Tom Sawyer Tuesday!
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Have you ever woken up a couple thousand miles away, and thought, "o my gosh, what just happened?"
I have this hunch that this mini panic is a siren waking us up at a deeper, inner level. It's as if the sound of the siren is only detectable once removed from our mundane every day existence of the routine.
This week I'd like to explore this siren, and the art of listening to the world around us for clues. Realizing that there are allies in this world, and we find them when we step out in the direction of our intuition. People that want to assist you in building a life of purpose, and occasionally moments of synchronicity that bring it all into focus.
After all, "hindsight is 20/20" as they say... What we're pointing toward here is a strategy of how to develop a laser sharp focus, and a guiding intuition in crucial moments of choice, chance, and chaos.
The following story will feel like snapshots into present and past realities; mine and those of others at these critical times.
We will be drawing from the following figures: A shooting coach for the Pistons that teaches finesse and visualization, a gaucho in Argentina that hitch-hikes to antarctica, a life coach in Chicago that follows a Facebook ad west, and his buddy Nathan who by chance meets him on the beach in San Diego on his way to a bike conference in Las Vegas that he heard about a day earlier.
Call it Crazy
The ability to follow a moment of inspiration - a thought that occurs in an instant in the form of a "crazy plan" - and then recognize the fear that follows and take action anyway.
Years ago I started working with a life coach named Dave. He taught me about distinguishing being, creating clarity, and empowering decisions. If we want to get really good at being laser sharp in our pursuit of happiness, we need to recognize that it is in the subtleties that the magic is created.
Before you can hit three point shots you need to create a form and a focus that will attract the swoosh.
A great teacher and shooting coach for the Pistons once drilled us at basketball camp,
before we would even look at a hoop, Coach Steve would line us up.
With one hand behind our backs, and facing forward,
He would say:
ONE, "get ready"
In these three steps, we would focus on our posture, set the intention to shoot, and then release the ball with a finesse watching it rotate up into the air.
CHOICE CHAOS AND
CHANCE - The Forces of
"The one who moves mountains
begins by moving small stones"
TAKING BIG CHANCES
=TELLING BIG TALES
Years ago I was visiting a ranch in Argentina when I met a kindred spirit. He was a gaucho giving tours of Argentine folklore in Spanish, French, and English. He was worldly, and caught my attention immediately. We hit it off, and our conversation found a quick and certain depth, that just foreshadowed the beginning of an interesting friendship. He planted a verse from an 11th century poet in my mind, and walked away.
He said "learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that will buy you a moment of pleasure, but then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel" -HAFIZ
As the days festivities were ending I walked off toward the tour busses.
Over the loud speaker a voice called out
"Nathan... Keep it real brother."
A few days later I get an email written in a sort of Shakespearean prose. It was the gaucho speaking to me in his endearing way - enchanted by the note - I followed suit in my response.
Nine and a half months passed, before my return to the ranch.
One day I realize I have to see him again. Two close friends and I drive there, and find him in the back of the ranch saloon on break between announcing festivities. We embrace and he invites us all over to his mother's house that night for wine.
When we arrive, we sit down in his living room and he begins telling us the story of how he built the house himself. I pointed to an interesting pillow on the couch to ask where it was from. He paused.
"Inside that pillow is a sleeping bag that I used when I hitch-hiked to Antarctica. You see I was traveling through a small town in Patagonia called Rio Gallegos when I ran into a Norwegian explorer. He had just crossed the Atlantic, and needed two crew members to make the sail to Antarctica. His former crew abandoned him claiming he was insane. His boat was only twenty-five feet long. I knew that if I went, I would live a life-changing adventure. If I stayed, I would regret it for the rest of my days. It turns out he was crazy, and I decided not to return to South America on his ship. The voyage through stage 9 storms was too much for anyone to handle. I returned on a cruise liner. When I arrived, we got word his ship had sunk, and his next two recruits died. He miraculously survived. It's crazy I know..."
My friends and I stared blankly as our minds were somewhat blown by his heroic tale.
"I wouldn't change a thing though," he said.
CHOOSING WHAT YOU
WANT = LIVING
A GUILTY PLEASURE
A few weeks ago Coach Dave passed me on his bike in Chicago. He circles back, and says:
"hey man you wouldn't believe it. My house purchase fell through. I took it as a sign and thought about how I always wanted to move to southern California. I got in touch with an old friend on Facebook. She added me to a new agey group on there. In 30 seconds I saw a wanted ad for a live-in position in Cali in a mansion as a rehab coach that has experience with addiction. I message the guy. We hit it off. I flew out there to check it out. Came back to Chicago, and said 'nope. It's over. Moving to San Diego."
Dave saw a view into a parallel reality, took aim, and fired himself in the direction of his dreams.
In Chicago he lived on the beach, and already led a dreamy life living in one of the northside's neatest old resort buildings with a private beach. He wind-surfed in the summers, and longboard surfed in the winters with a wet suit and icicles freezing on his face. He decided it was time to live more days on top of his surf board, and less days freezing in winter dreaming about summer.
CHAOS= TAPPING INTO
A few days ago I had the pleasure of standing on the cliffs of DEL MAR with Dave at 101 11th st beach.
I had texted him saying an Inspiration Vacation swelled up like a wave out of nowhere, and somehow I was just riding it straight into San Diego.
"Yeah, I was in Sedona with my Portuguese pal filming a video about being a Visionary to feature the new sunglasses when I he and his girlfriend invited me to drive with them west to San Diego for a concert. I had already signed up for some personal growth oriented workshop in Chicago this weekend, but then I just thought well, perhaps this trip is a golden opportunity to go West again. So I did.
Believe it or not I walked into a bike store yesterday, and the owner asked me if I was going to the National bike conference in Las Vegas next week. I told him I wasn't, but perhaps now I will be."
It was then that I was present to the possibilities of selling our wooden bikes there. I did some math and thought about rearranging my flights again. "This is crazy," I thought to myself. "Crazy, but the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the bike industry was golden."
"I rebooked my flights on miles, and got a few deals. Looks like I'm going to Vegas on Wednesday"
"Crazy isn't it," I said to Dave.
We were pulling off our clothes. Dave was putting on his wetsuit, and the both of us we just amazed by the present moment. The sound of the ocean was such a brilliant white noise.
It reminded me of that siren.
"Man this is like the beginning of an incredible novel," I said to Dave.
"More like the end of one," he said.
"Yeah, if anything it just goes to show how close our dreams really are."
"Yeah man, it's all about getting really clear about what you want, empowering choice, visualizing and taking action. It's funny there's a box of stuff I left in Chicago that I was going to send. I don't even need it now" -he said.
"What's in there?" I asked.
"Just some jeans and stuff".
I grabbed my GoPro, and followed Dave on his surfboard into the ocean. Maybe this is the beginning of a film or something. 'The Other Side Of Transformation' Who knows.