One size does not fit all. ~ Frank Zappa
As a musician who became a coach, I regularly ask my clients this jammin’ question, “so, are you ready to rock life?”
If your answer to my question’s yes, then the classic Zappa quote may aid you. It touts in its fun way the fact of the uniqueness of each of us. And those who know about Frank will tell you that he was a man who walked his talk.
As a musician/composer and provocateur during the Vietnam era and beyond, Zappa created his own rock life legacy of compelling, original music and acerbic social commentary. From genre-busting musical styles and types of ensembles, lyrics that took down sacred cows, and a lifestyle that was part of his art, he lived his truth. His own unrepeatable, creative life.
Enter this season of opportunity in your beautiful life.
Are you considering stepping off the beaten path? Marching to the beat of your own drummer?
I’m having fun with clichés here to reinforce the truth that the question of whether and how to live in a way that’s uniquely you is oh, so human. It’s the stuff of tales and sayings from way back in human history. And yet, still and always, it’s an exciting challenge — I dare say a deeply sacred one — for each of us.
Societal norms and expectations are part of “the collective”, the often competing, conflicting “shoulds”, “musts” and “must-nots” that come to us from culture, from family, both living and ancestral. And your own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs are gathering places for everything you’ve inherited on your journey so far.
These outer and inner norms and expectations tend to want to shape your life and choices. This is the case both consciously and unconsciously, in ways that you readily see and experience, and in ways that you may need to work at uncovering, exploring, and debunking.
Have you heard these tunes?
“Men don’t do the primary parenting.”
“Small business is hard. Our people have never been successful entrepreneurs.”
“Get a real job, then do whatever you want as a hobby.”
“Higher education is not for…” (insert whatever here).
“You can travel (write, etc.) later.”
“Show me the money.”
What drumbeat makes your toes twitch?
As you chart your course this season, it’s important to reflect on how societal/cultural/familial expectations are coming into play.
Does the path that’s calling you fit within sanctioned possibilities, or not?
This includes voices in your circle of important relationships and wider cultural messages. Just as importantly, it also includes perspectives that have become part of your inner dialogue: truisms, fears, and taboos that you may not be aware of unless you consciously seek this level of self-knowledge.
Frank Zappa also said,
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
How can permission to deviate from the norm aid you? How can your decision to rock your life free you to live your unique dream and meet your individual potential?
Take time to reflect on and have heartfelt conversations about what you really want. Consider societal norms, family norms, and your own entrenched ways of seeing yourself, of judging your capabilities.
Question your own habits, all the large and small parts of your way of being and living that either serve the goal-oriented part of you — the greatness in you — or don’t.
Kindly be the YOU you know you must be.
Your preparation to rock life’s ultimately about establishing your own “bottom line.”
This is about who you truly are — today, this year, this decade — it’s up to you to clarify what really matters to you.
What are you willing to work toward come hell or high water? Your goals, values, and dreams? With this kind of clarity, you can rock life in ways that keep you, well… you.
In this process, remember, too, that it’s important to be kind. Be kind to others who you want to understand you. Be kind to yourself, especially to those parts of you that may be afraid of disappointment, of disillusionment, of failure. Of rejection from the collective.
In conversations with yourself and others, bring your best you. There’s power in these efforts to define yourself in ways that inspire you, and then to share with others — from your closest circle and beyond — who you really, truly, passionately are.
And rock on.
Then, yes, rock life, my friends. With permission to deviate from the norm, choosing, committing to, and acting consistently on what fits you best — in your size, color, style, and more.
And as you settle in for the wild, wonderful journey of living your truth, get yourself a coach!
We’re here for exactly those extraordinary folks who are determined to rock and roll at their own chosen tempo.