I’m in the process of moving to the left coast from New York, and just wrapping up a whirlwind week of exploring the San Francisco bay area. Thanks to friends willing to host me and schlep me around the city, I’ve gotten tastes of many of the neighborhoods here…. which was great at first, and then quickly left me feeling overwhelmed by the range of choices. Every place has its pros and cons, and I realized I hadn’t gotten clarity for myself of what I want from the environment I live in so I can thrive.
I had tea with a lovely new friend a few weeks ago. We talked about what it takes to live a full life, what holds us back, and how to get out of our own way so we can become the person we want to be.
He told me he realized years ago that he was his own worst enemy, his own worst critic, and his own biggest obstacle to achieving his dreams. He told me a story about how he has intentionally assembled a ‘delta force’ around himself….. colleagues, mentors, lovers and friends with whom he has explicitly developed support relationships to help him be the best version of himself. He called them his personal Board of Directors.
What an auspicious day! I’m 31 years old on the 31st, with a blue moon shining tonight.
In my quest for self-discovery and self-creation, I’m always scribbling pieces of advice to myself in the margins of notebooks and on sticky notes in my office. I try to integrate these learnings and apply them in my life as best I can. (though I seem to forget them and then rediscover them often.)
As a birthday reflection, here’s a roundup of 31 little nuggets of insight I’ve received along the way.
Hope you enjoy!
1. Life is an epic adventure.
2. At the end, we all die.
3. Have courage to tell the truth.
4. Observe with wonder and curiosity.
5. Ask for help.
6. You can only love others as much as you love yourself.
7. Pursue activities on a daily basis that make you feel alive.
8. ‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable answer.
9. Be clear about what you want, and communicate it well to others.
10. Listen to your body and the rhythms of your energy.
11. Honor your needs for intimacy and passion.
12. Check in daily with your thoughts and feelings.
13. Don’t feel guilty to put yourself first.
14. Accept what is.
15. Be bold about determining what’s worth saving, and what to scrap.
16. Avoid toxic people and drama.
17. Transform ‘work’ into creative play.
18. Control is an illusion. Let go.
19. Contribute to signal. Reduce noise.
20. Boundaries are important.
21. Without structure, creativity devolves to chaos.
22. Vulnerability is power.
23. Trust yourself.
24. Much of the world can be healed through dialogue.
25. Your tribe is out there waiting for you.
26. Share your gifts often.
27. Anchor in your purpose.
28. Face your demons.
29. The meaning of life is determined by us.
30. The past and future are beautiful, yet dangerous rabbitholes. Be present.
31. I know less than I used to. This seems to keep happening.
It feels like there’s a lot going on right now.
I’m consciously pushing myself to be better, trying out different ways of doing and being, existing much of the time outside my comfort zone, feeling afraid of failure or just plain confused.
I’m finally learning the importance now of self-care as I try to learn and grow. (thank you to all my friends who remind me of this constantly).
The week before last was super emotionally turbulent, and I felt like I was in a transformation period. I could *feel* old habits and ways of thinking and believing slowly loosening and dislodging themselves from my psyche. I felt like I was getting ready to step into something new, to sprout wings, and have a new stage of experimentation ahead.
I wanted help and guidance, and so turned to one of my healers, Eileen O’Hare. Eileen is trained in a lineage of Andean Peruvian shamanism, and uses various indigenous techniques (inquiry, dialogue, song, art, visualization) to aid people in their personal growth and healing. I went to her last Sunday for a session. It was supposed to last about an hour and a half, but we ended up going for nearly 4 hours. It was a powerful experience I’d like to share, with the intention that it inspires a path to healing or self-inquiry for you. Continue reading
It would seem that if one wants to engage in real transformation in the world, a shift has to take place, which is expressed through culture, but begins within.
Here’s an experiential exercise you can try, to simulate how I see it:
First, take your index finger, and point it away from you, and out into the world.
This is what all of us are familiar with doing, in some way. It’s identifying all the problems out there that need fixing. And there are many, many things, aren’t there? If only people would listen, things would finally change.
This is life from the bleachers.
Now, slowly redirect your index finger to point towards yourself, and bring it in until it’s touching the center of your chest. Perhaps you say out loud, “I AM.”
This is life on the field.
This is what world builders are doing. Continue reading
i didn’t want this day to end without having taken a serious look at where i have been in the past year and when i want to go next. i criticize myself horribly and never feel like i’m doing enough, so i decided to do a review of the past 12 months and show myself a bit of kindness and gratitude for what i *did* manage to accomplish. i feel insanely optimistic about 2012 being the year i finally align my energy and passion and go supernova.
so, here’s where i’ve been so far in 2011, and the experiences i plan to share with you this epic year of 2012. 🙂