In the last year or so I have had many conversations with folks, in and out of the magickal community, about being authentic and “walking your talk.” These conversations begin because of an individual who has been identified as doing neither. These rather heated discussions seem to have become increasingly more frequent. I have to wonder why that is. Is it because there are so many more new people in the magickal community without proper guidance? Maybe the people in the community doing the complaining are too picky on the definitions, don’t understand what it actually means or are just dang catty. Perhaps it’s a bit of each. I do feel that all of the individuals, on both sides of the conversations, are forgetting to lead by example, perhaps not on purpose, but it’s happening nonetheless. For all our sakes, I think it’s time we take a serious look at “walking your talk.”
A fairly loose definition of “walk your talk” would be making your personal, every day actions match your chosen spiritual, religious or community path. As an example, let’s look at “Mary”. She is a newbie witch, been practicing for a year or so on a Wiccan path. She is quick to quote the Wiccan Rede and three-fold law, but is the first to whip out the cauldron and mix up a nasty batch of “stab them in the back” potion. She is saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. She’s just spouting pretty rhetoric, wearing the trappings, and not at all “walking her talk”.
Then we have “Steve”. He has been a practicing witch for approximately the same amount of time. He belongs to a very earth-conscious circle, a group that has deep conservationist and community service beliefs. He works full-time but manages to spend at least one weekend a month helping to clean up parks and a nearby riverfront or volunteers at his local homeless shelter. He recycles, eats vegan, lives simply in a tiny house and rides his bike everywhere. His walk mirrors his talk.
While these two examples are clearly extremes at the opposite ends of the spectrum, in reality most of us are floundering somewhere in the middle. Is that a bad thing? No, not inherently. But it’s a slippery slope. If we are going to portray ourselves in a certain light, we need to be damned sure that we are striving to stay in the glow of authenticity and not allow ourselves to fall into the shadows of false behavior and fakery. How do we do this? What can we do to live a life steeped in truth, reflecting out to all an example of walking our talk? Baby steps my friends, we take baby steps.
Sit down and take a hard look at your path, your beliefs. Make a list if you find it helpful of those things that are important to your path, (I am a Virgo so lists are my life). Does your path require daily meditation, prayer or reflection? Does your circle or coven encourage offerings to your chosen deity(ies) or an altar to your ancestors? How about service to the community, monthly fasting, or vision quests? Are you doing that? If not, today is the day to start. Pick one thing, just one thing that defines you and your path and do it. Now. Then keep doing it everyday until it is an integrated part of your daily life, your being. Then pick another and add that in. Now you are moving forward, walking your talk and leading by example. You’ll find it easier than you imagined. Really. Trust me.
Walking your talk does not mean you are perfect. It means you are genuinely trying to live your life in alignment with the path you have chosen for yourself. While others may not agree with your path, they will not be able to find fault with how you are walking it. It may start with baby steps, tentative and unsure, but as the baby grows, its steps become steadier, stronger. So will your conviction to your path when you allow yourself to walk your talk, living as authentically as you can. Go ahead. Take that first baby step. Then the next, and the next..