Am I the accumulation of all that I’ve accomplished? Am I the title that society has put on my profession? Am I the sum total of all my degrees and awards. Or am I fulfilled by fitting into a category, or political situation, or a certain way of thinking or opinion?
Two of my very best friends and I debated this very fascinating topic yesterday at the end of a walk out in the abundance of an early September afternoon and the enjoyment of a chicken salad sandwich that was way over the top with cranberry relish, pecans and Granny Smith apples!I don’t know which of those moments fed the discussion the most, or whether it was our love of exploring life and our desire to expand, but it was a great sharing.
It began with one of us being clear that she had given up all titles for now while she is exploring what’s next to invent in her life. Another one of us was not sure she could let go of all she’d done, because she didn’t want to lose it (I loved her honesty.) Another of us was considering that she was only who she was in the moment and that was enough. All of these places were perfect, of course, and the discussion about them instigated this blog.
It’s not easy to put aside all we’ve accomplished. It’s fun to see the shift in attention when we announce things about ourselves. I always got new interest from someone when I would announce that I was an interior designer, or I’d just written a book. I got new respect and attention, and often a new direction in the conversation.
I remember being at a gathering of highly intelligent, free thinking persons and a funny thing happened. A friend came running up to me very excited, exclaiming she had just had a conversation with a most fascinating woman. She was so inspired at her listening abilities, and awed by her presence. Who was it ”I asked?“
“That woman over there in the red dress,” she said.
I turned in the direction she pointed and saw the attractive woman in red and recognized her immediately. She was a local talk show host who had a very prominent position on a local channel and a great deal of visibility because of her personal views. I shared the person’s identity with my friend, smiling deeply inside.
Both of us were so impressed that this beautiful and prominent woman had not identified herself. Instead she remained anonymous and therefore in total equality with my friend. She didn’t choose to dominate with an announcement of who she was, she didn’t identify herself, she didn’t rely on anything to sustain my friend’s interest or to captivate or initiate any platform. The moment was fresh, new, and reliant only on the presence of these two women open to their conversation in the moment.
My friend was stunned, or should I say speechless! And then I watched her move to a great deal of awe and respect. The person not identifying herself made a real mark on her awareness. She recognized a freedom and consciousness that was so attractive, and so open to acceptance of all possibilities. No control, no dependence, no affect. We both looked at each other with new thoughts, new depth, and some valuable input to investigate just being Denny or Kathy, or Joe, and let the life moment go on from there.
Does that violate branding? Does that violate appreciation of what you or I have accomplished? Or does that represent a step into beingness and confidence that leaves behind the self that relies on the trappings of life and the rules or labels of success? Does that allow connection to be deeper?
Well, just as I was winding up the writing of this blog the phone rang. It was a dear friend of life. He announced to me that it was his beloved wife’s 60th birthday this weekend, and I was literally at the top of her list of birthday wishes. She wanted a consultation at her home with me!
How funny that this call came at this moment. I say that because I literally am smiling ear to ear to be at the top of her list. It makes me feel great. Who am I right now? I am the first wish at the top of Lori’s birthday wish list, and I feel good. And I can assure you that I’m smiling at all the words on this page.
Here’s what I sent to back to present to Lori:
How fascinating that I was in the midst of writing a blog titled: Who AM I, as a call from Bob came in. It is Lori’s 60th birthday, he announced, and you are literally #1 on the top of her birthday wish list! She wants to consult with you! Lori, I am flattered. My answer is “of course!”
And Happy Birthday, Lori!
“It’s fabulous,” I thought. And I meant it! I love this couple and Iove that Lori thought of me FIRST AND FOREMOST!
So who am I? Well, of course, I am #1 on Lori’s birthday wish list. I may have to rewrite the blog, but I’m certainly continuing to learn WHO I AM!