Being Real ~ Really

HolesI’m a huge believer that you should always bring your whole self to work. You should bring your interests and your passions. You should bring your authenticity. Being real is the only way to be. Otherwise work would be boring, filled with phony stiffs and fake conversations. Can you imagine that – 40 or 50 hours a week? Horrible. Like holding your breath until you get home.

But what about when you DO get home? Should you continue to hold your breath?? Many of us feel like home is where we are safest, where we can truly let our hair down and be who we are, the “me, unplugged” sort of thing. But are you really? Is there a side of you that you keep hidden from your home occupants? Maybe it is your deep-set fears, or your biggest dreams, who you want to be, what you want to become, why you do what you do. Maybe you hide those things, too.

What is so wrong with being real anyway? What are you afraid of? Will someone laugh at your dreams, your goals, how YOU see yourself on the inside?

Perhaps they will.

Is that so crushing, so bad? Will that sting? It absolutely will. Will it kill you – probably not. Will it deaden your relationships? It may, but then again, it may just help them grow stronger, become more purposeful.

So ~ work, home, play ~ take a deep breath, blow it out along with all those doubts, those fears and that stress. Then breathe back in, fill those lungs of yours. And do it. Here’s what I think:

Knotted Wood.jpg

Wood has knots. Lots of them. In fact, it is impossible to make something out of wood without having to deal with the knots. Unless you intend on making toothpicks – then you are probably safe… So where did this come from?? Life has knots, too. And they are hard, and they are awkward, and they don’t fit in well with our plans and they make it really, really tough to get around sometimes. Who gets to live without knots in their life? Certainly not you. Nor your neighbor, or your sister, or that really well put together guy that you know who never seems to struggle guy. Or the homeless gal that waits on a corner with a sign and a hope that you will help. But…

Knots are strength in disguise. They add a richness to the design, a beauty to the soul, those flaws actually make something quite pleasing to the eye. They add color changes and depth, character and personality. They are the trial and the end result is the overcoming personified.

They are Being Real ~ Really.

May You Be Well Among Other Things


May You Be Well Among Other Things

3 January 2016

A long time ago – well, it seems a long time ago, but in reality it has only been 3 years ago, I was reading a book on how to get by when life is rough. I’m sure we have all read those sorts of books and articles. We all have had our fair share of tough days and really rough moments that make you feel like you are drowning with all the air in the world crushing you as you fall to your knees. It’s not like I was just having one of those moments – it was more like one of those years. Or two. At least. That was when I met my mantra.

There it was – minding its own business, waiting for me on that page, like it had been doing for several years since I first bought the book. That book sat on my shelf for over 3 years ~ just waiting for me, I suppose. When I read over it – I stopped short and stopped breathing. What did I just see? Powerfully elegant prose deeper than my ocean of grief. A Small and Simple idea that was like a parting velvet curtain, lifted to reveal a secret worth sharing with you:

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be free from suffering.

May you be at peace.

May you be productive.

I decided right then and there to commit this wisdom to memory. And once it was there, I recited it within my soul often – every morning when I was not really willing to start another dreaded day. My toes never hit the floor without it. Again in the throes of my afternoon when life was crushing and overwhelming. And again when I dropped onto my knees beside my bed at the end of another rough moment day. Weren’t all days like this? Yes. Yes they were. But now? Now I had my private balm of peace. It seemed at times like a warm and soothing embrace from my mother. My mother’s hugs are like no other. I particularly love the way she murmurs in my ear for only me to hear how much she loves me and is on my side. She lives 1200 miles away. Sometimes it felt like a sun ray struggling through those heavy dark clouds that threatened me. You know the kind – photographers of every expertise level take them and they all look sensational. Every one. It is the living visual meme for hope. But most of the time it just felt like home. Like God’s home to be precise.

And so, as the New Year parts her curtain and we peek through to what is waiting – I send to you my warmest embrace and will murmur softly into your heart these very things: May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. May you be at peace. May you be productive. Welcome Home.