This is the favorite line of my friend, TJ. When I was shaking and panicking before an impromptu song number (a requirement for a course), in his sweet and carefree tone, he prodded me saying, "Just be, Karen. Just be!". When I was cramming to reach my goal during our intensive leadership program, he repeated this line again. And again, when we partnered in a difficult project. It seemed like this was his answer for everything, "Just be!".
What a simple yet powerful fix! What he means is to tap into my inner resources. Just be happy! Just be free! Just be honest! Just be me. There's no need to put on a mask or a show. No more pretenses. I only need to bring out my strengths and my core qualities.
Sometimes, what is exhausting is the extreme focus on the task or even the end result. Often, it is nerve wracking, hairsplitting, or simply stressful. I realize that when I focus on the virtue or the inner power that a situation allows me to practice then there is value.
I remembered, what Sister Tims shared with me when we ran programs to celebrate the International Year of Youth . She related, "Sure, the events were successful but what's really important was your process. How was your stage (how did you hold yourself) during and right after this?".
The end never justifies the means. It's always about what I am becoming.