Connection: Bridging the Gap Between Misunderstanding and Love

If you haven’t visited Venice Beach, California- it’s a special place. Along the Venice Boardwalk there are many street vendors and most of them are “Home Free.” Home free being what most would call “homeless.” While the residents here might not have a brick and mortar home, they do have a home and neighbors AND a beautiful back yard with a million dollar view. Just like you and me they they like to keep a nice yard and safe neighborhood, but more importantly they want to love and be loved. I’ve gotten to know, and learned a lot from, some Venice residents this week and this is the story of, Dom, my favorite.

Knowing Love in Venice Beach, CA

Early Friday morning I went for a quick swim in the Pacific. On the way out I saw a lady pacing while wearing just pajamas and socks on the beach: head down and seriously searching for something in the sand. On the way back from the surf I saw her again- in full search mode. I said “Good Morning.” She looked up at me softly, but straight in the eye and matter-of-factly said “Thank you. I needed that.” Then instantly she went back to searching, pacing and scouring the sand. About 20 seconds later she yelled something to me, which I couldn’t understand because of a helicopter overhead. She yelled again—I could see the passion in her face, her mouth move, and her entire body lean forward with each word. I still did not hear what she was saying. I pointed up to the helicopter and gave her a “Sorry, I don’t know what you are saying” shrug. We both stood there about 50 feet apart staring at each other waiting for the helicopter to go.  Then it did, and she yelled to me at the top of her lungs again: “WE ARE QUEENS BECAUSE WE KNOW LOVE!!”

Wow. I gave her a smile and a thumbs up. Then she immediately went back to searching and pacing again.

After lunch I saw her standing by her home on the Boardwalk. I walked up beside her and asked “Did you find what you were looking for?” As if she expected me to ask, and without looking up, she answered “no, but I found something else,” all the while continuing doing what she was doing.

She was a passionate young woman living in her own world… just like the rest of us. She seemed upset, even angry. I tried to connect and have a conversation, but she spewed back her story and her view of an unfair world. No matter how gentle and inquisitive I was, she continued on. It’s as if I could see her thoughts spinning a million miles an hour, her tongue not able to keep up, but doing its best. She was a human mannequin with a moving mouth, trapped by her thoughts in an apparent world full of hate towards her, towards those that came before her, and towards everyone that looked like her. There also seemed to be a lot of her own anger aimed toward people that, given the chance, might (probably) hate her. She definitely saw me standing there, but it seems she mostly saw my skin.

I could hear the love softly and fully embracing all of the fear and anger that spewed from her lips. I wanted to hug her and tell her we could be friends… There was no space for that at all. So I stood and listened, to the almost incomprehensible deluge of words falling from her lips like the water over ten Niagara Falls. Then I said it. Firmly, yet gently I said exactly what popped up to say… it passed over my lips almost before I realized it was there: “There is so much love in your anger…”

Poof! She instantly stopped mid-sentence, looked me straight in the eye and fiercely threw down the book she was holding. She then stomped off- yelling violently, her anger now full blow rage. She stomped and yelled at an invisible partner- circling around me several times. I reached for her once, she kept going as if I wasn’t there: round and round in rage. I stood quietly listening: waiting and wondering what might happen next.

Just as instantly as she started, she stopped while looking me in the eye- proclaiming “Look at this! It takes a white woman to understand me! You DON’T know ME!!!  But you do!” (This is paraphrased because from that moment on, the words coming from her mouth were that of someone that might be described as a Buddha Protégé… much of it entirely too deep for me to fully understand)

Her words were beautiful and descriptive- she got it. She got life. She understood deeply so many ideas and principles that many can’t comprehend in a lifetime of searching and studying. She was passionate, strong, philosophical, and spoke the Truth. I was amazed and the only thing I came up with to ask was “How old are you?” She was 19. Unbelievable: 19 years old and living under a tarp on the beach in Venice, CA. Her short platinum hair sprinkled with sand, her complexion perfectly clear, but dusted with a life lived home free. Her clothes looked the part of living under a tarp, but now her face and expressions didn’t.

We spoke some more, I asked a few questions, most of which she answered. We connected. When I asked what she’d most like to do if she could do anything, her answer: “I want to change the world.” Given the chance I’m sure she will. She is trapped in her own beliefs (just like you and me). She told me all the reasons she couldn’t. I hoped and wanted her to know she could. She read me several of her poems, some of which I did not understand… mostly because she is wise lifetimes beyond her years and I could not wrap my mind around what she was attempting to describe.

She gave me her first name: Dom. I wanted to give her something more- all I did was wonder with her: “I wonder what it would be like; what you and the world would be like if the anger was left to lie and you came from love….” and that was it.

She asked for my Instagram name- I wrote it on the last page of her book of poetry because I knew she would keep that book with her. My hope is to stay connected and I shared this with her.  I reminded her that she had the reigns and can find me anytime, but that it is up to her to take that step. I hope she does… I hope she takes many many more steps.

My bet is I learned much more from her than she will ever learn from me (these are just a few):

First, I learned to never skip a chance to say “Good Morning” 🙂

I learned connection comes in many forms.

I learned we can absolutely connect with anyone.

I learned that sometimes calling out the truth, even if it brings momentary rage, can connect people in ways that seem unimaginable.

Most of all- I learned we can all be:

“Queens because we know love.”

                           -Dom  Venice Beach, California on January 19, 2018

 

Until the next revolution.…

 

 

 

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Your Year of Possibilities

There is so much talk this time of year about goals for “2018.” I used to do that too, but I had realization that there is a MUCH better way.  Read on for an entirely different, more dynamic, and prosperous view on “goals” … and discover how a lasso relates to these new ideas.

Lasso Your Dreams

It’s About the Journey

Many goals are a destination—a place you want to be, a thing you want to achieve, etc. Often we forget about our present happiness, fulfillment, relationships, health, and so on. How successful and happy might you be if you fully enjoyed what you are doing now AND are heading in a direction that lights you up and gives you joy? My bet is the most amazing and magical opportunities will appear and those “goals” you have will be met and exceeded sooner than you imagine. Why? Because when we live and dance in the moment life comes alive, your creative potential skyrockets and possibilities appear all around you. The journey is where we spend all of our days! Enjoy it!

A Look Back

2017 was the most unbelievable of year change in my life. Many goals I previously had were left at the wayside… and they needed to be! Several of my dreams came to fruition in ways I could never have imagined. The most unbelievable opportunities popped up… and many of those opportunities were cloaked in what initially seemed like a tragedy.

Here’s the kicker: Absolutely nothing went according to plan, my way of approaching life is vastly changed, my ingenuity is at an all-time high… and I still cannot believe I am writing this blog from my new home on wheels (my Airstream trailer) in Texas Hill Country with the entire space of North America as my potential back yard.  <– This was not a goal for 2017!!

All of this happened simpler and quicker than my wildest dreams. It happened with relative ease AFTER I stopped making goals. Instead, I pointed myself in a direction, trusted, and took one step after another.

A Look back for You and Your First Two Questions to Explore:

What did you accomplish in 2017?

What did you learn?

 

The Ride of Your Life

Take a moment and visualize this (like watching a movie of yourself on a wall in front of you). Imagine your dreams threw a lasso around your wrist and were pulling you toward an amazing future: There you are initially running and sometimes stumbling, but keeping up just fine. Your arm with the lasso around it is outstretched as if an extension of the rope that is stretched so long and far that it disappears in the distance. There is a look of astonishment (and some shock!) on your face melded together with an ear to ear smile.

You are much much more of a passenger than a tour guide, and you are ok with that! You trust this ride is exactly perfect… even though you don’t know what “perfect” is.  Amazement, happiness, success all are right there for you to experience in the now and continually appearing on the path. People see you and your rope and are intrigued. Many are joining in and are walking alongside (some have been a part of your life forever and there are many new faces too). Some people aren’t joining in and that’s ok. They disappear into the dust that fills the air behind you- maybe you’ll see them soon, maybe not. Sometimes you are meandering, sometimes sprinting as fast as Usain Bolt, sometimes jogging, sometimes walking. You are going with the flow in the moment all the while being pulled forward gently by your rope that is a constant companion.

Life can be lived in the same way. It’s much simpler than many imagine…. And more fun. Trust, head in the direction of your dreams and be open to what lies ahead. Looking back at this year I have learned a lot, and I’ve only begun to grasp the possibilities. Here are just a few of the realizations I’ve had:

Every tragedy is a blessing

Even though I look back and see that 2017 was the most transformative year of my life, it also contained some of the toughest and heart wrenching days and weeks I’ve experienced. In the moment its ok to be sad, hurt, to cry, to lean on others. Everything always works out for the best- always. Sometimes it’s not apparent in the midst of a situation, but every tragedy is a blessing.

Feel all the feelings

Feelings are part of living- all feelings. Thankfully I was reminded by someone close to me to experience all the colors of the rainbow. Sadness, anger, disappointment, and all the stuff I often pushed under the surface. Each is a part of the rainbow of life. Feel it, experience it, and know that your feelings will come and go: sometimes swiftly, sometimes after a while. There is nothing “to do.” Go with it: Experience the wide array of colors and you’ll be richer for it.

Understand Who You are and How Life Works

We naturally get much more out of ourselves when we insightfully understand more about who we are and how life works. When we really understand how something works, from a toaster, to driving a car, to gravity it becomes simple and easy. When we don’t have to think about it anymore and just do it: We toast our toast, we drive, and fall to the ground with a sense of ease and simplicity. With a deeper and deeper understanding about how our minds work, how life works, how the human system works… everything, absolutely everything continually simplifies.

Sacrificing Happiness isn’t Required

Don’t sacrifice current happiness for a future goal. Be happy now. Enjoy life, head in a direction, dance in the moment, see what comes up. Putting your nose to the grindstone isn’t the best way. Be gentle, be caring, be open: Have a vision and head in a direction. You don’t have to know how you will get there, because the unimaginable happens. When your nose is to the grindstone you miss out on the magical stuff. Enjoy the journey and be open to notice all the possibilities.

Live in the present

Have fun, enjoy the people and places along your path. Life is so much richer with eyes wide open to the here and now. Many people think that happiness comes from success, but happiness breeds success. Be present, be happy and “success” will be inevitable.

What do you notice in these ideas? I would love to explore more with you.

Your Year Of Possibilities

This is your year of possibilities. What would you like to create? Consider this sentence, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if _____.”  If you could fill in the blank with absolutely anything, what would it be? Put it out there! What would be fun, exciting, or just perfect for you? Point yourself in that direction, let that lasso loop around your wrist, and continue on your journey. Trust, be open, and see what happens… It just might be seemingly effortless and a lot fun.

Your Next Two questions to explore:

What would I most love to achieve in the next year?

What is my next (or first) step?

Point yourself in a direction. Take a step, see what comes up. Take another. This is a simple process, once you have a deep understanding about who you are, how your mind works best, and how life works… then simplicity, happiness, freedom, and success all will be roped together with you in the lasso of life. Interested? I can help you get there all the while enjoying the journey.  Let’s have a chat and start creating something amazing.

Happy 2018! Make this your most enjoyable and successful year yet

 

… until the next revolution.

 

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