Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goodbye for a While

Tonight is my last night in California for a month. I know that doesn’t seem like much but considering I don't have a place of my own to come back to, it is. I'm saying goodbye to a state I've called home for the past 4.5 years. It feels like more than a vacation because I'm really and truly blowing in the wind. When someone asks for me an address I have to think about it -- do I give them the address of the place I'm housesitting? Do I use my parents' address? Do I use my former apartment because that's the last place I lived?

This evening I sat in my friends' backyard in San Jose all by my lonesome. They went out of town unexpectedly so I again find myself housesitting. Watching the sun turn the mountains in the distance burnt sienna, my heart broke a little. I don't know where I'm living in November and quite possibly it won't be here.
San Jose Sunset
A close approximation of what I saw tonight.
Yes, I'm being a bit maudlin, but this is what it means to say goodbye. To close a chapter and start something new. My friend went to a financial conference recently and one of her takeaways was, "Don't forget you're asking a whole lot when you ask someone to change." I think the same is true of ourselves as well. Even though I grow and change ceaselessly, that doesn't mean it gets any easier.

Here is what I know. It's difficult to say goodbye, even for a short while, but it's so we can welcome in something better. I realize I'm talking specifically about moving out of California and becoming a gypsy, but I think the same applies to anything we say goodbye to: a romantic partner, a job, a lifestyle, an addiction. Painful feelings will come up, we may want to say, "I changed my mind! I'll keep things the way they are!" but we cannot. One of the things I've learned in the past year is life can become so uncomfortable it forces us to change. I never had any intention of reliving my Just a Girl from Kansas experience but here I am, housesitting and living out of my suitcase once again.

Do I have anything profound to say? No. Mostly I'm sad. Sad to be leaving behind a state I love and a community I love for the great unknown. But I'm doing it anyway. Because I know I need to. I know I need this time to rest and rejuvenate. To start writing again. To get my body in working order. To heal parts of myself that are crying out for attention. And that means I have to say goodbye to California for a while.

I dream of a world where we say goodbye to things that no longer serve us. A world where we change because we know it's in our best interest. A world where we embrace the big question marks and trust we're doing the right thing even if it makes us sad. A world where we know we have to say goodbye for a while in order to say hello to something new.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why it's Important to be Optimistic

Even if you've never read this blog before I'm pretty sure you'd know I was an idealist and an optimist just based on the title. When I interact with people who aren't optimistic, it bugs me. Today I've been asking myself why. Why is it so important to me people allow for possibility and hope for the best? I think primarily it's because when we say negative things we give away our power. Stay with me for a minute.

I firmly believe who co-create our lives because we are what we think. This is what affirmations are all about and this is the underlying idea of so many meditation practices. If you constantly think, "I am one with the universe," you feel one with the universe. Louise Hay has a great story about how she worked for a nightclub, I think it was, and everyone told her the boss was terrible. No one liked him, he treated everyone poorly. Instead of giving into that idea, Louise took the stance, "I always work for wonderful bosses," and you know what? She was the only employee he treated well. Words are extremely powerful and so are our attitudes. They set us up for how we experience life.           

This is a small example but last week I moved all of my things into a storage unit. The movers kept saying to me, "I don't know, I don't think it will fit. You have too much stuff." My response? "Let's just try it. I think it will fit." And you know what? We had room to spare. If I had listened to the pessimistic movers I would have stopped packing, unloaded the storage unit, and paid more money for a bigger space. This is what it means to be pessimistic, to assume the worst under the guise of being "realistic." Maybe I don't want to be "realistic." Maybe I'd rather co-create a life where people treat me well, where I catch all my flights, where my stuff fits in small spaces, and I realize my dreams.

I'd also like to take this time to point out we are all vibratory beings. We are made up of atoms zinging around, so on a fundamental level we are energetic entities. Our words are as well. It's no secret I love Doreen Virtue. Doreen has a book, Angel Words, that shows quite clearly when we say something positive like "admiration," the literal graphic representation is larger. You can see the high and low vibrations within speech:

We all know this already. When we say the word, "love," it feels different than, "hate." For me, anyway, I feel it in my body. "Love" is expansive and open and "hate" is constricted and makes my chest feel tight. So of course it makes sense when we string together a sentence, it too carries its own vibration and has an effect.

Here is one of my favorite stories about being optimistic. A few years ago I traveled with a friend of mine and we stayed in a tent together. While we were out, it rained. My friend worried and fretted. She said over and over again, "I bet my stuff got wet." I said over and over again, "It's probably fine." When we got back to the tent, her things were wet while mine were dry. Now, I can't tell you that's completely because I believed my clothes would be dry, but I like to think it had something to do with it. I know that when I'm more positive I attract positive experiences to me. That's not to say I'm 100% in charge and in control of my life, because I'm not. Some bad things are destined to happen to me because of my karma or because of what I set into motion, but the things I can control? I sure as heck want to make sure they're as positive as possible.

I dream of a world where we look on the bright side of everything. A world where we see the potential in everyone and everything. A world where we believe in the best more than we do the worst. A world where we understand we co-create our life and therefore we want to make it as positive as we can.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cast Away Your Troubles

I didn't write a blogpost last night because I was at Rosh Hashanah services and didn't come home until late. One line in particular during the service jumped out at me, "Cast away your sins." I don't like the word "sins" because it dredges up notions of heaven and hell and judgment, but I do believe in casting away troubles.

This has been quite a whirlwind week, and year, for that matter. Last night I looked down at my body and noticed the numerous black and purple bruises that were war wounds from moving on Saturday. (Moving: It's a dangerous business.) But I'm OK with them because they will fade. They are mementoes from a time now past. Now that the dust has settled and I'm out of my hellacious apartment, I'm sighing in relief. In fact, just now I took a big exhale.

Let your troubles fly away!
What I love about Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year for those of you who don't know) is it's a reminder to start over. To cast away our troubles and leave our past behind. I am certainly ready to leave this year behind. I am ready to turn over a new leaf and revel in the healing and the miracles that are sure to come.

Even if you're not Jewish, I highly recommend a ceremony or a ritual to mark the end of a period of trouble and a celebration of something new. We all need a chance to shrug off our troubles, but even more so, to celebrate the good that is to come.

I don't have much to say because I think it's already been said. From September of last year to September of this year life has been pretty crappy. Good things have certainly happened but I'm ready to start living well again. I'm ready to let go of my old ideas and my old belief systems and to be reborn. I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I look forward to adventure and healing and grace. I'm casting away my troubles and making room for the miracles that are yet to come.

I dream of a world where we let go of our troubles. Where we let them go because we know they are being handled as long as we keep showing up for life and remain willing to take the next right, wise action. I dream of a world where we know we can start over at any time, at any point of the day, week, or year. I dream of a world where we are in the ease and flow of life.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Miracles Happen Outside Our Comfort Zones

The title for this post comes from my dear friend Alok Joddha Hernandez. It really resonated with me because as I reflected on his comment, “Miracles happen outside of your comfort zone,” I realized he was right. All of the miraculous, wonderful things in my life have happened after I took a risk or did something that made me uncomfortable. The most obvious/biggest example is chronicled in my book, Just a Girl from Kansas but I’ve also found it to be true with smaller experiences.

I can say unequivocally this has been the worst year of my life. That’s not to say good things haven’t happened, because they have, but this has absolutely been the most trying year to date. I’ve always had a sensitivity to noise, which I’ve mitigated with earplugs and a white noise machine, but lately my sensitivity has developed into a full-blown disorder. I startle at loud noises. I jump when doors slam. I am so on edge you’d think I was about to pull off a diamond heist.

I want a miracle! And I'm willing to do the work for it!

I had no intention of ever doing something about my sensitivity until it developed into this huge challenge. And since it cropped up I’ve been trying my usual bag of tricks: acupuncture, affirmations, homeopathy, prayer, meditation, naturopathy, surrender, etc. If it worked for me before, I figured it would work again. Except it hasn’t. I posted a very emo facebook status the other day that asked, “When you’re desperate is that when the true healing begins?” Because people, I am desperate. I am so desperate I am willing to go outside my comfort zone.

A friend mentioned to me biofeedback and I’ve been reluctant to try it because I’m unfamiliar with it, I don’t have much money, and well, new things scare me. However, I found a place in Arizona (because I’ll be there for the month of October) and I e-mailed them, mentioning I don’t have insurance so how much would this cost me? (I should mention here in case those of you reading get concerned I have Healthy SF which is like insurance just for within the city of San Francisco so it doesn’t apply in places like Arizona.) The very next day the biofeedback place called me and said, “We’ll waive the initial $100 fee, plus we’ll charge you half price, and if it takes seven sessions we’ll only charge you for five.” Da-yum.  

I can’t say for sure whether this is a miracle because I haven’t done the treatment yet, but it sure feels like the beginnings of one. And all because I stepped out of my comfort zone.

I dream of a world where we all experience miracles. A world where we push ourselves outside our comfort zones because we’re ready for something different. A world where we experience love in the form of a miracle and where we keep growing and keep allowing the miracles to happen.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Final Frontier

In truth, I think the final frontier is the mind but the final frontier in terms of the physical world is space, in my opinion. I planned to write about this last week because Neil Armstrong died but, well, other stuff happened instead.

Armstrong's death, which also closely coincides with the rover Curiosity landing on Mars, demonstrates so clearly to me another world is probable, quite literally. I mean, a man stood on the moon, and now we're looking at pictures from MARS. This is stuff my ancestors could only dream about. Or maybe they didn't even dream about it because it seemed so farfetched. I mean think about it, we're exploring space. We're looking for other planets with living beings and stuff. THAT IS SO COOL.
A picture! From Mars!
A picture! From Mars!
I am still quite tired this week because I'm startling awake at every little noise after the break in, but today I am simply amazed by technology and what we as humans can accomplish. Somebody walked on the moon and today we're able to look at pictures of another planet from the comfort of our homes. How cool is that?!?

It's very easy for me to become blasé about stuff like this, "Oh yeah, whatever, somebody landed on the moon. Blah, blah, blah," but it's really a big achievement. We are all capable of so much individually and collectively. We have the power within us to solve our world's problems and seeing stuff like Curiosity land on Mars proves that to me.

Sometimes I feel like a peon, a speck of dust within the universe, which is probably true, but it's also true that everyone alive today is living during a pivotal time. We're witnessing unusual things, expanding our horizons, and seeing science fiction become reality. And that's pretty cool.

I dream of a world where we continue to explore our horizons. A world where we keep striving forward and achieving great things. A world where we stand in awe of what has occurred and what has yet to occur. A world where we truly experience the final frontier.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.