Letting Go Of Appearances

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Letting Go Of Appearances

Lately life has offered Bill and I a seemingly endless set of experiences where we can choose between extremely stressed out or regaining perspective with the long-game in mind.

We had our soft opening for The Cedars Ranch. People arrived from far and wide to celebrate with us. Amazing. Our grandchildren from Texas and New Brunswick, Canada got to meet each other. Our brothers got to meet each other. Extremely special.

The day for the party arrives and it is freezing! The wind is blowing hard making it even colder. Earlier in the week it looked like it would be cool but sunny and pleasant. Nope.

Even the Canadians with us were cold so we knew it was really cold, not just Texas cold.

We had a decision to make. Focus on wanting those who braved it to see our beautiful building OR wanting those who braved it to have fun, meet each other, stay and eat, drink and dance.

I think this is the choice we often have in life. Do I show you just my pretty put-together self and our connection is limited OR do I trust that even if it isn’t all pretty that I can enjoy a deeper and more meaningful experience with you when I let you really see me?

The irony is huge. If I only want you to see me all put-together it would be based on a belief that you will like me more that way. The very choice to only present this version of me to you keeps you from actually being able to love the real me.

By focusing on the appearance, we lose the genuine. A focus on looking good to be accepted keeps us from being deeply known and loved.

It took some convincing (of me) and it was not easy but we put up tarps and plywood in our beautiful, just finished modern dance hall.

There were still many parts of the building that people could enjoy and admire. The focus shifted for me though in such a good way.

We had spent weeks and many many hours trying to get so many things on the property finished to show friends and family. So many of these areas did not get visited the night of our opening because it was just too cold! The very act of switching focus away from having a beautiful building to show to creating a warm, celebration event for our guests did something in us.

Immediately our guests became part of a very unique team building experience wrangling tarps in the wind, meeting each other over plywood installation and searching for boards to use on our property. My brother drove in to Wimberley for more tarps and rope. It was amazing to see everyone come together to pull off this party.

I never even got to take a break to put on that special outfit. It would have just gone under my coats anyway, lol. The day absolutely became about connecting with each other and celebrating together.

It was hard and it was perfect. The Cedars Ranch was birthed out of a desire to create an amazing space for people to connect, heal and celebrate. That’s how we kicked it off. For the first time in my life I had a dance with each of my brothers. Bill and I had special dances with our grandchildren. Friends met each other, family met each other.

So, this was a great reminder for me to focus on what’s most important and to let go of appearances sometimes when they get in the way of what is way more important and life-giving.

You know I’m going to ask you a question!

Where are you tempted to do this in your life? Where are you trying to make a positive impression but losing out of the life-giving power of genuine?

What are you willing to let go of so that you can embrace something richer?

I’ll leave you with a little glimpse of our celebration in action!

Until next time,


Marilyn Orr, CEC, PCC is a Leadership and Mentor Coach with Capacity Building Coaching, and Training Partner on EQi 2.0 with MHS. She is also co-owner of new Texas Hill Country event center and wellness retreat, The Cedars Ranch. Marilyn provides professional coaching for executives and business leaders, mentor coaching for coaches, and leadership development support in the form of coaching skills training, soft-skills development, facilitation of key discussions and team coaching. Want to work with Marilyn? Reach Out to her today.

Marilyn is published author of everyday resiliency workbook How Absorbent Are Your Shocks?, and is leading a workshop on developing emotional resiliency at the upcoming Fierce Self-Compassion: Unplug Your Inner Critic event at The Cedars Ranch in the Texas Hill Country this April, 2019. 

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