I hope this message finds you well on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon. Better than "well" I hope it finds you inspired, imaginative, and taking action to bring your dreams to life. If you aren't feeling inspired, maybe of beating yourself up, maybe you're straight up having a shitty day.... see this an opportunity to search for meaning. Life is a constant ebb and flow, one that moves between light and dark. As I get older, and reflect back on my life, I understand that suffering is the key to transformation- don't discount the days when you feel like shit. That feeling means you are seeking, seeking, seeking...
I had an incredibly productive day on Monday, working on my book proposal for hours, letting the words flow out with little thought. Then Tuesday rolls around and BAM!, the day is over before I know it. I spent most of the day dealing with things that were important but not how to, or had planned on, spending my time.
No matter how disciplined we are, sometimes situations are thrown at us and we have to adjust. Life happens. Everything is always changing, especially now as we try to keep up with technology. The challenge is not to beat ourselves up when this happens, but to be like water, go with the flow, and remember that one unproductive or "bad" day doesn't mean life is ending!
Right now, in my life, I find myself constantly seeking. Not seeking out the next adventure, or partner, or job- but seeking answers internally. Why am I here? What do I have to share with the world? How can I be a better human being, kinder, more compassionate, more loving? Where does courage come from? How can I honor every day as a gift? What the heck does it mean to be a HumanHero? Occasionally it feels like a nudge from god, saying "Hey, pick up those pencils, grab your sketchbook, prep that canvas, and lets create together." I'm doing my best to honor that voice.
The "Human" doesn't come before the "Hero" by accident. We need help- from our higher power, from our friends, our family, from strangers. The more we empathize with each other- understanding that we are all suffer, we all struggle, we all have stress in our lives- the better we will treat each other. The struggle, that's part of being a human.
Then comes the Hero, a word that has universal meaning with so many different definitions-dependent on history, culture, and frankly just how the HUMAN is feeling in that moment. I'm most interested in the feeling the word brings about when I speak it, or write it. It's one of those words than can make you feel empowered and completely terrified at the same time. Humility is something we link with being a HERO, not something we link we being a HUMAN. So to call yourself a HERO sounds contradictory to what the word means.
It sounds contradictory- but how does it feel? To say, "I am a human being. I have a body, I have a brain, I have a heart. My life is made up of experience and relationships, warm light and dark nights. My life is shaped by the actions I take, and the actions I take are determined by my mindset." It's not all you are, but its a good place to start- whether you believe in energy, karma, fairy dust, whatever--- whatever it is that you are, you are having it through the experience of a human being.
This is the first truth.
The second truth is that your health- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual-- is paramount. Like they say on airplanes, please place your mask on first before assisting others. You have to save yourself before you can save anyone else. Saving can be swapped for healing, helping, lifting up, grounding down, reminding, remembering, caring for, cleaning up, getting clear, being honest, powering up, and powering down... or any other feeling that is based in love, promotes growth, and gets you to the next level on your journey.
Doctors, warriors, teachers, mentors, those who's duty is to do what is right for the betterment of you, and in turn the betterment of all-- this is heroism. Why would you treat yourself with any less compassion, courage, and unwavering faith in yourself? You have a duty to yourself. Its not selfish. Its filling yourself up so you can best be of service to those around you, and the world at large.
I originally started writing these words as an introduction for the Bruce Weber piece I did for Racked Magazine. It's my second time speaking up about sexual harassment in the modeling industry. It required me to lean into fear instead of run away from it. This is how change happens. This is how growth happens. That's what courage is, moving towards fear. And I didn't find that courage, it found me.
The women that came forward before any male model would ever have the guts to do so... They spoke their truth to liberate themselves and free others from a future where it continues to happen. I'm doing my best to follow in their footsteps so no one is ever made to feel less than human.