Somewhere along the way I grew jaded. I mean that has to be the reason right? The reason I am questioning so much after spending so much of my time in this way of thinking. That I would devote so much time and energy into the thought and lifestyle of “following my bliss”. I curated the thoughts in my head, I used mantras, I cut out people from my life, and even would steer away from friends who had gotten sick because they must not have been aligned for something to go wrong, right?
I’ve always been an optimistic person and I’ve always been one to dive right in, and this stage of my life was no different. I had been living in Brazil and was totally lost, I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be and was searching for clarity. I was trying anything and everything and even fasted for about a month on just water with alternating days where I would drink some coconut water or some sugar cane juiced with lime. I taught myself to meditate and would create art for arts sake to see what was going on. This was all back in 2007-2008 and the internet was really just starting to kick off there weren’t a lot of resources like you can find now about all of these topics, so I just kinda figured it out as I went along. A sort of friend of mine said that he had been reading Joseph Campbell and in a short email exchanged mentioned the term “follow your bliss” and I grabbed ahold of it with all of my might.
I made posters with that wonderful phrase and hung them on my dingy apartment wall overlooking one of the busiest street intersections in Sao Paolo. I scribbled in my journals, and I meditated with it in mind, hoping to figure out what that actually meant and how I could use it to help my situation. One day at a friends ranch in the countryside, we ate some “Hawaiian babies” which were seeds from one of the plants in the yard. I had broken my fast by taking them and drinking watermelon blended up, a strange way of ending it, but I got the clarity I needed. I wasn’t a very good guest that weekend, I scribbled in my journal, I drew the fabulous magical plants around me and I came to realise that for me to follow my bliss meant that at any given time I needed to do what felt best to me, even if that meant being anti-social and completely doing my own thing, which I did. I had so many realisations that weekend while I was off my head and it certainly was an awakening of sorts.
Eventually after I was back in the US after my escape from Brazil, yes it was like an escape, but I’ll write more about that later, but after I was back in my home country I was even more lost than before. Familiar people, familiar places, familiar smells, but none of it felt fully like home. Yes I snuggled and cried and danced and swam and stomped through the snow in my beloved Yosemite, and did think about returning for another round, but I just couldn’t. I wasn’t the same, I was a different persona and I needed more than I knew how to get there. I continued to listen to the writing on the wall or take tips from people to heart, and one gave me a tip about a meditation centre nearby, one that had been there the entire time I lived in Yosemite but never knew about.
I spent time at this meditation centre and there’s more to this story too, but I’ll share more about that later. I will say that it was another one of those times where I met the right people at the right time, and forged friendships that would definitely support that stage of my life. I had learned about the power of manifesting along the way by writing down what I wanted and watching it unfold. I noticed this happen again and again and again. I also felt like it was contrived and I came to the point where I actually wanted to be surprised and let go of trying to be the master of my universe. I have still used that over the years though because I know the power of my words and the strength of my mind can cause tremendous change in my life and those around me. It sounds like a god complex kind of thing but it wasn’t, or maybe it was? Is this the heaven on earth scenario just a bit manufactured? Who knows. There are always questions.
So fast forward and I got into head on collision and I was fully into that mode of thought of Law of Attraction where what I think becomes, and was certain that I had created this crazy accident in some far-fetched way because I wasn’t on the path I needed to be on, so the Universe not so gently helped me correct course. Okay, I accepted that and it made sense. Maybe that’s the biggest part of all of this line of thinking, we always want everything to make sense, I always want to put everything into some neat little informational package so that all the pieces fit together, to tie up loose ends and ensure that it all flows so I can continue moving on to the next thing.
When my very complicated pregnancy came around, I did try to change my thoughts, I did try to manage my vibration but sure enough I couldn’t do it well enough, if looking through that lens, and had extended hospital stays, prescribed pain killers, and an emergency cesarean of my baby two months too soon, followed by an intense section of life of the emotional hell that is the NICU. I felt embarrassed that I wasn’t strong enough to handle the way it happened. I felt that I had failed in my own way of thinking and had surmised to this weaker state of mind which allowed all of the heartache and pain to happen. I didn’t want to share pictures of my child that would normally be joyous of his first days because to me he looked like an alien in a clear box with all kinds of tubes and wires hanging off of him, I had failed to create this birth for both of us, for all of us. Whoa it’s hard to confront this truth and I’m getting emotional typing it. I really felt like I had failed and let myself, my new son, my husband, and every other person I have every talked to about the power of thoughts, down. Like going through seeing your child like that and dealing with my own pain wasn’t enough, that feeling of failure was absolutely soul crushing. How could I have not been able to practice what I have preached and been able to do again and again in my own personal life before then? Oh boy it was a hard time.
I see how “thought leaders” in this industry of selling the thought that you have control over everything in your life attribute being poor with not being spiritual. I see them also attribute not being healthy or having an illness as not being spiritual, that you can just turn it around with your thoughts. I think it’s all a big pile of bullshit these days. I believe in optimism and I believe in setting goals and doing your best every moment and really finding the goodness in life, but everyone has the path they need to walk and to justify it one way or another is just making a huge pile of excuses and it may sell books or speaking gigs or classes, but I don’t subscribe to this thought any more and it feels like I am breaking up with it.
I do however still believe that my thoughts influence my life, absolutely. I absolutely believe that being optimistic can bring sunshine into the gloomiest of areas and help a person get out of situations to where they really do have more sun in the sky than rain, metaphorically speaking. I’m just dropping the judgemental part of it. We all get a starting point where we are, and sure enough we can do whatever we can with it, and that’s great, that is fine, that is enough, and things happen in life, it is our attitude that helps guide us through the process but that still doesn’t justify why there are kids who starve to death, or young people who get cancer or other atrocities like this, it’s not because they aren’t spiritual enough, it’s just the hand they have been dealt and that’s it.
I’m still holding onto the need for joy and laughter and fun and time off in my life. I am still holding onto the need for beauty and smiles and healthy living. I am still holding onto the fact that loving someone else and feeling that love back is one of the most precious gifts in human existence. I am still holding onto my way of being that likes to see the bright side. I am still holding onto my understanding that we aren’t really all created equally and that we all don’t have equal ways to get ahead or to progress and I have compassion for this. I am holding onto my belief that I still get to choose in every moment who I get to be and can be that person and allowing change to happen this way in my life now. I still believe that if you surround yourself with things/people/environment that make you feel inspired to be your best self, then its a hell of a lot easier to do so. I am still in total belief that I am here to make a positive impact upon the world and will continue to do so, even if with only my smile as I pass a stranger. I will continue to share love and be love because I can.