Updated: Jun 7, 2019
A recent story about Geoffrey Owens, an actor you probably recognize from The Cosby Show, shone a light on a key question - how do we as a society define success? And is this definition driving us, and our children, to a state of constant anxiety?
A photo of Owens working as a checkout clerk at Trader Joe's went viral with the thought behind it - "from success to this..." Never mind that Trader Joe's happens to be one of the best places to work, why did we see this picture and automatically think this was a fall from success to failure? That one job is better or more relevant than another? That having more - more money, more fame, more power - means being more?
Owens's response was honorable, “Every job is worthwhile and valuable. I’ve had a great life. I’ve had a great career,” he said, “so no one has to feel sorry for me. I’m doing fine.” This led to an outpouring of fans and actors, who shared their own stories of working part-time jobs between acting gigs. And it should make us all take a step back and rethink of how we are spending our time and for what purpose.
Are we stay busy to be successful, and, in the process, losing sight of what we really want? Do we even know what being successful is - to us? Or are we looking to measure up to the definition that society has set for success? If we do not reach this picture of success in a certain amount of time, or have set backs along the way that require us to readjust, are we failures? Is this what we are teaching our children - by example? That success most look like this, in this amount of time, at all costs?
In his book Authentic Success, author Robert Holden, PhD says that a new model of success in needed, "a model that know that success is primarily a way of being and not just a shopping list."
This recent question has led me to take a closer look at myself and how I am defining success for myself with Power Breathwork. And in looking closely I realize that I have been so busy working to create, promote and grow Power Breathwork, with the desire to serve and help people light up their souls, that I have forgotten to recognize the value in the work itself along the way.
In June this year, I took a big step and put myself out there by hosting a Super Exhale Sunday Breathwork Retreat. My vice is perfectionism, and I am guilty of holding myself to a measure of success that can truly only be achieved over time, not overnight. So to host this event meant that I had to take the chance that I would create something that I believed in, and have no one show up. But I did it. I took my vision and made it real. And people I knew and loved, and people I didn't know but came to know and feel connected to, did come. It wasn't a huge event, only a handful of people, but it was wonderful and it was powerful. I created, for a few hours, a community where people felt connection. Where people's souls' lit up. And that was success. Yet I didn't write a post about it! I just kept going.
So, in following the learning of this moment, I am sharing a few photos from my Super Exhale Sunday Event and letting you know how proud I am of that day and how grateful i continue to be for the opportunity to serve, so people can find connection and light up their souls through the power of their own breath. Thank you.
So, Subscribe to Just Breathe with Eileen Fein, to listen and learn, then download my FREE Breathwork Meditation Worksheet to expand and deepen your experience and follow me on Instagram to stay inspired and live mindfully!