You are an autonomous being.

To be authentic to your autonomy or not, is your choice.

If all the influences of the outside world were taken away- the opinions of your family, the compulsions of your peers, the restrictions and permissions of society- what would be left would be the core YOU.

Your inner core being, your soul, is driven by an agenda that is uniquely its own. This core YOU has to be autonomous; its purpose cannot be served without it.

The agenda of your core self is to communicate your life- purpose to you and keep pointing to it persistently. This life- purpose, your personal North Star, is unique and unalterable. It is independent of all outside influences. No compulsions must affect it; no restrictions must clip its wings. Your core self knows that it has the right and the duty to make a choice independent of the wishes, priorities and agendas of other people.

Cooperation, association, collaboration and interdependence can exist outside (and after) this inner direction finding, not within or before it.

In every moment of choice, your core self will unerringly point to your North Star. When allowed a free reign, your core self can be your unfailing inner compass, always accurate; always true.

To permit this autonomy to have its say, to let it guide you, to be authentic and true to your soul’s agenda, is a choice. You may choose to let the world pull you into different directions and turn you- the pliant dough- into a pretzel. You may justify it by saying that a pretzel is a worthy thing and has a unique value. You will be right, in a way. A pretzel is a tasty snack, but that’s all it is. It can never compare to a meal that feeds your body, inspires your mind, satiates your heart and nourishes your soul.

You are meant to be that meal, not a pretzel.


Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.

You must travel it by yourself.

It is not far. It is within reach.

Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.

Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.

~ Walt Whitman

44 thoughts on “Autonomous”

    1. You are right. It ought to be integrity but I didn’t use it because in recent times its meaning has been diluted by using it in place of honesty… which is something entirely different. Authenticity is the closest that communicates what I want said without ambiguity. πŸ™‚

  1. True its important for being to be true to your core autonomy. Else we are always lost in the different places that the world wants to lead us to. πŸ™‚

  2. Dagny, you never and I mean NEVER cease to impress me. You have this gift to reach deep within and talk to that one corner of the heart that is receptive of such learning. And try as I might, I fail to stay away. I find myself immersing in this pool of crystal clear thoughts. Yes, it is upto me to choose my lifepath, and I choose to be authentic.

    Have I told you, I <3 you? πŸ™‚

    1. Vinita, you, my lady, have the talent to make people go ‘awww shucks’ while they go beet red and shuffle their blessed feet and wonder why the earth doesn’t swallow them.

      And I lubbs it… and you. πŸ˜€ <3

  3. I loved the lines which say that only you can travel that road; no one else can do it for you. It may seem frightening initially but is actually quite enjoyable. Interesting word and topic.

    1. Thank you for validating me Rachna. Oh and another thing. I know there’s going to be deluge of posts all this month. You need not read all of mine… if there is one I particularly want you to read, I’ll send you the link. I don’t want you feel under any compulsion… okay? <3

      1. Thank you for being so understanding, Dagny! I will be on vacation soon and will be missing for quite a few days. Rest assured, I will want to read all your posts whenever time permits. <3

  4. sounds good to read about such a state ‘autonomous’ but its too tough to push away outside influences in reality

    1. Well Sundar, nothing worthwhile was ever easy. I know from personal experience how richly rewarding it is.
      Thanks for coming by. πŸ™‚

    1. As you say Beloo, it isn’t easy. But they never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for coming by. πŸ™‚

  5. myboyzterouslife

    Aah so very well said. Being autonomous. ..being true to your core is rare but really nothing sets you more free than being yourself!

  6. When our physical self finally merges with the authentic self, then life moves along in harmony. I first heard the concept of the North Star from a Martha Beck book Finding your own North star. But how well you put it.

    1. I’d heard of North Star and True North principles when I read the work of Stephen Covey. But the way Martha writes of it in her book is so much clearer.
      Thanks for coming by Suzy! πŸ™‚

  7. to find the core is tough since one way or the other we try to emulate other’s, compare our success and failures to othe’rs. It’s when we try to be original, and understand what we actually desire, that we can make our own path. I loved your take on A. Looking forward to read more wise words πŸ™‚

    1. So glad you liked this. As you said, it is when you try to find your own path that you really start to live deeper.
      Thank for coming by! πŸ™‚

  8. And getting to that autonomous self is not easy! There are a myriad people always surrounding you trying to influence! It takes a lot of courage and strength to recognize the need of integrity to one’s self! And that’s the biggest hurdle to autonomous self.

    1. You are right, there are too many people trying to influence you and trying to make you conform.
      Thank for coming by Rajrupa! πŸ™‚

    1. We do that Vasudha. And with it, we sentence ourselves to an unfulfilled life.
      Thank you so much for reading. πŸ™‚

  9. being autonomous is a dream for most of us, with we been entangled in scores of relations and obligations, but still we should strive to be truly autonomous, very well written.

    1. You have got it exactly right Naba. Thank you for the ‘profound’ assessment. I’m grinning. πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for reading. πŸ™‚

  10. But, can we get be rid of all outside influences? After all, one cannot be like The Buddha and just up and leave, can one? And, aren’t we said to be the sum total of our life experiences? And, if that is so, then surely, we cannot be us without outside influences that shape us!
    Sorry, I probably went off in a tangent but that’s what popped into my head while reading!

    1. Roshni, there is a part of us that is the core of what we are. We are alone in the space. That’s the place where we figure things out for ourselves, that’s where we decide what is right for us, or not. In that space, there can be no intrusion. There is no sharing of that inner sanctum. Think of it as the innermost room in the mansion of your soul. When you go there, you go alone. When you emerge, you are ready to meet with the others who live in that mansion with you. Where you want your life to go, ought to be decided in that room, away from all compulsions. If there are others whose wishes matter to you more than your own, then already their wishes have become yours. Where is the conflict then?

      I love it that you went into a tangent. I love it even more that my words triggered this response in you. And I truly appreciate your taking the time to write what you felt… specially at this time when all of us are so rushed. Thank you for this treat. With your comment, you made me revive the only joy for which I blog- interaction and discussion with like minded folks. πŸ™‚

  11. I’m still learning how not to be a pretzel and fighting hard for my authenticity to be given free reign. The words “Cooperation, association, collaboration and interdependence can exist outside (and after) this inner direction finding, not within or before it” especially resonate. Both from the point of view of my own self, but also as a parent in trying to enable my children to develop their authentic selves.

    1. I’m learning too. And I keep slipping up. I keep trying to modify my core values to cater to other people’s expectations. But I do it a lot less than I did earlier… for which thank God!
      I read your A post day before, typed a longish comment and then the net died on me. It was so annoying. I’ll catch you tomorrow for sure. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for coming over πŸ™‚

  12. I am loving this series so much. Another great post about “journey within” if I may say so…Autonomous…how may people really do think about it?

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