Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life 

Last night I dreamed I was paddling a canoe up a lake in the middle of the night. It was calm, I felt peaceful, yet there was one concern. The canoe was underwater. I was trying to paddle a submarine.

I’ve spent years listening to my dreams, paying attention to patterns, weighing the emotions of dreams with respect to my life at the moment. I believe larger forces speak to me in that unconscious world, forces that can guide me to awareness of deeper truths. This pushes me to wonder, why was I paddling a submarine?

I know there are many ways to interpret dreams, but ultimately, I tend to accept that my dreams are about me. Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I’m honest about how I feel in my dreams, they have given me clues to parts of me I needed to pay attention to.

Paddling a submarine. I feel this dream was about my need to live an authentic life. Paddling the canoe was me moving forward in life. My goal was to get to the end of the lake, to a state of inner peace, but I was struggling because I was keeping my emotions below the surface. If I would allow my feelings to express themselves above the water, I would have less resistance to life and my journey would be immensely easier.

I need to be genuine, original, true and trustworthy, and not be in fear of what the world may think of me in my many moments of  smallness.

Authenticity means to be honest, to be vulnerable, to take risks. Authenticity is built one day, one choice, at a time. It is a process of continually stepping out of my comfort zone and engaging the world from a place of worthiness vs. shame.

Authenticity is a daily journey into the wilderness of being fully alive.

What’s the greater risk I ask myself? Living life based on what other people think, or being vibrantly alive based on how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?

This blog, “Travels with Tio, a blind writer’s path to happiness,” is my journey, my choice, to be all of me, fully alive. It is one way I will raise myself from paddling a submarine, to paddling a canoe, to perhaps even flying.

What does authenticity mean to you? How does it affect your life?

Please share your feelings on being the authentic “you”.

tio Stib

2013, 2017, 2018

Brene’ Brown recently gave a TED talk, “Listening to Shame,” in which she explores the challenges of authenticity. Brown believes authenticity is a process, a series of choices we make in our lives, choices made each day, in each moment, to be real…or not.

Here’s the link:


8 thoughts on “Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life 

  1. Pingback: Jumping Off | Travels with Tio

  2. I am a great believer in acknowledging that life is not always easy, and sometimes downright painful, but then I also try to treasure the day and celebrate the gift of awareness which makes that possible. Most of all, I believe that we are all flawed but that being kind to yourself and those around you makes that easier to live with. Thank you for another thought provoking post !

  3. this is such a great thought, dreams really do mean something I believe way to encourage others and yourself to dig. sometimes what we need is right infant of us or already inside

  4. I agree – authenticity is to stand up and be vulnerable. To love yourself and be yourself, no matter what. It is hard, it is lonely sometimes, but knowing your own worth, respecting your life makes the journey worth it.

    • I find the journey of self-discovery and living authentically brings me new adventures, new discoveries, new questions each day. I admit there are days when this becomes work that I’m not excited about, but when the work is done, there is a moment of profound peace. thank you for your thoughts.

  5. I grew up reticent about allowing people to know who I really am. When I came out as gay to my friends, it was as if the dam had burst. True freedom was revealed when I discovered that most people couldn’t care less about my orientation because they were busy with their own fears of being found out.

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