Have you ever wondered what it might be like to take a temporary tour of someone else’s brain to see what it’s like to live in there? I do. This notion came to me as the result of once writing a list of people that I admired and noting the specific qualities about them that I would like to develop within myself. There were many names listed, but the only one that I remember is Grace Kelly, the lovely screen star turned real-life American princess of Monaco, the icon of perfection. I admired her grace, elegance, and beauty.
Today’s list has only two names, and when put together in the same sentence, seem absolutely ludicrous because on the surface they appear to be the pinnacle of contrast: Dolly Parton and the Dalai Lama. Dolly Parton, the worldly, glitzy glamorous entertainer, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, humble spiritual leader of Buddhism and political leader of Tibet. The very thought that there is any commonality between them makes me want to giggle.
Dally has been quoted as saying, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” Who doesn’t love Dolly? She’s smart, talented, unbelievably generous, utterly adorable, and has a heart of gold. The Dalai Lama is—well, he’s the Dalai Lama. I have never met him, but I know those who have and they report that His Holiness has an impish sense of humor and is quick to laugh at himself. There is something totally lovable about those who have the ability to poke fun at themselves.
Dolly is full of sparkles and spangles, big hair, eyelashes, and bedazzled fingernails. The Dalai Lama is a simple monk who wears only robes of saffron and maroon. Somewhere between the sparkle and spirituality lies a commonality that cannot be denied. Beneath the external appearance, there is a profound inner beauty, wisdom, strength, courage, intelligence, kindness, compassion, generosity of spirit, and a concern for the health and well-being of humanity.
Both offer a life of service simply by their presence in the world, by the very state of their being—Dolly by entertaining us with her considerable gifts and talents, and the Dalai Lama by his dedicated life of spiritual leadership and service to his country and to humanity. And yet at the same time, both are still human. Like them, we must find a balance between our persona and our soul, and deal with all aspects of our humanness. Both present us with a portrait of possibilities about who we are and how we present ourselves in the world, and how we walk around in our heads.
These icons inspire me to strive to embody the qualities in them that I admire the most. They make me want to recognize and acknowledge the best within myself and let go of all that is not. For me, it’s humility, compassion, kindness, generosity of spirit, self-acceptance, fearlessness, and humor to add a bit of lightheartedness to the mix. Which reminds me—my own unbedazzled fingernails were part of the inspiration for this blog, but that’s a story for another day.
Today, I would like to invite you to think about the people you admire, and what qualities they embody that you might like to add to your personal storehouse of ideals. The power of imagination is miraculous—if you can dream it, you can be it. If there are any qualities that you would like to adopt as a model to shape a new behavior for yourself, start dreaming!
I also invite and challenge you to inspire others by sharing your comments in the section below.
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).