Director's Message: What do you want to be? Courageously different?

June 22, 2007
Being courageously different means being your unique self.

June, as the midpoint of the year, is the perfect time to reexamine yourself. When was the last time you looked at your New Year's Resolutions? If you wrote down your 2007 goals and directions, review them now and measure your achievements.

If you have succeeded in any of your resolutions, take time to congratulate yourself. If you have accomplished only a few or none at all, give yourself permission to relax. Either way, your life has changed since six months ago, and now is the time to scrap that list and plot a fresh course with new directions and goals.

Ask yourself: "What do I want to be?"

I ask myself this question at least once a day, sometimes more. In fact, I essentially ask myself that question all the time, with every article or editorial, with the phone calls I make, and the emails I send. Every communication is an invitation to go off course and that is precisely my wish: I no longer want to stay on course.

I remember the days when staying on course was the goal, when fulfilling expectations was the norm. Yet going off course, consciously and confidently, is the only way to stay congruent with who you are in what you feel and do. This mindset, to me, is courage.

Lenora Billings-Harris, president of the National Speaker's Association, reinforced this sentiment in her CSP audio message in the April issue of Speaking with Soul and Substance. Ms. Billings-Harris described her thoughts on being "courageously different," quoting Oprah Winfrey, who once defined courage this way:

" The true meaning of courage is to be afraid, and then with your knees knocking and your heart racing, step out anyway, even when that step makes sense to nobody but you."

Being courageously different means being your unique self. Many times, we know what we want to do but restrain ourselves from doing it, failing to trust ourselves to go off course. Instead we rely on what others are doing and feel we must do the same. I invite you to leave the tried and true behind, trust in your actions, even if viewed by others as brazen. I invite you to step off course and into courageously different.

Marianne Williamson, internationally acclaimed author and lecturer, also spoke about courage, and many of you may be familiar with her following message:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."< /i>

I recognize the value of the courageously different hygienists out there. I am also continually grateful to the readers for their support of RDH eVillage and the PennWell Corporation.

Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, BS
Director, RDH eVillage