Sunday, October 27, 2013

Live from the inside out, and not vice versa

A few months ago, a man asked me what it was like to be a writer and an academic married to a blue collar worker. I simply said, "I'm pretty blue collar myself." The colleague sitting next to me couldn't get over it. "Huh?" he said. "He can't be for real."

I laughed at the man's query because he obviously didn't know ME at all, and he made all kinds of faulty assumptions that showed how brainwashed he happens to be. Because we are not our jobs. If we are truly humans "being" in a variety of situations that we choose based on what resonates with our unique souls, then face it-- jobs will come and go. I think if we understand that, a lot of anxiety begins to roll off our backs-- because then we begin to live our lives based on something other than the status quo.

Some people have a tendency to paint themselves into boxes and corners that sometimes run counter to fully expressing who they are at the core. Then they wonder why they aren't happy, or why their kids aren't happy, or why life has so little meaning after working so hard for the things and accolades and positions.

The truth, as I see it, is that the limits and labels and qualifiers usually have less to do with the quality of our lives and much more to do with trying to get it right. NEWSFLASH! Trying to get it right will simply keep you trying to get it right. There is no right. That seems the bill of goods we've been sold-- whether by families, corporate leaders (who really stand to realize a great profit from convincing us that we are our jobs), media venues, etc. The message seems to be that if we take the right steps, and meet the right people, and go through the right doors, then ......... Well, that's not always so. There might just be another door, condition, connection, etc. and sometimes we don't know what we're getting into once we've gone through it!

So life is best lived with your whole self in mind-- regardless of your job or label. Sometimes it behooves us to turn off the television and plug up our ears, so we can hear something other than what's pushed into us by the powers without. Get in touch with your own values and your own voice. Live from the inside out, not vice versa.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

There is no more time than the time we have...

It's been a solid month since I've blogged. Busy with a new position at school and life. Growth wise, I'm starting to understand at deeper and deeper levels how much responsibility we have to take for our own lives. There is no getting around these facts:

- If we overload our calendars, we get rundown, and things around us don't run as smoothly as we'd like.
- We have to bite the bullet and make time for the aspects of life that we say are important to us, and let the lesser things fall by the wayside.
- The more we do the things we love-- the things that our souls crave, the more satisfied and at peace we feel in all aspects of life.
- The more we look at ourselves through the eyes of other people and judge ourselves according to what they think-- whomever they may be, the further we get from our own happiness.
- There is no more time than the time we have, so we must be mindful about how we use it.

This is what I LONG to do when I have a block of free time in front of me. Pens, paper, and nothing going on is absolutely thrilling, blissful-- more so than a party or a gathering, or a shopping spree, or just about anything that folks call fun. It's my passion.
Student requesting a book in the library, 1964

Soooooo, for this month, I've done some real digging around in there. My cousin introduced me to this concept: "You've got to do you...." which is extremely important when it comes to making choices about how to use time. It might seem selfish sometimes, but the thing is, we spend a lot of time doing things that don't make any difference to anybody anyway. Our minds are filled with a load of shoulds that don't enhance anybody's life and actually harm ourselves.

So I'm not making any declarations, but I have been choosing to write more. I have also taken people out of my head-- those who I imagine might judge me, or get angry at me, or resent some aspect of my behavior. Why? Because I'm not in their heads, and I truly don't know what they're thinking.

All in all, this is making me feel freer and happier.

I'll keep you posted.