I am in the process of developing a workshop series that I plan to present to women in the DC area. The idea was conceived after my first public speaking engagement shortly after the loss of one of my twin daughters. It had been over two years since I had spoken before a group of people and I was very rusty to say the least, but my presentation seemed to resonated deeply with many people, especially women. The topic I presented was "Authenticity through Adversity" which was based on my own experiences dealing with grief and depression. I discovered that being authentic and honest during a tragedy or crisis is the only real way to process through. It sounds simple, but it is easier said than done. Especially after a death, where there may be expectations associated with how and when to "get over it". I learned so much about myself during my grief and loss that after I recovered from the depression, I felt stronger and more confident about myself. The workshops will give me an opportunity to share my experiences with other women and to be able to hear their stories.
My next presentation is called, "Living Honestly: The True Measure of Success" and I would love to hear from my fellow bloggers and commentors. First, let me explain the premise of my topic and then issue my request.
We get so caught up in the business of "doing" that we neglect the aspect of "being". We "do" what is needed. We "do" what we think is right or expected of us in the various roles we fulfill. Success is measured by our performance and ability to meet the needs of others. So much of our "do" is not rooted in who we are and it becomes easy to lose sight of our true qualities. Many times the lives we imagined and planned for ourselves and families fade into the background of our day to day existences. Living honestly is about being truthful about who we are and what we really want out of life without feeling guilty. We are practically conditioned to feel guilty when we prioritize our own needs. We erroneously equate self-care with selfishness. Recognizing who you are, understanding your gifts and talents and creating a lifestyle that inspires and cultivates your growth and development is what living honestly is all about and there is nothing selfish about it.
In my own life the "doing" was easier than the "being", because as long as I was moving from activity to activity, I didn't have to acknowledge my dissatisfaction with myself. When my pregnancy forced me to stop everything, I had to face the fact that no matter what I had (including a wonderful husband and children I adored) as long as I continued to bury my dreams and neglect cultivating and investing in myself, I was living a lie. Now I thank God that my circumstances showed me that life was short and I was wasting mine on things that meant nothing to me. In the last three years I have accomplished more than the previous fifteen. I have less money, live in a smaller space and no longer hold any titles - but I have never felt more successful than now, because I do what I love and have what I want. I write, I share and I have a healthy happy family. And all I had to do to get here was live my honest life. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a Pollyanna or a unrealistic warm and fuzzy type. Life is still a challenge for me and there are issues that I have to look at long and hard. The difference is the desperation is gone and in it's place is a true faith. I no longer feel as though I am swimming upstream. I honestly think that my life is good.
Now that I have "talked" much more than I intended, I wanted to start a dialogue on what "living honestly" and "success" mean to you. I would love to hear about those moments when you felt you were "being" you as well as those moments when "living honestly" was just too hard.
I will not be reproducing or using your comments. Hearing from other women is always inspiring and helpful. I am always amazed at how we are able to help each other by being just a little transparent.