Xavier Laloux: Be a Hero

By Colin McGregor              

Xavier Laloux is a contemporary artist born in 1985 in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Saint-Charles, a working-class district in the south-west of the city. He has overcome many obstacles throughout his life.

He is responsible for the image of a dove on the cover of Raymond Viger’s best-selling poetry and prose collection Après la pluie… le beau temps, which has sold over 5,000 copies; along with the English language version, It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn. Both are available at the publishing house Éditions TNT.

Xavier thrills us with his emotional, imagistic paintings. We can see some of his works, particularly in tattooing, on his website donewithheart.ca as well as on his Facebook page, Le Xavier Laloux.

An engaged artist, he uses his talent to communicate what’s in his heart. He wants to embolden and comfort those who are faced with difficulties and challenges. He frankly admits that he is not a mental health professional. However, he has guided many people in their psychological wellness process.

Recently he came to address a packed house at the Tambour du Ste-Cath (a performance hall and socially engaged restaurant in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve) to talk about the lessons he’s learned throughout his life. The question he asks is a difficult one to answer: How do we become a hero in our own life?

Here Are Some of His Observations About Life:

– If you want to be a hero, you have to have the courage to be yourself. Let yourself be guided by your spirit. When we’re not in conflict with ourselves and we’re not afraid of the judgment of others, people around us will get comfortable, as we are comfortable with ourselves.

–  Where does this tendency to imitate others come from? We choose who we are. It’s natural to want to melt into a group. You want to be a social animal because you want to belong to a group. The lone cow becomes prey to the wolves. It’s perfectly natural to not want to take risks.

– It’s important to recognize and guard your credibility. To recognize that sometimes it’s you that needs help. That you’re able to understand that you’ve made a mistake. Be aware that you don’t have all the means and resources it takes to stay in control or to take responsibility for your role.

– You should always express yourself. Gravitate towards others. Open conversations, build relationships, to build a business and a life. Communicate with others in order to collect new information and deepen ties.

– If you want to be a hero, be capable of looking for knowledge. Take responsibility for your choices. Inform yourself from reliable sources, and put your thoughts down on paper to understand your situation and find solutions.

– Expressing your emotions is important. Math and money is easy, but knowing your emotions is harder. It’s the most tumultuous side of life, but there are victories to be won. Crying is Michael Jordan weeping when he holds his trophy.

–  You have to take the time to celebrate your victories with as much energy as you spend criticizing yourself. Celebrate victories to reinforce your confidence and build memories of your successes.

– When you’re a hero it’s important that, when you’re on a mission, you stay on that mission. Keep that bright light in front of you and follow your own voice. When you have the resources to get to your objective, do it. Our ambition can be seen as insanity. When we have a goal, those who are closest to us can easily project their fears on us.

– If you want to be a hero it’s important that you be ready to give to others. Listen: welcome others when they speak, and hang on their every word.

– Discover what life can teach us by giving useful meaning to circumstances. How can harsh events shape my character? You have to reformulate these events in order to experience them differently.   

– I bring value to my difficulties. Valuing character defects is a step towards identifying the diamond in a pile of shit!

– If you want to be a hero, you have to take control of your life. My workouts at the gym give me structure and discipline. A healthy mind in a healthy body. Use your discipline as a framework in order to guide your creativity. Be the master of your desires so as not to be a slave to substances.

– Everyone has a light within them, but when things darken, and the light isn’t there when you call upon it, ask for help, get a coach. We all have a side that shines, and a dark side. Follow the light.

– Now that I have a child, I’m the parent, and I have to be the hero!

Also available on the Reflet de Société website

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