Are You On Trend?

One of the things it took me a long time to understand was that I was different. I have never really fitted in fully to any group. I’ve been somewhat of a chameleon blending in and out of various groups but never feeling home.

Perhaps the closest I came was living in London in a Kingsbury group house where I and some magnificent people – seven in total (that’s a joke by the way, Magnificent Seven) were bonded by something that tends to bring people close together no matter what their background – survival!

All of us in that precarious situation asking ourselves ‘how do I find the grit to continue with that soul destroying practise called work, so that I can afford to party like an animal and have the freedom to travel to any destination in the world should anyone, including total strangers, asks me if I’m up for it?’ Times were tough!

But, I digress!

Where was I? Yes, always different! Recently, particularly through my work with Phusion, the challenges I faced with being different have started to make sense. In fact, I have made quite a nice little peace with this aspect of who I am which has, in turn, liberated my personal expression.

Let’s use personal style as an example. I used to love rocking the bearded look. When beards became cool I opted for clean-shaven. Stripes are in; I’m wearing checks…and so on! Now, I just try to be me, which when choosing what I wear and how I present myself is more about feel. Does this feel good? Does that feel right? Is this ‘me’? Personal style has always been more important to me than following the crowd.

Now that’s personal style. Something, which I believe, is intricately linked to a person’s full expression. But what about when the stakes are higher? (Some of you may be asking, ‘What could be more important than personal style?’ And I get it. But do bear with me!)

What about when ‘trends’ threaten the very fabric of what it means to be human? What about when trends create a species of unhealthy, stressed and depressed, self-serving beings who are so busy being ‘on trend’, they forget to love, connect, serve, have fun, play with their children, catch up with friends, sing, paint and dance – or to simply sit solo somewhere watching the sunset, allowing themselves enough time to breathe and remember they are doing ok! That we’re all doing ok!

I don’t think I can recall a time I have been more connected with who I am or the manner in which I take action. I believe we all have a duty of service, which is inseparable from who we are and how best we can share this.

The way I act is my attempt at ‘being’ and the result of my investigation into the forms of expression most suited to me.

In the business world Phusion is not really on trend. I strive for purity and honesty in all Phusion’s actions and communications (I say strive here as I have found developing the Phusion brand a massive challenge and at times I have forgotten things or haven’t managed to do some of the things I thought I would, but I am learning and remain proud of Phusion – mistakes and all). Any phusion experience is about creating time and space for people to discover more about who they are. This process, when done ‘phusion style’ can be painful. It involves letting go. And this process of letting go – often of the things you think define you – can hurt.

In a personal development world that encourages you to manipulate your ‘story’ so people perceive you as authentic and genuine and worth buying from (the irony of manipulation to appear real is not lost on me), ‘phusion’ would suggest maybe its time to drop the story and take a closer look at who you really are, particularly if that story has become a source of validation for you. What’s left when you lose the story?

In a world of long and trashy (my opinion only) sales pages designed to attack a person’s ‘pain point’, or rather, their vulnerabilities, Phusion says, ‘I’m there if you need me’. Maybe that’s a mistake. But when I come across this approach to marketing I personally don’t feel right about it so for me to adopt such an approach would mean being out of alignment. It is, however, as it always is, a case of each to their own.

No, phusion is not on trend, nor will it ever be if it means sustaining an approach to life that clearly isn’t working.

In terms of your own sense of identity, one question you could ask yourself is, ‘is the me I have constructed and am presenting to the world an ‘on trend’ version of me, a version designed to fit in or look impressive, or is it the real me?’ Only you will know, but many sociologists would argue authenticity itself is elusive given its social construction. This is why finding you is hard work.

Perhaps the best we can do is keep searching for who we are and expressing this as best we can wherever we are at in our lives, and to find contentment and satisfaction in that expression.

Think about the following phusion slogan and see what comes up, ‘you owe the world nothing! But you owe the world everything!’

 And another piece of phusion wisdom to finish, ‘the only place you will ever feel truly at home is within yourself and your own body’.

Do you feel like you’re home? If not, what needs to happen to get you there?


Timothy Guthrie is a speaker, writer, creative artist, yoga teacher and Director of Phusion Living!

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