Sunday, January 22, 2012

Monday Mantra: Be Yourself

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Be yourself. Be exactly as you are. 

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...

- Jack Kerouac

A long time friend of mine once told me this quote made her think of me, which was incredibly touching because sometimes my inner madness - the good kind, like this - gets a little...tame. Or tired. Or maybe just shy.

Or maybe it's just that sometimes I'm still trying to figure out who I am, which is a tricky thing indeed, as most of you probably understand.

A couple of months ago my sister and I were hanging out, talking about how we had changed over the last year. She was telling me the things she had been working on about herself and I was telling her that those things, the things she thought needed improvement, were my very favorite qualities about her. The ones I loved the most and that I wanted more of in me. Then I told her what I had been working on and, as it would be, those were her favorite traits of mine which she wanted more of in her. We talked about how much work it had been to try and improve those qualities and that we had ended up throwing ourselves out of balance because, basically, we were trying to be something we were not.

We were trying to be people we weren't just because we thought we lacked something that we never had in us in the first place, and that really, we weren't supposed to have.

That little experience taught me that it's one thing to try and make yourself a better person and add on to the qualities you already possess, but it's a whole other to try and change the core of who you are. One is attainable, one is not. One will make you more well rounded while the other will make you feel like you've gone a couple rounds in the ring. Avoid the latter.

One of my first blog posts was The Invitation. I love that poem because I believe in it. I genuinely want people to be themselves around me, and I to them. It's a constant work in progress, on my end, depending on how life is going. Sometimes it's easy for me to just kick back and be me. Sometimes it's not. It doesn't mean that at the core of who I am, or of who they are, that we collectively aren't trying to be that way. I'm certain that we all are. I also know that it can be hard. In my more brazen times I want to reach out to the other person and hold their hand or grab them by their shoulders and beg them to let down their guard. In my more shy moments I want to do that to myself. Like now, when lately I haven't been feeling quite like myself all the time. Which, as it would be with me just trying to be me, is completely fine.

Basically what I'm trying to say is- please just try and be yourself at all times possible and I will too. I know it's not always easy. Especially in this crazy world where we have rules and guidelines on everything from how to date to what colors we can and cannot wear after Labor Day. But really, it's all just about being true to who you are. Not to an invisible handbook on the Do's and Don'ts of life.

I dare you (and me) to be one of the mad ones. One of the people who lives for what they love, who marches to the beat of their own drummer (or maybe tambourine player...up to you), and who lives with a fire inside of them that constantly burns. Be everything that encompasses who you are, just always make sure to be yourself.

Related Posts
The Invitation
Who Are You?

No comments: