She sauntered into the room atop hot heels. Scattering sexy and sheepish smiles. Oozing intelligence and experience. Like cultured creatures, we approached one another - a blonde Professor of Insecurities and a brunette Professor of Irresistibility. We sized each other up, shook hands and traded words of welcome. I thanked her in advance for joining me, us. For sharing her wiles and her wisdom. She thanked me for inviting her. We were off to a good start.
As some of you know, I hosted Happier Hour Part Deux this past Wednesday night. Along with seventyish other women (including one of my beloved bloggy buds and one male crasher!), I welcomed the fabulous Marie. And she didn't disappoint. To the contrary, Marie wowed us all, sharing brilliant bits of her expertise and experience (her nixed engagement, her foray into hip-hop, her self-publishing bravery, her insights on being rich, happy, and hot). She made us laugh deeply and nod fiercely.
Marie did something on Wednesday night that I attempt to do here every day at Ivy League Insecurities: She told her story and in doing so, she told ours. She talked about how alike we all are. Brunette or blonde, young or old, shy or bold, city or country, we are all going through many of the same things. We all face many of the same challenges. We are all victims and victors in the same thing: Life.
And it became clear - and instantly - that Marie is good for far more than dating advice. Her fabulous book How to Make Every Man Want You is indeed a Trojan Horse. Sure, it contains tips on lassoing good men, but at bottom, it is a guidebook on how to love. Self and other. And how to live. Well and fully.
And so. I am a wee bit biased, but I think the night was pure magic. We sipped cocktails and savored conversation. We were silly and serious all at once. We listened and learned. We allowed ourselves - on a random Wednesday in April - to slow down, open up, and be happier.
Marie shared so many compelling ideas about presence and purpose, but one in particular struck me. And I wanted to share that idea with you because this idea has already changed something in me. It was, and is, that powerful. An existential light switch of sorts.
You are not your mind.
You have a mind, but you are not your mind.
Marie elucidates this concept in her book,
You have a mind, but you are not your mind. You are also not the conversation you have with yourself in your mind. You may be thinking, "What conversation? What is she talking about?" That one!
...Your mind ... is a past/future fear-based machine that is primarily concerned with survival. It's always comparing, analyzing, scheming, and talking to you about what you need to do in order to become better, prettier, more successful, or more attractive. The mind is usually not supportive of your irresistibility. It likes to talk about your mistakes and how bad, unattractive, stupid, or unworthy you are. (By the way, none of those things your mind talks to you about are actually true, but unless you become aware that you are not your mind, you believe them to be true.)
As someone who is tethered to a busy and buzzing mind, a mind that does not cease with its creative and critical chatter, this was good and necessary for me to hear. I love my mind dearly, but sometimes, often, it distracts me and drags me down.
I am more than my mind. Far more. We all are.
It seems that I was not the only one who was shaken - in a good way - by Marie's musings. Kate Northrup - my friend who generously introduced me to Marie and who was also with us on Wednesday night - wrote a great post yesterday about how she too is more than her mind.
We are not minds. Or bodies. We are people. People with bounty to bring and luggage to carry. With questions to live and love to give.
We are all insecure. We are all irresistible.
Thank you, Marie, for making Happier Hour such a smashing success and for waking me up to the reality that I am more than my marvelously manic mind.
- Do you have any professional/intellectual crushes?
- Do you agree that we are more than our minds, than the conversations in our heads?
- Do you believe that we are more alike than we are different?
- Do you believe that insecurity and irresistibility can commingle in us?
- Do you think that, in some part, our insecurities and humanness can add to our irresistibility?
- Do you think we are so insecure, to some extent, because we do not feel irresistible enough?
- Have you ever encountered an idea or person that triggered a profound realization in you? What was that idea?
ILI DAILY CHARM: MORE OF ME!
Today you can also find me and my words next door at Amy's wonderful blog the Never-True Tales! Is it a bit bizarre and egotistical to feature myself a daily charm? Perhaps. But Amy's blog is well worth a visit. And anyway, as my friend Gretchen Rubin says (or quotes someone who said?): "Ubiquity is the new exclusivity."