It came on like a slow moving hurricane, riding it’s way along the coast. Would it turn right and hit my neighbor instead? Or would it come on, category five-style and knock me out?
I’ve had bronchitis for the past two weeks, which has forced a hiatus, or as I like to call it, a BRONC-HIATUS.
I’d made some big decisions in the desert, namely that I was going ovaries to the wall in areas of my life where I’ve shied away. In terms of love, networking and self-promotion, I’ve been too reticent, too shy and too reluctant to step out and be seen. When I have decided to push myself in these areas, it’s a whirlwind of the opposite extreme: big, spotlight-driven, “I’m the star!” And then I retreat because at my core, I’d rather be creating–whether that’s experience, adventure, written work or paintings.
But life is about taking risks and I’m ready for new ones.
And the next morning, I got sick. And then sicker. And even sicker. I wondered if my life’s purpose was to “produce mucus.” And then I thought, “Is there a way to make money from mucus? Like a new age wrinkle cream? As a probiotic? A high-end herbal remedy for people who take too many selfies? Maybe I could use it to make Prosperity Candles–you buy it, I get prosperity.”
For the first few days, I slept like I was in a coma. I was going to sleep it away. But the hurricane in my chest raged on. I was deeply bored.
Lucky for me, my mind never rests. I decided to consume mass amounts of media.
Movies. I watched Get Out. It made me afraid of white people.
Fast Times At Ridgemont High made me miss leg warmers. They’re like Uggs without the sweaty feet.
Next I watched The Road To Perdition. It’s Tom Hanks’ finest performance. Also, I miss Paul Newman. Most importantly, one of the elements of the film resonated: Hanks’ character Michael Sullivan got a raw deal. He solved it his own way. This caused me to focus more attention on what I was consuming.
I opted to focus on stories that inspired me. It’s true that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with and since I was in quarantine with a dog, I chose to focus on five (give or take) inspiring stories.
I saw Straight Outta Compton & Notorious, both bio pics of gangsta rappers. Compton is better & more inspirational. Cube & Dre walk away from bad situations because they believe so deeply in their talent. It can be easy to stick with something that’s not good for you just because there is financial security. Cube left NWA to do his own thing, getting almost no payment from his key contributions to the group. Dre left Death Row with nothing to get away from Suge Knight’s thug leadership. Both men, who had established themselves and had good connections, went on to bigger albums. Cube wrote a movie, Friday, that spawned a series and now produces TV shows and movies. Dre discovered Eminem and 50 Cent, plus created Beats headphones that Apple bought for $3 billion.
The BIG movie, well, he also believed in himself and his talent enough to take a big risk. But he was killed at 24, so it wasn’t as inspiring. Plus, no one can really capture Puff’s dancing. That may be a blessing.
Books. I read three books: The Four Agreements, The Universe Has Your Back and Material Girl, Mystical World. The Four Agreements is a must read. For every human. It delves into the new age concept that we’re all reacting to each other based on our wounds. If someone yells at you in the coffee shop line, it has little to do with you. Whether you remind them of someone or do something that they don’t feel they have permission to do, it’s really irrelevant to anyone but them. The question to ask for the person reacting is, “What can I learn about what I need to heal?” There’s a lot more to it than that, but it kind of frees you up. I’m much less afraid of what anyone thinks of me, but this one of the four agreements felt like being let out of jail. No matter how anyone reacts to me now, I know it has nothing to do with me.
The second book was kind of a fluffy book with only a few key points that could’ve been summed up in an article. The third book is a great overview for approaching spiritualism. “The Now Age” as she calls it doesn’t have a specific doctrine. The author found her higher self through astrology. For me, it’s always been crystals. It’s all really about what works for you to raise your energetic vibration to be your best self.
Podcasts. I listened to 5 podcasts all from James Altucher and Linda Silvertsen (The Book Mama). Altucher interviewed the founder of Freelancer.com and a man who is a self-made millionaire, despite being paralyzed from the waist down since age six months. Book Mama interviewed Anne Lamott, the author of Bird by Bird, Terry McMillan, author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Charles Taylor, author of The Second Son. Taylor won all 9 races at Santa Anita for $1.7million and took countless huge swings for the fences. He credits a few things to his success: daring to fail, complete belief in himself and childhood leukemia that forced him to see life as precious and fleeting.
The theme across all of this media is this: Self-belief leads to success. Daring to take risks doesn’t always pay off, but it’s more likely for it to eventually work out. Don’t be afraid to fail. If people talk trash, it has nothing to do with you.
It took two weeks, but now that the mucus has moved on, my bronc-hiatus is finally over. I’m ready to take some big swings and make my own destiny. In a false start, I ventured out on Saturday for some fun: a dance cardio class with someone who will be on the next season of a celebrity makeover show (a surprise), a cherry, limeade, espresso soda (refreshing), a dick pic-inspired art show (less controversial than you’d think) and breathwork for love and abundance (dizzying, but amazing).
And then I spent 14 out of Sunday’s 24 hours asleep. It’s going to be baby steps over the next few days. But the net-net is I really believe in myself. I’m not sure what the risks will be, but I’m open. I’m ready for the next phases of my life, whatever adventures they may offer.
I’m coming for you world.