Hello there. Yes, I’m still around! I’m so sorry life has limited my time here lately. I’ve been very busy doing what I believe we are all expected to do: enjoying life on a daily basis!
I do not have anything too interesting or glamorous to share–as is sometimes painfully obvious when in conversation with groups. However, no matter what has my attention lately it tends to be utterly engrossing to me. My activities, my interactions, my projects, my travels and even my thoughts all seem to be working in harmony–firing my synapses, challenging my beliefs, expanding my knowledge or satisfying my creativity. Or, as I’d like to share today, bringing sharper focus to my self-awareness.
In recent weeks I have done some traveling within the U.S. During those travels I have spent time with family, friends and strangers. I have engaged in activities and conversations outside my comfort range; I have visited places of natural beauty and historic significance; I have visited from Amish-country rural to high-rise urban; I’ve entertained friends and family and also been a guest. I’m learning to overcome my dislike of flying–although I can’t seem to avoid the queasiness. Oh, and let me share my big accomplishment with you: I did my first ever public event to promote my new business and I didn’t do horribly! All-in-all, it’s been a very busy few months, but that’s not my message today. My message is that sometimes, when we get outside our comfort zone and our normal circle of friends and activities, we find some wondrous and telling things about ourselves!
For example, I like to pretend I’m really adventurous. However, the truth is that compared to some of the stories I heard from others, I’m really boring and play it safe. In fact, the most adventurous things I can recall doing are that I’ve ridden a bull (fine, it was a young one, but so was I), moved to Virginia without an iota of a clue; and traveled to Scotland alone. Just this summer my daughter convinced me to zip line, which I found scary, but exhilarating, yet probably still a two on the adventure scale. One could conclude I have lived pretty cautiously. Yet, in my defense, that’s in the physical arena!
In the creative and cerebral arenas I think I’m pretty fearless. I’ve started more than one business on a whim and one was quite successful–in my terms–for twenty-two years. I gave up that reliable income/security to shift gears and develop a new product. I will meet new people, try new foods, entertain new ideas, push the limits of my education, and tackle just about any home or decorating project without a care. Most of all, I readily embrace the opportunity to learn!
As I sat down to write tonight, it was with acute awareness that the past few months of what appeared to be physical activity brought about some truly incredible inner shifts and awareness, along with some wonderful self-appreciation and comfortable acceptance.
I have no desire to live like the Amish, but I appreciate their commitment to their lifestyle, just as I do the movers and shakers who work more hours than imaginable and enjoy the trappings that come with that. I love listening to the stories of great travels and adventures–sometimes with a bit of jealousy–but I prefer to be home more than anywhere else in the world. I enjoy window shopping for luxury items, but nothing gives me more joy than salvaging old pieces and giving them new life. My friends aren’t on the cover of Forbes, but they’re kind and genuine–that’s worth more than currency to me! My children are my greatest joy; family my greatest team. While some people believe education equals success, I believe success is the ability to do what brings you happiness, no matter your education or standing.
While I’ve always had a pretty good grasp on who I am, it is with gratitude I look back over the past couple of months. Each of you I have spent time with, the activities we have shared, your lifestyles, your thoughts, our conversations and your actions have brought so much to my life! Never before have I been so truly aware of who I am, what I like, my boundaries and beliefs, hopes and fears, what moves me, what bores me and how amazingly blessed I am in so many ways.
I didn’t have to travel to find out these things; I didn’t have to live like a rock star or spartan either, but I did have to welcome contrast into my life. That contrast provided significant parameters and within those parameters–or one could say comparing my life with others–I found I am happy, comfortable in my own skin, and oddly, I am more confident that I am the best me I can be. In the big picture: I live simply, love deeply, and am beyond grateful for each and every day. No matter where I am or who I’m with, I know I bring the true me to the party and that’s a pretty good date!
While our focus may get blurry from time to time, if we expand our view from one extreme to another, we will learn how to adjust the lens and come back to a clear vision of ourselves. Don’t resist contrast, but instead embrace it and let it help you focus!
The Yellow Kite