This is one of the roses that bloom in the small garden that is right beside our front door. Our garden is tiny, and bare on the ground, but the roses are stunning. I certainly don’t have a green thumb, and I am constantly amazed at how spectacular the display is when the bushes grow from a fairly plain beginning. A while ago I spent some time working the soil and covered the garden with a very plain but effective mulch. This has been the result, and I love it. It feels like this tiny little display is the welcoming committee for people who visit our home. I’d like to think they set the tone for the visit – warm, open, inviting and unassuming.
I literally stop to smell the roses when I arrive home, and this has made me think about the type of welcome I present to people I encounter in my daily life. I don’t mean the literal features like a smile or a hand shake – I mean the unseen signals others feel when we are together. Brene Brown talks about the importance of authenticity when connecting with others, and I think she’s right. I know for me at the moment my foundation (soil and mulch to use the analogy!) are pretty basic. All I have to offer is my authentic self, and I am enjoying the experience of always endeavouring to show my authentic self. Always is the key here…in every instance…everyone who comes knocking at my front door.
I recently sold my business, and this means that the only welcome I have to present now is my own. I can’t hide behind a brand or an image portrayed in the media of my work with the brand. It’s just me. Sometimes it’s a struggle to be authentic. Sometimes I forget. When I am wearing my authenticity coat I am a better listener and a better person and I can sense that I have become better at staying in the moment. When I take my coat of authenticity off, I risk slipping into old habits – I let myself think ahead of what to say next or worry about how others see me; I sum up and judge others based on their appearance or, I behave in ways that are defined by past experiences. For me, being authentic means constantly reminding myself that I truly only have the moment I am currently living. It’s ok to celebrate when things go my way, it’s ok to laugh with others and to cry, it’s ok to say no when I have to, and it’s ok to be spontaneous without worrying about the judgement of others. Perhaps I have embraced the notion of authenticty because I don’t have an alternative right now. Nonetheless, I am grateful to be learning how to be my more authentic self. I have noticed lately that there have been people who have seen me recently and commented on my changed appearance. Let’s hope this is my own rose growing to welcome everyone.