Do you ever find yourself holding back because you feel conscious about what others may think or say about you and your lifestyle?
If you play good girl to the world, then holding back is a common sentiment.
Recently, I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and we started talking about her passion for a certain sacred spot in Rome, Italy. I could see how her face lit up when I touched on that subject and being the kind of woman who wants to encourage the work of art in every person, I asked, “So, when are you going?!”
She melted at the thought of traveling to Rome and said, “Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to go, but my husband would never want to go with me. He just wouldn’t want to do all that walking and go that far.”
My brain nearly short-circuited at her response and convivial instincts kicked in when I said, “So you mean to tell me, you would sacrifice a dream of yours because your man is unwilling to step out of his comfort zone, if only momentarily?” I continued…”All I’m saying is…if you have the opportunity to make that dream a reality, why not take a chance and rock that boat because you only have one life to live. Just one.”
Many times, we make choices that sacrifice our own happiness, in small or large ways, because we have been conditioned to avoid conflict.
In the words of Bob Newhart, stop it! Conflict is a stepping stone to growth. In fact, Margaret Heffernan dares you to create conflict. Imagine that! She points out how most people instinctively avoid conflict, but good disagreement is central to progress.
The hardest thing to do, which should be the easiest thing, is to live your life- not one that others deem to be appropriate to their eyes, ears, and personal beliefs. Many opportunities to live are passed up because so many people are afraid. What are your deep desires and what fears surface when you even think of the possibility of pursuing them?
How about you go against the grain of convention, culture, (fill in your blank) and think (and repeat when necessary)…
“While they’re busy talking, I’m too busy LIVING.”
Choose to be an example of a convivial woman who is living according to her beliefs and values- ones she has gathered from her own life’s experience and not a book, or someone else’s cookie cutter visual presentation.Tweet
The weekend is upon us – my gosh, seriously, where do the days go? Friday’s the day we usually start daydreaming of how to make this weekend a memory that lasts and my brain’s already on overdrive.
What plans are you thinking up right now? A night out with family and friends…entertaining guests in town…hosting or dining out on a savory meal? I gotta say…
I feel like Mountain Biking!
The last time I switched gears like that, I was 15 and was attending a summer camp program in Orr, Minnesota. That experience turned out to be the best six weeks of my teenage life! I remember biking up a boulder and winning the camp medal for being super fast and first to arrive back that day.
I never forgot that heavenly experience and want to relive it as an adult woman. I hear St. Croix has great trails, and you can’t go wrong with Colorado or any one of these other destinations. And when I can’t hop on a plane to take a vacay, I’m so happy to know my Austin has some great spots to hike and bike.
What’s been on your radar of things to do, places to go?
As it pertains to your desires, dreams & wishes, the language goes like this…
THEY say: You’re crazy.
YOU say (grinning): I know.
The naysayers will always be there.
It’s your choice to be affected or not by their indifference.
It’s a day after Jason Collins made his announcement to come out as being gay. First of all, let me tip my hat off to the man, I am happy for him. I can only imagine the convivial feeling of freedom he must feel after releasing that heavy burden off of his shoulders.
Is it ironic that I am yet again reminded of the beauty of how “the truth will set you free”? It does.
It takes immense courage to show who you really are to the world…
especially when you know it is very likely that many people, whom you know and don’t, will look down on you for the choices and ways you decide to live your life. I was reading an article on yahoo and Chris Broussard, ESPN NBA writer said this about Collin’s decision and lifestyle choice:
“Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals, if you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”
One thing he said stood out to me- actually it excited me.
“…That’s walking in open rebellion…”
I cancel out everything else he said because it’s divisive speech, but that one line gave me a visual of someone walking with shoulders back, head held high, a smile on their face and an aura of immense conviction emanating all around them.
That is the feeling and visual I get when I stand up for what “I” believe based on what “I” have experienced personally in my own life, not by what some book has commanded of me, regardless of what book it may be.
As I’ve written once before, this is my take on the word rebellion:
Rebellion is your refusal to follow or express what doesn’t feel true for you.
Perhaps you can consider that if you decide to rebel against the stigmas and ignorance of other’s beliefs that can hinder you from living true.
It takes courage to live your convivial life (never someone else’s idea of what it should be) and I commend Jason Collins for setting that example for us all.
[Photo by Sports Illustrated]
This weekend, I have plans to dine with a high school girlfriend, a fun-loving gal I met in Mr. Ayala’s Spanish class (unforgettable teacher) when I first moved to Dallas at 16.
We’re headed to Elizabeth Street Cafe on South 1st Street. It’s becoming a place I frequent and one I don’t see myself getting tired of any time soon.
Check out this color scheme…the sort of hues that make any convivial woman quiver with excitement.
I fell in love with their Bahn Cuon, a rice flour noodle dish with twice cooked pork (so tender!) and wood ear mushrooms, bean sprouts, crispy shallots and garden herbs. That’s what I enjoy most about Vietnamese cuisine is its fresh ingredients. I’m leaning towards trying their Lychee black tea or a cocktail and will definitely make room for this sweet treat again!
What’s your favorite dining spot where you live? Whatever your weekend plans, I hope they include lots of lounging and laughter!Tweet
I once attended a SXSW talk given by Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Yogurt CEO and his wife, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg and she was discussing her new book, For Better or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families.
As they shared their experience creating and running Stonyfield, what stays with me the most is when Gary said,
“I am a pathological OPTIMIST.” -Gary Hirshberg
Meg had us captivated when she talked about the stress that came with building their business (couples in attendance all nodded their heads) and how there were times when she and Gary didn’t speak to one another (couples elbowing one another and chuckling), when they literally had to stay away from one another to give Gary the space to do what he did well (couples smiling).
There was a time when they got news that their farm had received some sort of citation which required it be shut down that day. This was potentially devastating to their operations and Meg thought it was the end of the world while Gary never saw the risk involved because he had something fundamental to true entrepreneurial thinking…the understanding that there are no impossibilities unless you choose to see them.
When Gary shared his one-liner with the group, it was like a lightning bolt straight to my heart. I clearly understood what he meant because I see opportunity and growth everywhere and seek to find ways to maximize and express it.
It’s easy to go on that “just-be-positive-and-have-faith” spiel when it comes to the aspects of our lives that aren’t so convivial, but you have to meet hope halfway and find ways to think and act in the face of risk and fear.
Have the courage to see your problems for what they are, then take the necessary steps to figure them out. That’s much better than playing the sugarcoating game, or ignoring them altogether.
Where in your life can you choose to be more pathologically optimistic?
(Photo by Julian Dufort, Inc Magazine)Tweet
There is a treasure chest of hidden stories living behind each person’s eyes. If you care to look long enough, often enough, perhaps you might be granted access into a world you might never know.
When was the last time someone looked into your eyes for the simple purpose to see you, really see you? Or vice versa? How did it make you feel?
Artist Marina Abramovic did just that at the Museum of Modern Art, back in 2010 with her performance of The Artist is Present. It may be two years since she performed, but its moments like these that live on forever.
(Click photo to watch this powerful interaction/surprise reunion)
She sat for a 736-hour and 30-minute static and silent piece where museum visitors waited in line to sit across from her and look into her eyes. In this particular photo, she received an unexpected visitor…her former love Ulay.
The two had a relationship in the 70s and when they felt the affair was over, they walked The Great Wall of China, each from opposite ends, meeting for the last time in the middle and never seeing each other again.Until this moment, that is. Can you imagine the intense energy and emotions flowing between them in that very moment?
See the moving images of people Marina sat across from along with the amount of time it took for their interaction to result in tears.
Can you guess who this woman is?
Imagine all of the painful and joyous stories dancing beneath each set of eyes…what did this “momentary” work of art allow them to relive, acknowledge, face, make peace with…if only for a moment?
Check out the rest of the images in the tumblr called Marina Abramovic Made Me Cry.
Confession:When things feel hard and my vision is not clear and important details are not coming together for me, whether professionally or personally, I am easily tempted to throw in the towel on this whole idea of convivial living.
But guess what?
I can’t. I just can’t.
There are just too many dreams and desires that are more powerful than I am and I am forced to keep going.
There is just too much love that I owe to myself.
There are just too many hills, steps, mountains I’ve climbed.
There are just too many people who truly believe in my abilities…more than I probably believe in myself.
There are just too many conversations that I’ve had that require me to walk my talk.
There are just not enough good enough reasons to give up.
There are just too many breaths I still have to take.
The journey is just too long to even think that I’ve come to the end of it.
So I keep on.
And so you must carry on with your own journey, dream, life…don’t give in.
The challenges you face are there to shape and catapult you onward…
so keep doing your thang!
Whenever I’ve read back on the things I’ve written, sometimes I can’t believe it’s me writing and flowing in such ways. Instead of getting cocky, those are the moments when I believe in a force outside of me, beyond me, working through me, for me, to express ME.
Being the kind of person who shies away from the limelight, talking about what I have to offer the world is not the most comfortable feeling, but with courage and consistent practice, it makes that process more bearable, and dare I say it…easy.
Convivial Intention: Stop and consider the greatness in you.
How will you do that this week? Here are some suggestions to get you going…
:: Revisit an old photo album (tangible or digital) and see the convivial life you’ve been busy creating.
:: Dig up something you once created and remind yourself of the talents that reside in you. Then…create something totally new.
::Rummage through some old photo boxes you have stuffed with letters from friends (back in the snail mail days) and hear what others had to say about and to you.
:: Fill in your own blank and drop me a comment on how you plan to recognize the living work of art in you this week.Tweet
Everyone has to hustle to get money – to pay the rent, mortgage, car payment; to pay for what they need and want, to care for their health, to invest in themselves, to be as generous as they want to be; to pay for support (i.e. housecleaner, childcare); to pay for those shoes you spent too much on, or that coaching you thought you needed…only to realize you wasted your money because your heart had the answer and gave it to you willingly.
None of us are immune to fumbling through choices and none of us are incapable of choosing to do better the next day. As you live and aspire for your convivial life, keep these words in mind…
“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” -Steven Pressfield
Are you cut out for this job? Of course you are. It’s what you were born to master. But awareness comes before action…with this kind of work, you will be expected to roll up your sleeves and begin savoring and taking in the world with every sense of your being.
To fulfill this very important “role” of a lifetime, you are faced with the choice to open yourself up to new experiences and people; to question, face challenge and resistance from yourself and others who are threatened by your growth and curiosity; to venture out of your house, neighborhood, city, country. I can’t forget to mention your need to overcome that unnatural guilt you will feel when you attempt to acknowledge the real desires you have to live versus accepting what others deem as just “the way things are, the way they’ve always been.”
You can begin at any time, so consider today your first day on the “job”.
When you show up for work, when you put “heart” into what feels hard, when you have faith in that little whisper that comes back over and over again – the one that doesn’t let you throw the towel in when you so often want to – then you can and will enjoy the benefits of a convivial life…the one you deserve and are capable of creating for yourself.
(FYI: In the above paragraph, I originally wrote “If” in place of “When” and purposely changed it because that is how one must think: when it comes to what you want in life, it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN.)Tweet
After picking my oldest son up at school last week, I surprised him by taking him to Barnes & Noble where he likes to buy new puzzles. We found him a 12-pack of 500, 300, and 100 piece puzzles to work on and he was ecstatic. He practically bear-hugged the box on the ride home.
Unable to wait, he began working on a 300 piece puzzle of a lion. He asked me to help him, so we got started and soon found ourselves getting stuck because it was proving hard to bring the pieces together at times. We had to keep referring back to the picture on the box because we’d forget what the image looked like.
We’d try putting one piece with another, nothing…then another piece and searching for yet another piece, and nothing. This went on for awhile and then I got distracted with my other son and had to leave the table. I encouraged my son to keep working which he didn’t resist because he loves these sorts of things (read: challenges).
He worked tirelessly, never leaving the table except for an occasional snack or bathroom break or drink, but soon returned to the scattered puzzle pieces. After awhile, I passed by and saw the lion and surrounding sunset and brush coming together little by little.
I cheered my son’s diligent efforts and thought in that moment how in many ways, the things you work toward in life – your goals and dreams- are no different.
When you have a vision for something you want (Sailboat anyone? Tuscan Villa?), you have the gist of what you might have to do to make it happen, and so you begin your quest.
As you work, you hit bumps and obstacles along the way, but the key is to keep working (and believing), especially during the seemingly most challenging moments. Those moments determine your will for how bad you want what you want. I’ve often dealt with this as it relates to my writing and business-building efforts for The Convivial Woman. It’s no easy game to play but I keep playing it!
What “puzzle” are you working on in your own life?
This week, I encourage you to keep trying to put the pieces of your “puzzle” together…if one piece doesn’t fit, try another, and another, then search for another. If you need to, take a break – either temporarily, or sometimes from it all. If you’re committed and passionate enough, you’ll return to the work at hand and your focus will return. Trust in the dips and valleys of your personal journey.
You WILL have plenty of moments of frustration, confusion, uncertainty, but if you take action to pick up where you left off, or in a whole other place, your focus will be renewed. You’re meant to get lost in the process because not everything is within your control.
Remain vigilant and committed to seeing your goals – whatever they may be – to completion. The ones you’re willing to quit are the ones you don’t want as bad, so why feel bad? If you need to, find a new goal to build your confidence.
When your patience gets tested, when you feel like giving up, when you aren’t figuring things out, or the details are just not coming together, remember that creativity is an enlightened form of problem solving and your role is to trust and stay committed.
If a 5-year-old can show us the way of a good work ethic, then we can certainly follow his lead. I know I will!
Cheers to you and your dreams (and the work ethic they so desperately need!),
“I’m not going to change.”
When it comes to the person you are, you will always be you.
But when it comes to the person you were born to be, the person you have the utmost potential to be, you can never say those five words because you indirectly stunt your growth.
We must change to change the world we live in.
Do you want to play a role in those changes?
Then become more aware of your behavior.
more open to adapt to changing environments, relationships, circumstances, etc., if you want to make a difference with the short time you have on earth.
It’s your one and only chance.
What if you said,
“I am willing to change.”
Your habits, beliefs, forms of communication, appearance, language, environment, and perspective can all change if you make the choice to do so. It all starts with you.
When it comes to your personal sense of discipline and the habits you learned growing up and in school, remember this: those ways of “being” are not your entire make up as a person unless you choose them to be.