If I had a mantra, it would be step out, step up and show up. Over these last three years, those simple words keep me moving forward. As mantras go, I think it is a pretty good one, especially this last week.
I am tired. Tired, but in a good way. Tired because I have been answering those calls to action. What a week. A week of going to new places, meeting new people, setting goals and meeting them.
Of using a lot of energy, for an introvert, and knowing it was good energy to spend. Realizing how much I have grown in three years, since I began my odyssey of showing up in the world more.
I had a photo shoot today, time to get business cards done and update pictures on my website. Business essentials you might say. For me though, it represents so much more.
My mantra has moved me from the artificial constraints of my youth.
There have been a lot of changes, inside and out. Both show my commitment to quit being the tall girl in the back row. The one from school days when I was inches taller than most of the other girls and sent to the back row for pictures, or choir or anything in a group setting. Like other artificial constraints, the longer you stay there, the harder it is to change.
These days, I am leaving behind old rules, old positions imposed on me by others. Yes, my hair is blonde (a born-again blonde I say, since I was one until age eight or so). My glasses are bolder and I am standing straighter and stronger figuratively and literally.
Those changes are only markers of all the changes that have happened and are happening inside. Each day, as I move toward a goal of a new career, I must make decisions about how and where I will spend my time, energy and yes, money. Putting on my big girl pants, as some would say!!
There have been some “big gulp” moments too, the act of stepping up.
For instance business decision-making, which makes the journey of self employment more real. One of those big gulp moments was opening a business bank account. This is not my first time doing so, it is however, the first time when the account is solely in my name. No business partners. No one to fall back on, it’s all me baby!
Then there is the money. Cashing an investment for seed money. Seed being the operative word. Enough to set me on the path, enough to get me rolling and the first costs covered. Faith and trust in myself keeps me moving forward.
Makeup, hair, clothing – then and now, the mantra to “show up” is heard.
The photo shoot is a more professional one, from my side of things. The photographer, Jay Terry is a real pro, there were no doubts about his abilities. Rather, the changes from last time to this, are about the approach to the photos. Last time around – three years now, I was nervous and it was remarkable enough to experience bringing the tall girl out of the back row and standing in front of a camera. Not back up, but front and centre. Uncomfortable, but I did it anyway.
This time around I enjoyed the experience more. Hair appointments – two. One before the day to get the cut and color right. One the day of for a touch up. Make-up professionally applied. Wardrobe consultation with my daughter who has a keen eye for color and style.The shoot went by quickly and there are many pictures to choose from. Now that might be the bigger challenge! I’m just not that used to sifting through pictures of me, me and me. However, it will get done!
“Step out” says the mantra, so I did
This past week was also a time to stretch my web of connections, moving out of my known people and locale. Earlier in the summer I discovered the Millennial Network Group. As the name suggests, it is primarily for millennial entrepreneurs. I was interested in attending precisely because they are younger and from a conversation with the group chair, dynamic. More than succeeding, they are choosing to be community difference makers, be there for other entrepreneurs and shake off some of the negative perceptions of their generation.
Their monthly meeting was this week and so off I went, to a new venue, the London Brewing Co-operative. Channeling some extrovert qualities and chatting up several people, I moved around the room. The group is interesting and dynamic, and attending a good use of my time. I left exhausted (remember introverts find being with people an energy drain, while extroverts find it an energy filler).
Finally, participation in a professional development opportunity. Following the photos and a quick dinner off I went for an evening meeting of the Forest City Toastmasters group. Yes, I was already exhausted from the energy outputs of the week, yet sometimes you must push through. Another great group of supportive people and a very necessary one as I work towards my career goal of becoming a professional speaker.
What’s your mantra?
Do you have a mantra? Are you engaged in your life and those around you? When is the last time you had a look around to see what needs doing in your community or within your life? It is easy to become complacent. To follow the same routine and see the same people. The trouble is, that while as comforting as that might be, it isn’t very good for our overall mental health. We need some novelty and we often need something to get us out of our own way. Whether it is a person, a saying or an interest that keeps moving us forward, find it and use it, your life will be better for it!
Now, as I soak up some fine classical music, sip on a glass of wine I reflect on this very busy week. Tired? Oh yes. Yet, I congratulate myself on the many ways, large and small that I continue to live out my mantra and create a primed life.
The more I put into my life, I am surely getting so much more out of it. Not because there are any guarantees, but rather the level of happiness I am experiencing increases. Each time I step outside of my comfort zone and dare to show up just a little more, the happiness ratio goes up.
What about you, what are doing to prime your life? It doesn’t take much, baby steps to get you started. Please, feel free to leave a comment, we’d love to hear the ways you are bringing more of yourself into the world.