Archive for September, 2011
Today, it’s hard not to be self conscious. From every direction, we are showered with ‘standards’ we may or may not notice and meet. Your Computer, TV, smart phone, games, school, mall, church, village. Everybody’s looking to see; what’ s the latest, who’s the hottest: hair, skin, clothes, body, car, job, home, iphone, bag, jewels, product, plastic addition to me. We read the mags, blogs, sites, tweets, articles, verses? Because the big life questions of our generation have been reduced to… Do you have (it)? Are You relevant? Do you know it, and so and so? Unfortunately, most of us don’t know it, but we still watch it. Many of us cant afford it, but we still figure out how to buy it. Because all day long, we are told what we need, who we should try to be, what we should like and what is not cool anymore. As if any one thing really could make you fitter, stronger, happier, more attractive, interesting, beautiful? We look in the mirror and don’t quite like what we see.. because its not whats there on tv and unless you have a strong, innate sense of self, you could be left wondering.. Am I good enough? Pretty? Attractive? Hot? Layer upon layer builds up first over our eyes and then our hearts until we stop seeing what’s really going on out there and start fronting with ‘what should be there’. Who we really are gets buried beneath a whole lot of stuff: attitudes, products, things, mindsets, styles and fashions. The pressure to be more ‘anything’ on the outside can distort who we really are inside, as we succumb to cultures definition of beauty and attractiveness and judge and alter ourselves with it.
We saw Dr. Maya Angelo speak a few nights ago in a little theatre on State Street in Santa Barbara. She is beautiful. A conqueror. She has lived a harder story than most of us can imagine, but out of the ashes, beauty rose. She’s an incredible poet, speaker, writer, lecturer. A bit more lighthearted and softer than she was 10 or 15 years ago, she is a rare gift to this world. Still sharp as a tack, we all slowed down and listened in as she told incredible stories from her over-comer’s life, imparting wisdom and reciting more poetry than most of us have ever read. She spoke about the gift and opportunities we have in just being alive today and the responsibility we have to this and the next generation. She talked of our need for personal liberation from ignorance, with authority. But when she spent a moment defining beauty, this 6 foot tall, ghostly white haired, chocolate skinned 83 year old woman chuckled for a moment. She looked out over hundreds sunny Californians of all colors, shapes and sizes…“Girl…you are all right!” she paused. “You are all- (exhaling softly all..)…Right!” a bit of a laugh…”Just the way you are… You are allllllll- right.” and silence followed… as the sound of that slow, deep swirling L that came from the core of her very being, moved like wind through the theatre. “Just the way you are…” a little sweeter and softer, like your grand-mom now. “You are alright.” And I believed her. And I felt foolish for ever doubting that I wasn’t good enough. Or needed to be more. I felt a little ashamed for how hard I’d tried to be or please someone else. This woman who’s been seen more beauty and brokenness than we might ever know just told me the truth. A thousand excuses and doubts left me instantly.
Just the way You are. Just the way You are. And this is what You need to know now, and never forget again. You are good enough. Your best, is good enough. Better than any enhancement, label, enticement, layer or façade. What you are is enough. Matter of fact, tear down your façade. Let it go. Free yourself from anything less! You will discover who you really are. And this will make you happy. When you’re not trying to be something you are not. When you’re not trying to please someone else. When you start living from the inside out. This is true beauty. Authentic. He’s Authentic. She’s the real deal. Where you’ve been, what you’ve done and who you’ve been is what it is! It’s made you who you are. And that’s unique, beautiful, “alllll right.”
So with this, we’d like to start our Inside Out campaign. Close your eyes and consider what matters. Realize what makes the people you love special. And reject anything less than what is true and honest.
“Beauty: your best is good enough. Tear down facades to know the freedom of who you were made to be.”
* To purchase this shirt, go to www.seeroutfitters.com
The team over at Seer Outfitters wrote this as guest bloggers last week. They did a great job, so we wanted to share it here as well.
Focus on what’s right
An impression of Seer Outfitters
When your dad, uncles and grandfather are all pastors, it’s easy to know what the right thing to do is. Matter of fact, I was born knowing the right answer, as well as a long list of wrongs. I don’t remember ever really fighting it, but followed in the path of those who had come before. In the trail of many great men and as the second of 4 boys, it is difficult to define yourself. It’s even more painstaking to decide whether or not its okay to want to do things differently when so much good has been done, (with a great deal of blood, sweat and tears) along the way. Convention could keep me safe and sheltered from a more diverting paths trial and errors. Although my heart and purpose is ubiquitous to my family’s tradition, present circumstances have afforded me a unique opportunity by which I get to help create a bit of good in this world.
In 2007, my brother Kyle, a professional basketball player, realized his career would not last forever. Having created a foundation two years earlier, to support some community projects that were close to his heart, he began to think about life after basketball. To make the best long-term impact, he decided to create a for-profit company to sustain and fund the non-profit life visions he and his friends had set in motion in several US cities.
Being an avid supporter of generation XY’s standard “tshirt and jeans” uniform, as well as a graphic design major, he naturally wanted to design tshirts himself. Talking through ideas with his circle of friends, they brainstormed until a plan was set and in 2008, Seer Outfitters was born. A Seer can be defined as a visionary who uses pictures and images for social impact. A classic tshirt is now an ever evolving billboard and the perfect display for these pictures. Beginning with themes from our youth that seem to be lost to this generation (ie, honor, courage, loyalty, respect, knowledge) he decided to define and present each word artistically, on a tshirt. I came on board to run Seer and began a social campaign across the internet in addition to the good old art of face to face conversation and networking. Where we prioritize “walking the walk” not just talk about change, by highlighting stories of good being done in big and small ways across the country.
The brand has evolved in the last 3 years and will continue to, as we’ve recently teemed up with Cali’s ever-cool Tank Farm for current and future design and production. We have an excellent relationship that continues to grow with ESquared, who runs our ecommerce and store. Our projects are stable and well staffed across the country as new ideas and people continue to influence and interpret our greater goal… to help people See and Act. To help people begin to see the need and what they can do to help, with their own hands, on their streets, in their city. All profits from our tshirts and hoodies go to fund the work of the foundation, which is now a network of projects that look a lot like homegrown love in action in Omaha, Philadelphia, SLC and Chicago.
Some folk have a great deal of passion and a clear vision that we can see and support. As we come across them, we find a way to help them sustainably support their project whether through a line of up and coming cause shirts, fundraisers, or small start up funds. We are looking forward to more cause shirts and clothing that does more than dress us, as we establish our brand nationally.
We try to see past our selves, past what’s wrong even and focus on what’s right in this world. There are needs everywhere. We can choose to see and act, to take what you’ve got and do something love. You can stand on the beach near the water, with the tide coming up to barely touch your toes, or you can soak to your ankles, or up to your knees, or waist deep …but once your there, its nearly impossible not to dive in and ride a wave. Nothing beats putting your own hands to a paintbrush or a hammer to do some real love. We ask people to buy a tshirt, for now.