I have a funny internal dialogue when I notice from the corner of my eye that my clients are checking out my wardrobe before I sit down in my therapy chair. Are they looking at my shoes to see if they match my outfit?
I chuckle inside when I internally voice, “I bet they don’t know I haven’t painted my nails or toenails for over a year.” I also haven’t used a flat iron for my hair in the past three months, but who’s counting.
It’s more important that my clients pay attention to their growth, our work, and my words; not my comfortable fashion sense, my white teeth, or my wavy hair (which, by the way, is a beautiful combination of my mom’s long curly hair and my dad’s shiny straight hair).
I rave to my family and friends about Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things, co-produced by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. In the documentary, Joshua Fields Millburn says, “There’s a template out there. You can call it the American Dream, or keeping up with the Joneses, or whatever. That’s just a template. It’s not thee template. And once we realize that, I think we can create our own template that works just for us.”
The way we feel about ourselves says a lot about how we interact with the world. Part of self-esteem includes owning our strengths, limitations, and areas of growth. Low self-esteem can result in thinking we are not “enough”: not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, worthy enough, talented enough, etc. The list goes on and on.
In the same documentary, neuroscientist, Sam Harris, Ph.D., says, “We’re ruminating about past and future in a way that keeps us from really connecting with the present moment in a way that values it as good enough. Meditation is a technique of finding well-being in the present moment before anything happens. You can be happy and satisfied simply being aware of the sensation of breathing.”
One of my biggest takeaways from the documentary is valuing this moment as good enough; not perfect, not horrible, but simply good enough. In my experience, we don’t need to do more, have more, see more, or hear more. We just need to be more, and naturally we will be more.
Because I care about myself, I don’t keep up with the “Joneses.” I keep up with my values. If I have difficulty, I engage in self-care and mindfulness to value the present moment once again. I also lean on my support network. They do a fine job reminding me of what’s truly important.
What’s important to you?
(For more information, you can check out Minimalism on Netflix. Alternatively, learn more about Joshua and Ryan, at theminimalists.com.
For an on-line guided meditation resource, you can check out Tara Brach, at tarabrach.com.
For a reading resource, you can check out Brené Brown’s book, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I am Enough.”)