Here’s the launch of Article #1! So why another blog, and why call it “The Art of Being”?
When I first considered creating a blog, I found myself reluctant… holding the idea at arms’ length. Does the world really need ONE more blog? And then I heard a whisper within, “does the world really need one more BOOK?” (You see, I’ve been in the process of writing my first book since 2011, and I can’t imagine not publishing. I believe in the content too much and the time already invested is too costly to abort now.)
I soon realized that I have something to offer that other bloggers don’t: they’re not ME. I promise I’m not trying to be arrogant… I just mean that I’ve asked myself what are MY strengths, MY weaknesses, and MY interests? I realized that I don’t have to try and attain others’ interests, or gain their strengths, so that I can be admirable or make a difference by becoming a version of THEM.
Author, theologian, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman once said,
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
I can hear our culture’s values swirling all around me now from every billboard, meme, and magazine article …even in slow motion, if I’m feeling melodramatic. EXTRA! EXTRA! “Celebrate diversity!” “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!” “We are all unique, and uniquely beautiful!” “Everybody has different skills and strengths!” But it’s funny how our tendency is to select our heroes & celebrities, define success according to their strengths, create one-size-fits-all molds out of the methods that lended to their successes, and then exhaust ourselves trying to fit our own lives and dreams into these molds. For some, it works (or does it only appear to work from the outside?). For others, there’s as much tension between being themselves while conforming to an outside idea of success as there is between a square peg and a round hole.
For me, true success is achieving a marriage between the genuine and the excellent. And it all comes down to intentionality more than someone else’s mold of methodology. Truly excelling at being and becoming the best version of your actual, genuine self will always involve intentionality as the main ingredient. That is, intentionally pursuing growth in what makes YOU come alive. We may always learn from and be inspired by others’ intentionality, but we never have to assume any pressure to adapt their self-prescribed methods, rules, and disciplines to our own selves.
And so here it is. A fresh, new blog. Complete with pieces of me that come out in the form of my perspectives, my interests, my methods, and my reach to never stop embracing and becoming the finest version of my genuine self.
This is also the essence of the blog! It’s exactly why I’ve named it “The Art of Being.”
I like this idea that men and women live in our heads – in our own thoughts and feelings and perceptions – as much as we live in our tangible reality. Imagine sitting in your favorite chair, comfortably lost in your own world. You probably don’t even see the white wall you’re staring at, because it has become the screen across which flickers the images of your thoughts. Dreams, desires, emotions, memories, questions, scenarios, conversations, ponderings, epiphanies, daydreams, what-ifs, and all the magic of your imagination. At least… so it is for me.
We live in a culture glamorizing cities that never sleep, thinking if we ever take even a moment to sleep, we’ll fall behind the curve and never catch up with achieving our dreams. That’s why I found it so refreshing when I saw a quote scripted across a wall in New York City. “Make a life, not just a living. Our dreams don’t put us to sleep, they keep us awake.” I’m inspired; because I think life is, and ought to be, more about BEING than ACHIEVING.
To me, the art of being is much more than occasionally stopping to smell the flowers. Instead, it’s a constant state – a way of living. And it’s not merely sitting in your own thoughts as pictured above with the white wall as your blank screen; it’s being in the moment, being available, and appreciating the here and now. More than anything, I think it’s about being who you want to be from the inside-out, not from the outside-in… that is, being natural rather than faking a thing until you make it. The art of being involves influencing yourself, intentionally… practicing things you want to be better at until they flow so naturally out of you that they become an extension of you.
You are what you eat, not what you wear! So metaphorically speaking, the art of being means choosing your diet…
[A warm welcome to the blog, and thank you very much for coming by. XOXO]