The other day a client came to me at a crossroads in his work life. Over the years he had worn a variety of hats and was trying to further develop a business related to the arts. While a part of him enjoyed that he was being of service teaching, the business development side was a struggle that drained him. What he had come to recognize was that he wanted a work life he felt so passionate about that he would jump out of bed eager to get started.
As I listened to him describe his situation, I noticed the word “should” popping up. There was a conflict between this talented musician’s passions and his beliefs that unless he was saving the world, success was to be measured through traditional avenues such as real estate or other business ventures. A performance musician on the side, he was unable to place value on the great joy he brings to the patrons who come to his shows. He had been viewing this work only as a self-serving means in which to express himself. At the end of our conversation he recognized that he had not been placing value on the unique gifts that nature had bestowed upon him. He was then able to make the leap that there may be purpose behind what he has to offer.
Life is so much easier when we stop trying to be anything but who we really are and accept what has been given us as beautiful. One day this past fall I found myself totally fed up with the process of straightening my hair. I stood there at the mirror and realized that I’d started taming my naturally wavy hair at the time I’d begun to climb the corporate ladder fifteen to twenty years ago. It was the period of dress for success and I wanted to look the part. I chuckled to myself that morning as I realized that I had left that coporate life well over a year ago and no longer had to fit into that mold. With that point aside, I considered that part of why I had been straightening my hair was the fact that straight hair was almost always in fashion and I didn’t think I could be considered attractive if I didn’t sport that sleek look. I then reminded myself that I am at a time in my life where I am expressing who I truly am and that my wild hair is a part of that.
I felt pretty self-conscious the first few days I let my hair do its own thing and felt better when my friends remarked how great it looked. The new acquaintances who saw pictures of my straight look expressed disbelief that I used to straighten it. A couple of people have told me that I should kiss the ground with gratitude for the hair I’ve been given. Now that other people have helped to validate that my hair is very much okay, I sense that there is a purpose that I sport a different look. I’m sure I’ll figure it out someday…