The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Joyful excellence

Speaking with a client in her
70’s who has been a wonderfully
 giving and loving human
being for everyone in the
world…except herself…I
asked her if she loved herself.

And she stopped, and there
was stunned silence.    “I
never asked myself that
question.”   When I had
her write a letter from the
 little girl inside herself
(using her non-dominant
hand) she was able to begin
 “hello, this is [Dolly].   I
just wanted you to know
that I’m a good girl, and
have always tried to be…”

And then she broke down,
sobbing.  Couldn’t read any
 more to me.  And I told her
 that it was all right—she
 didn’t need to read it to
me, she just needed to read
 it herself.

In our very best moments,
we submerge ourselves in
the urgent flow, the need to
perform our daily tasks. 
We lose perspective on who
we are.  The very best people
are most likely to see only
what remains to be done, the
 imperfections of their work,
 the flaws in their craft, the
failings of their character.

The very people who love
the most, give the most, strive
 the most for excellence are
 the ones least likely to actually
 take joy in their process, and
feel pride in their accomplishments.
   These are the ones who
most need to forgive themselves,
 accept themselves, take joy
in the present moment, and…
love themselves.

That love they felt when their
mothers held them as infants
…that they felt holding their
own newborn children…that
 they may have felt dancing,
or playing with a favorite pet,
 or planting flowers, or playing
 with a band, or falling in love
 for the first time…there are
moment we all have, if we can
 stop and remember them.

whether you remember them
 or not.  Babies who are not
given nurturance wither and
 die.   If you can only go deep
 enough to remember one such
occurrence, it will clear some
 of the emotional fog to
 remember others.

And when you connect that
 sense of love to your younger
 self, allow the days of your
life between that younger you
and who you are now to flow
with that precious healing emotion…
You open the floodgates of
creativity, joy, and passion.
  Remember the equation:
Goal X Faith X Constant Action X Gratitude = Results.
Love, in other words, is as
important as work.  Faith as
important as focus.   What do
 we tell children?  What did
I tell Jason before his first
 Judo tournament, when he
 was afraid of letting himself
…and even worse, me, down?
     “If you do the best you can,
 with all your heart, I will be
proud of you…and we’re going
for ice cream!”

And he went out and kicked butt. 
 Expressed his excellence.  
With joy.  
Give that gift, of JOYFUL
excellence, to yourself, every day.
I do think that love, and joy, and
excellence, is the topic of my
Diamond Hour show this Saturday. 
Feels right!
Diamond Hour July show. - Saturday,
 July 13, 2013 1:00 PM Pacific
 Daylight Savings time (4:00 PM Eastern)
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1 comment:

Terry H said...

Having trouble getting Indiegogo to accept my contribution.