All You Need to Be is Exactly Who You Are: Don’t Buy Any Other Story

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected in a dewdrop on a blade of grass. The moon does not get wet, nor is the drop of water broken… And the whole moon and entire sky are reflected in even one drop of water. –Dogen

The lovers and friends that have helped me stay alive and be more fully alive have come into my life like Dogen’s moon—all of their love, as big as the sky, fills my heart and yet I did not become them, but only more myself.

Anything or anyone that asks you to be other than yourself is not holy, but is trying only to fill its own need. -Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

When I was preparing to leave the world of insurance claims and launch a business dedicated to helping people express their inner and outer voices, Mark Nepo’s words in The Book of Awakening were dear friends. Always comforting, always propelling me forward, always reminding me who I truly am inside.

I know it’s no coincidence that I read his words again this morning, July 11th, 2017. Tuesday is my blog content writing day, and this year, Nepo’s words fell into me again on a Tuesday.

Let’s look at that one sentence again…Anything or anyone that asks you to be other than yourself…is trying only to fill its own need.

When your parents told you to be quiet, it had nothing to do with you or your noisiness; it had to do with their need for peace.

When your ex said you were too clingy; s/he needed independence and privacy.

Now strap it backwards and think of when you’ve said someone should change. Close your eyes for a minute, let memory move you, and come up with just one.

It wasn’t about them at all, was it? It was about how you wanted to feel after they had made that one change.

When I was married and step-mother of three teenage boys, I purchased this special vintage bowl from an antique shop, and I loved it. It was the perfect size, the perfect color…one of those rare finds you won’t run across in a big box store or the china department. The boys decided it was the perfect size for an entire batch of macaroni & cheese from a box, the only thing they knew how to cook besides frozen pizza. They could eat straight from it with a big spoon.

I wonder how much time and energy I expended worrying they would break the bowl or asking them NOT to use it for macaroni & cheese, before Derek, a Marine, was killed at the age of 21 by a roadside bomb in Iraq, as his father and I were divorcing.

I still have the bowl.

It’s complete, whole, unbroken.

Authentic Performance Voice Lab Friday July 21st 4:00 – 6:00 at Sacred Money Studios & Prosperity Pie Shoppe! Speak about your passion with passion and inspire people to work with you.

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Authentically Yours, Laura