Friday, March 8, 2013

Born to Do It

There's an R&B singer out of the UK - Craig David - who debuted the most kick ass R&B album in 2000 titled "Born to Do It." Get those little minds out of the gutter, friends... I know what you're thinking... "R&B?" "Born to do it?" "Sexxxxy time!" But I"m fairly certain he didn't mean knocking the boots. I think it was about being in the flow, you know, "in the zone" and being born to do something. Or so that's what I've decided he meant. I have no clue what the hell Craig David went on to do, but let me tell you what, "Born to Do It" was a smash success and that dude was definitely meant to DO that album. Trust, this is going somewhere, stick with me.

I held on to that album title in the recesses of my brain somewhere for the past 13 years. It surfaces once in awhile when I least expect it. The whole sassy, bravado of just owning something, being "born to do it," is a concept I really dig. But it's also a concept that requires two things that aren't quite so sexy: responsibility and courage. And for that, actually going out there and "doing it," often gets sidelined in exchange for just "doing something." If you'd be so kind as to lay down sit down beside me, let's share a little pillow talk before we go do it, shall we?

Sorry, had to dim the lights.

Okay, so here's what I know about "doing it:"

It is a responsibility that you must figure out. Welcome to the human race! You - yes YOU - are perfect in all your creation and were born to do something. Well that's pretty kick ass, right? But here's the rub, you owe it to the universe and whoever you pray to or give a shout out to, to fulfill that purpose. Now, don't get me wrong, figuring out what that purpose is, can be a real challenge. For me, that's been my Everest. I've always known I was meant to do something but I just couldn't pinpoint what. I could identify aspects of what I thought I was meant to do (help others, spread goodness, etc.) but it was like a magic eye. I saw a lot of fuzz. Nothing was popping out and revealing itself to me. So, I consistently told myself I didn't know what my purpose was yet, so I couldn't get started.

Now, let's all go ahead and do what needs to be done with that kind of thinking, let's call bullshit. Because that's exactly what that is. Here's the reality, this is life, and the whole picture doesn't present itself to you until you're sliding in to home in a pine box or urn. So if you're going to wait for your nicely wrapped purpose to show up, then just go lay down in that box now, because you're resolving yourself to not really living at all. I can hear you now, "okay, fine Shelley, so what do I do then?" Lucky for you, I came prepared for that question: you start by doing something that resembles an aspect of what you think your purpose is.

Let me give you a real life example, I want to be the next Oprah. Kind of a tall order, but I'm game for the challenge. So, how do I get started on that? For me, it means writing, being a passionate and curious listener and engaging with life as much and as attentively as possible. Have I built my do-gooder, Harpo empire yet? Not quite. But I am ten times happier than I was when I was "waiting to start," and I'd like to think I'm actually providing some benefit to the universe by being tuned in, open to, and helping others. And for that, I'm pretty certain I'm a few slides of the game piece closer to the purpose jackpot in this game of life.

It takes courage to leave your legacy. My mom and I were chatting this morning as I came home fired up from an awesome brunch where I was sharing some of my dreams and goals, with an amazing new friend. I was really selling my dream and my buzz to my mom... curls were bouncing, hands were flailing, eyes were wide, this was real deal, Shelley at a 10.0 on the scale. Somehow, my mom found a way to pipe up in the midst of all that Shelley and said: "when you were two months old I was at a party where they had a psychic. He looked at me and told me that I had a new baby that was going to be a helper of many people."

In that very moment I was a flood of thoughts and feelings. The magic eye got clear for a minute, Craig David's cd fell out of the backpack of my brain revealing its title, and I may or may not have gotten a little misty-eyed. Here's the deal guys, you can't possibly get to where you're meant to be going and leave that big, bad legacy that we all have within us if you're so afraid of letting your feet leave sure footing. It's just a fact of life: good stuff requires work. Great stuff requires risk. And ultra-life-changing-bad-ass-living-it-up stuff requires a lot of both: work and risk.

If you get nothing out of this post - other than the fact that I have amazing taste in early 2000's R&B and I have drank far too much caffeine today - take this: do one thing today that feels like it resembles an aspect of your purpose in some way, shape or form. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you're sorry you did that thing? You won't. Then, go do it again tomorrow, and the next day, add another thing the third day (you can see where this is going...) As one of my good friends recently shared with me, "little by little a little becomes a lot."


  1. Love it....such a wise lady...always so very encouraging and inspiring. I would love for you to read my attempt at a blog on my new life in Maine.

    1. Aw thanks Marianne!! I appreciate the kind words and am absolutely going to go check your blog out - I've been so inspired by your beautiful life you're creating in Maine - way to kick some ass, babe!!!