I am what some people graciously call unique and the less gracious among us call odd. I always seem to welcome challenging situations. Rather than trying to hypothesize what would be the “right” way to react to a situation, I generally react from my gut and intuition. I do listen to others characterization of my behavior and will attempt to adjust as necessary if I feel it is consistent with who I am. However, I began to realize my rainbow sherbet life was slowing becoming bland vanilla with too much adjusting.
I am very open and honest, my motto: is TMI a bad thing?!?! I trust easily, and yes, I have been hurt because of it. I try to live a vulnerable life. It can be scary sometimes, but I really cannot see living any other way. So, what you see is what you get whether you see me at a project site, the beach, with my kids, with friends, with family, with co-workers. I also try to respect others journey. I don’t feel the need to judge where others are at in their life, a beautiful thing happens when you judge less and live more. Everyone can bring you wisdom, joy and life lessons.
I suffered a traumatic brain injury in a terrible accident a few years ago and had to face my toughest challenge, mounting a rehabilitation and recovery plan. As part of my recovery I had to become very dependent upon others, not a concept I am used to or enjoyed. I have been extremely blessed because I have so many family and friends who care about me and helped me through that difficult time. I received many gifts from that accident, one was a greater appreciation and perspective for others in a similar situation. It’s a gift to have some idea of what it is like to walk in another’s moccasins.
In addition to the amazing love, support and kindness I received then and still receive now is a lot of advice about my recovery, which is a mixed blessing. When you are struggling to get back on track after any major disruption in life, whether it’s a traumatic injury, death of a loved one, or loss of a job, it can be very difficult to navigate and understand your path. So I thought about the principle referred to as Occam’s razor – the basic watered-down definition is simple is better. And I like simple solutions, simple is less stressful for me, easier to navigate and understand. I see people who have their work persona, their home persona and their church persona etc…. honestly, I am just not that talented or able to pull that off, and honestly I just don’t have the desire. So now people who knew me before the accident say I have lost my filter. It’s more than that, I have lost the need to be anything other than what I truly am I have gained the ability to say and do what I truly believe. There is less burden in living this life when you don’t have to carry the load of judgement, worry and fear. Unburden yourself by truly fulfilling your curiosity, speaking your truth and enjoying your wonder. Or be simple and odd like me!
Cherish and allow your authentic self to be experienced by all you see.
“The greatest challenge in life is to be our own person and accept that being different is a blessing and not a curse. A person who knows who they are lives a simple life by eliminating from their orbit anything that does not align with his or her overriding purpose and values. A person must be selective with their time and energy because both elements of life are limited.”
My wish for humanity this year and moving forward is the ability to gracefully
and respectfully address, challenge or confront ideas, NOT people. Many people engaged in discussions with a compelling argument on opposing sides, rather than a thoughtful discourse on ideas use the statement “you are……, he/she is………they are………” which is frequently followed by a label, insult or disrespectful moniker. We determine the worth of the ideas by the moniker or label we attach to the person. The judgement we use determines the value we assign to the idea. How limiting and suffocating! We are all let down by the potential power of the moment when people are attacked and diminished rather than a healthy vetting of the idea or philosophy. Unfortunately the recent election in America has seemingly given permission to this manner of communication. Please be aware that assigning blame to any particular person, party or persuasion, is not important and ill advised, a wise elder I know says, stay focused on the signal not the noise. Focusing on the noise, which our ego will compel us to do, will entangle us in a quagmire of stagnation and drudgery. So let us focus on the signal instead and ascend to a more satisfying and expansive world by concentrating on possibility, potential, courage and abundance.
We all have an important decision to make henceforth to truly affect what kind of world we want to manifest for each other; our children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters. We have to resist becoming idle in our comfort zone or paralyzed by our fears. So this year dear readers consider as part of a New Year’s resolution to fly towards a life of exhilaration and authenticity. Let us be mindful in all our interactions and observations to advance each other. Remember this simple approach in our communications both written and verbal; is it true, is it necessary, it is kind, and will it improve humanity.
We all have the ability and power to create our own journey and in turn impact the journey of others. So it is up to us how our journey will be, we can choose a rugged or a flowing path. Things will happen that effect us, but how we perceive these events and take action from there is our choice. Speak up when doing so advances our humanity. When engaged in a challenging discussion scrutinize the idea not the person. Try to avoid “I” or “You” statements, remember the vision of humanity is to focus on we and us. Look for common ground when areas of conflict appear remember the strong foundation we share first and then work through the conflicts. When we see injustice or unkindness be courageous speak up for our vision of humanity. Let us celebrate and spend time with what is refreshing and rejuvenating in our community and lives. Let us encourage fellowship and kindness. Each day focus on what supports this vision, the signal, rather than what doesn’t, the noise. We all seek belongingness and to sustain a peaceful and thriving existence we have to find ways to advance the feelings of acceptance to each other while also advancing our cleverness.
Let us all transform and break out of our cocoons of fear and spread our wings to create a humanity of oneness!
If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other ~ Mother Teresa
I have been blessed with enough, there is no doubt about it. Not necessarily abundance, more than I can imagine, but as much as I need. Yet I have my moments where fear takes over and it almost always starts with a focus on not enough. I am not thin enough, I am not smart enough, I am not strong enough, I am not good enough. Do those mantras sound familiar to you? Maybe these sound more familiar; I don’t have enough time, I didn’t get enough sleep, I don’t have enough money, not enough, not enough, not enough or better yet what about everyone around you? They don’t have enough integrity, they don’t have enough compassion, they don’t have enough intelligence, they don’t have enough capacity to care, etc…..
I am reading Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly and the focus of her book is the power and courage of vulnerability and in that discussion she talks about the epidemic of scarcity in our society. Brené even refers to another book, which is one of my all time favorites, The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist, where Twist states scarcity is the “great lie” in our modern society. I mean seriously most of us have more possessions than our ancestors could have possibly imagined and yet I am pretty sure we focus more on scarcity than they ever did.
I have noticed a considerable shift in our society, where our language focuses on scarcity. I am not sure if I am noticing this shift because I am being more present or if the incidence of scarcity based thinking is increasing. I am not sharing these observations to instill shame that only exacerbates the issue, it’s merely a means to bring about awareness. I notice when I focus on scarcity things start feeling out of control. However, when I focus on my needs being met, gratefulness or service to others, I feel whole and in harmony.
I have also noticed we all like to focus on what others or we could have done better. We like to compare ourselves to some benchmark, then comes the shame because we are not measuring up. I see this in relationships, in work environments, and in school.
Brené talks about coming from a place of worthiness, and to own our vulnerabilities. We as a society view vulnerability as a weakness rather than courageous. I know, based on my own experience, people who tend to have low self-esteem or do not feel worthy are the most difficult people to be vulnerable with, because of their own acute discomfort with vulnerability. I have over the years slowly been attracted to people who have this strong sense of worthiness. It has been a very powerful shift, I have noticed my ability to be vulnerable increasing because those who exhibit worthiness or wholeheartedness do not have fear based reactions to my vulnerability and I in turn become more open to theirs.
It is a difficult path to navigate when your vulnerability is met with fear, anxiety and shame. I have been there, many times. I have reacted with fear, anxiety and shame with others when they are being vulnerable with me. I know by surrounding myself with people who are brave enough to be vulnerable and brave enough to experience my vulnerability, the more courage I gain and the more comfortable I am with other’s vulnerability. Our reward is authenticity. Ahhh authentic relationships they are like a breath of fresh air on a cool morning at the beach, a little bite and a lot of comfort.
Our political system is based on preying on our fear of scarcity and the complete lack of authenticity. If we support candidate x or issue y it will result in lack of freedom, lack of money, lack of safety, lack of protection, lack of “fill in the blank.” We are so programmed to respond from a place of scarcity and fear and to view ourselves and the world around as “not enough.”
So what is the alternative? Enough, understanding we are enough. What is enough? What does that look like? What do we need to be enough, have enough? It is accepting the present you, the present moment, and understanding both are meeting your needs. Vulnerability is the key to accepting you are enough right here, right now. As Brené Brown points out in her book, when you are vulnerable you have the courage to show up and be seen as you are. Vulnerability is ultimately about trust, to be trusted and to trust. So dear reader trust me, you are enough just as you are.
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. ~ Lao Tzu