“If you look deep within, you will find a brilliant light.
Too many, far too many, squint and
turn away from the shine.
Let your eyes adjust, and bathe in the radiance.”
Image re-blogged with permission from Princess Lasertron
I very much had a work persona and a home persona for almost a decade. Maybe it was an influence of growing up in Germany, where interactions are much more formal and addressing someone over 20 by first name is by invitation only. You are less inclined to share your deepest thoughts with Mr. or Mrs. Smith than when talking with John and Jane.
I also didn’t want people to know too much about me. Yet privacy is changing as online media blur the lines between work and home. I still think of LinkedIn as my professional sphere and Facebook as my family sphere. I had to think long and hard about accepting coworkers to my Facebook list. Suddenly my compartmentalization of people began to shift. (They did become friends eventually-not just on Facebook).
At work last year I wanted people to see me as professional and capable, as even-tempered and easy to work with. I am all those things, I wasn’t staging that. It was more that I was holding back my creativity, my humor, and my true thoughts. I was performing.
“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence actually liberates others.”
Now that I am my own boss my life has no boundaries between work and play. Playing is working because I am experimenting with where my passions lie and how to monetize that. My interactions at social and networking events are more holistic and authentic. I don’t hide a certain part of me to play the role of “office Maike”. I don’t have to conform to a dress code or a keep a preferred schedule, nor do I need to ask for approval to take care of a personal errand.
In keeping with not hiding, I just submitted this piece for a student exhibit at the Evanston Art Center. I took my drawing class there, and was introduced to encaustics at a workshop in January 2010. I even let my Meetup organizers know about it, something my old self wouldn’t have done.
Migrant Danaus, photography and collage by Maike’s Marvels
In all this self-work on authenticity and integrity, it seems that when you truly own up to what you want to do, you are actually aligning yourself with being you full-time. Maybe when you truly love what you do and where you work there is no compartmentalization anymore. There will still be privacy and boundaries, but on a different level.
I want to be seen as radiant, successful, trustworthy, artistic, supportive, talented, and purposeful, with a festive rainbow ribbon on my lapel (or my shoes).
“Be who you are nothing more nothing less
and let the beauty that you love be the very best
Sing praises to the highest with your feet on the ground
And reach for your brother with the words that you sound and
Don’t let mistakes be so monumental, and
Don’t let your love be so confidential, and
Don’t let your mind be so darn judgmental
And please let your heart be more influential”
~ Micheal Franti in Hey Now Now