Saturday, March 19, 2011

Do Your Own Thing

Yesterday afternoon one of our students, a 10-year old boy from the 4th grade, asked me this question:

"Ms. Lisa, what do you think it would be like if I had never been born?"

What followed was a powerful conversation about every person's own unique purpose on the planet and the divine spark within each of us (that often times doesn't match up with what others think about or expect from us).

Although this particular kid can be *extremely* difficult and challenging (sometimes even downright scary) at times, in that moment I saw his divinity.  I affirmed that he is indeed here for a reason ~ pointing out his amazing talents and abilities.  I acknowledged his pain and sympathized with is experience. I tried, as best I could to someone of his age, to put the whole karmic thing into perspective and explain that, regardless of what others think about us, the most important thing we can do is to be true to ourselves.  (In the midst of all the pain, suffering, confusion, heartache, etc....which is what prompted his question in the first place.)

How interesting that my own needed medicine is often reflected back to me in the words I offer to others.

As I continue to move through my midlife transformation, I am becoming impatient for some definitive answers to the BIG questions.  (Much of this,  I find, has to do with the expectations of myself and others.)  I want to be DONE with this 'mess' and be delivered to some neatly packaged set of circumstances where I can finally say (and present to others), "Ah-ha!  THIS is IT!"  "See, it has all been worth it because now I have/am _______________!"

Yeah, right.

I'm getting that it doesn't work that way.

A few nights ago, I came upon a PBS special by Brene' Brown.  What a treat!  Having dabbled in her writings/blog/research just a little bit ~ and knowing others who find her work incredibly valuable, it was great to finally hear her speak and receive her powerful wisdom.

I immediately started taking notes.

One thing she mentioned stopped me in my tracks...

"We must live without pleasing, perfecting, or performing."


Shit.  I wouldn't even know how to being doing that!!!

(Although upon further contemplation, I realize I have indeed come a long way in overcoming my tendency to do those things, I also realized I am still hardwired to live that way ~ and they are often my default mechanisms when I am not fully engaged in living my own passionate life.)

Still, those words stupify me.

In what followed as a 'down the rabbit hole' experience ~ where a click on a blog leads to a book ~ and another book ~ and an author ~ and an "Oh, yeah, I think I have that book upstairs somewhere."... I am now reading, When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd.  It is the perfect companion to give words to what I continue to feel as I remain in the chrysalis of transformation.

And there, on page 9, I again saw THOSE words:

"The overarching roles that created the theme song for my life ~ Perfectionist, Performer, Pleaser, Good Little Girl, submissive church-goer, passive and traditional wife ~  began to lose their music.  It's anguish to come to that place in life where you know all the words but none of the music."

Later in the book, on some randomly opened page, I found this story under the title heading of Authenticity:

"In another Hasidic tale, a rabbi named Zusya died and went to stand before the judgement seat of God.  As he waited for God to appear, he grew nervous thinking about his life and how little he had done.  He began to imagine that God was going to ask him, "Why weren't you Moses or why weren't you Solomon or why weren't you David?"  But when God appeared, the rabbi was surprised.   God simply asked, "Why weren't you Zusya?"

The spiritual journey is one of becoming real.  Waiting can offer us the gift of authenticity.  It can help us give birth to a new way of being true to ourselves.  As we wait, we discover that it's okay ~ really okay ~ not only to imagine who we truly are inside but to say who we are, welcome who we are, and even BE who we are.  (pg. 196)

One of the points Brene' made in her show, when discussing how her family began to re-prioritize their choices, was to ask, "What brings us joy?"  Through this exercise, they found that the things on their "to acquire" list (car, house, bigger TV, etc) were not in line with what brings them joy (more free time, travel, less work, time spent outdoors, etc.)

And, even though I have *known* this before ~ why I keep forgetting I have no idea ~ what makes me happy is simply being own self and doing my own thing.  Looking back, I can see that I have been a rebel for my own cause from a very young age.

It's really that simple, I need to just DO MY OWN THING.

With Zig markers and colored pencils I wrote that in my journal this morning.  In large, colorful, block letters.


And from today forward, it will be my new mantra.

You see, one of the main reasons I divorced FB, was to get all the other voices out of my head.   Some well-meaning voices, perhaps; but *way*too*many* voices of expectation, direction, invitation, exhortation, ramification, education, invalidation, frustration, manipulation, comparison....on and on they go...

...ultimately just muddying the water in what is actually a very clear pond of Truth right before me.

What/who do you see in your pond of Truth?

And in yet another powerful example of trusting my own self, yesterday I had this timely affirmation. (When faced with a week of fatigue ~  in need of much rest and healing, yet feeling like I "should" be out and about ~ doing more and being productive (aka pleasing, performing, perfecting), I read these words) from Cathy Pagano:

This Virgo full Moon is dedicated to the Hermit within each of us.   A hermit usually lives in seclusion from society, going off to live by himself in the forest or desert, where he deals with his inner issues and complexes, thereby gaining wisdom and knowledge of life that he passes on to those people who are questing for their life's purpose.   We are called to be both the Questor and the Hermit, taking time to understand our inner life and finding the voice of Lady Wisdom within so that our outer quest can bear fruit.   So take time this weekend to meditate on what direction your life will take in the coming years.  


Right on track!

And the miracle of today's message from the Universe, is that it really is quite simple most of the my own thing.  :)

"It was not your intention as you came forth into this physical experience to ask the world to change in order to accomodate your opinions of the way things should be, by eliminating all the things you do not approve of and adding to the things you do approve of.

You are here to create the world around you that you choose..." 

~The Law of Attraction, page 32

I can think of no better advice for you today, dear reader, than to simple BE YOURSELF and DO YOUR OWN THING.

Because, like God reminded Zusya after that fact, we are here to be ourselves.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly
trying to make something else
is the greatest accomplishment."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson 


  1. Beautiful, Lisa. So timely for me as well.

    I may need to pull out my own copy of When the Heart Waits and flip thru a few pages of that one. I've read it before, but it sounds like there are some things I need to read again!!! That and Dance of the Dissident Daughter as well.

    Love your new mantra too!
    Have a super Saturday and fabulous full moon night.

  2. I'm glad you are you and perhaps will be even more YOU! :)