Discovering True Fulfillment Beyond Societal Masks
Have you ever wondered if there's more to success than meets the eye? Today, I want to share with you an enlightening conversation I had with Cortney McDermott, a mind-body expert and TEDx speaker whose journey from a high-powered corporate role to a life of authenticity and mindfulness is nothing short of inspiring.
What to Expect
Through this discussion, we’ll explore Cortney's transformation from a high-flying corporate executive to a beacon of authenticity and mindfulness. We'll peel back the layers of societal success and dive deep into the world of self-discovery and true fulfillment.
About Cortney McDermott
Cortney McDermott, an award-winning author, is a luminary in the field of self-development and business strategy. She has graced platforms like Inc., Women's Health, and FOX News with her insights. Her career includes roles at Vanity Fair Corporation, Sustainability Partners Inc., and entrepreneurial endeavors with giants like Google and Nike. Her passion lies in challenging human potential, with a focus on neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum theory.
The Masks We Wear
Cortney McDermott's insights on the masks we wear as women, moms, and wives struck a chord with me. She vividly described how, especially in high-ranking positions, the masks we wear become more intricate and challenging to remove. Cortney shared, “It's funny we use the word ‘person'… ‘persona' comes from ‘mask'. They were the masks worn in ancient Greek theater. This is a reminder that we're not these characters we're all walking around as.”
Cortney recounted her own experiences with these societal masks, acknowledging that as she ascended in her career, the masks she wore were not just for acceptance or acknowledgment but also as a form of self-protection. “We wear these masks and costumes as a way to feel safe,” she explained. The deeper implication here is that most of us, without realizing it, live in a state of discomfort, feeling unsafe without these masks.
This revelation about masks and their role in our lives led Cortney to a significant turning point. She observed that playing this character, wearing these masks, is just a part of the experience we have in this dimension, but it's not who we truly are. “I've had such remarkable experiences just by taking the mask off and revealing these other potentials,” she shared, highlighting the liberation that comes with authenticity.
Journey to Authenticity
Cortney's journey to authenticity began when she started questioning the authenticity of the masks she wore. “I was acutely aware of the masks we wear,” she said. This awareness marked the beginning of her transition from living a life driven by external motivations to one where she could be her true self. The character we play, as Cortney put it, is just that – a character, and recognizing this is the first step towards authentic living.
As we continued our conversation, Cortney delved deeper into what it means to live authentically. She talked about the power of giving oneself permission to be who they are, unbound by societal expectations or fears of criticism. This message is especially poignant for women, who often grapple with the dual pressures of external expectations and internal conflicts.
The path to authenticity, as Cortney McDermott shared, is marked by self-awareness and a gradual shedding of the masks. “It does feel a little scary at first,” Cortney admitted, acknowledging the challenge it presents, especially for women. This journey challenges deeply ingrained societal constructs and personal beliefs.
Cortney spoke about the importance of reconnecting with our bodies as a critical step towards authenticity. “I started to get back in my body,” she said, emphasizing the need to become aware of our physicality, our physiological needs, and the intelligence of our bodies. This reconnection is essential, especially for women who often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, leading to a detachment from their physical selves.
In our conversation, Cortney reflected on her time as a top executive, a role many aspire to. When asked if she felt inauthentic during that period, she noted, “I kept receiving these internal signals saying, ‘This isn't it,' ‘Something's off.'” These signals were her inner voice nudging her towards her true nature, away from the facade often required in high-powered roles.
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Cortney's journey to authenticity wasn't just an internal transformation; it also involved embracing significant life changes. One of the pivotal moments in her journey was the decision to move to Europe. This geographical and cultural shift played a crucial role in her process of self-discovery. The change in environment, away from the familiar trappings of her previous life, provided Cortney with a fresh perspective and the space to explore her true self.
As she adapted to new cultures and environments, Cortney found that these external changes mirrored the internal transformation she was undergoing. This synergy between external and internal change is a powerful catalyst for personal growth and self-realization. It highlights the interconnectedness of our environments and our inner selves and how changing one can significantly impact the other.
Cortney described this part of her journey as a major discovery, saying, “The formless is working through this form and expressing through this form.” She emphasized how becoming aware of this concept allowed her to enjoy life more fully, viewing her experiences through a lens of wonder and appreciation.
Discovering Inner Peace
In this state of heightened awareness and change, Cortney began to discover a sense of inner peace. She explained how the process of freeing herself from a life that felt inauthentic and unsatisfying led to profound realizations. “I was living this false existence,” she shared, “and it wasn't very satisfying for me.” As she began to shed the layers of this inauthentic life, she found herself increasingly at peace with who she was and her place in the world.
Cortney's journey to inner peace was marked by profound self-awareness and a deeper connection with her true self. “By connecting with her true self, not only did she find inner peace but also a seemingly ageless appearance,” Cortney reflected. This transformation was not just physical; it was deeply rooted in her consciousness. Her emphasis on tapping into our inner power source and truly understanding relaxation offers a fresh perspective on genuine relaxation and self-awareness.
One of the most significant shifts in Cortney's journey was her move away from societal expectations and the endless chase for external achievements. “You're aware that you're aware, and that's it,” she explained. This realization led her to understand that true satisfaction doesn't come from external accomplishments but from a deep connection with oneself. It's about being intrinsically motivated rather than being driven by materialistic gains and societal accolades.
Cortney shared her “cold shower moments” – times when she realized she was living a life scripted by others, not by herself. “I had changed so much,” she said, noting the remarkable difference in her appearance and vitality, attributing it to her evolved consciousness.
Cortney shared her experiences of overcoming fear and societal expectations. “It's scary to take that next step into freedom,” she admitted. However, she found that every time she gave up on being perceived in a particular way, she achieved extraordinary results – results she couldn't have reached had she continued to conform to societal expectations.
Her message is clear: freeing ourselves from these narratives, especially for those with children, is crucial. It's about allowing ourselves to fully express the magnitude and majesty of our true selves. “When we do that when we give ourselves permission, it's extraordinary what is on the other side,” Cortney remarked. This liberation, she believes, is essential for living authentically.
Living authentically, as Cortney McDermott describes, is about embracing the fullness of our being. It's about moving beyond the fear of societal judgment and tapping into our true potential. Her journey and insights provide a roadmap for others, especially women, to follow in their pursuit of authenticity.
Authentic living involves recognizing and honoring our innermost desires, thoughts, and feelings. It's about shedding the layers of expectations and embracing the freedom to be ourselves. For Cortney, this has been a transformative process, not only in her personal growth but also in how she interacts with the world around her.
Living authentically involves more than just the concept of authenticity; it's about deep listening and connecting with what she calls “that four-source energy or God.” She emphasizes the importance of tuning into the part of ourselves that knows beyond conscious understanding. This deep listening has been a crucial element in her journey towards living a more genuine and fulfilling life.
Cortney highlighted the power of living in truth and intention. “When someone's in their truth, we feel it,” she shared. This authentic living resonates not only within ourselves but also impacts those around us. It's about aligning our actions with our innermost intentions and truths, even if the physical manifestation of these intentions hasn't fully materialized yet.
The Ageless Beauty of Authenticity
This concept of living authentically leads to what Cortney calls the “ageless beauty of authenticity.” It's the idea that when we live in alignment with our true selves, it not only transforms our inner being but also manifests in our outward appearance and energy. Cortney's own journey is a testament to this, as she observed significant changes in herself, both internally and externally, through her commitment to authentic living.
Cortney McDermott's journey exemplifies the ageless beauty that comes from living authentically. In her own words, she experienced a significant transformation in her appearance and vitality, attributing it to her evolved consciousness. “This is just consciousness. When your consciousness evolves, your form changes as a consequence,” she explained. This remarkable change is a testament to the profound impact of aligning one's life with their true self.
For Cortney, this journey of authenticity is not just about personal transformation; it extends to how she influences others. She mentioned a beautiful poem, likely by Emerson, that encapsulates her desired legacy: “If even one life has breathed easier because I have lived, that is to have succeeded.” Her aim is to remind others of their potential and power, to live in it and grow into it as much as they can. This philosophy is a guiding force in her life, a constant reminder that each day offers a new opportunity for growth and change.
Reflecting on my conversation with Cortney McDermott, it's clear that her journey is more than just a personal success story; it's a beacon of hope and inspiration for anyone seeking to live authentically. Her experiences remind us that authenticity isn't just about shedding societal masks; it's about embracing our true selves and the immense potential that lies within.
Watch the complete interview here.
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