Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Serendipity... and how this reminds me about Divine Timing.

"There is nothing more perplexing in life than to know 
at what point
you should surrender your intellect to your faith."
~Margot Asquith


Today was amazing. The more I let go and practiced faith, the more the Universe revealed herself to me.

It started by bringing a friend who I haven't seen in years to Lofty Bean. We'd spent the previous day catching up and encouraging one another to believe that the best is unfolding for us, so this morning, I begin to tell her about my friend T, and how he represents what good love is. 

"I don't think I'm ready for good love yet, but I'm working on it," I tell her. "And my friend T is just this amazing person who is what good love is all about."

Before my sentence was out of my mouth, T whizzes right by us on his bike and parks it just a short way ahead. I see his blue shoes and curly hair zipping by and realize who it is.

"T!" 

He looks up and smiles. I walk into his arms for a hug, and whisper "serendipity," because during the previous time we hung out, I mentioned how each and every time the last guy I was interested in would text or call, T would do the same at the precise right moment. 

"I felt like it was the Universe's way of showing me, 'Hey, here's this good guy over here... why do you keep choosing the bad guy?'" I told T.

"I get that a lot," he responded. "People often say, 'That's so serendipitous, T. I was just talking about you' or 'I was just thinking about you, and you show up.'"

The best part about this story is that after M and I had left his company, T texts me: "So I'm out riding my bike this morning and say to the Universe: 'ok, I'm going to Lofty and I'm going to meet an amazing woman there. A woman who truly loves herself, everyone and everything and capable of being loved and loving me without either of us expecting anything in return.' 90 seconds later, you're hugging me and say 'serendipity.'"

I marvel at his message, that he even took time to share it with me, and that the Universe helped our paths cross this morning. 

M & I migrate over to Cafe Ipe for me to do a bit of work, where two other gorgeous friends come to meet us. While there, I spot a good-looking man who I've seen multiple times before, and just as I was about to start conversation with him, he packs up and leaves. 

Annoyed at the misalignment, I silently ask the Universe, "Could you please balance out that interaction somehow and remind me everything's going to be okay and to have faith?" 

An hour later, a potential client and newfound friend — who I had previously met at Ipe — taps me on the shoulder. We'd mentioned throughout our exchanges that if either of us go to the cafe in the future, we'd let each other know and I had thought about doing so earlier, but hadn't yet done so.

"Hey," he says quietly.

I look up. 

"Hi!" I say, surprised. 

We end up chatting for more than an hour, rolling through various sorts of interesting conversation. All the while, in the back of my head, I am thanking the Universe for the opportunity to get to know this man a bit better, as I truly enjoy our heartfelt interactions. Whatever the outcome might be isn't up to me. I'm remaining curious, inviting in what's meant to happen for the best of all concerned, and learning how to thrive in the mysterious gap between what I am doing and what'll eventually happen. 

I have learned most recently that I have to let go of the illusion of control, because the harder I push, the more I compromise myself, which I never want to do again. Right now, all I can do is be clear and open for whatever might unfold, set a sweet intention, and leave the rest up to the Universe. 

Just for today, I enjoyed the gift of his company and stories immensely.

The sun sets and I'm hungry. Being that I'm on a 30-day healthy living plan, I head to my default happy place, Whole Foods. Before I walk in, I'm finishing a conversation on the phone and suddenly, a beautiful friend I haven't seen in a long while jumps in front of me and waves her hands. I smile and hug her with all my joy. After purchasing my groceries, I almost walk out the door before hearing, "Judy!" and turn to see another good guy friend I get an opportunity to catch up with.

After eating quickly at home, I head to the climbing gym to meet A, a woman who I've known vaguely for a couple of years and suddenly, at this juncture in time, we find ourselves kindred spirits in the journeys of our lives. I'm inspired by her strength and her newfound happiness in more ways than one, and thankful to have another female confidante who is vibrant and intelligent.

"It's so different in here at night," she tells me. "There's just so much random energy and it's really distracting."

I agree wholeheartedly, which is why though T plans to meet me for climbing as well, he sends me a text to echo exactly what A observes. I meet T outside. 

"Sorry," he tells me. "I walked around looking for you, but it was just too much in there."

"That's okay," I respond. "I agree, it's a little intense. I feel badly that you drove all this way though, and that you're not going to climb?" 

"That's okay," he says in turn. "It was worth it for the hug."

I smile. 

"Let me get my stuff together," I tell him, "And I'll come out and hang with you."

We sit in his car to escape the cold. He rings these unique sound pods in my ears and which instant turns the corners of my mouth upward for the fact that he always has a musical instrument on hand, and they're always delightful. 

After a bit of chatting, he asks, "Are you hungry?"

"Sure, I could eat. Do you like Indian?"

T laughs enthusiastically and affirmatively. I decide to take him to a little mom-and-pop place in an industrial strip mall, a place that's completely undiscerning and absolutely delicious. The tables are packed by the time we get there, so a couple offers for us to share their table. 

We do. T and I are making small chitchat, and we overhear their conversation just as they are listening to part of ours. It turns out, the couple is aiming to figure out their next steps in their careers, and the wife is encouraging the husband to play music, while the husband is encouraging the wife to pursue her writing.

T looks at me and winks. T is a musician. I am a writer.

Something the gentleman says causes T to happily interject, and soon, the four of us are having a conversation about life, pursuing our passions, taking risks, going against the grain, and discovering what each of our gifts are. The more we talk, the more we cannot believe the coincidence that is unfolding before us: she wants to pursue writing, but she's afraid of how vulnerable it will feel, and putting herself out there in that way. She's also learning Reiki. He used to be a molecular biologist, and would love to get into music among other things. T used to be a molecular biologist and is now preparing to perform in Bali.

"I'm just so left-brained," the man Dave tells us. "I need proof."

"If you need proof," I impart, "It's all around you — you just have to look for it."

Then, T and I share with them the experience we had this morning at Lofty Bean. 

"It's everywhere, miracles are unfolding in every minute," I encourage. "You just have to be open to seeing them." 

By the time we get up to leave, they are thanking us for sharing the table with them and how grateful they are to have met us. We tell them the same. We share bear hugs as our goodbyes. T and I get back into his car.

"Y'know," T pauses after starting the car. "Earlier, when I got to the climbing gym and realized I couldn't go in there again after searching for you the first time, I thought you would think that I was such a pussy," he confesses.

"I wouldn't think that!" I assure him.

"But then I realized that it was because we weren't meant to be climbing. We were meant to be here, meeting and talking to Pia and Dave."

I nod. We begin to drive, and T says quietly, "They had 'new eyes.'"

"I love that!" 

I knew exactly what he meant. They were hungry, eager to discover a new way of being that meant leaving what they've known to safe behind. They were on the cusp of discovering their truths, what they had always known all along, but were now ready to make real.

"They inspired me," I tell T, "It affirmed that I really do have to take a chance sometimes and live in the unknown. And, I think we inspired them just by being who we are and living our truths, no matter what."

"We're awesome!" T exclaims, raising his hand to give me a high five. 

I slap my hand in his. 

"We really are."

Thank you, Universe, for always being on my side and reminding me to let go and have faith. Serendipity is tied to Divine Timing, and when I surrender, the ways things unfold are truly more amazing than I could ever believe. Thank you for today.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fumbling towards grace.

"Seeking happiness, I passed many travelers 
headed in the opposite direction,
seeking happiness."
~Robert Brault

The other day, a friend of mine told me that I'm approaching everything in my life so gracefully right now.

I responded, "If this is grace, then I'd hate to see what muddling through everything is!" Because however people perceive me on the inside, when you're on the inside, it's a different story. When you're on the inside looking out, changes seem to come incrementally. Occasionally, there are big wallops here and there, but for the most part, I feel as though I'm piecing together bits and parts of a jigsaw puzzle that I'm not even sure what the final picture is supposed to look like.

It feels like fumbling. That's what "grace" feels like.

I met with my mind-body mentor yesterday, and updated him on my life in the weeks between the last time I saw him.

He smiled broadly, "I'm so proud of you — you're doing great!"

I looked at him, perplexed.

"Really?" I questioned. "Because it certainly doesn't feel like that from here. Everyone else around me tells me that they notice these profound shifts, and here I am, feeling like I'm far from the serenity that they perceive me to have."

"Of course it doesn't feel like that for you," he said. "Because you're in the thick of it. But, you really are making great progress."

I shrugged. "Okay, I'll believe you. Hopefully, I'll feel that soon, too."

We have a whole other process to work through together, and I'm eager for it. It'll help me reveal a lot of the patterns of my relationships, be it friends/colleagues/partners/whomever they may be. I've noticed that how I am in one arena really does permeate in others, because the reason I'm a consultant is because I like to help people fix things. I do this with my clients, and it's one of the reasons I'm being asked to take on a much greater role for one of my current projects. People feel good when they're around me. They're happy. They're calmer. They feel more empowered to become who they'd like to be. And, this is what I teach in yoga classes, what carries through to my Reiki clients. But most of all, being a freelancer and consultant gives me the freedom to leave when I need to, when I feel that I've become too close, when another opportunity begins to look more appealing. This trend also carries through to when my friends and family want to love me, and I want to pull away. This is why I have chosen relationships in the past where I know on some gut level that it won't work out, because that way, I can always have an excuse as to why I'm not living the life of my dreams instead of risking it all and going for it.

So, that's what I'll be embarking on soon, all that I've learned on how to relate to others from my father, which "statistically speaking" as Barry, my mind-body mentor observed, goes a lot faster than unearthing my history with my mother. I'm ready for the life of my dreams. I've worked hard to get here, and this is why I'm an awesome teacher. Because I speak from experience and from a yearning to go deeper, know more, be better.

While I genuinely am not certain about a lot of things, I'm still putting one foot in front of the other with a heart as open as I'm able to hold. I have opportunities before me right now that I can say "yes" to, or "no." After an enjoyable conversation with the owner of Mission Playground a few days ago, during which he shared the understanding that where we stand now is the culmination of all the decisions we've made up until this point, I wonder where I'll be in years to come based on how I walk the path through the choices that are presenting themselves to me now.

It's really hard to be in the unknown. But, perhaps a reassuring fact is that I'm not alone in this. We're all in various stages and depths of the unknown. I talk a lot about these things to close friends and confidantes, but whatever they tell me will still not make things known. They're hypothesizing and sharing what they've learned, yet there's still not any certainty to the insights they provide. And I guess grace is being okay with this — it's being all right with feeling like I just have no clue, really. As much as it may look like it on the outside that my life is all put-together, I'm fumbling. And these days, all I can do is shrug and accept that's where I am.

Maybe one day, I'll trip my way into feeling like I've got it figured out.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Losing sight of the big picture.

"Let's not forget that the little emotions
are the great captains of our lives
and we obey them without realizing it."
~Vincent Van Gogh

Over Christmas, I was hanging out with my brother and had my laptop in my hands, walking back to the room where I'd be spending the night. As I did so, I looked to the left and saw an amazing Playstation record mixer, so I paused and turned back towards my brother to ask him about it. Without realizing it, I had tilted my palms so my Macbook Air came sliding down my hands towards my face and BAM! The edge of my laptop screen hit my lip and caused me to yelp in pain as blood began to cover the now open wound.

The next day, I look like I had duck lips. My mother looked at me compassionately and said, "When you were all growing up, we'd be worried about your younger siblings getting hurt, but in the end, it was always you who'd end up with the worst boo-boos."

An apropos statement on so many levels.

The days that passed helped my lip heal, but I notice now a slight mark on the outline of my lips. No one else notices, just me. I like my lips. I didn't used to realize how juicy and full they were, how much they lend to my smile and to the kisses I give, but now, I dig them as one of my favorite features. So, when I noticed that in the healing process, I was walking away with a scar, I became disappointed and felt like the Universe was teaching me once again not to get so attached to the things I enjoy — or even don't like — because you never know what change will happen.

My brain constantly feels rattled these days with so many projects happening at once. There are the four marketing clients I'm juggling, the yoga studios/corporate clients/private clients I regularly teach every week, the workshops that will be launching later this month, the tangible and e-products I'm creating to support these endeavors, the book I'm writing, and mostly, the work I'm doing on myself as I aim to complete the mind-body program I embarked on months ago. I don't actually think there'll be a finish date to the last one, that it'll be a perpetually evolving releasing of the past and embracing the present into the future, but it can take a wallop on the psyche and the soul. All of this amidst my yearning to get back into being fully active as I'm not sure how/when my hip will heal. 

As always, it's a lot.

I might be going a bit stir crazy, finally, from not being able to surf and climb and yoga and run in all the ways that I am accustomed to, but there are subtleties that I'm learning throughout this process. Like getting craftier with the goods I make, meditating and writing more, and practicing other styles of yoga, like Restorative, as well as the big understanding that real yoga is what happens off the mat and in my daily living.

On top of all this, I keep wondering when I'm going to meet my soul mate. I don't know why I'm worried, why I feel like the Universe has been amazing to me in every other element of my life and I can powerfully manifest my wildest dreams come true for career and experiences, but when it comes to this aspect of completing the big picture — finding a real partner for the rest of my days — this is hard. I lose faith. I don't have trust. I'm impatient. I believe that he's out there, that he's working on himself in the same ways that I am, and when the Universe is ready, it'll gently present us with one another. In the meantime, the not knowing and the waiting and the wondering is driving me batty.

But, this could very well be, because my brain is looking for a diversion. Here I am, on the cusp of living out my dreams come true with writing my manuscript and having phenomenal resources in my corner ready for it to launch, but I want to look for something else? I want to control everything again? I want to sabotage all the good things I've got going for... what? Because I think I know better about what my heart wants and what will make me truly content? 

It could also be a learning in the fact that I have this sneaking suspicion when I stop looking outwardly to complete what I feel inwardly, when I understand I already have all the love I need inside to be happy, then BAM, everything I've wanted will be right there. If I can be present and not focus on what's lacking, on the little details that no one else can see, then I'll be able to enjoy the big picture of what's really happening. Maybe it won't look the way I thought. Maybe the things I think that make me so happy now will actually be different if I can stop trying to make my life turn out the way that I believe is best. Because, as I've always believed, "This or something better." 

Who knows what wonder the world has in store for me? 

I'll stop staring at my lips and focusing on the one boo-boo that recently cropped up. Maybe then, I'll see what's real. That my lips are still juicy and perfect for smiling and pouting and, one day, kissing.