#100 Be at Peace with Yourself

So this is it – the 100th ‘Be’ post. When I started this project, the very heart of it was to connect less with doing; lists, goals, achievements, and more with being; character qualities, values, soul.

I’ve come to see that even focusing on ‘being’ comes with risks. You can still beat yourself up for not being kind enough, being present enough, being open minded enough.

You can still miss the point of the whole exercise.

And the point is, that you’re already enough. You can already live at peace with yourself, whatever stage you’re at in your journey.

Continue reading

#99 Be Decisive

In a recent episode of ‘Shark Tank’ – where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a wealthy panel of judges in the hope of investment – a pair of American-dream hopefuls were faced with a decision.

Three of the judges had said no to their pitch. The last two each put an offer on the table; one offered $250k for 15% ownership but wanted to license the product, the other $250k for 20% ownership with the aim to grow the business and release new products.

Both were potentially good deals. Both came with exciting new possibilities. The entrepreneurs clearly had a gut feeling about which one to choose, but they didn’t act on it. They deliberated, they stood there um-ing and ah-ring, and finally the two investors pulled their offers off the table, one of them saying – ‘If you can’t make decisions, we can’t have a partnership’.

Continue reading

#98 Be Pink

Sometimes, I think the world is out to get me. A dark cloud hovers above my head, threatening an unexpected down-pour at any time. I feel like nothing works, no-one cares, and things are just too hard.

I was in this state the other day, all curled up in bed in my fluffy pink dressing gown. My partner came over and sat on the bed, staring at me for awhile. He asked me, ‘What’s wrong?’. I replied with, ‘Everything’s wrong! I’m going to let my sister down by not going on the holiday we’ve planned and can’t tell her because she’ll be so upset with me, I snapped at Mum the other day and haven’t apologised, I’m late on a deadline and my client is going to be furious with me …’ I sigh. ‘Everything is black and miserable.’

‘Hmm, I see,’ he said nodding. ‘Everything is black.’ We both sat silently a little longer in the cloud of my misery.

Then suddenly he pushed back the fold of fluffy pink dressing gown covering my face, and said – ‘How about we make everything pink?’

Continue reading

#97 Be Respectful

Have you ever noticed how the closer you are to someone, the harder it is to be respectful?

We’re polite to strangers, and new friends – remembering our manners and not interrupting when they speak. We acknowledge and pay heed to their boundaries. We respect others opinions when shared at dinner parties.

But the people close to us – our mothers, partners, siblings, best friends … they get the sharp side of our tongues. They get questioned, accused, smothered, coerced. We tell them that they’re wrong. We don’t give them enough space. We sigh and roll our eyes when they tell the same old story for the hundredth time.

Respect comes from the understanding that others are separate from you.

Continue reading

#95 Be Personal

You know that feeling when you can’t speak to a real person? Machines greet you, automated voices tell you, ‘Sorry, that ____ is not valid, please try again’, and dealing with big companies feels like trying to hack your way through an overgrown forest of paperwork and red tape with a blunt pencil.

Our huge, technologically connected world can sometimes be very lonely. We’re cut off from our food and how it ends up in pretty packages at the supermarket, sectioned away from nature into identical apartments, and even our friends give the little blip sounds on their phone priority over us.

Today, more than ever, it matters to be personal.

Continue reading

#93 Be an Experience-Creator

I’ll always remember my friend Jessica’s 9th birthday. Her Mum had planned a treasure-hunt extravaganza. Not just clues, but clues on authentic looking scrolls with burnt edges. We had a REAL pirate map she’d handmade which looked like it had come straight from Johnny Depp’s hands. There were parrots hidden cunningly in the trees. And finally, after solving all the challenging, rhyming riddles, we had to actually dig up the treasure with a spade from under the X-marked spot!

Jessica’s Mum understood that you can put on a kid’s birthday with lollies and musical chairs, or you can be an experience-creator.

This applies to more than just kid’s parties.

Continue reading

#92 Be Low Maintenance

When I hear the phrase ‘high maintenance’, my mind generates an image of a perfectly groomed girl in a miniskirt, walking along in Jimmy Choo heels, toting a Gucci handbag with her obliging boyfriend meekly in tow.

But being low maintenance means more than just not requiring label clothes and feeling ok without a weekly manicure.

I like to think of it as needing less. In many senses of the word.

Continue reading

#91 Be an Artist

I didn’t like art day in homeschool group.

My lines were all wobbly. My noses looked like carrots. My stick people didn’t do what I wanted them to.

So I wrote myself off as an artist, and decided I’d be a writer instead. Words were much easier to work with.

It’s only very recently that I’ve realised I can be an artist. And so can you. We don’t have to sketch incredibly life-like portraits, paint awe-inspiring landscapes, or form perfect pottery bowls.

All we have to do is express ourselves.

Can you fingerpaint?

You’re an artist.

Can you stick colourful squares on paper?

You’re an artist.

Can you decorate a cake?

You’re an artist. 

Can you handwrite a quote in bold pen, and draw pretty squiggles around the border?

You’re an artist.

Can you make a strange yet wondrous sculpture out of recycled things you found in the garage?

You’re an artist.

It’s time we move past our mental blocks of ‘I can’t paint’, ‘I can’t draw’, ‘I’ve never been good at art’, and just start using our creativity, in whatever form it takes.

Here’s some guidelines from Sark:

sark-how-to-be-an-artist

Be an Artist.