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How can Valuing Your Authenticity Enhance Every Aspect of Your Life?

Hey Little White Liars, I have a crazy thing to share with you that speaks so directly (and absurdly) to the LWL Movement. I had the great pleasure of talking with Tara Shannon, Ford Supermodel and women’s empowerment spokesperson for the fashion industry for 45 years. As we were talking about my natural hair growing in, Tara told me that the models who work the most are silver-haired!

“My girlfriend Gillian,” she said, “is silver-haired. She just finished Italian Vogue. She’s in everything because of her beautiful silver hair. I envy your silver hair, Caren, I’m not all white yet. When I went to see about turning silver it was an issue. They’re telling me, “You’re not silver enough to go silver.”

How amazing is this? Talk about society’s messages to women, age and beauty! We can’t win, can we? Well, yes, we can!

Tara Shannon joined me on my Little White Lie Live show to talk about this, about how valuing our authenticity enhances our lives, no matter our age or the judgment-filled messages we hear. You can watch the show here:

But first, a little more about Tara Shannon.

Go ahead and google her because I know you’ve seen her face – on the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Town & Country, and she’s appeared in campaigns such as Calvin Klein, Valentino, Chanel, Gucci, and Clairol. She’s also a guest expert on a wide range of talk shows such as Oprah, CBS News, Good Morning America, and her writings have appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Annenberg Space, Photography and More, as well as AGEIST with our LWL friend David Harry Stewart.

Tara brings such awesome perspective and wisdom, so let’s dive right into the question: How can valuing your authenticity enhance every aspect of your life?

Tara: “Well, I would say that it is one of the gifts of being older, we understand that there’s more to value than just what people think of us…We inherit these beliefs that aren’t even ours, they’re so externalized. That’s what’s so interesting about being older – the more we value what our likes are, our wants are, our needs are, then the more peace-filled we are, because we’re not reacting to other people’s truth as an attack on us.”

One of the platforms she works with as a coach to younger women is that “self-hatred is a case of mistaken identity.” Amen to that!

So what can we actually do to value our authenticity?

Tara loves the literal metaphor of feeling more comfortable in our skin. She advises us to do just that – develop a deeper awareness of what our interior world is. She adds, “In my work with a lot of traumatized people, one of the fastest ways out of shame is to know that your soul is untouched by the human experience, and it’s filled to the brim with enough.”

authenticityTara works with her clients on giving themselves permission to “focus on doing things that delight you”. To create play get in touch with what makes you happy. Not serving people, but moving and finding and having and experiencing. Take action, go outward, try things – play! Then she has them really look around them, putting themselves on the other side to observe what’s happening as well as how everybody is doing all these different things. In addition, her clients then write a list of these things, and they go through them together so they can see what the reality of people’s behavior is, and how they can reframe their own mindset not to be in reaction to those things.

Giving ourselves permission opens big doors, gives us freedom basically to feel and do anything we want (legally, that is).

Even “permission to hate yourself, because everyone does it! I hate myself for hating myself. Good. Right. You’ve got to meet it with permission and say, yep,” and let those emotions go, freely and without shame! As Tara says “Acceptance without judgment is enlightenment.”

This can be really empowering because how many of us believe we’re ‘not allowed to’ feel whatever we’re feeling, that we’ll be judged? Let’s give ourselves PERMISSION, LWLers! Here are Tara’s final words of wisdom for us: “We need to be heard. We need to be held. And we need to be listened to and to know that within ourselves, we are also wanted by ourselves. In addition, we are welcomed to ourselves. We are loved, and we are absolutely taken care of. That’s the valuing. That’s the authenticity.”

Tara Shannon is such an inspiration to me with all the things she’s involved in. I can’t wait to follow what’s next for her!

You can follow Tara on Facebook here: Tara Shannon
@TaraListens (Instagram and Twitter)

Thanks for joining the Little White Lie Movement!