Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'll Cry if I Want To

There are a lot of things I could blog about today, but I find people respond best when I'm authentic and share what's really going on. What's really going on is in this moment I feel like weeping. I want to curl into a ball and cry, and cry, and cry. I don't want to admit that to you because I want to share happy things! I want you to feel inspired after reading this! But, in this moment I am sad. I acknowledge this is also because I'm REALLY tired. I moved last night after a very stressful week -- I was in Seattle on Wednesday and then came home to a flooded bathroom at my sublet AND had to pack up my life and get prepped for the move all in two days. Not to mention the actual moving bit.

Moving is enough to make anyone cry, I think. I've heard several times moving is one of the top three most stressful things a person can do. I agree. It's not that my new place isn't lovely, because it is. I'm living in a cottage all by myself where I can see trees outside my window, flowers bursting into bloom, and hear birds chirping. My neighbors thus far seem very nice, helpful, and friendly. For the first time in my life, I know who I'm living around. Not just one neighbor, but all of them.

However, I'm in Oakland so that means I'm hearing gunshots and/or fireworks -- we are swiftly approaching the 4th of July after all. I haven't wanted to mention the gunshots because I guess I'm a little embarrassed, as if hearing them says something about me and my economic status, i.e. gunshots means I'm poor and being poor is something to be ashamed of. I'm not poor -- I am so very rich with many, many things, and I know the money is coming. I know all of my needs are being met and I feel very blessed, and at the same time I'm living in a working-class neighborhood of Oakland. The (possible) gunshots are contributing to my tearful feelings because they're stressing me, but here is what I know: 1.) It's good to cry. Crying is a great detox. 2.) Being an adult means understanding nothing is all good or all bad.


Nothing encompasses the concept of good within the bad (and vice versa) quite as well as the yin yang.
You already heard both the good things (quiet, secure, great neighbors, in my price range, near public transportation), and the bad (not such a great neighborhood). But here's the interesting element, the not-so-great neighborhood is the seed that contributes to the pros. The more humble neighborhood is why I live in a gated community, why I can afford to be here, and why the neighbors are so friendly. I've found there is a sense of bonding together that happens in poorer neighborhoods. And yet, I still want to cry, and that's OK.

I'm writing about this because I'm giving myself (and anyone reading this) permission to feel their feelings. We have a tendency in our society to gloss over the bad stuff. We tout gratitude and appreciation, telling people to only focus on the positive. But that's not real life. Real life is messy. Real life means you can live somewhere totally gorgeous and not love the neighborhood. Real life means you can be grateful for all you have and still want more. Real life means you can feel happy and sad, scared and safe, all at the same time. I used to think I could only feel one thing at a time, but the older I get the more I find I feel a thousand different things all at once.

This blogpost may mean nothing to most of you, but I hope someone is reading this who understands what I'm trying to say: That it's OK to cry. That it's safe to express whatever you're feeling. That we can feel many things and no emotion is better than another. That being an adult means there can be so many good things at the same time there are so many bad things. We are living in a dualistic world so it makes sense we'll feel and experience opposites, sometimes in the same moment.

I dream of a world where we know it's OK to cry. A world where we feel safe to express ourselves. A world where we understand just because we're sad doesn't mean we can't also be happy. A world where we allow ourselves to express our full range of emotion. A world where we accept how we feel with grace and love.

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

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Living in Dreamsville

I've been accused on more than one occasion, and by more than one person, of "living in Dreamsville," aka, Fantasy Land, aka never gonna happen. I understand why people say this to me -- because I dream big, because I ask for a lot, and because what I desire so often doesn't match what other people think is possible. Here's the thing though, what I want is absolutely possible, and in fact, comes true.

If you've been reading "Another World is Probable" for a while, you know I've been a gypsy without a caravan for about a year and a half. I've moved apartments, cities, and coasts. I haven't stayed in any one place for longer than four months since January of 2012. Last Monday I realized my dreams have changed and I no longer want to live in the city. Instead, I want to live where I can see trees outside my window, by myself, in a quiet place, but still close to things -- shops, public transportation, etc. The kicker is I need to be able to afford it working part time in the most expensive area in the country. This dream was often scoffed at because it sounds unrealistic (understandably).

The Lorax
I imagine Dreamsville looks like something out of "The Lorax."
Well, on Thursday, I signed a lease on a place and it's all those things and more. I'll be living in a cottage by myself, within my price range, at a gated community, near public transportation, where I can see trees outside my window. When I walked into the cottage I cried. I cried because the place felt like home but also because I was overwhelmed at seeing my dream come to life. I was overwhelmed at how the universe orchestrated to meet all my needs and more. I was overwhelmed that what other people deemed impossible was staring me in the face.

I bring this up not to chastise the people who tell me I live in Never Never Land, but because I think it's important to realize our dreams are possible. That you can't really dream "too big." I'm not saying they'll manifest overnight -- heck, it's taken me a year and a half to realize what I wanted and then receive it -- but they do happen.

Dreams turning into reality are on my mind because I'm currently in Seattle for my mom's graduation. My 64-year-old mother is graduating from medical school. It's been a dream nearly 29 years in the making (she was pregnant with me when she started the prerequisites for med school) and now she's graduating. My dear friend has a quote I believe he crafted himself, "Dreams may fade from view, dreams may be torn and bruised, but dreams never die." And I would add to that, dreams come true if we work for them, if we keep the faith, and if we take the action steps to realize them.

I dream of a world where we all dream big and then watch those dreams turn into reality. A world where we understand it's amazing to live in Dreamsville, and as John Lennon says, you're not the only one. A world where we receive all the blessings the universe wants to bestow on us and more.

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Miracle Mindset

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." -- Albert Einstein

I used to equate miracles with walking on water and feeding thousands of people with one loaf of bread, so, nearly impossible feats that don't happen every day. As I've gotten older, I've taken Einstein's approach instead because it's more fun and allows me to retain a sense of awe.

The miracle I've been confronted with a LOT this year is how much I've changed as a person. How the things I used to do I no longer do. How I'm not nearly as controlling, fearful, obsessive, repressed, or quick to judge as I was before. I'm more accepting of everyone and everything and I'm trying to live out the serenity prayer on a daily basis. This to me is a miracle.

Flowers in concrete
I find flowers growing in concrete to be pretty miraculous. Photo copyright by Taylor Evans.
It's a miracle to realize I can transform as a person. That the behavior I don't like I can choose to change. I know I've written about this topic before, but that's because it never ceases to amaze me. On Saturday, I read aloud an inventory of my life -- all the things I'm resentful about, all my fears, all my romantic blunders -- the whole kit and caboodle, and was able to see I am doing things differently!

Why is this such a big deal to me? I think it's because with the miracle mindset there is an inherent belief anything is possible. The miracle mindset allows room for growth, it allows the universe to come in and shift things. It allows some spaciousness into the equation. It allows for magic. It allows for anything and everything. This is so important to me because as someone who genuinely believes we can create a better world, seeing the growth in my own life shows me it's possible for other people to grow too. It shows me it's absolutely possible we'll live in a world where everyone has all their needs met. A world where we check corruption and greed. A world where we live in harmony with each other and our environment.

The miracle mindset, seeing everything as a miracle, means I allow for miracles to happen and retain a sense of optimism, hope, awe, and magic. So the fact I can write this to you and people from all over the world can read it is a miracle. The fact I had a video call with my dear friend in the Philippines is a miracle. The fact the things that used to plague me no longer do is a miracle. And I wish for other people to witness miracles in their own lives.

I dream of a world where people adopt the miracle mindset. A world where people view everything as a miracle. A world where people understand we don’t have to accept the status quo. A world where people are excited about change and possibility. A world where we allow for miracles.

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

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Interplay between Connection and Disconnection

This week my lifecoach tasked me with contacting a handful of people everyday about my book, speaking engagements, etc. At first I balked because I told him I didn't want to be "the weird girl." More than being afraid of rejection, I didn't want that familiar sensation of people staring at me blankly, or even worse turning up their nose at me. He asked me, "What's that like? The sensation of being the 'weird girl?'"

I told him it was a bit like being adrift at sea in nothing but a rowboat and no ships or people around for miles. The underlying feeling or sensation is one of being disconnected. Disconnected from other people, disconnected from my surroundings. For someone who LOVES to connect -- with other people, her environment, and even connect one person with another -- disconnection is like the ultimate hell.

A Mobius strip. True story, I have a pair of Mobius strip handwarmers.
However, what came out of my conversation with my lifecoach is that when I'm adrift at sea, I'm given a chance to connect with myself and also my higher power. So really, even when I disconnect I'm connected! It's a bit like a Mobius strip in that one feeds into the other. There is no end and there is no edge. I'm connected at all times, even if it's not to what I thought it would be.

When I articulated this to him, my fear went away. I realized yeah, I may disconnect from my audience, from the random person I contacted, or whoever, but that's OK because it gives me a chance to connect with someone or something else. I don't have to be afraid of disconnection because by acknowledging it, I'm allowing the space for a new connection to be formed. I'm allowing myself to drift about like a feather in the wind, blowing to its next destination.

I don't know if this blogpost is profound to anyone else, but to me, it's so indicative of how this world works, of its dualistic nature. That without dark there is no light. Without cold, there is no hot. And also how one feeds into the other. Out of darkness comes light and out of disconnection comes connection. It also shows me that sometimes it's within the depths of that which we fear, that we may find what we seek. That perhaps by venturing into what I'm avoiding at all costs I'll find what I'm attracted to.

I dream of a world where we understand disconnection is how we connect to something else. That connection and disconnection are two sides of the same coin. A world where we don't fear anything because we understand good comes out of the bad, and even what we fear the most may not be as scary as it seems. A world where we face what troubles us and know we'll still be OK. Because in the end, it may very well serve as a vehicle to get us what we want.

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

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nobody Knows (Except for You)

This week it has become clear to me nobody has all the answers when it comes to other people, and if they proclaim they do, they're selling something. I know that's a bit jaded but honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've been lured in by someone declaring, "If you follow my guidance you'll be a millionaire/attract the love of your life/be a best-selling author, etc." I get reeled in because I want those things and I so badly want to believe there is a formula out there I can follow so all of my desires will manifest.

Sadly (or maybe not so sadly), none of the teleseminars/webcasts/books, etc. ever work. Ever. I read a book that guaranteed if you followed all of the author's guidance you'd meet "the one" within about two months. I read that baby nearly two years ago and I'm still single. When I start to compare myself to others, asking, "Why did it work for them and not for me?" I get into trouble.

When I hear "Nobody knows" I think of Zazu singing his ditty in "The Lion King."
The truth is nobody knows what will work for me better than I do. They just don't. 

I'm so fired up by this topic because it's a part of my life's mission to remind people we all have an inner guidance system. Deep down, we all know what we need and want, maybe we just haven't been listening, or all the other voices are so loud they're drowning out our inner knowingness. I am so fired up by this because my whole life is about self-realization and service to humanity. How on earth am I supposed to be self-realized if I believe somebody else has all the answers?

That's not to say other people don't have great advice -- sometimes they do -- but it's crucial for me to add in a step, to pause and ask myself, "How do I resonate with this? Does it ring true for me?" There's the kicker: Everything in creation is unique and what works for someone else may not work for me. It's such a simple concept but it's a powerful one. Indeed, it follows on the tails of last week's post about feeling empowered. I can't be empowered if I keep giving my power away. I own my power by acknowledging I am my own authority when it comes to me. That despite someone else's qualifications, I still know myself better than anyone else does. Besides the fact, I'll probably save myself a lot of money because I won't try everything that crosses my path. . .

I dream of a world where we all pay attention to our own inner guidance system. A world where we understand we know what's best for us. A world where we pause, listen, and discern if what is presented before us has resonance. A world where we understand we already have all the answers we seek, sometimes we just have to wait for them to appear.

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