Friday, October 2, 2015

The Art of Being.

For all you type A, high achiever, goal-oriented, driven, get shit done and take over the world types out there, I have a few tips for you.  I know you've probably heard this ten million times but maybe this ten million and oneth (is that even a term?!) time something new will click in you!  Well actually, these principles apply to everyone.  But those of us I listed above keep knocking our heads on the same walls over and over again until we really get this!  And what I'm going to talk about today is a lovely topic our popular culture often looks over.  Humility.  Not really fun to talk about, right?  It sure isn't the most thrilling character trait to develop.  All I'm going to do is offer a few highlights and insights I've learned on this subject.  It's challenging for me to talk about, because I am no master.  I am naturally independent, self sufficient and I'm not fond of "needing" anyone or anything, I'd rather do it all by myself.  Humility has not come naturally to me and I'll be the first one to admit it.  So without further ado, here are the basics I have learned and worked on in my own life.

Practicing thankfulness.  All the time.  Being thankful for those who have poured into me and taken the time to invest in me, both with their time, energy, finances, in any way.  Taking time to appreciate them.  That innate drive that is in my core, the on-to-the-next mentality, the hunger for bigger better and higher.  Work harder, sacrifice as necessary, go go go!  That drivenness is one of my strengths, but if it's overextended it can be one of my greatest weaknesses.  To balance it out, I must stop to be thankful, and give credit where it's due, taking the time to breathe and mull over the things I've accomplished, who I am even if I was successful at nothing.  How thankful I am for those who are supporting me every step of the way, doing life with me and cheering me on.  I wouldn't be where I am today without them.  Remembering the breakthroughs, the hurdles I have overcome and those who helped me get through to the other side.  Being grateful for my health, and staying aware of all the areas in which I am so blessed, knowing that so much in my life was not earned, it was given to me.  Keeping in mind the bigger perspective that I could've been born anytime in history, my spirit could've been placed in any body over the span of thousands of years.  But here we are, born into this family, this country, at this time span in the history of the world because we have a divine purpose and assignment, something essential to give that is crucially needed now.

Stay teachable.  There is always something to learn from someone else.  Learn to spot those things, stay teachable and open, and don't assume to know better.  Asking questions, not making assumptions is key.  I've noticed that people with true humility are confident in their strengths, skills and talents and what they carry on the inside, but they're on the lookout for ways to give away and give back, while at the same time learning from others and embracing being taught, being an eternal student.  Humble people have nothing to prove, they know who they are and what they have to offer.  It's a balance of recognizing your strengths and the privileges you've been given and at the same time remembering where you came from.  Walking through life with confidence yet maintaining the sober mind of knowing that you didn't get to where you are now on your own, by yourself and with only your own efforts.

Give up.  Just be.  This is the hardest one for me right now!  Ahhh I feel like I have tried to learn these principles repeatedly and every year I break through to another level and have to start all over from a different angle, unlocking a deeper layer of my core.  Remembering who I truly am as I embrace failures and things I'm terrible at, my insufficiencies.  Learning to not avoid those things but be okay with them.  My failures don't change who I am.  My accomplishments don't define who I am.  My successes and my blessings aren't who I am.  Sometimes I ask myself, "who would you be if all your accomplishments, everything that you are proud of in your life that you feel successful in or that you did well was stripped away?"  How many of those things that you've "done" or "do" define who you are and your self worth?  There's nothing wrong with being good at things, pursuing goals, dreaming and achieving.  But would I still feel like I matter and have value if I never succeeded or did anything to be proud of again for the rest of my life?  Would I know so deeply who I am in my core, how amazing and special I am if I removed every "do" from my life and existed only in my "be"?  Knowing my true identity without anything else added on?  I know that my gifts and strengths will always be there no matter what I do or where I end up, they're engrained in me.  But what are those things that are unique about me, my fingerprint in life, that have nothing to do with any labels, titles, accomplishments or boxes placed around me to define me?  Hey, I want anyone out there to know that I don't have this figured out!!  But I'm letting you into my thought process and giving exposing my weaknesses in the hope that you may pick up some keys to unlock yourself that you didn't have before.  I sure wouldn't have realized many of these things if I didn't have an incredible support system around me to have patience with my process and gently point out the things that don't always feel good to hear.  

So here's my current food for thought.  I am a photographer, a blogger, a teacher, a singer, a server, an athlete.  But those are my "doing" words, not "being" words.  What are your "doing" titles?

Who I am in my core, even if I never "did" anything thing for the rest of my life, would be:
A daughter. 
A wife. 
A leader.
A delicate balance of daydreamer and intellectual.
I have a unique perspective of life.
I impart courage and boldness.
A creator, an artist.

What are your "being" words?
I don't know about you but I want to live out of that true part of me every day, out of my core that has nothing to prove, knowing that there's nothing I need to do to show these things off.  That there's no pressure to perform.  Just to be.  If I didn't succeed or do well another day in my life these things would still be who I am.  
Thanks for stopping by to read, I'm so thankful for your support.


Photos by Chris Schafrath

Flats: Steve Madden
Crossbody: Rebecca Minkoff
Sunglasses: Warby Parker

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