“Rivet yourself of your own personality”

Her eyes welled up when she described the importance of timing for the photograph. In her message was something for everyone.

She was a photography student of mine at a recent class. After the last session, she wanted to talk about the possibility of having a portrait created of her and her beloved dog. There are a lot of variables, and not merely a matter of setting a time; however, timing is everything. Her dog was recently diagnosed with cancer.

She shared her concerns about the dog’s grooming (Would the treatment cause the dog’s hair to fall out? Would she have to groom the dog in an unattractive way to accommodate the treatment areas?). She remained matter-of-fact discussing the issues. Then she paused, and said, “But I don’t know what effect the medication will have on her. I want the images…I want her to have a sparkle in her eye…”

I replied, “You want her personality to show.”

She smiled and her eyes welled. “Yes,” she said.

The conversation continued, but the message holds for us all: true personality matters. Be you.

In several of my workshops and presentations, I use a process to help attendees see their lives in different contexts to empower them based on who they are, the lives they’ve lived and the personalities that are theirs alone. (Next workshop coming May 9, look under Events) Part of the process requires attendees to think of the terms that people who love them use to describe them. Not all the terms are flattering, but they are real. And despite these terms, they are loved.

I am confident that the woman’s dog was not always perfect and never made “mistakes” on the floor and such. But it was recalling the dog’s personality that caused the tears to form.

People love and remember authenticity, personality, openness and genuineness. Be that. Be you. Be loved.

PS: The title of this edition comes from a poem by Walt Whitman, titled “To A Pupil.” We are all students of life, gleaning wisdom and knowledge about the world and ourselves from everywhere we can.

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