Archives for posts with tag: authenticity

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost
I was watching a show the other day that made reference to this poem and I was reminded again of how much it speaks to me, especially the last line.  I imagine most of us have been standing at a crossroads where two paths diverge, more than one time in life.  We are faced with a choice about which way to travel in our lives…
Sometimes the choice is so easy, you look ahead and you see right where it will lead.  You march on down that road with confidence and conviction, your head high and your mind clear.  You can rest assured you are on the right road.
What about the other times?  You know… where both choices look interesting, but you are not sure of the outcome on either road?  You are hesitant and not sure or confident that either road will take you to where you belong.  How do you decide what road to choose?
I’d like to think if we stand there, at that diverging road, and just pause for a moment, the choice will come.  It can appear to you in a number of ways…
You might just start walking! Your body may just take control of the decision and I’ve learned from experience, always trust your body.
You might begin to see something familiar, in the distance, along one of the roads and walk towards it.
There might be a sudden gust of wind that knocks you off-balance and suddenly you are situated on one of the roads.
A friend might come along and invite you to join them on the road they are traveling.  You see the point I’m making, the choice might not be direct, but you will eventually move forward!
What I’d like you to know is this… the road you choose will make all the difference.  It will become the story of your life.  It might not be the perfect story, you know… the one in your head where it’s always roses and candy.  It will be the real story, made up of a series of diverging roads flowing one into another.  It will be the beautiful and authentic story of you, so travel well…♥

A friend forwarded me this image the other day…  It made me laugh out loud!  I have an August birthday, so I am a Lion by birth.  Also, because I used to have a cat named Mosie who looked just like the kitty in the picture.  His body resembled the kitty, but his personality was definitely like the Lion.  We spent 8 years together as roommates, before he died.    He was not my friend, or my son, he was my roommate.  We struggled and fought and ignored and occasionally loved each other, but he was hands down the most loyal companion and highly protective.   He had this whole self-image thing down.  He saw himself as a LION every day.  Even when he clearly looked like the kitty!

Working in the fashion industry is all about image.  It’s constant scrutiny and very subjective.  One day you are IN, the next you are OUT.  It can take its toll on your self-image over time.  I often wonder if it’s really a good idea to bring young men and women into the industry so early…  You have to be so strong inside.

Seeing yourself  for the natural beauty inside is the most wonderful thing, it brings you peace.    When you express yourself in your most authentic form in the world, no amount of outside scrutiny can deplete you.  Living authentically is a source of beauty 24/7.   All that other outside stuff is just fluff!  So…  How are you going to see yourself today?  Why not take a lesson from Mosie and see yourself as the perfect LION that you are?  ♥

I was out with friends the other night to see an off-Broadway play.  Broadway plays are performed in the big theaters that hold 500 seats or more.  Off-Broadway plays are performed in smaller more intimate theaters all over the city.  Visiting these theaters is sometimes as good as seeing the play, as many of them are full of great architecture and character.  

This night was all impromptu.  My friends called last-minute to ask if I would join them to see this play written by their friend.  I immediately said yes and our adventure was under way.  When we arrived at the theater, we took the “sketchy” elevator to the 4rth floor.  The doors opened to this cozy living room with deep couches and an antique bar.  After a glass of wine, we all entered the room that held the stage.

The play itself was dark and heavy, but even though there were no big sets or props, we were all instantly transported into the world dreamed up by the author.  It was amazing to see this snippet of another world created in the simplicity of an old theater.  As the play finished, we all acknowledged the great acting and writing.

Stepping out to catch the elevator down, the unexpected happened.  The elevator was out of service, so we needed to take the stairs down to the street.  As my friend opened the door to the stairs, I saw the most intricate and beautiful staircase!  It was an iron cylinder with spiral, marble stairs wrapping their way down around it.  WOW! I mean it was amazing.  I spent the good part of the next 20 minutes trying to capture it with my iPhone camera.  The detail and design were so unique.  Even the aging process of the marble, iron and brass came together to make so much beauty.

This lovely, old staircase made me think that life is unexpected.  Around the corner of your everyday routine, there can be so much magic and beauty, we just have to appreciate and share it.  Remembering to stop and appreciate the unexpected things that appear on your path in life is another way to live in the moment and really cherish life.  The next time you encounter the beauty of something unexpected, stop and absorb its magic… ♥

Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon at one of my favorite places in the world…  the BEACH!  It was just a beautiful day.  There was a slight breeze, the water was warm and crystal clear, the sky was blue, the waves were gentle…  You can visualize the day, right?  It was heaven on earth.

When I spend time at the beach, I always observe the beauty that is evident all around me.  Yesterday, I became engrossed with picking up beach rocks, not shells, the rocks!  What a day it was for my search.  I found so much variety.  There were all shapes, sizes, colors, textures, you name it.  Each one was more beautiful than the next.  While some were pure in color, they had beautiful shapes.  Others were expertly colored and textured.  The sizes ranged from tiny to enormous… can you see where I’m going with this?

As I walked along picking them up for my collection, I was struck by how much these rocks reminded me of people.  Each one was so unique and a complete masterpiece, just the way people are.  Mother Nature has the most diverse palette and she paints each of us expertly.  It’s our job to recognize uniqueness and beauty in each other. 

Try looking at your brothers and sisters of the world with a different lens.  Can you see the masterpiece in front of you?  Acknowledge them with wonder and love. ♥ 

I read something yesterday that made me stop and think about how life can hand you some tough decisions.  They are gut wrenching.  You know, you’re going down the road and everything is fine, then… appearing on the horizon is this thing.  It’s way in front of you.  You can’t really even see it, but it causes you some discomfort.  It’s the decision that you know you need to make.   You may be reminded daily by your eye twitching, stomach pains, restless sleep, etc.  You think these will just pass and you will be on down the road.  In reality, these physical signs are the road markers of a tough decision on the horizon.

Tough decisions are not for the faint of heart, they require courage.  They ask us to be true to our most authentic selves.   What happens when you really listen to your own heart and act on it?  People in our lives might be hurt or disappointed.  We, ourselves might be hurt or disappointed.  There is no guarantee for a better road after making a tough decision.

I believe that every time we flex our tough decision muscle, it becomes stronger.  The ability to risk and the courage required to act are strengthened.  The next time a tough decision comes along, less time is spent agonizing about the outcome and more time is spent producing the outcome.

Making the tough decision also reminds us that we are always in the driver’s seat of our lives. Living an active life created by our own decisions is the best gift we can give ourselves and the world.  So, the next time your are reminded of a tough decision, why not shift into 4WD and accelerate?  It might be the best road yet! ♥

I’ve been checking out other blogs for the past couple days.  Suddenly, I realize that other people are writing these beautiful posts about life and their experience of it.  I am humbled by their words, the honesty with which they share, and the messages they are sending through the universe.  It’s very inspirational.

Blogging for me, has been about self discovery and healing.  The exercise and discipline of writing a new entry each day has lead me on an unusual journey.  The entries I have written are not at all what I was expecting to create, yet as I reread them, they are “just right” for my journey.  I wonder how many other bloggers are discovering the same thing as they write?  We are discovering ourselves in a new way.  I love this journey of writing and what it inspires in myself and others.  The dialog we create connects us with like souls and ignites conversations that would otherwise not happen.  The more honestly we share with each other and the world, the better our journey becomes.  

So, for all of you fellow bloggers… keep discovering and keep writing, I’m witnessing some greatness! ♥

I’m sure you’ve all heard the notion,“don’t make waves”.  You know, things are going along, okay, not great, but you are surviving.  You think, if I make this change or that change, what will happen?  Fear steps in, the unknown takes over and paralyzes you from making a diversion from the same old thing.  This idea ,”don’t make waves”, applies to all areas of your life.  It could be in your personal relationship with your partner or child, your work relationships, or your relationship with yourself.  You know which scenario best applies to  your situation.

Ladies,  sometimes, we have to make waves.  This is what moves us forward in life.  We can only begin to be our best selves through evolution, that requires change.  It is SCARY!  You will be full of fear when making a wave.  Fear is paralyzing.  Facing a fear and moving through it with courage is truly transformational.  The outcome is secondary.  The lesson you learn about yourself is primary.  You are a strong, courageous woman, who faces challenges head on without fear.  It might be painful and there will be setbacks, but the impact that it has on your spirit is profound.

Today is a day to make waves…

Today I had the privilege  of attending a dance recital for young ballerinas.  Wow, it was such a treat!  All those shining faces and beautiful smiles, not to mention the costumes.  They were all glowing from wearing those fluffy tutus!  I remember what that felt like.  I remember the pink leotard and the tutu made of layers and layers of pink tulle.  I felt like a princess.  I imagined all these wonderful things that are associated with princesses.  You know the castle, the pearls, the diamonds, the prince…all of it.  It was just the best feeling, all that fantasy.  The world was alive with possibility and abundance.  The other great thing about that costume and the dance recital was the praise for my participation.  Everyone told me how gorgeous I was and what a great job I did.  I’m sure I forgot my steps and forgot to smile, but this didn’t matter, I was all that mattered.  Blissful.

Honestly, I was thinking while they were performing, how could I make a skirt that some how involved pink tulle that wouldn’t make me look like a kindergartener.  I was actually working this through in my mind.  So funny, what I was really reaching for was that feeling I got from wearing the tutu as a young girl.

What I’m saying to you today is don’t forget this little girl who lives in us all.  Even if your life is not exactly the way you planned and all those “princessy” things seem to have alluded you.   You are all that matters.  You are the princess of your own life, so celebrate it!

Next time you see a little girl in a ballerina costume, remember that great women begin in little packages.

Let’s face it, our lives today are extremely busy.  We have personal and professional commitments that keep us running from morning to night and sometimes well beyond.  Managing the calendar for most people is a  full-time job.  The lists of things to do grows daily.

Do you put yourself on the list?  Women are givers and doers by nature.  It seems that everyone else’s needs come before our own.  Especially if you are a mother, you may feel that you can’t even think about putting yourself on the list.  The thing is, you are not unlimited.  Running yourself ragged with no time to recharge or attend to your own needs is detrimental in the long run.  I find that when I do something for myself, my capacity to do for others actually expands.  When I’m not taking care of myself, I am resentful and often cranky about what I must do for others.

Put yourself on the list when it comes to clothing, as well.  You don’t have to buy a bunch of new clothes, but having a few key items that make you feel great, goes a long way to enhancing your mood.  I call these “go to” outfits.   My favorite is a faded pair of blue jeans and a simple blue oxford shirt.  When I put this on, I feel immediately like myself.  Another favorite is a black knit maxi dress.  I am instantly comfortable and chic at the same time!

Spend some time in your closet, you may even want to invite a friend.  Go through and eliminate things that you don’t wear, or don’t fit.  When you are done,  organize your closet and make a section for  a few “go to” outfits.  The next time you are feeling low on the list, you’ll be able to grab one of those outfits for a pick me up.

What ways can you put yourself on the list?  How can you remember to keep yourself there?

I looked up Authentic in the dictionary today.  It has many different meanings, but the one I’m speaking of is  “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character”.  This is such a big word and topic, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it justice in a small blog paragraph.  Let’s just start the dialogue and let it keep growing!

Authentically living your life takes courage and awareness.  The awareness comes from being willing to recognize who you are in the midst of all the roles you play in your daily life.  You know, you are a daughter, a sister, a friend, a co-worker, a mother, and the list goes on and on.  With so many roles to play, it can be easy to lose yourself.  Also, by playing these roles, you can end up trying to meet other’s expectations, rather than listening to your own voice.  Now comes the courage part.  It takes courage to listen and hear your own voice, in the midst of all these roles, and act on it.  You may hear your voice, but not like the information, so you turn down the volume.  If you really don’t like what your voice is saying, you can completely shut it off.  Now you are no longer living authentically.  Boy, is that tiring and it keeps you from experiencing the joy of being you.

Clothing is such an expression of self.  Think of the power that clothing has in the world.  Especially all the designer labels that are used as status symbols.  Companies spend millions of dollars hoping you will buy in to their look.  Fashion magazines are full of ideas about how you should look for every occasion.   The funny thing is, you always know when you are wearing something that is really suits you, your whole face lights up.  What I’m getting at here is to use clothing as expression of  your authentic self, not what some celebrity or magazine suggests is “you”.  Be aware of what you like and what suits you and then courageous enough to wear it, even if it’s not what the fashion magazines are promoting.

Being authentic is the best gift you could ever give yourself and give the world.

What kinds of clothing make you feel most authentic?

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