"There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it." ~Elizabeth A. Behnke

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about those stupid little boxes we cram ourselves, and others, into. Let me give you an example. I’ll use some overly simplified, yet stereotypical, profiles to illustrate my point.

To fit the box titled ACTIVIST, one must:
• Burn her bra
• Wear Birkenstocks
• Sport protest t-shirts (at all times)
• Love camping, yoga and eating tempeh
• Angrily defy authority at all costs

To fit the box titled WRITER, one must:
• Quit her day job and suffer for her art
• Enjoy reading Walden by Thoreau
• Sit around having philosophical discussions with other writers
• Be deep thinking and/or brooding
• Live on coffee and cigarettes

To fit the box titled ATHLETE, one must:
• Wear Nike or Adidas clothing
• Be strapped to a heart monitor at all times
• Love to ski, cycle and run marathons
• Live on protein shakes, grilled chicken and egg whites
• Have a subscription to Sports Illustrated or Runner's World

To fit the box titled LEADER, one must
• Live to Work
• Wear a power suit
• Be attached to a cell phone at all times
• Have and office and an important sounding title
• Earn lots of money

The list goes on...
Fat = Lazy
Thin = Healthy
Rich = Happy
Poor = Unhappy

Silly isn’t it? I wonder when it starts. Does it stem from early gender stereotypes such as blue for boys and pink for girls? Perhaps it starts in school when we get labelled as jocks, nerds or freaks? Is it marketing and media that influence society, giving us parameters for good and bad, normal and undesirable? However we arrive at these judgments, accurate or not, we need to be aware of them in order to keep ourselves from eliminating many of the wonderful options available to us in life. If you’re waiting for a protest sign to be an ACTIVIST, waiting to quit your day job to become a WRITER, waiting for a promotion to be a LEADER, or waiting to run a marathon to be an ATHLETE, you’ll be doing just that – waiting.

Waiting to neatly fit into a specific box is a waste of time - time that could be spent DOING instead of just thinking. Human beings are complex creatures. We have many loves, many dreams, many talents and many fears. Life is messy and unruly – it can’t be tamed. There is brilliance in ALL people and we do a disservice to ourselves and others by trying to categorize how it should look or be offered.

NOW is the time to start something. NOW is the time to display your greatness. NOW is the time to stretch those D.A.R.E muscles because life has no biases - it waits for no one.

Sharing the journey,

Originally posted on Dames Who D.A.R.E

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