How To Be Magnificent

Each time a class graduates from Lexington Healing Arts Academy they get to choose one of their teachers to speak at their ceremony.  I was honored to be chosen by the January Night Class of 2012, they truly were an exceptional group of people and I’m certain each of them will go on to be very talented therapists.

Here is the speech I gave this year.  Everyone enjoyed it and I hope you find it inspiring:

I want to share something that I found on the internet recently that had a profound effect on me.  It was a simple black and white line drawing of a little dog sitting in her little dog bed, clearly just awakened.  She has a thought bubble above her that says “Today I’m going to be magnificent”.    The little dog wasn’t boasting but setting an intention.  Not in the ‘it would be great if I did this at some point in the future’ way, but in the ‘this is my goal for today, I will be magnificent’.  The cartoon inspired me to give it a try, so, silly as it was I’d have a Stuart Smalley moment in the morning where I’d tell myself and the world “Today I’m going to be magnificent!”

I had to figure out what it was that was so transforming about that word “magnificent”.  I played around with it in my head and briefly came up with an image of me frolicking about in a flowing gold lame outfit tossing glitter into the air then realized I was confusing ‘magnificent’ with ‘fabulous’!  So I looked it up.  ‘Magnificent’ is defined as ‘glorious, wonderful, attended by brilliance or grandeur’.  Its synonyms include awesome, outstanding, superlative, brilliant, and my personal favorite, smashing.

I started saying my new mantra whenever I started to lose focus at work, when I got frustrated with something I was attempting to do, or when I would start getting down on myself for whatever reason.

I realized that setting the intention to be awesome, outstanding, superlative, and smashing made me hold myself to a higher standard.  At the very minimum I had to be the best I could be that day.  I thought of a time I came into work having an excruciatingly bad day and told my friend/boss ‘I don’t know if I can do this today’.  She told me that even if I only have 40% of myself to give that day, to give all of it.  That’s what being magnificent is.

If, at the least, being magnificent means being your best, at the most it means becoming an even better person.  It inspires me to find something new every day that I can add or take away from my life to make me a better person.  I might educate myself on something I’ve been curious about, spend a few more minutes at the gym, start a project, finish a project, ditch a bad habit, hone a new massage technique, or just smile a little more and be gentler towards myself and other people.

Each of you has been an outstanding student, you always gave your best and often went above and beyond what was expected.  Own it, carry that brilliance into your life and work.  Set your intentions, make them real.  When you wake in the morning or whenever you need a boost tell yourself “I am going to be magnificent” or whatever inspires you to be your best and better just for that day.  Rinse and repeat.  Every day is a crapshoot it might be fantastic or it might be awful but if you’re aiming for magnificence at least it will be as smashing as it can be.