Friday, April 20, 2012

Know the Signs: Raison d'Etre

Ok, let's discuss this little factoid first:  I HAVE NO ABILITY TO CREATE NON-ENGLISH PUNCTUATION ON MY BLOG.  There, the truth is out.  I've been trying for days, so for today's post, just pretend that every time I write "d'etre" that there is an accent circumflex (^) above the "e".  And please don't send me instructions on how to do it, because I can't read and execute directions...don't mock, it's genetic.

Raison d'etre loosely translates to "reason for being."  Knowing the signs of your reason for being is probably something every human-born-of-woman has considered at one time or another.  It's one of those annoyingly big questions in the trifecta of big questions which include, "Where did I come from?  Where am I going?" annnnnnd, (here it is) "Why am I here??"  

I, apparently, am not here to use fancy french punctuation on my blog because if I were, I could.  But wait, what if I AM here to use fancy french punctuation on my blog and my whole reason for being is thwarted by my own stupidity?  

My answer:  Who cares?  If fancy french punctuation doesn't light up my path, then it's not for me...and it doesn't, so there. 
And that, friend, is EXACTLY how you know what your reason for being is.  

In my experience, knowing your Raison d'Etre is about honoring your passion, following the path that lights up for you, and doing the things that makes your life full of joy.  

I have a tried and true rule for cutting out all the crahp (said in my best Scottish accent) that we get roped into without wanting to really do it.  It's called the "HELL YES! HELL NO!" principle.  I snagged this little gem from a book called "Hell Yes!" by Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin.  

Basically it goes like this:  Before you commit to one more thing, as yourself, is it a "hell yes?" or a "hell no?"  If your answer is "hell yes!" then do it.  If it's not, then politely say no, and move on.

But what if you feel guilty saying no?  Don't worry, by saying 'no' you are recommitting yourself to the things that light your life's path, activities that keep you passionate and happy.  And in the author's words, "Don't you think it's a little egotistical to think that you're the only person who can fill the bill?"  By saying no, you provide the opportunity for someone else to do the thing you said no to, and that may be the VERY thing that lighst up their path.  See?  Cool logic.    

By saying "Hell YES!" to things that light up for you, you create the life you want to live and find your Raison d'Etre.  

And if you are unsure whether something is a "hell yes!" or a "hell no!" then ask yourself this:  If it's not a clear "HELL YES!" then what else could it be? 

What's your Raison d'Etre?


  1. Love love love this! And I think the idea of viewing saying no as an act of re-committing to something important to you is excellent.

  2. You, are a HUGE "YES!" for me......Love your writing...

  3. Do I enjoy reading your blog? Hell yes! Don't you need a French keyboard? I am pretty sure that my reason to be tonight is not to make dinner (hell no), but to make rice krispie treats (hell yes)...maybe everybody wins there!

    1. Make dinner a hell yes and just eat the rice krispie treats!!

  4. This was funny and had a great point. Thanks for the hell yes!

  5. Great post. I'll be watching out for insipid reactions from now on!

  6. I can't even pronounce 'Raison d'Etre' so it doesn't matter to me if there's an accent somewhere there.

    thanks for writing this post, it sounds like good advice. I wish I can remember it whenever I make a decision.