July 19, 2010 § 2 Comments
For most of my life, I had the first two words of these three words reversed. Do. Be. Have. A certain type of person had the things I wanted to have in life. But in order to be that type of person, I had to first do all the things that kind of person did. That meant I had to build my life and the things around it before I would ever reach that level. To me, being the person that I wanted to be was going to take years.
Last year, those words were switched up for me. Be. Do. Have. That meant I could already be the person that I wanted to be. By being that person, it would drive my behaviour to already do the things that person does and eventually have the things that person has.
As it turns out, when you’ve lived your entire life from a ‘Do. Be. Have.’ perspective, changing that around to ‘Be. Do. Have.’ is a little trickier than just switching a couple of words around. Learning to BE before I DO has proven to be a tough process for me.
But DOing first before I can be is not working for me. It’s keeping me in a perpetual cycle where I’m striving so hard to reach the level I want and I never quite seem to get there. Why? Because there will always be an endless list of things to do. And in a scenario where DO comes first, it’s a stage I’ll never get passed.
The trick, I think, is in letting go of what I thought I was and accepting the fact that I already am who I want to be. I’m BEing her.
Who knew changing the order of two words could make such an impact?
Be. Do. Have.
April 5, 2010 § 2 Comments
It’s almost March. And it’s a beautifully sunny day in Calgary. In my apartment, my entire south facing wall is nothing but a huge window and a sliding door overlooking 17th Avenue. I don’t live in a big building, it’s only 6 floors in all, but there aren’t any bigger buildings behind me, and so the sun shines into my little abode pretty much the entire day. Today is the first day in a long time that I’ve been in the right mindset to check in with myself, take inventory of where I’m at and just see how I’m doing. In these kinds of moments, I can spend 20 minutes, sometimes more, just gazing out the window. Focusing on each car that goes by, each bird riding a current, and how the sun falls on my favourite leather chair just so.
Today, as I settled in to ponder and my gaze headed out the window, I noticed just how dirty the windows had gotten over the winter. It’s funny how we sometimes don’t notice the build up of dirt and grime over time, or how we’re willing to look through the dirt to see the world because we don’t really feel like washing that window.
Somehow, gazing through dirt just didn’t cut it today. It was time to wash the windows. I have these microfibre clothes made by a company called Norwex. There’s one specifically for windows and glass. You don’t need any cleaning agents. Just some water and the cloth. And boy, that cloth can clean a window and make it sparkle better than any bottle of Windex I’ve ever tried. In all, it only took me about 20 minutes to clean off the dirt inside and out. I’m back on my couch and the difference 20 minutes… 20 MINUTES… made for a clearer view is phenomenal.
How much scum and dirt do we let pile up on ourselves and on how’re we’re seeing the world around us because we’re too lazy to take a few minutes to wipe it clean? I want to compare looking out my windows now to looking out of them before being washed to that drinking and driving commercial where it shows how much your vision is impaired after each drink. How much less clear is our perspective with each layer of dirt that settles in (on our windows or in our lives)?
I’m sure I’ll be going through this exercise again. A few months will pass and I’ll notice that my window isn’t quite as clear as it could be, and that’s just from day to day exposure. It makes me think about my own housekeeping, all of the things I’m exposed to day to day that I don’t notice until they build up and just how much better I feel after it’s all been wiped away. Whether we think our lives are currently well put together, or there’s a pile of dirt that seems to have built up and soiled what we have to show the world, and what we can see of it, there’s always going to be some housekeeping to do for optimal performance. The good thing is, it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to wipe things clean again.
March 30, 2010 § 2 Comments
My mom once said to me “You know, I feel like I’ve learnt everything there is to know about myself.” That thought scared me. To me, that meant there was a ceiling to my growth, a limit to my potential. In that moment I vowed never to be in a place where I felt like I knew everything about myself.
You’ve heard that people don’t actually change, right? Except that we do. We just may not want to see it, or acknowledge it. If people don’t change, we think we know them. If we think we know them, we feel safe, because we think we have them figured out. We know what their patterns are, their actions, their behaviours. They’re predictable. Predictable people don’t change. But, if we don’t change, we don’t grow and if we don’t grow, what else is there for us to do except to pass on?
I think my vow to never be in a place where I had reached my potential wasn’t really all that necessary. Because, really, the day I stop growing will be the day that I die. It’s impossible to go through life without becoming something we weren’t in the previous moment. And none of us can go backwards, we can only go forwards. Therefore, we can never shrink, we can only grow. Yet growth may be in one direction versus another, because where we feel we’ve reached our potential, we’ve automatically put a limit on ourselves as to how far we can go.
We’ll never be the same person twice. We can never recreate the same circumstances unless in a controlled environment, and yet, if we’re in a controlled environment, there is a limit to what we can learn. There are a finite number of things that can happen. That’s what’s exciting about life. It’s uncontrolled. We are not in control. And because of that, we must always grow and adapt to what’s happening around us.
I’ll never be in a place where growth isn’t an option. At least not until I leave this earth. Growth is inevitable. It’s another fundamental truth to life. Whoever you think I am today, know that I’ve already found new ways and directions to grow and whoever you were in that moment, you’ve grown beyond that too.