Tuesday, March 08, 2011

the art of living

"the art of living"

This phrase entered my mind this evening. I'm at another crossroads. There are seemingly limitless options. I fear to make the "wrong" decision, to take the wrong path.

After watching the season finale of White Collar...favorite show! A program came on the USA network...Character Approved...recognizing life "artists" who have used their gifts and passions to benefit community, something bigger than themselves. People whose rich life experiences have given shape and purpose to their art whether in fashion, music, film, shoes, technology, architecture, writing or culinary.

Blake Mycoskie founder of Toms shoes is one of the characters. He noticed that people in business found great joy and gratification when they were able to give back and serve the community. Unfortunately, most waited until they were retired to really get involved and invest in this type of service. Blake decided to create a business approach that would allow him to give and serve now. At age 29 he created a business model after taking a vacation to Argentina where he saw a need for shoes. The one for one movement guaranteed that for each pair of shoes sold by Toms, another would be donated to a child in need. Powerful generosity. Don't wait to give, to serve until you have the finances, or have the time. Find a way to give now.

Fear. A theme that I dealt with in applying to medical school. It was addressed by actress Lily Rabe whose biggest fear was losing her mother. She is 28 years old and that fear was faced when her mother passed away. She can now reflect on this loss with the attitude she has less to fear now in life. I faced my fear this year, applied to medical school and feared rejection. But now I can say that I stood up to my fear and followed my dream. When my fear came true today in the form of rejection, I felt disappointed and injured, however, I also felt a burden lifted, a release. I have endured this rejection and it has not defined me for worse, but for better. I have lived through my fear. It does not control or have power over me anymore. There is something invigorating, inspiring and even freeing in this moment.

The characters honored in this program each told their story. A story about the journey of their lives...where they've come from...how this shaped their art...how they find meaning in their art by sharing it with community...the benefit reaching far beyond themselves.

Their lives are journeys and they have left a window open, for people to enter in and experience their art, their life. I want to use my passions and life experiences to inspire, to build and connect with community...this will involve great risk, discernment, ambition, creativity and humility....character traits that develop over time as I live. I want to be better at the art of living this kind of life...the kind of life that reaches beyond myself, spilling over into the lives of others.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I missed February!

Well...I guess it's been awhile since I've allowed myself some self-reflection...or at least time to write about the self-reflection.

The flu knocked me flat on my back the past 5 days and that allowed a little extra time for thinking, not a ton as I found myself sleeping and wishing myself healthy most of the time.
Now I can't stop thinking about all the work I have to catch up on at work...those kids don't teach themselves and you never are really sure what all went down with the sub! :)

Today, I forced myself out of bed to go to my nephew's dedication at Church and then to my brother's 30th birthday brunch. I can't believe Owen is real. Everytime I go to my brother and sister-in-law's house to visit, he surprises me, captivates me and it's like falling in love with him all over again...really...I mean he is only 9 months old, can't talk, and can't walk, so maybe my feelings will change...doubtful...but he is the center of the world when we are around him. It's fun to daydream about what he'll be like when he's older and then scary to think about how so much of who he becomes is out of our control. He already makes his own choices, but soon they will be choices of greater responsibility and consequence, defining who he is and the path he chooses to take in this life. It's so joyful now to watch him learn to do the most simple things...climb off his little 4-wheeler, scoot around the ottoman, clap his hands, wave bye-bye. It's hard to believe that soon he'll be walking, talking and I'm sure causing terror...not all the time though! I'm praying for him today as he was dedicated...really a dedication by his parents and family and friends to love him, pray for him, and share what it means to follow Jesus with him as he grows into the 6ft-5in good looking, collegiate basketball player he will be someday! :) But seriously, it was a reminder that I will influence him and I want to be a person that shares what it means to love unconditionally, give generously, live adventurously and give and receive forgiveness freely.

Really, we should be living boldly to share Christ with everyone in our lives, not just our favorite nephew of all time, who mean the world to us! xoxo, love you little guy!


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