Gratitude is one of life's most basic principles. Sadly, the word has been overused becoming as buzzy as an annoying wasp. Pretentious yoga instructors and shirtless "spiritual gurus," with mala beads dangling around their neck overuse the word gratitude.
When anything has been overused it becomes trendy, mainstream and loses it value. And when that happens, I stop using that word.
But, I am very thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to attend blogfest, especially at this point in my life, a time of resurrecting the authenticity in me.
Years ago, I knew who I was, but either had a hard time showing it or showing my true, authentic self because it doesn't exactly fit in with the rest of the crowd.
I am not, and will never be, some crossfit zealot who can perform 50 box jumps and 20 one-armed pushups in 30 seconds, or a person who will motivate the crowd as a female version of Todd Durkin.
It's not me. It's not who I am. So why do it? If I tried to replicate Durkin, it would be as noticeably fake as fake news.
You don't have to be a badass to be a good fitness instructor or an influential personal trainer. You can be strong, even with a delicate, feminine frame. I believe in developing myself internally, creating a rockhard spirit and mindset that cannot be swayed by others.
On a physiological level, I may tire quicker than these people but I am good and expert at other things, like performing a headstand or actually focusing on something else besides the physical. Because I love yoga, I automatically get type-casted into the woo-woo crowd, but ironically most of my career has been spent in the logical realm, helping the everyday health seeker. I was born and raised as an athlete. The competitive gene still exists within me, which gets ignited every time I enter the tennis court. But even in the realm of yoga, there is an artificial sugar-coating that tops the true, authentic teachings.
I am rooted enough in my identity that I can get inspired while balancing thoughts in my head without automatically coming to a conclusion. And that is what blogfest taught me.
When approaching certain brands and booths, in the matter of 10 seconds, I noticed whether or not trying to partner with someone would be a right fit. Ironically, I've heard similar stats to someone who visits a website or a manager looking at a resume - they somehow know something internally (aka intuition).
One major takeaway from Blogfest is the need to stay authentic and to be different. Or at least that's what I got from Todd Durkin's key note address. His speeches are very motivational. He has an energy that can skyrocket to Mars fueled by one protein bar.
I sometimes think of myself as a quirky spiritual individual. I'm more neutral now than I have ever been in my life.
Because as a coach, trainer and a leader, balancing logic and spirit and staying neutral is what can get people to meet their goals. For example, I don't eat meat, but most of clients eat meat. It is not my right or my job to dictate an ideology. Now I can encourage one to eat more vegetables or try to eat one veggie-based meal per day, but being a dictator or enslaving people into "a must do" is not my jam. That in itself is being different. Divorcing from your own ideology to help others is a must so that people can learn, grow and heal.
How would this person grow with a coach shoving veganism down their throat? They'd probably run to the hills and find the first cow they could milk.
People, whether they realize it or not, love to be enslaved. They want people to TELL THEM how to live rather than making that decision for themselves. Most people yearn to be free, but subconsciously hold themselves back. Enslavement is rooted into our DNA.
Being authentic requires one to stay grounded and to have a clear, focused mind. It's about growing thy roots so deep into the ground that when one sees the herd flocking in one direction, the mind remains strong and intact. There are too many people in this world pretending to be someone they're not.
It is in my core to remain authentic and continue to spread the light at a time when darkness is on the rise. I've ascended beyond the physical, there are plenty of trainers for that, and now it is that time to battle for the mind, spirit and natural world.
I'll end with the biggest lesson from the conference. "Don't be afraid to hit the publish button." I've been afraid to push that button for a long time out of a fear of judgement.
Thank you for reading and following my journey. Stay posted as I reveal a special message from the sparrows in Seville, Spain.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com