Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Protect Your Peace

Photo by Jason Naudi Photography 

“Have the clarity and courage to not enter every door and to not accept every invitation. Protect your peace.” ~ Thema Davis

Thema Bryant-Davis is a licensed psychologist, poet, dancer, and minister. Dr. Bryant-Davis, an Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, is Past-President of the Society for the Psychology of Women. The North Carolina Arts Council named her Emerging Artist of the Year.

When I first read this quote my initial reaction was "Wow, she summed up in one sentence what others have written entire books about.  

Here's my take.  I don't know about you but saying 'No' is not always the easiest thing to do.  Following your instincts, that gut feeling, is not always simple either.  Sometimes disappointing your family and friends is ugly.  But it has to be done in order to 'Protect your peace'. 

Some of those situations are as simple as not going out on a Saturday night because you're just too tired and just want to be home because you've been working long hours all week and on the go and just have to stop, even though your friends are all gonna be there and it would be a total blast.  

Others are not so simple when you have to weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself if the risk is worth taking and at what cost to your health or livelihood.  Will the long term end result be worth that effort and risk.  

As a business person and musician there have been dozens of opportunities that were offered to me quite often over the years.  Some I took and regretted, some I didn't take and regretted.  Some I took and they turned out fabulously, the ones I didn't and now wished I had, oh well, can't go back and get a redo.

When I first decided to go into business for myself after I retired from my regular job I had no idea that it would take up this much time and this much energy. But I jumped in and said what the heck, I've got nothing to lose really.  I'm glad I did because it's been fun "energy spent and time invested".  I've met amazing people and found out so much more about myself.  It has not sucked anything out of my life, it has only enhanced it in so many ways.  

My regular job was just that, regular.  I had no ambitions to move up in the company with all the added responsibilities and time that I did not want.  I had too many other things going on in my life outside of work that meant way more to me. So when I was offered promotions, some I took because it didn't require anything life changing, others I turned down because they would have disrupted too much and infringed on my 'outside of work' life.  And to be honest, I didn't mind being a worker bee in that situation.  

In the music industry sometimes it's hard to know who to trust.  Even at the local level people will say things and make promises that are only designed for their good not yours.  I learned that the hard way.  I'm sure youth and dreams had a lot to do with those choices.  So it was, for a long time, "Once bitten, twice shy".  And I'm sure looking back now that there were legitimate and honest opportunities I missed because I didn't believe in myself and my own ability to discern fact from fiction.  But once I learned to pay attention to my gut feeling I was able to deem an event or an offer good or bad for me.  

Clarity and Courage come with time.  Once you get through all the youthful emotional characteristics of your personality and realize the world will not come to an end if you decide not to rush around all over because you don't want to miss this or that event, or take a job or band offer every time one is presented only to realize that that job sucks just as much as the last one, and heavy metal music really isn't your thing, or follow your friends off that bridge just because they're your friends (Hmmm...maybe not the best analogy LOL).  But you know what I mean.  

If you are feeling uneasy, exhausted, or feel you are missing something maybe it is your life that is un-easy, your desire to be all and do all that is making you feel exhausted, and maybe it is YOU that you are missing.

Blessings to All


- I want to thank my friend JBH for sharing this quote -