Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.~Brené Brown
I have always wanted to be an artist.
I deeply admired the lives of the painters, the writers, the firestarters, the life wranglers. I longed to be one of them.
I longed to fiercely create, to share my voice boldly, just like they did.
However, for most of my life, I never felt creative.
I remained behind the scenes, insecure in my voice and expression, disempowered. I looked longingly at the ones who shared themselves freely — the ones that created art, who were improvisational, messily graceful and who loved wildly.
The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.~Buddha
After I graduated from college and started earning a decent paycheck, I spent a fair amount of time flipping through glossy home decorating magazines and meandering through home furnishing stores.
I was “setting up house” for real for the first time in my life. It seemed very important that I get the décor exactly right because it would make an important declaration to the world about my personality and lifestyle.
But choosing just the right style was hard — because I didn’t have my own style yet. Well, no … I knew I must have one. I just had to figure out what it was.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in where you are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.~Lao Tzu
As a conscious gal who’s committed to deepening my relationship with Self and helping others do the same, I’ve learned some potent lessons about the World’s Most-Wanted, elusive state of happiness.
Most often it’s our own expectation and longing for that happy-gassed state that’s actually the culprit of our suffering. The stronger our craving and attachment to the stuff, the less of it we get.
See happiness — like any emotion — checks in and checks out on the regular. It peaks and it wanes and then it doubles back to you.
I used to fret and dread the absence of happiness. I’d perpetuate the darkness by fearing it intensely. Like a dysfunctional relationship, my neediness only repelled the very stuff I wanted for. I’d cling on when happiness arrived, and I’d cry when it left.
If pessimism is despair, optimism is cowardice and stupidity, is there any need to choose between them?” ~Francis Parker Yockey
On one of my husband and my first camping trips together, we were walking down a wooded trail next to a crisp mountain river. The heat was severe, as it was mid-August.
“Ugh,” my husband said. “This heat is so oppressive.”
“Yeah, but we’re about to go swimming,” I replied. “Don’t be so pessimistic.”
“The difference between my pessimism and your optimism is that I’m optimistic about the big things and you’re only optimistic about the small things,” he replied. “I think my pessimism is better than your optimism.”
I hated to admit it, but he was right. I would worry constantly about whether our relationship was working but blindly skip along, happy to ignore the 100 degree heat.
Before that I used to think everyone should be an optimist, but I don’t think that’s really what we should all be aiming for.