Awakening, Connection and Domination ~ Day 3

What!! It’s over already??

Even the posts on the streets are eclectic in Portland.

The third day of World Domination was a pinnacle day for me. After wonderful conversations with new friends and a little Bollywood rhythm, something shifted for me. I believe I finally pushed the trepidation and the uncertainty aside and began to look at both this conference- and quite possibly my life’s work- from the inside out. Sounds odd, but for a person whose entire passion in life is based on observation- looking from the outside in is just my natural tendency.

It’s how I think. This outsiders perspective is how I travel through the world. There are moments of connection and touching the Source- from the inside, but they are not always a conscious decision. Once I’ve traveled deep within a story, then I am looking from the inside out- but in my daily life, I just don’t work that way. This tendency just always seemed natural to me and it has always stood as a natural barrier between me and the world.

This barrier of the outsider became my protection from a world that, at times, has been rather brutal and unforgiving. And even in those moments where this world has been beautiful and awe-inspiring, I still kept that barrier of protection erect out of the fear that this beauty was not mine to enjoy or that if I reveled too much in the essence of such joy- it might be forcibly ripped from my world- before I was ready to release it. I get it, the whole Zen suffering and releasing attachment perspective, but just because I get it doesn’t mean I always embody it.

And Sunday morning, the video that replaced the absence of speaker, Neil Pasricha, just brought all this shit to the surface. The emotions just surged- to the point where I had to go outside and hug a tree to ground myself. (A skill recently showed to me by a dear friend- thanks!) And in that moment, as I sat leaning against a tree wandering if maybe I should have seen a therapist so many years ago amidst all my turmoil, a strong voice just made this one statement, so clear and true that I thought maybe the tree was whispering in my ear.

This sadness is not yours.

Well, hell, that kinda makes sense. And, I stood up, thanked the lovely tree and then went back to dominate the world. And from that point forward, the entire day was this beautiful flowing, organic event and I was open to it all. I was finally looking at something from the inside out- recognizing my discomfort and owning its source.

Trees do have an amazing energy and wisdom, if we can take a moment and listen.

And I guess that’s all I could ever ask for in a “business conference”.  Thanks so much, Chris, for creating such an environment where self-exploration and self-realization could thrive amongst a community who might just be meeting for the first time.

And here’s the last of the documentary photo images and a few notes from the day’s journal. Enjoy and until next year- go step into the Flow and revel in the beauty of where it takes you.

Let the Day begin!

My 5 things of beauty that I noticed this weekend:

A couple sitting the park at sunset

The beagle at the coffee shop with the couple enjoying a Sunday morning coffee and the newspaper

The Third Place I found on Friday morning

Amazing trees in the park

Walking through the city at night

The Mondo Beyondo ladies brought the house to their feet! And have me thinking of a tatoo for the first time in my life.

My Mondo Beyondo Words

Duality & Flow

John Unger has a story- or a thousand!

A little fresh air and snack during the day of domination.

A happy surprise at the art museum! Some of my favorite photographers from the 20th century are hanging out here- Ansel Adams, Lewis Hine, Bresson and Edward Weston. Happy.

The man behind this gathering of dominators.

Seriously, is he fueled on caffeine, flow or the energy of World Domination?

The Portland Art Museum and the headquarters for this summit.

And why wouldn't a green top hat be a fabulous means of both expression and branding? Truly brilliant, Ms. Dagmar!

And now we unwind. The after party is in full swing!

The best thing about the one hour wait for a chicken taco- meeting some amazing folks in line. Though, we scattered like starving carnivores as soon as our food came.

Mmmm...food carts.

The lovely Farnoosh and magnificent Marla work diligently to photograph their Mondo Beyondo words in the limiting light of the party.

Catching a little fresh air with Matt and another Crystal.

One seriously hard-working crew of folks. Inspiring!

And now...we dance.

I believe this drink special livened the evening up a bit!

What better way to close out World Domination than with a congo line? Till next year, peeps!

Farewell, dear Dominators!! May our paths cross again soon. And until then- go enter your flow and build something inspiring! Ciao!

ps- you can click on the images to download them for free and use them as you wish. The landscapes and city shots are for sale, if you would like to decorate your dwellings.

Our Evolving Selves.

We are constantly evolving. If you aren’t evolving- you’re dead. Sorry to be so blunt, but the person who doesn’t constantly change and evolve is a person not truly living.

And then- we dance.

Stop for a moment. Hit pause. Close your eyes and what is the vision of yourself?

Are you standing at the edge of a rocky ocean, arms spread wide, head back and falling into the wind? Are you feeling that wind of change caressing your cheek, whispering into your ear the sweet nothings of something bigger than you- something larger than your daily existence? Are those winds of change enticing you to walk away from all you’ve known and step into something totally new and embryonic- something revolutionary?

Do you see yourself in a vast, wide world, standing in the midst of swirling chaos and uncertainty- totally still and immersed in the moment?  Are you standing amongst the bedlam completely at peace and grounded in this environment of wonder and adventure?

Or are you buried beneath a sea of obligations? Are your bags so deep and so burdensome that your lungs are crushed and you can’t see the light beyond your things? As you stand here, buried and bewildered, are you wondering if there’s more to life? Are you wondering how you got there? Are you wondering where to go next?

If you fall in to the last category- then you need to evolve. At some point, possibly many years ago, you stopped learning. You traded in the adventure and the uncertainty for the corner office, a 401K and comfort. Hate to break it to you, but that was the wrong decision. (Depending on your family situation, a little stability is necessary and so is the ability to provide for your loved ones) But sacrificing your life to accomplish these goals is not required-society only wants you to think concession is necessary so you’ll continue to consume and boost the economy.

If you’re currently standing in that position of burden- go learn something. Turn the microscope inward and embrace a talent, skill or idea you crushed long ago in order to pursue your comfortable existence and go master that skill. Go be that person you envisioned at 18, the fearless warrior living an exceptional life. Go be that person. Start with learning. And begin your evolution.

We must constantly evolve.

Even though I’ve been on this unconventional journey for many, many years- really, my whole life, I still feel the need to constantly evolve. To the point that my need for evolution can be viewed as a character flaw. As soon as I figure something out or accomplish something- I don’t feel the need to continue doing it! I then feel compelled to tackle the next unknown- the next adventure- the next craft I must attempt to master.

This winter has been a wonderful learning and evolutionary experience. Again, as was last winter. I’ve learned that my struggle between the stationary life and the transient life must end. I have to be one or the other- I can’t be both at the same time. But, it is possible to be transient at times and stationary at others- just not all at once. And, ironically, that involves shedding even more possessions and fine tuning my spiritual path in life.

In order for me to evolve, I must push myself to an edge that I’ve glimpsed at, but never truly embraced.  I must push myself to the edge of passion, to the edge of my craft, to the edge of my personal relationships and to the edge of my comfort zones.

When I close my eyes, I see a woman standing in a deep valley, filled with all sorts of unknowns and curiosities. This woman is planning her way through the valley, navigating her way through the mystery- and this woman is ready to dance at any moment. I also see a woman standing on the edge of a cliff above that valley. She’s standing in the wind, eyes closed, just feeling the sense of wonder that valley holds. She’s feeling the winds of change and she’s reveling in their whispers of uncertainty, passion and evolution- and this woman’s ready to leap at any moment.

To soar.  To fly.

This vision comes to me often, every day, at the most inopportune moments. And I always pause and sit with the vision. Then I write. This vision gives me peace. It doesn’t tell me what to do, it assures me that the intensity is real- that the intensity of that vision makes life worth living.

What do you see when you close your eyes? Are you ready to dance? Are you ready to leap? Are you ready to soar?

And are you willing to fall in order to evolve? Or are you too afraid to do anything at all?

Let me know your vision- I’m on Twitter- @cstreet10 !  If you’re ready to take the conversation deep- join my TinyLetter and we’ll go there!

Adapting to Life at 10,500 Feet

My recent Western Relocation has landed me in the highest incorporated town in America.  With a whopping population of 600-ish people, Alma is about as high as you can get for a Rocky Mountain town.  While walking outside my door and being dwarfed by a 14K foot mountain peak that’s literally half a mile away is a wonderful way to start the day, there are a few adjustments for this location independent nomad.

Our daily walk in the shadow of a 14K footer!

And while the move went smoothly (give or take a few weather systems), my ability to adapt has been challenged in several ways since I came to this quiet little town.  Here are a few of my recent adaptations.

Connection.

Connectivity is by far the greatest challenge in this move.  You truly do not realize how dependent you are upon the internet in this line of work until you can’t find a connection.  The local coffeehouse is wonderful, and for good reason, they do not provide wifi for their customers.  Being a strong proponent of community gathering places, I totally understand.

So, while walking through town on my first day here, I noticed the local pub had a wifi sign on the window.  Perfect.  And they’re open at 6 am for breakfast- even better.  So, the following day, I bundled up- did I mention the average temperature is about 15 degrees at this elevation- grabbed my backpack and walked down to the pub at 9 am.  Amazingly, a people were actually having a beer and playing pool.

Did I mention that I’m next to South Park- or the town where the cartoon was based? I can see a novel or a sitcom growing out of this town.

I grabbed a table next to the window and parked my ass there for hours. I ordered a ‘giant pancake’ (literally twice the size of my head) and a bottomless cup of coffee and commenced to getting my wifi on.

And I’ve been back almost every morning since.  I’ve opted for just the Sysco coffee sans ginormous pancake.  And I hate to admit this, but I really like it.  When I open the door to the pub, literally and figuratively called “Alma’s Only Bar” I kinda feel like Norm walking into Cheers.

I know who will be sitting at the bar, that the bartender will be having her coffee and chatting with the locals and that the chef will be sitting at the bar table with her laptop.  I join her in the mornings, we share a table and get to work.  And she always gives me such a warm welcome when I walk in.  There’s a fire blazing in the wood stove and the coffee is hot.

What more can you ask for?

The transition of the bar crowd vs coffeeshop crowd in the morning does take a little bit of an adjustment.  Luckily, I grew up in the restaurant industry and was a bartender for ten years, so I speak the language.  There’s no NPR or folk music playing, usually the entertainment news or CMT is on the bar television.  There’s no debate of politics, in fact there’s very little talk of politics at all. Unless the Rogue politician gone Hollywood pops onto the TV and the bar will fire up with the latest talking points spinning out of the media cycle.

But, a little color in the morning is a nice change of pace.  I met Uncle Johnny the other morning, who kept the fire stoked and the conversation interesting.  A former police officer from Pittsburgh, Uncle Johnny is the go-to guy in the bar and probably in the town. I have a feeling if I need anything, Uncle Johnny would be the man to ask.

When he introduced himself, I had to smile a little.  I had an Uncle Louie in Pawleys Island who could, and I quote “make things happen. If you need me to take care of somebody, you just let me know.  I know people.” Literally, his exact words.  Love it!

So, while my connectivity is still a little spotty, I am learning to adjust and hoping my online communities will understand my lack of availability at the moment.

My favorite "office" from last winter's Walkabout. I hope to be there in a few more weeks! Image from my Blackberry.

Work Schedule


As a location independent professional, I’ve learned to work almost anywhere when necessary.
But even when not traveling, I have certain times of the day when my creativity emerges and I ride that horse for all it’s worth.  My new living arrangement (and it’s only for a few more months) is very small.  Tiny.  300 square feet tiny, with my dog and a roommate.  Yea, wrap your brain around that for a sec.  No bedrooms or quiet corners for this little night owl to dive into her writing and production.  Conundrum.

I have found the local coffeeshop- sans wifi- to be an excellent place for contemplation and writing.  I sit next to a giant picture window that looks out over Main Street and that mammoth 14K foot mountain by my house and work away.  Or try to.  I’ve met some wonderful people there and have gotten some writing done, but mid-afternoon is my least creative time and they close at six.  My most creative time is at night, and I’m hoping to find a little more rhythm there soon.

My other major work schedule adjustment relates to the first point of connectivity.  Not having evening access to the wifi- unless I want to be that girl chained to her laptop in the corner of the bar, sipping whiskey and being anti-social- has meant that I only check email once a day.  I hate to admit this, but I rather like that aspect of this new schedule.  It takes some getting used to, but I enjoy not being chained to the inbox.  So, I’m left to have conversations with my roommate in the evenings or read a book, both of which are rather enjoyable.

I do worry that my writing will begin (or is already) slipping with the lack of late night writing.  Hopefully my muse will adjust as well and as I find my rhythm here, I’ll be able to compensate for my challenging work schedules.

My winter chalet from last year. If I can adjust to this tight living space, I can live anywhere! Image from the blackberry.

Finding a New Market- or Not

My new town is only 30 minutes from Breckenridge, where people, business and social life abounds.  My plan was to drum up some local business to tap into when I’m not traveling. I researched the town prior to moving and lived here ten years ago, so I have some idea of what to anticipate when putting my freelancing self into this market.  But, putting myself out there requires one major element of a business that I am lacking at the moment- transportation.

If you’ve been reading this blog the past few weeks, you saw the lovely pictures of the Vintage Vanagon I so diligently navigated cross-country with the canoe/sail on top.  Well, she took a big shit last week and left her exhaust system in shambles on a mountain pass.  So I am sans wheels. In a town of 600 people, with a handful of businesses’ and no mass-transit to the next major town.

Oops.

And oh, did I mention the big mountain pass that you have to traverse, complete with hairpin turns and snow banks to get to Breckenridge?  Oyyy.

So the other night, when faced with the possibility of no wheels all winter, I did some serious spreadsheet forecasting of all the possible scenarios of living here with or without a car and running my business.  I highly recommend everyone do this often, particularly when you’re contemplating new avenues of your business or trying to understand where your opportunities lie.

My major question in this whole line of rationale was the following- was the Universe trying to force me to focus on just the online business by taking away the vehicle and the wifi all at once.  I understand that there’s the element of free will in here- and I can choose my own vehicle and such- but I tend to pay attention when things unfold and try to find the lesson within the mayhem.  By not having the distraction of the internet and having very limited options for income, I would literally HAVE to build my online business now and not mess around with more freelance jobs and “real” work.

My spreadsheets helped- tremendously.  I made about 10 different versions of the possible revenue streams and how they would budget out through the year.  I used Mac’s Numbers and their built in budget template and played out all the possible options.  I narrowed my possibilities down to three and then focused in on the one budget that was my ideal goal- both monetarily and for the type of freelance/online business balance I see myself juggling this year.

I then busted out the iCal and put all the budget milestones onto my calendar and planned out the following year!  Holy Crap!  And today, when I was beginning to stress a little about creating local fliers for freelance services and getting over the pass to network, I opened up the spreadsheets and looked at my calendar to see what I truly should be focused on.  And I did just that.

Funny how that whole planning thing works, isn’t it?

I know, seems rather obvious, but for this artistic entrepreneur, planning doesn’t always come naturally.  I can strategize like nobody’s business and I can visualize the big picture, but putting the tiny little steps necessary to get me there into action, well that’s a challenge.

So, back to my transportation adaptation.  Looks like someone will be driving cross-country- AGAIN- in two weeks.  My truck is going to have to make the journey out here, so this nomad can be mobile again.  Hitching a ride over that pass and to my desert town next month is not a task that I’m looking forward to.

Now, it’s your turn.

So, if you’re still with me, how do you adjust your work routines and schedules to a new location- be it on a business trip or a major move?

What are your necessary elements for productivity- no matter where you are?

Are you a serious planner or fly-by-the seat of your pants person?

Do you have spreadsheet planners for year long forecasting or a special method for bringing your plans to action?

What’s the strangest place you’ve worked in for wifi access?
Go on, you can tell us!

Will Your Passion Navigate You Towards Your Dreams?

Doing what’s necessary

You’ve established your goals.  You’ve visualized your dreams.  You’ve taken the time to write that vision down and revel in all it’s glory.  You may have even created a gorgeous vision board to bring those dreams to life.

Takes a little passion to fight for your goals! And some brute strength!


Now, will you do what’s necessary to bring them to life?  Will you sacrifice the time, the sweat and the sanity to make those visions come to life?

I’ve asked this before on this blog and I’m returning to the topic for several reasons.

One

I have several dear friends who are about to embark on the journey of bringing their dreams to life.  They usually come to me for advice on how to start or to flesh out the possibilities of their quiet dream.  I guess, since I’ve been plugging away at this for so many years, I’ve become somewhat of a go-to person for such advice.  And frankly, if I could just get paid to spit out ideas and brainstorm all day- I’d be a happy camper.

And the one thing I can tell them is to check their passion first.  Above all else, you must possess sheer passion.  You must, MUST have the passion that will fuel the insanely unorthodox decisions you will have to make.

Will your passion comfort you when you leave the unhealthy relationship you’ve been apart of that is a direct wall in your progress towards your dreams?

Will your passion wipe your tears and tell you to keep on going when you walk away from all the familiar people in your life to pursue your ultimate goal?

Will your passion console you when you’re teetering on the edge of insanity because you’ve turned down a $100K job to pursue a dream that can’t even buy you a cup of coffee yet?

Will your passion tell you to keep walking forward, when five years have passed and your dreams are still just out of reach- but you can feel them in your hand?

Will you passion scrape you off the ground and lift your head up when all of your bank accounts are in the red and the creditors come a calling?

Will your passion stand up for you in a room full of your peers as they speak of their 401Ks, their mortgage rates and their flashy new cars and show others that you may not possess those items, but what you possess far surpasses any material item parked in a garage?

Will your passion help you navigate the murky waters of the “real world” and make the decisions necessary to stay true to your goals?  And will it continue to navigate, year after year, until you are standing in the reality of your vision board?

Your passion will pick you up again, and again and again.

Two

I’ve felt a little nostalgic while preparing to return to the Rockies and have been reflecting on all that I’ve become and all that I’ve turned away from in pursuit of my goals.  And passion is the reason behind my decisions.  So here’s a little look at what my passion has navigated me through- hopefully you’ll pull a lesson or a little comfort from my actions.

Over the years I have walked away from almost everything in my life in pursuit of my dreams. I’ve left several long-term relationships because we hit the point where my passion out weighed our love (or our loathing).  I’ve turned away good salaries and 401Ks for idea of something else- something all my own.  I’ve gone into debt to learn the necessary skills to become the best at my profession.  I’ve missed weddings, births, baby showers, graduations, holidays and other countless occasions with friends and family to chase down my dreams. And now, at 35, I have life that doesn’t fit in the paradigms of the typical social narratives.  I’m not sure how or when it happened- well actually, it started in my early 20s and grew from there.  And, I’m fine with it, I’m happy about where my passion has guided me.  And now my passions are guiding me back to the mountains I love and towards a winter of writing, creating and producing!

And as I pack up my belongings and get ready to hit the road, I’ve been taking a little time to look back on the past year of my life.  This year has been insanely random and has tested all my perceptions of self and my passions.  My decisions this year were based entirely on my passion and the vision of my dreams on the horizon. I turned down good job offers, walked away from excellent living situations and kept plugging forward, one baby step at a time, towards my dreams.

I even, at age 35, decided to live with my mom for 7 months in order to keep walking towards my dreams.  I hadn’t planned it, it wasn’t deliberate, I stopped by for a visit after my walkabout and the time just kept growing.  I picked up some local freelance work and then before I knew it, half the summer was gone and I was falling into that demographic of older children who return to live with their parents.

Uh-oh!  When the realization of that sunk in, I started to look for my own place.  Year leases, insane rents and un-dog friendly landlords squashed that task pretty quick.

So, I stayed.  And I fought my inner pessimistic gnomes who kept tossing about the reality of living at home at 35.  But, halfway through the summer, my passion stepped up and said, “shut the hell up already!  Enjoy your time here and spend every waking moment possible working on your dreams.”

And that’s exactly what I did.  I polished the blog, I found a more relevant voice, I embraced the Twitter and found an online community that I love.  I connected with people I may have never interacted with if I had been waiting tables or working a real job.

And I’ve enjoyed my time with my mother more than I ever thought possible.  It’s truly been a refreshing time to spend with my family and I’ve loved my time with my mom.

I learned to laugh at myself a little more.  My passion showed me that not everything is as it appears.  My passion propped me up and said “open your eyes and use this wonderful gift of time to propel yourself forward.”  My passion took me out of my own head, squashed my ego and forced me to run full speed towards my dream.

And then you glide.

And lastly,

Understanding your passions and how they can change over time to reflect the person we are at the moment, is necessary in pursing any goal or dream.

As I embark on this latest stage of my dreams, I feel as though the passion of my past self and my present self are merging at last. It feels as though there’s this happy collision that’s occurring and I just can’t contain the excitement.

My twenties were filled with random adventures, living in amazing places and skiing my ass off.  My twenties had its moments- and they really were doozies- but beyond the tragedies of my twenties, I had a damn good time.

And over the past 5 years, as I’ve been working through my 30s, I’ve embraced that part of myself I knew existed in my 20s but could never truly find. The driven photographer, the intense artist, the intellectual person and the successful entrepreneur.  This person of my thirties is the vision that caused me to sacrifice so much in my twenties.  I knew she existed and I knew I’d never reach her with the relationships I was in and the places in life I found myself.

While those identities of my 30s are still developing, they are now merging with my identities from my 20s and we are all returning to the place in life where I truly felt happy.  Standing on top of a mountain, taking it all in and realizing just how fabulous our lives truly are. Then blazing down the hill at ungodly speeds, just because I can.

Sort of a good metaphor for life.

Where did this come from?

This article came about as I was standing in line at Barnes and Noble waiting to order my usual double shot of espresso and trying to figure out what the hell to write about.  The girl in front of me was insanely stylish.  Seriously, beautifully dressed and for a split second I looked down at my outfit.  I was wearing my old “Jesus Sandals” (bought next to his tomb) my 7 year old Patagonia capris (maroon b/c they were on sale) a green top and I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week.  I kept this outfit handy because everything is packed away for my move and I was just too lazy to shave.

And as we waited, a vision of this stylish diva’s life passed before me.  Yes, I project people’s stories onto them in passing, its a creative habit of mine.  I saw the urban diva, working in her store (she had a bank bag on her and was ordering drinks for her staff) with her stylish husband at home and in their cozy little house.  And there is nothing wrong with that, there are times when I wish I could have embraced that just for the sheer security of that existence.

Then, I looked down at my sandals- bought on my Palestine adventure and smiled to myself.  My passion spoke up and said “yea, you look like you just rolled out of your suitcase and you’re not picking up any men looking like this, but you’re going to Breckenridge tomorrow.  To live.”

Oh yea.  That makes my outfit totally worth it.  And that’s why you need your passion.  Everyone needs a compass to navigate these waters.


Passion a Blaze! – Images by Crystal Street

While studying photojournalism at UNC, I produced a photo story about the Raleigh Roller Derby.  Talk about passion- you have got to love this sport to take that kind of a beating!  Here are a few of my favorites.

Why Do We Stay, When We Know We Should Go?

Why do we stay in situations that we know are slowly sucking the life out of us?

Year after year, we stay in bad relationships, unhealthy living situations and jobs that don’t embrace our passions and strengths.

documentary photography, nepal, travel photography, storytelling,

A store clerk in Kathmandu takes a quick smoke break as the afternoon slips away. Photo by me from the Freemium Photo Love collection.

Are we seeking external validation that the appropriate time to leave will present itself, through some act of God or nature?  Are we looking for someone else to make a decision for us? Is change such a scary prospect that we keep doing the one thing that we know, deep down, is driving us to an early grave?  Or at least making that precious journey through our lives a miserable experience.

Over the years, I’ve had conversations with dear friends regarding their lives and the situations they can no longer stand.  We talked about options for a different life, reasons why it’s time to go and what that leaving should look like.

But the move toward action doesn’t seem to happen, and year after year, we repeat this conversation.  We talk about how shitty their current situation remains.  We brainstorm about how to make it better and we make a few suggestions on implementing change.

Yet, nothing happens. And I silently prepare my brain for the conversation when this dear friend(s) has their “come to Jesus moment”.   Because that shit is not going to be pretty.

Why is that?  Is change so scary that we just stand there frozen, allowing our lives and situations to bitch slap us about like a helpless rag doll, so far gone that no amount of yoga, Prozac or whiskey will help us?

Are we so afraid to let go of our jobs that we make up a myriad of excuses as to why it’s not a prudent action to take at this moment?  We use things- actual material items- as reasons to stay in this job that sucks out our best juju. Mortgages, cars, shopping and vacations- all used to justify the thing that is causing us to consume and “vacate” our lives in an attempt to cope.  We cling to the distant hope that if I just bust my ass for 60 hours a week now, I’ll reap the rewards in 30 years when I’m sitting on a beach, basking in the sunlight.

I don’t believe it.  I think there’s another way.  I’ve seen it, I’ve seen others pursue their true passions, their own way.  Beholden to no one and walking down a path of their own making.  Don’t take my word for it, people have written excellent books and manifestos.  Entire blogs are devoted to this phenomenon.  The major ones that come to mind are The Art of Non-Conformity, the 4 Hour Work Week, Career Renegade, Itty-Biz, etc.  I can keep going.

We are essentially fooling ourselves that this behavior of being a slave to our wages and our material possessions is justified. And we use that as an excuse to keep doing the one thing that we should be working with all our heart and soul to change.  We use the excuses to comfort us as we pop that Prozac, plow through our 10 hour workday and wait anxiously for the weekend to roll around so we can try to undo the damage caused by 60 hours of stressful hell.  And we give ourselves only about 20 hours to do this.

Does any of this seem logical?

We dread Mondays- wish away a whole damn day!  And spend a good portion of Sunday dreading Monday.

We use drugs (prescription or otherwise) alcohol, shopping and television to soothe us after a particularly rough day of being a slave to our paycheck.

We piss away the best years of our lives- our most productive years- for a paycheck.  To pay for things we probably don’t need.  And then, during those “golden years” we’ve got nothing left to give ourselves.  We’ve spent all our creative juju and best personal mojo on someone else.  Why?

And what saddens me the most, is that none of this is necessary.  There’s no golden manual we’re given at age 19 that says here, this is how you are supposed to live and this is what your work life should look like.  You should have the house, the car, the clothes, the job and all the things that look wonderful on the outside and hide the fact that you aren’t truly fulfilled on the inside.

There’s no reason why you can’t still have your mortgage and do something that lights a fire under your ass every time you wake up in the morning. Absolutely no reason why instead of popping some meds to help you cope with your life, you actually change your career or job and do a little yoga to balance yourself.  No one said you can’t have total control over your workday and live each moment as an organic manifestation of your innermost self.

And that’s what change boils down to- YOU.  Taking action.  Recognizing that we each have a finite number of days on this planet and you- YOU- are the only person with the ability to change your situation.

When your costs out weigh your rewards, will you have the ability to change your situation?  Will you take action now to fix the life you’ve built that is taking over your juju?  Or will you wait until your “come to jesus” moment and find it may be too late?