I recall a time when I was a single lady- looking for that special man (who we now know is named Simon) … I went on many dates during this time. Some with toads, some with princes, just not my prince. During most of these dates, I would inevitably be asked the standard 1st date question, “what do you like to do when you aren’t working?” I would shutter on the inside- I was so boring! My internal voice would say, “I like to do Pilates, take Yoga classes, go running, go to SoulCycle, and for a really wild time I will meditate for up to an hour at a time. And you?” But my external voice would say something generic like, “Oh you know, the usual, a little hiking, some Yoga, spend time with friends, concerts that sort of thing”. And this was also true. I do LOVE spending time with friends. I go to many concerts and live performances every year. I used to be an avid hiker/backpacker. The disconnect came was that I was not showing my true self- I was embarrassed of my true self- I therefore hid my true self. Subconsciously, I didn’t feel good about this evasion of total honesty, yet I persisted in my fake answer. One day, on one of these boiler plate first dates, something came over me- it may have been the Rose’ we were enjoying at 1PM on a Sunday, but in any case… The truth ran from my lips, I do Yoga every day of the week-I love Yoga. It’s like medicine for my soul. I also work privately with my Pilates mentor 2 times a week, so I can get out of my studio and just be a student not a teacher- it completely revitalizes my teaching and refreshes me! I exclaimed. OHHH, and 3 days a week I go to SoulCycle. Have you ever done this? I didn’t wait for a reply. It is crazy hard- you get strapped into a bike in the dark with 50 strangers and are pushed to your max. I leave there drenched. It is such a high! I mean drenched! I must shower right away! I also meditate, kind of a lot. I have the most amazing friends on the planet- some I have known my entire life. I see them as much as possible- my best friend is in NYC and we see each other multiple times a year. Such a blessing! I also like to just be. I do something I call “pitter pattering” I just let the day take me where it does. This doesn’t happen often but it is a fun treat, kind of like a snow day. I also meditate. Oops I mentioned that already. I giggled and continued… When I first started it was torture to meditate for even 10 minutes- but now I cannot wait to ‘sit’. Now I hate it when the session is over. If I am lucky I meditate once a day for an hour, but most days I get in 2- 20 minute sessions. When I look back, I cringe at my Rose’- stained diatribe- it was so exposing! But in truth it felt so good. I was being me- full of energy, excited about life, passionate about what I do. His next words still sit with me; Wow, I feel so boring after that. All I do is work, grab dinner with friends, go to some sporting events- I have season tickets to the Kings & The Lakers, and I binge watch TV shows. Have you heard of Game of Thrones? That is my favorite TV binge addiction now. I though oh wow he may be my soulmate- he likes GOT and has season tickets to The Lakers! After I tell him how much I too am obsessed with Game of Thrones, he continued— We should get together again. Without sounding corny, I want to say you are kind of an inspiring person, I’d like to get to know better. We agreed on a second date- where he was going to have his part-time chef make us pizza in his outdoor brick pizza oven… oh yay this really could be my soulmate: He has a pizza oven!!!!! I never thought of myself as inspirational. I just got by, me and my insecurities. My fear of not being good enough was running the show full time. But something began to click after that. Little by little I hid my true self less, and started showing more and more of the real me. The more authentic I became, the happier I became. The happier I became, the more confidant I became. The more confidant I became, the closer I got to meeting my prince. Spoiler alert: No, this guy was not Simon. But it was an important lesson, one of my greatest, because it affected so much of the rest of my life. Because I was more comfortable and confident in my skin, I became a better friend to myself, and partner for that soon-to-be-found Prince Simon. Looking for ways to get more in touch with your authentic self? Try this personal exercise I use with clients and myself: Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.Turn off your phone, Apple watch and anything else that can ring, ding or chime.Set one device to airplane mode (so the rings, dings & chimes are off) and set a timer for 20-40 minutes- your “bake” time.Take out a blank piece of paper or open to a fresh page in your journal.Close your eyes for a few minutes, 2-4 and ask yourself “what makes my soul smile” or “what makes me deeply happy”?Open your eyes and begin to write everything that came to mind as your answer and then whatever new comes up. You do not need to write in full sentences- in fact just write words: apples, puppies, walks on beach, mystery novels, etc. Do this for at least half of your “bake” time.When you are done, on a fresh sheet, write down the main areas of your life, such as; work/career, family, relationship, hobbies/activities, adventure/travel etc. Next to each area take the answers from the first sheet and write the answers in each of the areas that you associate with these answers.Here’s where it gets really interesting: You may find that there is very little of the first sheet, your authentic self, that correlates with the second sheet, your actual life. If this is the case, your task will be to find ways to bring more of your authentic life into your actual life. I’d love to know how it goes- feel free to email be your outcome, progress or questions at juliet@JKZenFitness.com, or jot them below in the “comments” section.