Many Hats


Sparked by my last post about busyness I started thinking about the many different hats I wear.  I went online to search out an image to use to accompany this post and found that most of what came up when I typed in “many hats images” were pictures of stressed out, confused, upset, or otherwise saddened faces sporting a myriad of different hats atop their head.  Since that wasn’t the look I was going for I made my own (see above, ta da!).  The act of wearing many different hats is akin to the nature of busyness in that it doesn’t have to induce a negative state of being, unless we choose to relate to it that way.  There is a way to accept and embrace a so-called busy life and the wearing of different hats as simply part of what it means to be human and alive.

Much of the strife we have is self-created and occurs when we’re fighting against something that’s happening rather than learning how to go with the flow of what’s unfolding.  We spend a lot of time getting tripped up in the thinking that certain things aren’t supposed to be happening and are interruptions to our carefully laid out plans.  The thing is, however, that everything that has ever and will ever happen is part of life inherently – simply because, well, it’s happening.

I like to think of the many hats that I wear to be a joyful undertaking.  I like to think of how wonderful it is that I am afforded the opportunities, abilities, time, energy, and motivation to do all of the things that I do.  I don’t see it as a burden to wear the hats I wear, I see it as a privilege and honor.  The more hats I get to wear the greater potential I have to connect with a variety of people, places, experiences, ideas, and influences.  The more situations I interact with the more possibilities I have to strengthen and deepen my mindfulness practice.  Please understand, I’m not saying everyone should wear as many hats as they can or that it’s not possible to buckle under the weight of taking too much on – there’s certainly a balance to find here and it will be different for each and every one of us.


I like making lists.  So, here’s my list of the hats I wear (in no particular order): meditation practitioner, musician, music lover, motorcycle enthusiast, home-maker, community builder, hospice volunteer, slam poet, writer, director of the Open Way Mindfulness Center, wife, step-mom, friend, daughter, spiritual leader, nanny, organizer, proudly involved Missoulian, teacher, student, artist, comedian, pen pal, hobby photographer, Buddhist practitioner, dancer, outdoors lover, skilled ninja (just wanted to see if you were paying attention).  There may be a few others I could throw in but this is a pretty comprehensive list of what I do with my time on a regular to fairy-regular basis – well, minus the skilled ninja thing.

Sometimes I wear one hat a time.  Sometimes I might wear 2 or 3 simultaneously or maybe even more.  Sometimes I might switch really quickly back and forth between a few.  As a mindfulness practitioner I practice to wear each hat and wear them well.  I practice to engage with each role that each hat allows me to delve into with a sense of connection and appreciation.  I practice to live fully with whatever hat I’m sporting – one moment at a time.

Life is what we make of it.  We can do what we do with resentment, bitterness, and tension or we can engage in our many roles with mindfulness, ease, and joy.  We can lived closed off to the flow of life or we can live open to its artful meanderings.  It really is up to us and how we invest our time and energy.

Today: Let us wear all of our many hats with pride and joy.


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