Move Away From the Label Maker…

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my label maker.  I mean,                 L-O-V-E.  Seriously.  Craig bought it for me and it is still, to this day, one of my favorite presents of all time.  The reason I have such affinity for this little machine?  Because it helps me categorize things.  It helps me put things in order.  And I like order.
But life is just not orderly.  Whether you own a label maker or not.  We can’t print out labels and put them on our foreheads, or our friends’ foreheads, or strangers foreheads.  There isn’t enough tape or ink in the world to handle that kind of orderliness.  Imagine how often you’d be at your little keyboard  re-typing, reprinting, relabeling. Whew, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about reinvention.  And labels.  And how we all could just shed all the labeling and just exist together.  This is what I call UNdefining.  I named my practice UNdefine Yourself because I think we all spend too much time putting ourselves into words and not enough time putting ourselves OUT there.
Do you remember what it was like when Pluto was a planet?  The world seemed aligned with our larger universe and everything seemed to be in place.
Then, BAM!  Pluto’s not a planet any more.  It’s just out there all on its own now, living its own course.
I was disturbed with the re-labeling of good ol’ Pluto.  After all, since I’m a product of public school systems, it was a major part of my scientific learning.  It also took me years to realize that Pluto and “Bluto” from Popeye were different things, but that’s another story.

Imagine taking this concept inside of  you.  Imagine waking up one morning and not being at all aware of any labels or titles.  Imagine the ramifications of relabeling, or dislabeling or UNdefining terms in our lives.  Imagine the delicious chaos that would ensue:

Countries: We could redefine the term “country” to include only desirable traits. Fictitious Zemunda could become a bona fide country because, well, who wouldn’t like a country that has Eddie Murphy as a prince and James Earl Jones as a lion wearing king?

Sports: If today’s younger population had a say, video gaming would top the list of sports as soon as a relabeling took effect. After all, who wouldn’t eschew the traditional P.E. class for a little X-Box time? Likely, Ice Dancing would no longer hold the coveted sports title either because, well, isn’t it the same as ice skating?

Political Parties: We could just do away with the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and even the Green Party and just call all sides whiners. This would lead to classification based on issue, instead of having to limit yourself to one particular party. You could be a part of the whiner-about-taxes party or a part of the whiner-about-insurance party. To me, the system would be a lot less restrictive that way…and you could belong to multiple whiner-parties, which would result in several $1,000 plate dinner invitations in a year.

You’re probably thinking, “Surely, she can’t be serious?” Well, my only response to you is, “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.”

Although I poke fun, I am completely serious.  If we would spend less time thinking about what we call ourselves and how we categorize ourselves, we might…just might…have time to actually DO some things instead of always just talking about them.

Imagine forgetting, for the moment, that you’re “just a mom.”  So, you decide that you’re going to start your own business.  How does that thought feel?  Freeing or imprisoning?

Imagine forgetting, for the moment, that you’re “fat and lazy.”  So, you get up from your computer desk and walk for 10 minutes.  Or, you take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.  How does THAT action feel?  Empowering?  Healthy?

Imagine forgetting, for the moment, that you’re an overachiever.  So, you spend the time you would’ve spent revising a letter for the 100th time to go to lunch with your ______________(insert your favorite person(s) here).  How does this feel?  Delicious?  Less disconnected?

My point is, labels might help us categorize things like planets.  And while they have their purpose, Pluto doesn’t give a damn what we call it.  So, maybe you should try, just for a moment, to not give a damn what you call yourself.

See where that takes you.  If you have time, let me know how it goes.  😉


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