Vacation & Romance

I know to some it seems like my life is one big vacation. It is not, I assure you. I still need to create time to disconnect, unwind and relax. Over the next two weeks I will do just that with My Guy.

His giant hand holding mine

Speaking of My Guy, this seems as good a time as any to share a bit about him. Kirk and I have been close friends for over 20 years. In the past five years or so he’s become one of my very best friends. Over the past year we’ve found ourselves morphing our relationship from friendship to romance.

This has been all sorts of amazing and juicy. And also very weird. But mostly juicy.

It’s weird because we have so much history and know each other so well. Some of the typical relationship phases just got skipped entirely.

It’s juicy in that we have very well established rhythms and ways of communicating that worked as friends but not so much as Partners so we’re both having to learn, evolve and adjust in our communication. Also juicy in that we have both been pushed to really grow as individuals in order for this Partnership to work – we both like growth, so that’s good. 🙂

Sarah, Kirk and I on a ‘family’ beach weekend.

Also, for clarity’s sake it seems wise for me to mention at this point, in addition to my Partnership with Kirk I also have a Partnership with my Platonic Wife, Sarah. I’ve also known Sarah for about 20 years. I’m very blessed – I know.

Anyhow, today Kirk and I embark on our first road trip together and, at 12 days the longest period of time spent together. Wish us luck and follow me on Instagram for pics and updates as I doubt I’ll be sharing much here.

 

Power = Responsibility

I spew forth things that come naturally to me, whether it’s a perspective, solution, a suggestion for a next step…to me it feels like stating the obvious or, common sense.
I have to start paying attention and be responsible for the fact that these things are not obvious to all. Sometimes the things I’m saying or suggesting are quite confronting and complex to those around me.
I’m becoming more aware of when I’m using my superpower so that I can be responsible for making sure I use it for good and to serve.
While it’s exciting because I’m seeing just how powerful I am, it’s also intimidating because with power and success comes responsibility.
The other day I was serving someone by coaching her on boundaries and we talked through how and where she could apply them, specifically in her struggling marriage. Boundaries is an area where I have some mastery, these concepts come very naturally to me (makes sense for someone bartering around the world, right?) but for my new friend these were foreign concepts. At some point in the conversation it hit me that I could literally be saving or destroying a marriage with this coaching.
SuperpowerI believe you have your own superpower that, if fine tuned and used regularly, could make you this powerful as well. Do you know what it is? Do you know when you use it? Do you use it responsibly?
It’s becoming very clear that part of the reason for my focus on connection, service & fun this summer is for me to fine tune my own superpowers.
Good stuff I tell ya.

How I conquered NYC

In March of 2015 I arrive in NYC for a biz event. It was far from my first trip to the city, it was, however, my first trip to NYC alone. I had no specific friend I was visiting, no group I was a part of, no one to follow around. I arrived via bus from DC and when I left the bus station I found I was intimidated to hail a cab.
Me. Intimidated by a mundane every day task.
Sitting in that cab I realized that I was generally intimidated by all things NYC: the vibe, the speed, the transportation and even the people who chose to live among all of it.
I decided that I was not okay with this and that by the end of the year I would transform this. It’s now June of 2016 and I’m proud to say that I can very confidently say ‘I’m no New Yorker but I’m definitely not a tourist’.
I now easily and adeptly navigate the subways and streets. The adjustment goes deeper than that though. The shift in me, the decision to play nice with this city has also resulted in a shift in how I relate to everything in the city. There’s a phrase in a transformational community I’m part of that goes something like ‘Who you Be can impact everything’ and this is a prime example.
Once I shifted from being scared and intimidated to being confident and determined the city opened itself up to me.
A year ago when I visited the city I found people to connect with, business meetings to schedule, but I spent a good part of my day occupying myself and it was no problem to find time to be productive. This trip my days have been so full of connections that I’ve had to merge meetings and today I actually canceled a few to carve out some productive time. The city is the same city. I’ve just opened myself up to feeling it’s love.
There have been a few times this week where it’s a bit surreal for me. I’m fabulous at the fake-it-til-ya-make-it approach to confidence, but often my monkey brain is going crazy with all the reasons I’m actually inadequate in any given situation. This week I’ve found myself shocked at how silent it has become in my head, the conversation of inadequacy has virtually disappeared. As I’ve moved around the city this week and connected with about a dozen amazing people, sharing the craziness of my intention for the summer, I have experienced a new found sense of confidence in all of it: my actions, my speaking, my intention. I don’t honestly know where it’s coming from or how I created it, but I suspect it has something to do with my choice to be a certain way in this city.
What a great reminder of how perfect everything is!
I hadn’t originally planned to start my Gypsy Life in NYC, I was supposed to start by going to CA. My Guy had a gig in NYC offering me a free place to stay, my Soul Sister lives in Harlem and my gut told me to tag along – so I did. Now I see clearly how perfect it is to launch my new lifestyle and my summer of Connecting, Serving & Fun here. It’s provided the perfect validation, confidence and awareness I need. If I can experience this sort of success in such a consumer focused, busy city, imagine what I’m in for out West. #squee
Lessons :
  • Notice when I feel withdrawn or negatively toward a community or city – take that on and shift my being
  • I have to be open to a community for it to open itself to me
  • I can call any city home if I say so

Who are you?

Identity has been a theme throughout my conversations in NYC. Specifically the notion of ensuring that you base your identity on who you are and your core values versus any one area of your life or label you wear.
This is easier said than done. It is so easy to allow an external force to run your world.
For example work, or running a business, it can easily become the thing you invest so much of your time and energy in that before you know it your identity is wrapped up in your work. You start to judge your worth and value by your performance or your biz success. Similarly, it can be easy to allow your identity to be defined by a label you wear, gay, smart, black, victim, hippy, parent, student, health nut, nomad.
When any one area of your life begins to become your barometer for your overall success in life is when I start to get concerned.
You are more than any one area of your life. When you disappear into one area and allow that one thing to measure your worth there are several dangerous things happening.
  1. You’re not nurturing the other areas of your life and being. If you identify (and measure your worth) by your career, and hence pour all of your energy into that – every other area of your life is likely not well attended to.
  2. If something goes awry in that area it can feel like it’s destroying your entire life because you’ve allowed that one thing to become your life.
  3. It is inevitable that you will burn out on that one thing. Whether it’s because of the investment or simply that you need to grow beyond that label.
  4. It’s easy to disappear into it and forget why you allowed it to become your identity in the first place. What were you originally committed to that started it all?
This last one is the most dangerous in my eyes. This is when we slip into survival mode. You keep repeating the same patterns over and over out of habit without being clear on why, what they actually provide you with. Being super clear on your core values, working to understand your purpose and making sure that all of the various areas of your life support this is one of the foundations of being able to create a life you love versus merely surviving life.
Definitely has me looking to see if there’s any aspect of my life or label I wear that I’ve allowed to become my identity.

Lunch with a Male Escort

I love people. I love connecting with new people and learning about their lives, their views, what makes them tick. Even if it’s completely different than my own life and views.
There’s something to be learned and discovered in the differences, the gaps and the space between where they are and me.
When I share bits of myself with another, and then I have the privilege of hearing their perspective on it, how it resonates with them, how they relate, and sometimes even what they think I’m capable of (which is often different and/or bigger than I see for myself). There is something magical about seeing myself through someone else’s lens. It can actually provide a whole new portal for me to see not only myself but also the world. And I love providing this new lens for others.
There is something particularly juicy and enlightening about discovering a connection with someone who has a wildly different background, lifestyle or world view. It’s a fantastic reminder that ultimately, we e all human, there are others who are up to big things, and if we openly look we can find commonalities.
Adam & SunniToday I had lunch with Adam. We connected through #TabooTalk,  I’d never met him in person before. All I know is that he works in the sex industry and seems to operate with a bigger purpose. There was no agenda for our meeting, no desired outcome, no real obvious connection besides a mutual fascination and willingness to explore. It could easily seem, to a ‘normal’ person like a waste of time. In fact, even a year ago I likely wouldn’t have prioritized meeting with him.
It was SO productive!
I learned that Adam is making a massive difference in the world by working with gay men to help them heal and step into their sexuality. This leaves his clients happier, more fulfilled and with new emotional bandwidth to be up to big things. So while, yes, technically he is a sex worker, he is also someone who helps men to heal, connect with themselves and ultimately helps to make way for more awesome.
The world needs more of this!
We spent about two hours together. The conversations wove its way through our business goals, our spiritual journeys and our concerns for the global human outlook. We both shared openly and listened fully.
As we parted ways Adam told me that I’d given him a lot to think about, he shared that I’d inspired him and also validated some things for him. We made plans to connect again in the future.
As I reflect back on it, I got so much from this interaction. Through hearing his perspective on my own world I saw new avenues and actions I could take. I learned new ways to describe my commitments. There are aspects of how I’m living my life right now that I’ve learned to explain and justify since most people don’t ‘get it’ – Adam immediately got it and was quickly able to point to other elements that had everything make sense on a deeper level. I learned a lot from sharing and then listening, like really, openly listening, to Adam.
We seek out people who are like us, it’s normal, it feels good and safe. The unfortunate outcome is that there are all these little segregations around the US. It becomes second nature to notice a difference rather than curiously seeking out commonalities. I encourage you to look for the commonalities after you notice a difference – it will undoubtedly lead to something juicy.

Redefining “productive”

I did it. I’ve moved out of The Sunshine Bungalow and into a storage unit. I’m staying with Sarah, my Platonic Wife, for a few weeks while I focus on my health and figure out how I’m going to actually accomplish this nomadic bartering lifestyle.

It’s amazing how weak I feel. It makes sense after 6 months of mostly bed rest. Even a good, brisk walk felt like an accomplishment last month. Doing the physical work to clean out what was left in the house, pack up and move was so perfect, it allowed me to ease into things and on my own timeline. I’m no fool though; I still have a lot of strength to regain.

While I do spend a fair amount of time working my connections and planning out my nomad adventures I am committed to investing most of my time and energy on my body until I actually leave Orlando.

Here’s what my average day looks like right now.

9am – lazily wake up (no phone allowed until breakfast)

9:30am – Elixir (warm water, honey, ginger and lemon juice) then Wheatgrass smoothie

9:45am – Yoga and breath work

10:30am – Healthy breakfast (usually oatmeal with nuts, fruit, vanilla and cinnamon) and catch up on social media

11am – cardio (gym, or more likely aqua aerobics/laps in the pool 10 ft from Sarah’s condo)

11:30am – Lounge by Pool (Vitamin D/Reading time)

1pm – Shower & Healthy lunch

2pm – Coffee Shop – work with clients, contacts or do research

6pm – Dinner (cook or meet friends)

8pm – TV time w Sarah

11pm – Bed

I often squeeze a good hour long nap into my afternoon and some coloring meditation into my evening.

This seems crazy to me.

In my mind there’s only like 3 hours a day that I’m actually being ‘productive’ by working on my computer toward my business. How lazy can I get!?!?

But then, that implies that I’m only productive when my business is my focus.

Sigh. I have so much reprograming to do.

It’s so perfect though. For this life I’m designing to work, the one where I am traveling constantly, I will
have to be able to place value on time where I’m focused on my wellbeing. Right now I’m spending most of my day focused on my mental and physical wellbeing, which, I imagine, will make it easier to prioritize these activities once I’m on the road.

At least that’s the plan…

Maybe I’m a Sorceress

It’s only been a couple of weeks since I said I was going to travel and barter. That’s it. And already I have three clients.

I cast a spell when I said I wanted to be using my strategic skills via barter agreements and poof – there it is. It’s like Magic. Maybe I am a sorceress.

I often say out loud, in conversation,

I am very Powerful – you have no idea what I can make happen.

Sometimes I say it as much to encourage the listener to think of themselves as powerful as well. My secret is that it’s a bit of a fake it until you make it strategy. Part of me believes that statement, probably the part that’s connected with my Higher Self and Purpose. Part of me laughs hysterically at the absurdity of it all and doesn’t believe it one bit. Thing is, the more I say it the more true it becomes. I have three new clients to show as evidence. Try it, I dare ya. I suspect we’re all wizards and sorceresses of our own lives.

PS – try googling images of Wizard, then Sorceress…wizards are mostly cute and cartoony and then sorceress is all sexualized. Made me sorta sad.

Designing My Life

It’s been happening little by little, I seem to be leaning toward a minimalist lifestyle, and something tells me I’m not done slimming down my life.

This is primarily a result of me refocusing my intentions. I spent a great deal of my life in survival mode, reacting to the things around me, putting out one fire after another. I would go to bed and then wake up thinking about all the things I needed to react to. Over the past several years I’ve made a shift into what I call Anti-Survival Mode, where I actually intentionally design my life, proactively making things happen.

For me (this is not the case for all), shifting into Anti-Survival Mode and the shift of perspective that comes with it, has inspired me to slow down and take time to be grateful for what I have and practice designing my world on a daily basis.

What’s funny is I’ve been encouraging my clients to do this in business for years,  I always start by asking two questions:

  • Where are you already winning?
  • What result do you want to produce?

As I do the work to develop my Spiritual Practices and shift my whole life into Anti-Survival Mode, I see that I now start each day off with a variation of those same two questions:

  • What are you grateful for?
  • What is your intention?

I ask these questions daily, in fact I write them down (old school pen and paper) before I get out of bed each day. I don’t just scribble something though. I spend about 5 minutes on it.

Once I pinpoint what I’m grateful for, I spend a couple of minutes meditating on how I’m grateful. What has it given me? What has that then given others? What would life be like without it? Where did it come from, what or who do I need to acknowledge for its presence in my life?

As for my intention, I spend a couple of minutes with it as well. I look at who I have to be today to have that intention get fulfilled. For example, if my intention is ‘productivity’ then I have to be present to my calendar, focused and energized; if my intention is ‘connection’ then I need to be aware of others, open, smiling, available.

I know some people who have a similar practice at the end of their day. As with everything, there are no rules, or ‘right way’ to do this – if this appeals to you, play with it and find what works for you.