Bonjour mes amis!
Well, it’s another scorching hot summer afternoon in the Mohave desert today. As a 13 year resident of Las Vegas, ( a Chicago transplant) I have come to appreciate the inherent gifts in consecutive 100+ degree days- often with 12-14 full hours of non stop sunshine! As a practice of gratitude and appreciation, I will share with you a few :
- waking up naturally before sunrise and strolling to the park to see golden retrievers and their loving owners enjoying a game of fetch in the cool, freshly watered grass.
- cycling in the dry air on my very first mountain bike purchased in 1998 (yes, it still works, and I LOVE it!)
- knowing exactly how to dress each day for months, as the temperature is incredibly consistent!
I shared a little in my previous post about the nature of transitions…. and in honoring the title of this entry, authenticity, I felt it time to delve a little into what authenticity has meant to me over the past couple of months. (Giving myself permission to be vulnerable and without shame…. here goes….)
After 10 years in the fine jewelry business, I made the difficult yet necessary decision to follow my heart on a journey towards authenticity. While I absolutely loved being a part of so many of life’s precious moments with clients , my heart told me it was time to venture into the space of the unknown, trusting my instincts calling me forward in faith . What made this decision a tad bit tricky, was the fact that I worked for a small family owned business- my husband’s family. As anyone who has ever worked in a family business environment knows, it has its unique challenges. Suffice it to say that life unfolds in mysterious ways, making marvelous masterpieces out of what appears to be destruction. I have always reflected on the beauty of Anais Nin’s words below and wondered when I would get the courage to take the risk.
Well, now is the time. July 2nd I decided to take a risk and dive into the beauty of the blossoming. I met with as many clients in store as possible the weeks preceding in efforts to connect in person to say goodbye and thank them genuinely for sharing part of their defining moments with me. (engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, achievements, milestones, and birth/ adoption of babies!!) I have witnessed the love of so many people in 10 years… wishing to express this love with precious pieces of jewelry.
How blessed I have been! My colleagues and I have also enjoyed spreading the message of hope at the heart of Beadforlife’s ( www.BeadforLife.org) recycled paper jewelry in the shop every day. Creating a bridge between sharing the story of diamonds as well as recycled paper beaded jewelry, handmade in Uganda by beautiful women living on less than a $1 a day, striving to be their best selves daily through income generating opportunities and entrepreneurial training.
I was reminded at a Sunday service that we most often fear the unknown. We fear change. We fear the truth. We feed the fear wolf, instead of feeding the faith and hope wolf. Which wolf are you feeding? It is essential that in these times of transition we give ourselves permission to try new things, and allow ourselves the opportunity to fail. Give up perfectionism, and fall into the arms of grace. The grace of giving it a go ’round and changing our approach if unsuccessful. Giving it a rest instead of giving up when our realities don’t match our expectations. And like my good friend and mentor always reminds me, “we are human beings, not human doings.” (Thank you Joan, for this insight.)
I have been eager to share with you this little poem I discovered, whose soul I believe connects with each and every one of us.
Be the Best of Whatever You Are
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill, Be a scrub in the valley- but be the best little scrub by the side of the rill; Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of the grass, And some highway happier make; If you can’t be a muskie than just be a bass- but the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew, There’s something for all of us here, There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do, And the task you must do is the near.
If you can’t be the highway than just be a trail, If you can’t be the sun be a star; It isn’t by size that you win or you fail- Be the best of whatever you are!
Author and researcher Brene Brown writes truthfully on this subject of Authenticity in her book “The Gifts Of Imperfection”. Authenticity, she describes, “is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be, and embracing who we ARE.”
May you take a step, even a micro movement… towards your authentic self. What would your authentic self look like? Dare to ask yourself. Dare to do it on paper, with a loved one, or in the mirror. Dig into a book by SARK, Brene Brown, or Marianne Williamson. Connect with friends and ask this question to each other over coffee or tea. I’m on the journey together with you… and I’m daring to explore passions of connection with cultures around the world- uncovering the commonalities in humanity.
What would you do if time, education, resources, and self-doubt were not obstacles on your journey towards following your passion? When you discover it, hold it deep in your heart and commit to making it a reality step by step.
“One thing at a time“, as my dad always lovingly reminds me.
Remember to Stand in Love, rooted in truth, and aim to be the best version of YOU today that you can be!