Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Manifesting Your Self In Everything You Do

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.


Karen L R said...

blessed be.

Little Terraced House said...

I firmly agree with what you are saying in this post, if and when you cant stay true to yourself and what you believe in, well illness and unhappiness, stress related issues always seem to come to the forefront.
Its not always easy to be 'you' but its the one honest thing that we all do have, is 'us' - whatever we believe in ! Good luck with the new job, I really hope it goes well and give you all you need !


Chili said...

NY Senator Malcom Smith told the graduating class of Morrisville SUNY this past weekend, "you CAN change the world." Are you sure you weren't talking to him Melinda? Being happy and satisfied with our lives, IMHO, grows with age and wisdom. Every step of the way is a learning experience and if you take those experiences and apply what you've learned over the years, you become rewarded with extreme satisfaction and contentment in everything you do. It sounds like you are there. So when does that happen? Melinda didn't share her age, but I'll bet she's in her 40's. Mid-40's is just about the right time to settle in and be satisfied with your life's path. It actually gets better from there on out. Enjoy!

Naturalearthfarm said...

What a blessing to find your right livelihood.

Carol said...

So many people are consumed with trying to get what the media tells them they should want..and it takes awhile to realize that most of it isn't worth having anyways...

Nice blog.


Deb G said...

I agree, of course I do!

I tend to think that what we do for employment can be one of the hardest places to really be who we are and what we believe.

Kory said...

I absolutely concur deb. Those lucky few for whom their career is their passion are truly blessed.

Jill S said...

That's great Melinda!

Sending you and Matt love and well wishes from Florida! : )

livinginalocalzone said...

I agree. And its something that I am struggling with, partly because I think I am still working to define what it is that I truly feel so strongly about that I am ready to dedicate myself to it, even when the going gets tough. I have some idea of it, but it is the articulation and expression that is hard to let shine through. (I mean in both the professional and personal senses, though I wish there wasn't that separation) Your post makes me hopeful that staying true to oneself can get a person through, with some peace along the way.

Melinda said...

Thank you for your wonderful, supportive comments, everyone!

reema said...

agree with your post

Everything Counts said...

Everything you say; every thought you entertain; and everything you do has a direction, which serves as an advance or a retreat in respect to your pursuit of excellence. No matter how you define excellence, it will always include exceptional quality, meticulous attention to details, uncompromising standards, and superior craftsmanship fueled by love and passion. - Max