Archive for who I am

Being Here Now

By Guest Blogger, Carolyn Cook.

I’m risking making space in my life for the present.

I was inspired by Debbie Kerr’s recent post about cleaning out her closet. I have a lot of stuff in my house right now. Much of it came from the homes of my mother and mother-in-law. Their extra belongings filled our extra space, as we eased their journeys into assisted living.

It’s time to begin digging out from under the clutter we accumulated.

My husband is working on an estate sale for his mom, and I’m slowly taking inventory of my own clutter, before I even deal with my mother’s.

Recently I gave some lovely pieces of clothing to a theatre costume shop. The gift included two gorgeous pairs of shoes that had been my grandmother’s, that I had worn occasionally and really loved. There was also a nice business suit that was just a bit too small for me. (It had been too small even when I bought it. Wishful thinking made me believe I’d lose five pounds.) All of it was beautiful, and all of it represented a part of my life that I had held onto longer than I needed to.

As I let go of those clothes, I heard myself telling the costumers that I hoped they’d be useful in a play, because they didn’t belong in my life. They were reminders of who I’m not anymore, and I’ve decided to be who I am now.

Let somebody else be who I used to be.

I realized that I was only able to let go of those things because I’ve started shifting my thinking, very slowly, toward an appreciation of the present.  The words “be here now” are the best advice I know of, as I seek to live peacefully within my changing emotional landscape.  I have so much to be grateful for, when I stop and pay attention to it all.

Letting the past be the past, and not burdening the future with my worries:  those are my risks for today.

This post first appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog, a project, which has now concluded.

 is a sometimes peaceful, sometimes frazzled individual who works to raise a daughter, build a marriage, and explore the human condition through theatre, art, music, history, literature, and relationship. You can now read about her life and insights at her own blog here.

Here. Now. You. This is it.

Hello, my dear – A poem for you…

Always We Hope
~ Lao Tzu

Always we hope
someone else has the answer,
some other place will be better,
some other time,
it will turn out.

This is it.

No one else has the answer,
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.

At the center of your being,
you have the answer:
you know who you are and
you know what you want.

There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being:
for the more you leave it,
the less you learn.

Search your heart and see
the way to do is to be.

Abide at the center of your being.

It’s so easy to wander outside of our center and get bogged down by what we think we should do…can’t say…need to worry about. But through all of the messages we take in every day, the regret over things done and not done, the anxiety about what lies ahead of us, the one thing we really must do is be our full, true selves – the magnificent, human, spiritual, multi-faceted, creative, authentic beings that we are created to be.  It is only by being ourselves – abiding at the center of our being – that we have an opportunity to live full, rich, purposeful, joyful lives.

And it’s not just about us. We can fall into the trap of thinking that in being ourselves – honoring our dreams and desires and authenticity – that we are being selfish or self-centered. But I believe there’s a space in our world that is created just for us, a space in it that is ours and ours alone. It’s not only our right to be who we are, but it’s also our responsibility. It is only through being ourselves and filling our space that that our world has a chance to function the way it’s supposed to function. Think about that:  If we don’t fill “our space,” who else possibly can? Being ourselves – saying what we think, listening to and acting upon our voices within, honoring our dreams – is the only way that we can fill our unique space and fulfill our responsibility in our world.

The way to do is to be. Read More→