So, I have a mission statement. The current version looks like this:

To live audaciously, staying present and in harmony with life. To love freely and unconditionally. To be real.

This is a fairly new version, which I tweaked into an x.3 variation about a week ago. It’s my practice to write this out every morning, along with about a dozen affirmations that change relatively frequently based on what I need in the moment.

Harmony is my long time jam. I fell in love with it a few years ago when I was actively studying jedi philosophy. (Yes, that’s a thing. You take a jedi name and everything. No I won’t tell you what mine is.)

I love harmony because it’s about going with the flow. More specifically, it’s about trusting that, when a situation arises, you will have the tools you need to deal with it. When you come at life from that perspective, there’s no reason to rehearse possible future scenarios or engage in any other form of worrying, which at its base is just praying for things you don’t want.

So harmony has to be in there, as does presence. Presence is synonymous with being in the moment. It’s sort of the precursor to harmony, because you have to be present in order to take in the nuance in any given situation so that you can respond to it effectively (or choose not to respond at all, if that’s your decision).

So far, all classic Ann stuff.

But then there’s audacity.

Audacity is the new part. The radical part. The part that freaks me out a little.

What does it mean to be audacious? To me it means daring to do the big thing. The thing that scares you. The thing other people might not approve of.

This morning, as I wrote out my mission statement, I wondered: is audacity the opposite of harmony? If harmony is fundamentally about getting along and audacity is about rocking the boat, am I setting myself up for failure? Is it even possible to have both?

That’s when I realized, harmony has a shadow side. An excuse-making side. Because sometimes it morphs into people pleasing and needing validation from others.  Unfortunately, that is also classic Ann stuff.

But here’s the distinction: harmony does not mean doing what will make others happy. Harmony means doing what needs doing for the greater good. It means loving other people AND loving yourself and making decisions from that place of love.

So can I do both? I believe I can. And that’s why it’s so important that audacity is included in my mission – to remind me that the best thing I can do at all times is be my big, beautiful self.

To be real.