I’m going to tell you a little story.
I have this friend named Patti Digh. You may remember her if you listened to my Virtual Birthday Party earlier this year. And Patti has a new book. And another new book. And her book tour brought her to my neighborhood this week, so I trundled off to see her.
Patti is a mental breath of fresh air. She’s so smart, and so funny, and so kind, and so… Patti. I really do love her (her Johnny Depp obsession aside). If you have a chance to see her during her book tour, do.
As she wrapped up her talk the other night, she passed around a basket of stones, each carrying a painted message. Patti said, “Don’t pick a stone, don’t look at them and choose one, let the stone pick you.” I dug my hand in – because, of course, I had to dig deep – and touched this one:
And I knew what I had to write about this week. Had to write about. This stone chose me.
Because I needed to be reminded that there have been times in my life where I’ve forgotten my own name. Forgotten who I am.
Been so immersed in a relationship or situation that I’ve lost my essential self and grafted on the self of someone else. And while it felt completely natural and good at the time due to my own insecurities, fear and desperation, inherent in that enticing merging was a regrettable forgetting.
I forgot my name.
And sometimes I’ve placed too much hope in a teacher, especially teachers who say, “Do exactly as I do, and you are guaranteed success.”
I’ve learned that that’s not what a teacher says. That’s what a self-serving salesman says.
A teacher says, “Here’s what’s worked for others, maybe it will work for you.”
A great teacher says, “Let’s discover the brilliance within you, and get it to shine.”
Oh, it’s easier to sign on with the person who’ll tell you exactly what to do to become successful. We love our “7 Steps To A 7-Figure Income” and promises that marketing matters more than mastery. Doesn’t that sound easy? None of that pesky learning or training or study. No, we can just sell!
And by following that advice we swap our name for the salesman’s name and lose the brilliance within.
This has happened to me. And I’ve only realized it when I’ve figured out just how unhappy I’ve become. When I’ve been under the tutelage of someone who doesn’t really honor my name. When I’ve allowed myself to forget who I really am.
That’s when I have to do the real work, and pull myself back to my own happy self.
Because happiness comes from being yourself. Comfortable in your own skin. In touch with your own shining light.
Simple as that.
Remember your name. Say your name often. Love it. Know it. Because it’s yours and yours alone. Uniquely, authentically yours.