Yet, happiness cannot be a goal. It is the by-product of living with our values matching our behavior. It’s all about owning our power.
How do you give away your happiness? For women, the answer is easiest to see in how we deal with difficult people and situations.
“Difficult people are irritants. They can help us make pearls.” My mother, Beba G. Gurri, said when we came across difficult people. Somehow, I have faith that we have all taken turns creating and harvesting a long string of pearls.
Red Shoe Story
At the age of four, my family escaped from Cuba with one suitcase and the clothes we wore. In quiet defiance to Castro, my mother, Beba, wore beautiful and impractical red shoes.
When we got to Miami, most everyone was lovely. One exception stands out. A woman pointed to my mother’s red shoes, and declared, “Those shoes make you look loose.” Beba stiffened in anger, then quickly relaxed. In her beautiful accent she proudly said, “Jes! I can dance!” For me, those red shoes seemed to magically harness the power of yuckiness with courage, humor, and grace.
The Red Shoe Attitude was born. It’s about choosing happiness, inviting excellence, and owning our power. Anyone can harness the power of negativity into positive thoughts, feelings, and actions. No one can keep us from our goals, from happiness, or from owning our power.
Three Foundational Truths
Power up by accepting three Foundational Truths about difficult people. Difficult people: 1. Are all around us. 2. Are sometimes us. 3. Help us make pearls… or not! If we dive into the task of understanding what makes people tick, free of harsh judgements, we can respond graciously and effectively to almost anyone. Mindfulness is key.
The Power of Genuine
We are all wonderful and awful. Own your power by asking yourself: “How did I contribute in any way to this person being difficult or seeming to be difficult?” Self-awareness is that gift that keeps on giving. Knowing ourselves is vital to our success and happiness.
A Red Shoe Attitude feeds the personal power that comes from knowing ourselves, others, and the contexts in which we find ourselves. We are all difficult sometimes.
Choose Happiness, Own Your Power
The next time you face a difficult person, or do a great impersonation of one, get excited! Start with compassion, understanding, and a generous sense of humor. Remember, no one can make you grumpy or keep you from your goals. Choose happiness. Own your power.
Step up in your ruby reds and make it a Red Shoe day!
Written for Sibyl Magazine, July 2015