this evolve. As an aside, if you’re interested, I’m writing at a new personal blog:

    I hope all is well!


    1. Alyson! Love your blog!! Can’t wait to follow your grown up adventures. And even though I already said it, I will say it again. Your wedding photos were stunning!!!


      1. Thanks, Amanda! You are too sweet! We had a real blast and it was good to catch up with so many people that we rarely have occasion to see.


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