“What do you do?” is an acceptable and politically correct question for all circumstances.
But once we replace “to do” and “to have” with “to be”, it’s a whole different universe. Not the same ballgame at all. We are relating to others on an entirely different level. That is, if the person we are speaking to even wants to have the conversation.
To the question “Who are you?”, most people answer: “I’m a doctor, a coach, an engineer, a hairdresser or a researcher.” All the things they DO, but not what they ARE.
And yet, we are Human Beings, not Human Havings or Human Doings.
The verb “to be” is at its most powerful when unaccompanied. Like its friend “to love”. “I love you” is sufficiently powerful on its own. It is only diminished when we add something like “a lot”.
“To be” without any justification at all has the same power because all the packaging has been removed. Only the essence remains.
What about you? Who are you?
We hide behind very opaque masks. I’m not talking about anti-COVID masks but the attentive spouse, omnipresent manager, loving mother, docile daughter ones.
These masks protect us from others but they make who we really are disappear.
A facade or a refuge. And we take refuge behind our facades. But are our facades likeable?
What if 2021 was the year of transparency?
The year when our masks drop and we relate to others on a different level? A level where we are likeable and we know how to like others?
Few people cry out: yippee, ironing!
This boring chore can eventually be improved by watching a television programme while doing it.
Sleeping on a creased sheet that’s straight out of the tumble dryer is not in the least bit appealing.
Our brain irons and tidies up every night. It smooths out, folds and stores all of our daily experiences to our internal hard drive.
We have two options to deal with a “crushed” relationship which annoys or upsets us: either we smooth things out or we put it to one side with the others that are piling up…and that we continue to keep an eye on.
The question is: do we still nurture the childlike hope that our creased washing will disappear by magic or do we have the courage to do something about it?
It’s not the sign on our door that makes us what we are but the person who knocks on it.
It’s our clients who make our workspace special. Without clients, this same space would be little more than a storeroom.
Some of them appreciate our talents but we find that hard to believe. We put it down to luck or their kindness.
They talk about behaviour that seems so normal to us that we struggle to see it as talent.
Just like fish who can’t see they’re in the water.
What if we accepted other people’s ability to see the best in us? Their ability to define our qualities? Want to be defined?
“What’s next?” is probably the most frequently asked question. We are always on the go and in action.
There is no free time in our overbooked schedules any more. Time to look out of the window, to daydream, or even hug our children…even when they’re about to go to school.
We are stuck on the first letter of the alphabet. A for action! Followed by B for business, C for chores, D for development, E for errands, F for forty winks…25 letters until we finally reach Z for zen.
Our inner journey makes us work through our own alphabet book. Some have reached M for meditation or S for sorry.
Paolo Coelho said: “in life, everything is a sign”. What about V for visible, so you can see the signs all around you?