Being a joy seeker my whole life, I have become quite good at finding humor lurking in unsuspecting places. One of those places for me is a website entitled . . . (are you ready?) … www.despair.com. The wild and crazy guys and gals at this site have created a smorgasbord of hilarious posters, T-shirts, mugs and calendars that spoof all manner of business aphorisms originally meant to inspire us, but reconceived to crack us up. (One of my favorites is the glossy photo poster of fast food French fries with a caption that reads, “Potential: Not everyone can be an astronaut.”) Usually, their poke-fun-at-yourself sayings make me think about something in a new way. That’s what happened when I received the latest despair.com T-shirt design in an e-mail recently. It was a light blue shirt featuring an Ignore box with a cursor arrow poised to click. For a new Facebook networker like me, this strikes a nerve. What if someone clicks Ignore when I ask to be their friend? What if I am “untagged” in a group photo? What if my e-mail message is sent to Junk and is never retrieved? What if someone wants to “unsubscribe” from my newsletter? Putting myself on the web is taking a risk; the risk of being ignored. Ouch.
Isn’t this one of all of our deepest fears? Being ignored? I would never wear that T-shirt, I thought with a huff, suddenly feeling sensitive. With a little more reflection, I wondered: Who doesn’t wear this shirt – metaphorically that is – at least some part of every day, if not most of the time. Sure, sometimes we want to be ignored, like when we walk into class late or slip through the yellow light as it turns red. Mostly, though, we want to be seen and heard by the people in our lives whom we care about: our families, our co-workers, our bosses, our teachers, our students, our friends. If we’re business people, we definitely want to be noticed by our customers!
Nelson Mandela would disagree with me about our deepest fear. In a speech quoting Marianne Williamson he said, “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?” If you’ve ever “hidden your light under a bushel,” you’ve worn that metaphorical Ignore T-shirt. Do you remember not raising your hand when you thought you had the answer in third grade? Did you keep your mouth shut at a brainstorming meeting last week for fear of being laughed at? Daring to believe in our own power has been an issue for most of us during our lives. It’s quite a bit safer to be ignored. Ignor-ance is bliss, right? I don’t think so.
Okay, I’m willing to believe in my own power. One way I’m working to shine my light more brightly is through this blog, Restful/Zestful, and through my new company, Thriving Spaces: Work, Rest, Play with Feng Shui. As a Feng Shui practitioner, I want to help you shine your light a bit more brightly, too, whether it’s by enhancing the energy in the Fame and Reputation area of your home or office or energizing the Helpful People you know to assist you in finding new customers. Feng Shui cultivates and balances the ch’i (vital universal energy) in your environment and brings desired results into your life. I’ll be writing about Feng Shui on this blog and I invite you to join me by clicking here.
Or, you could just Ignore.