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Finding Our Authentic Selves



Sarah Smarsh, in her 2019 memoir, HEARTLAND, describes what it is like to grow up ‘broke’ in the richest country in the world. The book, written about 15 years before it was ever published, provides an unabashed account of what it is like to transmute societal contempt for one’s self into one’s own self-contempt, all the while maintaining an ongoing inner dialogue with one’s deeper core/authentic self.


The book provides an unquestionably real view of the interface among class, socio-cultural evolution, and one’s inner-net. It could not be more timely as America wrestles with what has been called a devolvement more than an evolvement. In the early 1990’s I recall a former president naming the number one social issue as the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. We now see this in our globally connected planet as we increasingly find ourselves lonely, isolated, dissociated from our inner core values and beliefs. A foreboding sense of despair manifests as crises of violence, addictive behaviors, disintegrating family systems, workplaces considered as dehumanizing, while social institutions from religious organizations, to political systems, are fracturing, leaving individuals, families, communities, and whole geographical locations in varying levels of disrepair and despair.


Fast forward to now, late in 2022, even a cursory review of our status suggests what my father would have labeled as, “The chickens have come home to roost.” Historians and both scholars and practitioners across all human related professional fields are sounding DEFCON level alarms! On a very personal, human level, we rarely see a family that has not lost at least one family member to drug abuse, suicide, domestic or public violence, and/or premature death due to a stress related illness. In the US, longevity has declined by approximately 3 years. Confidence in government, or even in one’s neighbors, appears at an all-time low. In this state of mistrust, fears have escalated, and incidences of violence have reached into all segments of our population. Numerous polarities and examples of perpetual stress, grief, and rising cynicism about the country’s future characterize the current socio-political landscape.


Within this milieu, we individuals live our lives. To live well will require a personally crafted blueprint for success, as well as resources to make the journey, and an operational system that adheres to universal principles and laws, that has stood the test of time, and that is inclusive and relevant for all humanity.


Within this context, let’s consider the following questions.


  1. Are you both clear and confident that you are on your most authentic life course?

  2. Do you find yourself in ambiguous territory or on solid footing when it comes to knowing your life purpose, living your dream, and experiencing awe and joy across all spectrums of your life?

  3. Do you experience more ambiguity than clarity, more isolation than community, and/or more anxiety, disappointment, and grief than peace, enlightenment, intimacy, and harmony in your daily life?

  4. Is there, within your inner being, a deep, unwavering hunger to live at a deeper level of authenticity, to create meaningful relationships and to co-create a future filled with opportunities and rich potential?


Like you, my colleagues and I have found ourselves in this place characterized as the liminal or ‘betwixt and between’ where we couldn’t go back. Something in us knew that there was a better way. Individually and collectively, we have journeyed out beyond the familiar, the safe, the unquestioned, to question and to, like Henry David Thoreau, conduct our own life experiments. As individuals and collectively, we have arrived at stages in our lives where we are honored to be able to share our learning and to structure interactive learning experiences that offer rich opportunities for each/all learners who come to us to experience their own transformations and to create their own blueprints for realizing their dreams.


One of my early mentors, M. Scott Peck, recognized among the 20th Century’s prescient authors, thinkers, and social entrepreneurs, identified that while personal fulfillment is the responsibility of us as individuals, it rarely if ever is achieved without the care and acceptance of another person or persons. His work in building community has stood the test of time and could not be more relevant for today. We have embedded wisdom from Peck within our programs as well as that of other pioneers in the fields of human potential realization, transformational leadership, life span development, holistic and restorative education, social change, and bio-psycho-social-spiritual integration, and emerging philosophical and pragmatic models for understanding systems within both Chronos and Kairos paradigms of time and space.


The field of quantum science now confirms what mystics and wisdom teachers from all major religions and traditions have known as the code for successful living. In addition to the scientific evidences, individuals of courage and principle are revealing their own transformative stories. We have a human technology that parallels or exceeds that of information technology. But we are not maximizing it. We now sit with a tremendous opportunity to co-create a new future, far more optimistic and holistic than ever before.


To learn more about our programs that are designed to help you find your place as an authentic person living a life of meaning and purpose, we invite you to contact us, through the contact form here on this website or email us at connect@drmargaretpinder.com.

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