Just Jump

Who ever said growing was easy? I don’t think anyone ever has. I’m constantly reminded that growing actually feels pretty uncomfortable – and that discomfort is therefore something to be celebrated. What a weird way to make sense of it all, right? But so true.

Recently I was challenged to make a list of all my deepest desires – the things I want to accomplish, my dreams and ambitions, what I want to create during this lifetime. At first the prospect of such a list was daunting, I thought I’d have hundreds of bullet points or not enough paper to fill all the to-dos. (Maybe not so) Surprisingly I arrived at a list of just around fifteen – including things like this:

  • Become a yoga teacher
  • Start a nonprofit
  • Travel the world, volunteering for causes I care about and connecting with new experiences and cultures
  • Start my own business that allows me to create my own schedule, help people in a meaningful way and use my creative energy on a regular basis

There were a few others but the above are figuring prominently in my mind, especially after just visiting one of my favorite yoga classes where I was wishing I was the one teaching (someday). After writing a list of my desires I was then asked to write the fear preventing me from fully going after each goal. The question I had to earnestly answer was: what is the fear preventing me from doing this and what, ultimately, does the fear want for me? Nine times out of ten (maybe more like 10/10 to be real) my fear is financially based or rests upon the thought of losing what I have – and how awful it will be to lose it (way to get ahead of myself – it’s like stopping before even starting).

Even more interesting is how the fears read so similarly, basically boiling down to the exact same pattern over and over. I’m afraid I won’t make money doing what I love. I won’t make enough money to support myself and meet my financial obligations (aka hellaaaaa student loans and credit card debt, lots of which was incurred while trying to pay student loans). I won’t be successful. I won’t be happy because I’ll be worried about financial stress the whole time. It won’t work out. Who am I kidding?

What does the fear want for me? Every time the fear just wants me to stay still. To not grow. To be stagnant. Because stagnation would be safe and familiar and – at least we’ll know what’s going to happen. You get the same result from doing the same things. Why is that more comfortable than going after my dreams? I’m learning that my mind needs to undergo some major re-wiring, it’s that simple. I have no reason to be afraid when I really think about it, the fear is never actually real. False Evidence Appearing Real. 

The fear is rooted in maybe something I grew up with, maybe from a past life (yes I’m taking it there) and certainly from a whole lot of subconscious conditioning growing up in American capitalist society (not being successful is like basically being dead). I’m sensing that by going after my deepest desires and putting the fears to the test I’ll actually undergo some major healing in the process – because I already know that I’m not going to evaporate if I’m not successful. I’m not going to die if I can’t pay Sallie Mae. People I care about won’t disown me if I’m not self supporting. There are always so many options, even if my mind just wants to focus on the one least common denominator aka worst case scenario manifesting. Getting jobs has never been hard – it’s the doing what I really love and fully putting my heart and energy into it all that’s been the most trying.

I’m sensing some major shifts going on this month, marked especially by a lot of heavy energy that feels to be pushing me forward, pushing me out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to grow and go for it. I’m practicing being really patient because another part of me wants to be super reactive and impulsively change every single thing over night. Remember: last week I wanted to move and even looked at a pretty [sketchy] studio in my neighborhood to momentarily qualm my interest. Lesson learned: turns out that getting some new books and maybe scheduling a hair appointment and getting a manicure actually help qualm the antsy feelings too, and don’t require the logistics of uprooting and moving apartments.

I’m excited to talk to my astrologer tomorrow and get some more support around all these fun ideas floating around my mind. I’m feeling very validated by some of the opportunities that have come my way recently and it feels like the universe is saying – go for it, you’re ready, just jump. 

Is Mindfulness The New Black?

Thrive LadiesLast Friday April  25th I was fortunate to attend Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Conference in Midtown NYC with United Women in Business (UWIB). The day hosted a packed program geared towards women seeking new ways to align with something called the “third metric.” This metric is a play on words wherein the first two metrics are what we, particularly in American culture, traditionally use to measure success: money and power. The third metric measures balance, happiness, health and fulfillment and is a mainstay topic throughout HuffPo’s women’s health blog.

I don’t know about you but I’m no stranger to striving for new ways to balance priorities and take better care of myself. New York City of all places has really schooled me in the importance of seemingly simple concepts like sleep, eating right and nurturing healthy relationships. Living here has also taught me what feels like a lifetime’s worth of lessons, the most important being that the amount of money I have does not at all equate to my true level of happiness.

The conference mantra centered on “Thrive” and all the ways various ways guests and participants find they can best tune into their true passions and find value in doing what they love. Finding small ways to give back, connecting with community and with yourself through meditation were discussion focal points. It’s interesting to see how mindfulness and spirituality are cracking into the mainstream at this very moment. Some conference attendees seemed to be absorbing these concepts for the first time although the practices shared derive from philosophies much older than any of us can imagine.

Blame it on amnesia or my all too overly exercised ADD. My memory is short and my attention span really stays in the day and little elsewhere. Funny how mindfulness and meditation seek to remedy exactly these attention deficit related issues, definitely felt by many but particularly stunted within my namesake demographic: #millenials. I think I speak for many when I say I am too comfortable with multi-tasking and being overstimulated to the max. Mindfulness is a nice compliment to my extraordinarily sped up style, and it might just be the key to slowing down and connecting with what it means to truly thrive.