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© June 15, 2009
Hello !
The year is half gone, and life is very good.  I've had a number of successes and reached a number of goals. It's getting exciting as I approach my August 28th retirement date from my day job. The later date works better for all concerned and allows me to accomplish a couple of other important things. BUT, the paperwork is in, and it's official.
May 18th marked the completion of my year as president of the Professional Photographers' Society. We had a very successful year, and a very successful conference, thanks to the team that helped me.  I could not have done it without them, and I really enjoyed being their cheerleader!  Finally, I had one other honor, that actually took me by surprise. Syracuse Post reporter Amber Smith was doing an article on people with winning attitudes, and someone suggested she speak with me. As a result I was included in a news story as one of five people in Central New York who had a winning attitude and that article appeared on the web as well as in newsprint. I remain somewhat humbled by it (but it sure felt good.)
There's a rumor going around... that I spend all my time at my computer, writing and answering emails (and now Twittering) and never get out to do any socializing.  That's not (exactly) true.  As a matter of fact, just this morning I had breakfast with my friend Josh Shear. Josh is exceptionally well read and informed, has great insights, and we always have great conversations. And unlike me, Josh is not real long on words, so when he has something to say he tends to get to the point without a lot of fanfare.

For example, this morning I noticed a couple of guitar cases in the corner of his living room, and I made an exceptionally astute observation. I said, "Hey, Josh; you've got TWO guitar cases," and in his Josh-like manner, he replied, "Yup. Ya got two guitars, they won't fit into one case." That took care of that.

So I arrived at his house fairly promptly (only 5 minutes late) and when I walked into his kitchen, I was greeted by some very appetizing aromas. He'd prepared an excellent breakfast, timed to serve as soon as I arrived, so after a few pleasantries he delivered this feast to the table, and we chatted and consumed. I drank the lion's share of his double-brewed coffee (Starbucks could learn a thing or two), and after we cleared the breakfast dishes, we retired to his living room to finish catching up.

Having previously been educated regarding guitars, cases and the limitations of spacial relationships, I asked whether he played guitar in any of the local establishments, and he said no. "I had a CD in 2003... sold them all and just have a few left." I held out my hand expectantly, saying, "well...what's up? I don't have one" and waited for him to give up the bounty, when he stated quite matter-of-factly, "No."

"... that music is no longer representative of who I am."

I was stunned!
I was not stunned that he said "No;" I was stunned by the elegant simplicity of his statement! "That ... is no longer representative of who I am."

How many people are TIED to an identity that no longer reflects who they are? TRAPPED inside a "who" they feel they cannot change? How many people do you know who are stuck in "that's just the way I am; I can't change it" or "people know me; this is what they expect of me..." How many people are saddled with an identity that is "no longer representative" of who they are -- and more importantly, who they want to be? Are you?

If you are, then maybe this is your own personal independence day. Anthony Robbins said, "the past does not equal the future." Who you were is not who you have to be going forward.

So, if this applies to you, repeat after me:
  • "I reserve the right to change."
  • "I reserve the right" to NOT be the person I was years ago.
  • "I reserve the right" to be someone other than the person you thought I was back then.
  • "I reserve the right" to become different, stronger, learn more, grow more, and get better.
  • "I reserve the right" to leave behind an identity that does not empower me.
  • Dear self: I am not that old self-limiting person I used to be. That image of me is no longer representative of who I am."
What a powerful, incredibly freeing concept.
You don't have to be who you were.  You can choose at any moment, to be a new you, a different you, a true you... for today.  In the book "Illusions" by Richard Bach, are these words:"Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake..."
So the next time you start to doubt yourself, or feel a tug to do something that's not you anymore, go to your mirror, look into your own eyes and say, "I'm not that person! That stuff is no longer representative of who I am." Then pat yourself on the back for noticing ;-)

That's your first step. Stayed tuned for more. 
Talk to you soon.  Have an excellent day.
P.S.  If you enjoyed this Ramblings, consider forwarding it to a friend or associate who might enjoy it.  If you received this newsletter as a forward and you enjoyed it, you may subscribe via web form at http://www.ringold.net/mbr_refer.htm or send a blank email to ramblings@aweber.com. Thank you for reading.

4747 Stonehurst Road, Liverpool, NY 13090, USA