Last weekend, I spoke with a close friend and colleague who is also a successful comedian. She had just finished two nights at an important show. She shared her excitement over her performance as well as a bit of disappointment it was over. In the midst of her storytelling, something clicked. She paused and her tone shifted.
“The thing is, I don’t want to admit this to myself, but the joy is really in the process,” she said. “The process is the part I really love.”
And she’s right. We spend so much energy thinking about the performance, the event or the interview. We envision ourselves succeeding and work tirelessly to get to that point. We believe the work will get us to the end result, where we’ll finally find the sense of accomplishment we desire. But that’s just a story.
The real joy is in the process.
If you haven’t read or listened to Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth, you just may fall in love with her spiritual perspective on beauty. In my experience, the greatest expression of beauty is when the inside and outside are aligned in a way that makes us feel authentic and whole. We are happiest when what we feel inside matches what we show to the outside world, which is not limited to our physical appearance, but includes our ways of speaking, writing and connecting.
If a conventionally beautiful woman has a hateful or bitter heart, she will not radiate beauty. And if a woman who writes delicious poetry — expressing the full human experience — covers herself in dark clothing and mumbles when she speaks, we will never have the gift of seeing her fully. And we want to see her.
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Earlier this week, I spoke with a close friend and colleague. He’s going through stuff. I’m going through stuff. We are all — always — going through stuff.
We are infinite beings, continually growing, shifting and changing.
In our culture, we often assume the process of going through something means we have issues or problems. Maybe we do. But that’s okay. Because going through or experiencing life’s challenges simply means we are in process and alive. If we weren’t going through, we’d be hitting a wall. And then we’d have a real problem.
In the midst of our conversation, my friend said, “I just want to have inspiring conversations and talk about great shit, not my personal shit that’s in the way.”
And then it hit me. “This is the great shit,” I replied.
This is it. The ups and downs, back and forth, gain and loss, ebb and flow of life — this is what we are here to experience, discuss, process and share with others.
This is your experience, your reality and your story.
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