It’s time for the second half. 

Today is July 5 and the first day of the fifth week of an 8-week content series I have been sharing on my Sally & Sifer Facebook Page (@sallysifer). Sally & Sifer is a phonetic play on my full name: Sally Ann Seiffer. My neighbor’s design business is named Word & Roger. I think I mirrored it, unknowingly at the time. 

Humans mirror often. That’s not what this blog post is going to be about. However, imitation/mirroring/mimicry are interesting abilities to consider for one whom desires to grow one’s sense of self, and the influence one has on others. I think politics, business, and branding have it figured out.

For fun, consider this definition of mimicry that I found when I googled the correct spelling: 

mimicry, in biology, phenomenon characterized by the superficial resemblance of two or more organisms that are not closely related taxonomically.

As mentioned, mirror neurons are not the focus of this blog…BUT, what happens when one loses sense of their own autonomy? Is the answer: a superficial resemblance to someone else’s more dominant story?

This returns us to the 8-week content series that includes part three of my ebook: The Story I Tell. How to make the Age of Disruption work for you; as well as my original mindfulness tool named: checkIN. 8 steps to more inspiration, creativity, and possibility. You can join the File Sharing Group on Facebook to access downloads of these resources. Or just click on the hyperlink.

The interesting thing about this summer 8-week series is that I am coaching the content, as well as playing in the game. The content creation is a series of skills, tools, and strategies that have shifted my experience of day. If you read parts one and two of storyitell, you will have a better understanding of what I mean by day. And even more understanding if you read my additional e-publications: Something More, and abetterway

The first half, or four weeks, took me on a road trip. On this road trip, I anticipated camping to explore more, drive fewer hours in a day, and save on the cost of hotels. At this point in the journey, I am better at the camping set up, with LOTS of room for improvement. I don’t like camping. I’m not giving up. I want camping to be like my experience of wine. It’s just a thing until you have that one taste that changes everything. 

Oxford, Mississippi held the biggest intrigue as I reflect on the trip so far. All the good stuff aligned in Oxford. I stayed at a boutique hotel in town that was priced at a rate that surprised the people on the phone and at the front desk – both saying, ‘Wow. That’s a great rate.’ I also learned that the weather was not typical as it was low humidity and mid 80’s. Slight breeze. Fireflies. Front porches. Gas lamps. There was a fun buzz in the air on the morning I left as the town square was preparing for a parade to celebrate the Ole Miss baseball team. 

Fun memories of a friend who played baseball one year at Ole Miss most likely resonated when I saw the team on TV as my dad watched the baseball world series, and made me think of stopping at Oxford. The memory was my friend telling me about the spirit of Ole Miss. He was telling me about the football game days. When I went to the baseball stadium area to see if there were any team pictures that dated back, I found a plaque. It read:

There is a valid distinction between The University and Ole Miss even though the separate threads are closely interwoven.

The University is buildings, trees and people. Ole Miss is mood, emotion and personality. One is physical, and the other is spiritual. One is tangible, and the other intangible. 

The University is respected, but Ole Miss is loved. The University gives a diploma and regretfully terminates tenure, but one never graduates from Ole Miss. 

-Frank E Everett ‘32

This plaque first resonated because I think my friend got it. I didn’t ‘get it’ at the time he shared, and there is a loneliness in that.

My friend only lived to age forty-six. At fifty, I can relate to the loneliness.

Just like the winemaker whose hands are in the dirt. The winemaker who lives and breathes not just the yield of grapes, but all the parts. The winemaker who shares the Art, fully integrated with the parts that made it whole. 

Just like nature and the camper.

There will be those who miss the Art. The Art being a depth of one’s own expression. There will be those who get drunk on too much wine, and spill without care. There will be those who miss the sounds and texture of the space they inhabit. There will be those, but ‘those’ are only given the power by individual choice as to what keeps one from knowing their own Art. Choosing their own expression, and not allowing fear of ‘those’ to keep one from continually finding and living from the intangible mood, emotion, and personality of the story they tell.

The story of Ole Miss lives in the intangible space of wellbeing.