When I was a little kid, I spent a lot of time playing by myself in the backyard, climbing trees, pretending I lived in the woods, and making up games. I wanted to do something that would get me in the Guiness Book of Records, and I got the book from the library, and I didn’t find anything I thought I could do. Even if I could beat the current hula-hooping record, did I want to try? Did that sound fun? No. But I wanted to do something unique, something different, something that no one else had ever done, so I created a game in which I would try to do something that no one else in the world had ever done before. For example, I’d run around my backyard in 10 clockwise circles and then do a little hop and switch directions for 10 more, and then do a combination of cartwheels and somersaults and handstands while reciting the alphabet backwards.
“I bet no one has ever done that before!” I’d say to absolutely no one, but then I figured, sure, someone maybe had. How could I be sure?
So I would narrow things down a little bit more, and I’d do a bunch of crazy jumps and flips and sing-songs and disco moves and then lick tree bark, and say, “I bet no one else in the whole world is doing this RIGHT NOW!”
And I would have doubts because really, how could I be sure that there wasn’t a 7 year old in China doing the same exact thing as me at the same time. I couldn’t be. There was no way to be certain. I would even add singing “My name is Maureen, Maureen Sullivan” to the tune of “My Country Tis of Thee” while doing my little theatrics:
“My name is Maur….aur - Reen…
Maur -aur - reen Sull - ivan
I live right here.
My brother’s name is Paul
He is so very small
He lives here, too.”
And et cetera. But still, maybe there was another Maureen Sullivan somewhere in China with a younger brother named Paul, singing these same lyrics to the tune of patriotic American tunes in her backyard at the exact same time. I had no way to prove that it wasn’t happening.
I would sit in my tree and think about it. It wasn’t likely, but I could not be sure.
So I’d tighten the parameters one more time:
With great certainty, I’d say, “No one else in the world is doing this right now, right here, this second.”
And they weren’t. I was alone. I was the only one in my backyard hopping all over the place and singing things backwards like a little freak while holding a backbend and trying to convert it into a walkover.
I don’t know where this desire to be different / do something different comes from, but (ironically) I know I’m not the only one in the world who has felt it strongly. Go into any big city and check out the architecture, the street art, the museums, the restaurants, the fashion, and you will find ample evidence of people leaning into their true natures. Our differences make this world so beautiful.
It took me many years to realize that in order to be sure I was doing something no one else was doing, I only had to be myself. I’m the only me, and being “me” is the only parameter I ever needed.
What do you say? I need to start making some changes here. I'm letting go of the focus on the self-care products because I'm traveling so much again and I'm not around to make them. The wearable art can be designed anywhere, so that's my focus now, but if you're interested in a mala or any of the self-care products, let me know.