Chapter I : The Ego


WOW! So after my revolutionary post and decision to change my life, I was absolutely astonished by the amount of anonymous appreciation, support, and encouragement I received. Well, dear readers, it’s washed over me like a veil of love and I am floored and endlessly grateful. My heart is full and the gears are cranking and turning to pull out a lot of new projects. This first week of new living has been liberating, a little nerve-racking, and filled with a lot of planning, executing, and cleansing. I’ll be honest, the first three days were a complete torpedo of whirlwind cleaning house – I believe you are a product of your environment, and when I actually had the time to examine my environment, I started seeing ways of how I could make it a more productive one. Cleansing crystals, tossing out things I don’t need, reorganizing desk space, pulling some old books off the shelf, scrubbing walls, floors, and laundering every couch cushion in sight, I began to feel a shift in the household energy. This freed up the space for me to focus on next-steps: the first copy of my children’s book is currently being typed, the brain is working to come up with a storyline for the Novel, and of course, I’ve not forgotten about updating this blog and all of my beautiful readers. And now I feel as though I have a duty to you (and to my Self) to continue to encourage you, and push you, and be that little nudge of reasoning as to why you can do exactly as I just did, and why you can have faith and confidence in yourself to quit living a life that doesn’t bring you anything but personal success and happiness on every level.

I’m going to make a book recommendation (and a hundred more moving forward), and if you’ve not read it, I strongly urge you – Hell, I am going to go ahead and beg you, to pick up, borrow, or re-read The Power of Now. So go ahead, pop over to Amazon and Prime ship it to yourself right now. I’ll wait…. There – 1 click ship? Finished? Right, we can continue. The Power of Now is a brilliant, awe-inspiring book filled with advice on how to re-structure your entire way of thinking (change your thinking, change your life) to step outside of your Mind and Mindfully yet Objectively, observe that little voice in your head – whom Tolle refers to as the Ego – and witness the train of thoughts and its way of operating and filling you with negative thoughts, instead of surrendering to them blindly and allowing them to control your life. This Ego…Does it instill panic? Fear? Worry? Does it present road-blocks? Obstructions? Doubt? Think about it. Anytime you’ve set a goal, had a day-dream, wanted to do something: It will give you a hundred reasons why Not to do something, and I will give you one reason why you should: because you can.

How is that published author any different than you? They are a person, are they not? They are human, they are a breathing living being, they have goals and fears and worries and problems and an Ego just like you do – they just said “fuck it” and took the next step. They made the jump and they made it happen.

If they can do it, you can do it. A wise person (and well published author) once told me, “If I can do it, you can do it. Write the fucking book. Prove them wrong.” And I think the bigger lesson here is, Prove yourself right. Then go ahead and Prove yourself wrong. If you have that belief in yourself, follow it. And if you have that self-doubt, shut it up, and go for it anyway, damnit.

I’ve learned one thing about myself in this development: I am not afraid of failure. I’ve failed before, I’ve failed hard – and I’ve shifted that belief that there IS such a thing of failure and substituted that F word with Learning. There is no failing, only learning. If you can take those experiences where you expected an outcome, went for it, and received a different outcome – how is that a failure? It’s a learning, nonetheless. So how can I be afraid to learn? No, I’m not afraid of failure. I am afraid of success. I have this innate fear of “What if it DOES work? What will I do then? How will I be able to compete with myself and raise the bar even further to produce more success?” That is the problem with "What If" - it's a product of the Ego, and it's there to make you doubt yourself a hundred times and it's a product of fear. Fear of failure, or fear of success, I know it sounds silly, it sounds silly to me – but whether you’re afraid of not making it, or making it, you are still afraid, and you will still create reasons to not do something and to not succeed, or to not fail. And all that time you spend sitting in your own head rationalizing, mapping, planning, worrying, wondering, thinking thinking thinking and thinking, you could instead be DO-ing. You could have a fucking book written by now! (Feel free to substitute that feat with any other career goal you have on the backburner)

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many inspirational quotes you’ve posted or have been moved by. If you read something while rapidly scrolling through the feed of your Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook, and you stop to take a moment and say “Fuck yeah, Absolutely!” Stop.

Take stock of that moment, harness it, and let it propel you forward.

Do something.

Prove it.

Not to anyone besides yourself, because nobody else matters at the end of your life, nobody else reflects back on how you lived, what goals were ticked off the list, what travels you took, what experiences you had, except for you and you alone.

Go for it.

Reach for it.

Then take it, unafraid. What’s there to be afraid of? It’s all learning. And that’s what I’ve realized: Whether it’s “failure” or “success”, it’s a learning, through-and-through. There can be nothing threatening about more learning.

Why wait until tomorrow when you can do it right this moment?

Make the time.

Prioritize yourself.

Quit thinking “I should do that”

“That sounds like a good idea”

“I want to do that”

Shake yourself awake and actually MAKE A STEP.

Make a list.

Make a list of things you don’t like, and things that you do. A list of things you don’t want to do, and things that interest you. Then expand that list – add: jobs that may fall into the category of things you like doing.

Research it.

Visualize it.

Do something to advance yourself instead of wishfully thinking about it and comparing your life to the girl who seems to have her shit together through a filtered lens. That girl has her own demons, her own inner battles, her own little ego telling her a million ways why she can’t and road blocks to keep her from DO-ing. But she does it anyway, and that is the only thing separating you from them. The action. I have complete and total faith in you, darling readers. You can fucking do it.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Revolutionary Evolution

I chose to take my own advice. Take a leap. Make a change. Create the reality I’d like to experience each day. Experience passion through pain and failure. Aim for my goals and take them head-first and exit my comfort cushion… abandon it in the dust with all the other favors that aren’t doing anything for me. To fight for my life. A life? What’s that?

I live in a city of dreamers, artists, inspired beings, working harder than most people to feel that joy for what they love to do. I held a mirror up to myself and asked – why am I reliant on this crutch? Simply: because it’s easy. Brainless. Stable. Since when is that a reason to exist? Where is the passion and joie de vivre? I should live a life of excitement and panic and unknown instead of waking up day to day going through calculated, premeditated motions like a lobotomized machine with no thrill to hop out of bed in the morning. I should be DO-ing. WRITE-ing. READ-ing. TRAVEL-ing. EXPLORE-ing. I should stop saying SHOULD and just DO.

I have worked in retail and within the fashion industry nearly eleven years.

I have learned as much of it as I have the capacity to; been introduced to many different companies, become fluent in the vocabulary of the sales person, acted as a manager, trained a team from two to ten, received free clothing, worked among racism, solved customer service issues, shipped hundreds of packages, survived managerial bullying, styled the average joe to a-list celebrities, built client books, worked twelve hour days, opened several stores, processed hundreds of loads of shipment, sensored thousands of items, suggested countless additional pieces to people, topped store sales goals, been featured as employee of the month, won several contests, made connections with stylists, assisted photographers, steamed thousands of articles of clothing, constructed events, sample sales, and parties, built window displays, remerchandised color stories to tables to entire storefronts, invented an inventory system, networked with fashion professionals, charmed corporate heads, served in several walk-throughs, put together weekly paperwork, boosted self confidence of women who felt uncomfortable in their own skin, taken verbal beatings from clients and superiors, smiled through customer complaints, fought for the dignity of my teammates, saved a junkie from a heroin overdose in a fitting room, survived a stray bullet through the glass window, called security multiple times in one day, met strangers who became coworkers, made coworkers into friends, turned friends into roommates, and laughed about it all after work with drinks.

I have been incredibly fortunate. I feel grateful, thankful, and lucky to have mastered a realm of work to the point where I can’t envision myself learning anything more. I have met so many incredible people who have all given me support, love, gratitude, appreciation, and well-wishes. It allowed me the comfortability to move away from a small bubble to a living, breathing, energetic city of angels. I have to show for all the hard work a set of life skills and a killer resume.

I have learned patience, responsibility, level-headedness, and strength. I have learned cooperation, compromise, and psychology. I have learned honesty, bravery, and communication. I have learned compassion, understanding, and dedication.

I have learned that boredom is an unacceptable way to live. Without personal freedom you create a personal prison around your willpower, and you constrict your dreams until they are unrecognizably scary. I have learned that when you feel that slight heating of the inner flame that ignites when you think about your dreams --- what it is you could do, for the rest of your life and feel eager and excited to do each and every day --- you must nurture it,  and not let it fan out, or it may be months, or even years, until you get the courage to recognize its warmth again.

I am a writer, and I must write. I don’t care where the text goes, I don’t care where or how I start – all I care about, is that I start. And I have mustered the strength and the courage to call a cease fire of all distractions – to quit what I am doing, what steals my strength away and deadens my soul, and to give that strength back to it. To nurture the flame, until it’s burning so hot I can’t sleep at night for fear I’ll forget to write something down. I have big plans and achievable goals – with a children’s book on the way, a novel, a screenplay, and the borders of National Geographic framing the outline for the target, I have much work ahead.

It is important that I share this lesson and this teaching to you. You mustn’t doubt or question your power. I have learned that inside myself, as it is inside of you --- there is an unstoppable force that refuses to quiet itself when focused on the thing it most wants. That force propels that energy full speed ahead, and the Universe allows it the path to get there. So if your energy is living in a space of worry, fear, anxiety, stress, or doubt, becoming the focus of your path --- that is the direction you’re heading. But if you choose to shift those thoughts into confidence, belief, excitement, anticipation, and you visualize it all just working out, and you imagine yourself achieving – living, breathing, experiencing, everything you want--- that is when your thoughts become things, and those things become actions, and those actions literally follow the road map the direction you want it to go. You are unstoppable. You have that in you. Whether you are working a corporate job and you can’t imagine being able to quit and travel : you can. Whether you are in an unhealthy relationship and fear you aren’t worthy to find someone better : you can. Whether you are afraid you may fail at experimenting to find what you love to do so you just don’t do it : not choosing is still a choice. Choosing to stay put, to continue that momentum you are currently living, perpetuates what you have been living day to day. We must change our actions and our way of thinking if we want a different outcome. Expecting a different outcome from doing the same thing over and over again is naïve, ignorant, and useless. Not choosing is still a choice.

Life is too short, my friends. It could all end tomorrow, it could all be over. If you were to look back on your life today, right now, in this moment, truly --- what would your first thought be? Your first feeling? Would you feel proud? Excited? Accomplished? Would you feel you fought for yourself? For your life? Would you wish you had started sooner? Would you start a list of things you could start now, tonight, tomorrow, that would take steps in the direction of changing your path and changing your life? You can, and you are worthy. Treat yourself as you would treat your favorite friend. Coach yourself as you would a sibling. Without your own happiness, you aren’t capable of fulfilling someone else’s happiness. We are all in charge of ourselves, and our own happiness. Without nurturing that flame and minding your own soul, you cannot possibly nurture another.

And let me tell you, it is better late than never – because you can always sit back and examine the past and choose the lessons you’ve learned and admire your strength and courage in order to breed more strength and courage moving forward toward new challenges. Courage, dear lion heart – you are worthy, you can do it. It’s a revolutionary evolution, and you have to change your mindset to change your life, change your life to change your mindset.

I am ready, I am leaping, I have jumped.

Goodbye, last day of retail.

Hello, first day of writing for the rest of my life.