Friday, January 11, 2013
"There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any medium and will be lost ... the world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares to other expressions ... it is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."
Agnes de Mille - Choreographer
I have to admit that the first time I read these words, I was blown away. I remember sitting for a very long time turning over in my mind what they meant to me in my life. Imagine someone telling you that not only were you unique, but that the world would be short-changed if you didn't share that uniqueness!
I share this quote as a way of moving on to the next part of my series on planting our seeds of intention for the next stage in our lives. Last week we talked about the stories we tell ourselves. More to the point, it was the content of those stories that may have been holding us back from moving forward. Like tapes on a continuous loop these limiting beliefs (I'm too old, I'm not smart enough, I'm not talented enough ...) play over and over in our heads until they become the stores we tell ourselves about who we are. Now it's time to write a new story.
"Write" is the operative word here because that is exactly what I'm going to ask you to do. Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. On the left-hand side write down the names of 5 people you greatly admire, your heroes or role-models. It doesn't matter if they are dead or alive, real or fictional, or even if they are animals rather than humans (I've known many animals in my life that were more admirable than some humans I've known).
Now, on the right-hand side, write down one or two words that describe why you admire these individuals. It can be a character trait, an action they took - or didn't take - or a quality they represent. For example, one person on my list is American author and poet Maya Angelou. I saw her at a poetry reading many years ago and the word that popped into my mind the minute she started to speak was "wisdom" Don't write more than a word or two for each person (example: courage, compassion, humility, honesty , etc... you get the idea).
Finally, fold back the left hand-side of the page and look at the words on the right ... this is who you are. You attract who you are whether you intend to or not. These are the things that have meaning for you in your life. This is why these individuals have shown up in your life as teachers, examples, family members, characters in books or stories you are drawn to, all joining you on your life's path to walk with you until you learned what you needed to know in order to move on.
If you think this is hard to believe, wait until you hear this: you are also that person, that example, on someone elses' life path! Yep, you heard it right. As our quote reminds us: " It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares to other expressions ... it is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."
For the next week, until we meet again, I invite you to make an affirmation out of the words on that page. Every morning when you wake up and right before you go to bed, say our loud," I am (fill in the blank)." It may sound something like, "I am compassion. I am loving. I am funny. I am a giver." Even if it feels silly doing it, do it anyway. My Number 1 Hero, Louise Hay, advises us to do this in front of a mirror, looking into your own eyes when you say them. It's not the easiest thing you'll ever do, but it will be the biggest return on your investment you've ever gotten.
Next time we're going to take our new stories about who we are and write the next chapter: so what does this wonderful, unique person really want, anyway?
And so it is.
P.S. Flower Bear has her very own Facebook page where she shares her Thought For The Day every day. She really is the wisest bear I've ever met!