By Melinda Briana Epler, One Green Generation
This weekend I had a great time of meetings, food, and drinks at my new company. It was sort of a retreat to welcome a new partner into the organization, and to figure out some big strategic and organizational issues. At the same time we were having these meetings, one of our partners was having his first child. Another partner had his second child just over a week ago. It's quite a time of new beginnings.
And I realized at the end of the weekend that I was proud of my self and my life. It has taken me a long time to do this, but at long last, I have really manifested my true self into my business, my home, my friendships, my family, my neighborhood, and most every other part of my life.
I look back and I wonder how. I have made a lot of conscious choices to understand myself, who I am, and who I want to become. I have been striving to make a positive impact on the world for the last 20 years. I've been striving to make myself a happier, healthier person for the last 5 or 10 years. I have been striving to become an open, honest, and caring person for a as long as I can remember. And I've worked hard to bring all of these things into my home life over several years.
But now, finally, I am working in a JOB where I can have my dreams and I don't have to hide them. I can have my frustrations, and I don't have to hide them - I can air them in a constructive way that makes everything better, in a way that even empowers the company. I am valued for what I know, what I've done, and what I want to accomplish. I am valued for my blog, my filmmaking, my strategic planning and my work writing grants, my cultural anthropology background, my dabbling in web design, and all the many other things I've done! My experience makes me richer and makes my own contribution to this organization more important.
Wow. Pretty amazing.
But I worked hard at it. For years, I hid my dreams. I hid my disappointments and frustrations. I did what people told me to do even if I didn't like it. I ignored the warning signs that should have showed me I was unhappy and unhealthy.
However, this time I gently pushed for greater understanding. I gently aired my disappointments and frustrations with my coworkers. I didn't do what people told me, but instead I respectfully worked with them to find the best plan. I didn't ignore the warning signs that told me I was unhappy and unhealthy - instead, I addressed the root of those problems.
It wasn't easy, but it is extremely rewarding.
Last year, Matt and I went through a similar process when we realized that after living in Geyserville for a year, we were living in a place that was not making us happy nor healthy. And we decided to make it work to move to a place that did. It was not easy financially, but we scraped by in order to make it happen. I can tell you it was a great decision, and worth any sacrifices we faced.
For three years, I've been married to a man who is also my very best friend. We have a very open and honest relationship, which every year grows stronger.
I'm not saying there is zero in my life that is dysfunctional, but there is very little left. And I believe the rest will come along, in turn.
As I get older I notice that when my relationships aren't healthy - which usually means I'm not staying true to myself - then I get sick and unhappy, and the other areas in my life suffer. But each of us only has one life, and that is not the way I want to live mine - how about you?
So, please stay true to who you are. And work on manifesting your self in everything you do. This is an extremely important part of living a simple, sustainable life.