go ahead. be a legend.

photo by Reen

I figure if a girl wants to be a legend,
she should just go ahead and be one.
~ Calamity Jane

I was bestowed with a bracelet for my birthday that has the above quote by Calamity Jane prominently stamped across the top. It’s a silver mix of leather and metal and it’s sassy as all get out. I love this bracelet so much, and not only because someone went out of their way to make sure that I have said wristlet or because it looks kick ass (which it does), but because it serves as a reminder to me that I am in charge of my own destiny. I could pretend that everything in my life is out of my control (which, admittedly, many things are), or I could recognize that I have direct influence over the one thing that matters when in comes to my destiny: choice.

It’s true that I can’t control many of the external situations in my life, but I have choice about how I respond to them through my thoughts, speech, or actions. As much as I hate to admit this sometimes, I have the most direct influence in how my life is going to be. I could be a lover or a hater. And that’s the truth.

I could also choose to be a legend in my own right.

And I do have aspirations for greatness. When it comes right down to it, I want to be someone I can feel good about- and that includes everything from daily acts of kindness to working for social services that I believe in. It includes being righteous when there’s a cause worth taking a stand for, and not feeling compelled to follow the masses just because it’s comfortable or easy. Being a legend means sometimes taking the uncomfortable or unpopular path and recognizing that the only compass available is your gut.

Maybe Calamity Jane isn’t the best role model, but she was indeed a legend– and she was a woman ahead of her time. I admire her tenacity, her spunk, and her willingness to be an original. I’m not planning to take up firearms or to begin a daily whiskey habit (note that I said daily) any time soon, but I do fully intend on living my own dharma and packing my own metaphorical pistol of truth along for the journey. I am bound for greatness.

So, of course, I made a list of inspirations for how to live like a legend:

  • Generate tapas/fire/energy through work and activities that inspire and engage you.
  • Be fierce in your love, faith, beliefs and allow them to guide you.
  • Laugh at yourself (loudly) and cry in messy ways. Allow someone else to clean up the mess.
  • Fight for a cause you believe in, stick to your guns, and wear something outrageous every now and then just because you want to stick out as the unique and fabulous individual that you are (because legends usually have a style all their own).
  • Stop: playing like you’re not a miracle, being smaller than you are, or seeking forgiveness for the things you don’t really feel sorry for. Also- pack away anything in your wardrobe that makes you uncomfortable or that bores you out of your mind.
  • Start: speaking your truth (even if that means dropping the “f” bomb in yoga class), valuing yourself, and making room for greatness.

Lastly, forget the lists (including the one above) or the plans or the “could/should” ideas lurking in your head and just live from your heart. Trust your intuition and live fully. Be legendary.