I’m going to be authentic myself and admit I taped and watched the American Idol finale last night. I skipped past most of the show and concentrated on two parts, which I’m describing here: a duet by Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, and the final announcement and singing of the winner (Phillip Phillips). I’m sharing this now with you because of what it touched in me about being authentic, really who you are no matter what, opening up and being vulnerable, and as this (spontaneously and not intentionally) magnetizing the hearts and souls of others, being an attraction in more ways than one.

I saw the original version and cast of “Dreamgirls” on Broadway in 1982, and Jennifer Holliday’s rendition of that song stands out in my entire being as one of the best, if not the best, performance I ever saw on Broadway (I saw many shows and musicals on Broadway over the more than 20 years I lived in Manhattan; I’d say that Angela Lansbury’s 1974 performance of “Rose’s Turn” comes in a very close second). In 1982 I was in tears, I had “God bumps” as Maa calls them, while Jennifer was singing and when she finished with that heartbroken wail. I have never experienced such rawness and spontaneity, such a “being out there”, “going for broke”, gut renching, eye bulging, vein popping performance, which ended up not being a performance but an unforgettable cathartic, heart-centered experience. Many of us can identify that we’ve had these kinds of experiences with Maa, going way beyond an experience that moves us into a profound transformative state. We’re in a truly open, authentic, magnetized state.

I’m providing here a link to the Youtube video of Jennifer’s original performance (it comes midway into the video).  She’s 21 here – Phillip’s age. In addition, please go to the other Youtube video to watch her performance with Jessica from last night. When you watch the latter, notice how she interacts musically, physically, energetically with Jessica, how she grimaces like none of us can imitate, how the audience responds vocally, physically, energetically to their performance.

When you watch one or both videos, notice your own reactions (emotionally, physically, energetically), what is touched in you, what surfaces for you in terms of what the experience means for you, and how you might apply what you’re experiencing and learning to your everyday life. For example, this reinforces in me the desire to be even more honest, who I am, in how I communicate and express myself – in this case in this blog – to share what I love, how I tear up and cry when I have experiences such as these, and when I’m experiencing deep cleansing or shifts within myself as I transform in my spiritual path. To share that I don’t have all the answers and can, at the same time, share myself and what I’ve learned so that you become more aware and grow to express yourselves with authenticity, vulnerability, and all of the love, light and power within you.


Now what about Phillip’s win and performance last night? I think many would agree that, aside from his musicianship, Phillip won American Idol because of his humility, his Georgian down-home honesty, hominess and good looks, his nonchalant , this-is-me, take-me-or-leave-me presence, self-presentation, and performance style (look at all those commas!).

What got to me last night was his final song “Home” which has become his anthem and probably first record. It wasn’t about the song but what happened to him, who he was, when he sang it. He choked up, tried to sing but couldn’t, cried and wiped his tears, gave up trying to sing, took his guitar off and mozied down the stage to the waiting arms of his parents and family. You could feel he was being a child (he’s only 21), completely open and vulnerable, in his heart, waiting to be embraced and loved.

With the confetti falling, the crowd cheering, this was the most touching moment, and the one that brought together everyone in the auditorium and watching on TV. We were all focused in heart and spirit with the family encircling Phillip, and the love that was being felt and radiated. Again, this was another collective magnetizing experience, filled with love and waves of powerful energy, due to someone being open, authentic, and vulnerable.


We’re all touched by these kinds of experiences for a number of reasons. The circumstances, the emotions being felt, remind us of what we’ve experienced or felt before. The situations and experiences activate thoughts, feelings, physical sensations (all of these are energies) that we all have with us, because they’re part of being human, at the core of being human. At the same time, they’re beyond human, in the sense that they’re coming from our soul, our spirit, that inner essence of love, compassion, the divine attributes that are eternal. These thoughts, feelings, energies are our “common denominator” because we’re never separate, we’re united in our oneness. We originate from and are returning to that source as we evolve. Actually, in our openness and authenticity, when we’re vulnerable, we return immediately to that love and source that’s always within us, since we are that in truth. We access and share that when we’re in our natural state, in other words, in our heart.

  • What other experiences have you had when you’ve been brought back into your heart, when you’ve felt completely open, vulnerable, authentic, or when you’ve experienced someone else as that which has activated this state within you?
  • Do you have any links to videos or other media that will activate this state within us?
  • What do you recommend as ways to access or increase our authenticity or vulnerability, to be in our heart?

Here’s a practice from my book/workbook related to being more authentic:

Practice authentic expression. Choose an example where you’re holding back from expressing yourself to someone due to how you may be seen, out of fear of not being liked, out of wanting to be seen positively. Know that not being authentic is affecting how you live your life and interact with others. Your inauthenticity is limiting the relationships you develop and the results you achieve. Have a conversation with the person you chose. Say first that you haven’t been authentic. Then share your thinking, feelings, or opinions while asking the other person to listen. Notice how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking during the conversation. Transform whatever is necessary within you to be as fully open and authentic as possible. See what the two of you can create together based on this renewal of authenticity in your relationship.

If it’s not possible to have a conversation, write a letter to the person. Be honest about how you haven’t been honest. Mention that you’re writing for the sake of the relationship you wish to have with the person, or what you’d like to create together, or whatever benefits you see. You may also write a letter to someone with whom you no longer have contact to express yourself authentically for completion. This can include people who have left the body.