I still get very excited about my birthday and I thought the best way to celebrate it to share a piece of my day with you. The excitement begins just after Thanksgiving, as the holidays becomes apparent in every thing around us from decorations, family gatherings, social outings, parties and the generosity of gift giving and even the highly anticipated arrival of the new year. With all of this, it's no wonder I am so giddy and my desire to connect with others becomes even more of a priority.
Well this year is a bit different. Many of you know that this year, I moved across the country, closed my practice in NYC and after exploring a bicoastal business for several months, I committed to a full time life in LA and eventually revisited my practice in NYC after the summer and now back to traveling coast to coast again. This year has been completely out of control and has forced me to explore a life different from the one I was cultivating, developing and had always known.
So, after many months of me pretty much in a depressed state, I realized that what I thought was a sacrifice was really an investment in myself and what a gift that was. I spent many months allowing myself to really live in this truth with the many bouts of just wanting to hide under the covers, disconnect from the world and often experiencing thoughts of wanting to end my life but not really. It has been an intense rollercoaster ride. But of course these were feelings that were buried deep inside and perhaps did not have the time/space/room to even explore as I was too busy with life to even notice.
In LA, time slowed down ALOT and I was able to listen to my heart beat, orchestrate my breath and find those moments in between thoughts and all of the vast spaces hidden in silence. There were many skeletons hidden in there but what I also found was what actually inspired my heart to beat or what I desired to breathe life in to and also the beauty of the pause and the 'thing' inside of me that has been wanting to be seen and just waiting for someone to say 'I SEE YOU'. Well clearly this couldn't happen until I saw it for myself.
So why do I share all of this with you? Well, because (for my birthday) I want for all of you who are so busy with a hurried life, or living a life driven by external perceptions or perhaps even according to someone else's needs, whatever that may be, I want for you to at least know that living your life AS YOU ARE, who you truly are without the noise and expectations or comparisons or projections of anyone else but YOU is how we all truly want to live! So how about it? Let yourself be truly seen. If not now, when?
Remember how you felt when you hung that poster up in your bedroom when you were a young teenager? Or how you used to make mixtapes of your favorite songs that played on the radio? Or maybe your child is insistent in choosing their own outfit to wear to school even though she's only three? All of those feelings that you felt when you were doing exactly what you wanted to do as an expression of your true self is what we need to remember.
Now, we could argue that when you were growing up, this could have been viewed as an act of rebellion, remember when anarchy was cool, or when all of a sudden if you didn't fit in, you were the odd ball, whatever the general collective theme was at that time - and now we are entering an age where we are being called back to the things that make us unique for these are truly our gifts.
Do you know what yours are? Many of us have been so disconnected from how we feel that we don't even know anymore and many don't even like themselves. We're busy engaging in meaningless connections and even with all of the touch points in the world today as we build a wider network, we've lost depth and meaning.
1 in 4 americans state that they do not have a friend to confide in and this has tripled in the last three years. People are more isolated and lonelier than ever and studies have shown that weak social ties are as harmful to your physical health as being an alcoholic and twice as harmful as obesity.
Living in LA with no connections or network has shown me the terrible effects of loneliness. In one way I avoided contact with my former life as to not reflect to them that I was having challenges with this and on the other hand, I was desperately seeking someone to connect with and yet I couldn't find that even if it was available to me. Which brings me back to why I'm writing this piece. I wanted to share with you what turned things around for me in hopes that it could maybe help another.
I wrote my own eulogy - twice. One as if I died today and another as if I died much later in life. I know. I had asked myself if this is a bit eerie but I was called to do this exercise during a meditation and so I obliged out of curiosity. And I later found out that this is actually an exercise some are given in a psychology course or program which gives the writer a capacity to review their life to date and it lays out somewhat of a business plan of your life, what you want to be remembered by, your contributions or your legacy. You could even use this as a means to then apply different actions and goals because in the end, its not the goals that we really want to achieve but how we feel and make others feels that matter and how we want to be remembered. Gives us a different mode of operating. Eulogies never include career paths but what social impact we've made, nor the house or car we drove but how we welcomed others into our lives.
The purpose of writing this twice, I realized after I wrote it. I thought at first they wouldn't be much different but they were apparently so. This offered me context to what I am most proud of to date and what I am still needing to do and compartmentalize them in a way that supports me and offers me guidance. So this is just one example of how you can tap in to how you want to feel or how you want to make others feel by who you are (because of how you feel). Do you see it yet? Let it all come back to how you feel.
And so, as the year comes to a close and what a doozy it has been! Everything around us has been shaken up and what we value the most has fired us up and all of our dark bits that we thought were tucked away for good have resurfaced in efforts to heal and we are learning the importance of community, oneness, respect, sovereignty and self reverence. How do we get to these places? By honoring and exploring and rediscovering how we feel and of course, in sharing. Share everything. connect with others. Nothing is truly ours to hold on to.
May this inspire you to ask yourself for 2017 not what your resolutions are or what goals you want/need to set, but ask yourself how do you want to feel and how you want to make others feel too. If this is how you can approach the coming year and in all that you do, I can assure you that 2017 will be the BEST FUCKIN' YEAR EVER!!!!