The Hydraulics of Spirit

I’m applying for a scholarship to an Entrepreneurial Powwow in NYC next month with Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth and Marie Forleo of Where Women Entrepreneurs Live Rich, Happy & Hot.

As spring is finally making its long-awaited debut, so am I.  This was my application essay – wish me luck!

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I am my greatest victory! I have created a life brimming with curiosity, adventure, and a healthy dose of being contrarian. I’ve been told by others I’m an inspiration, that I’m the happiest person they’ve ever met, that they wished they had my life…so for the past 11 months, since quitting 20+ years in the hospitality biz and dedicating my time to writing and fine-tuned inner work, I’ve been dreaming of a life that’s far, far bigger than where I’ve been.  To get here, I’ve plucked out the dark roots of money obstacles (I actually used to believe that being rich meant compromising your values – crazy, right?), adequacy doubts (How did I ever think this amazing life was given to me & I had nothing to offer in return?), and self- and otherwise-imposed limitations (now I’m sure, down to the bottom of my pink little heart and toes, that all the success, love, and freedom I’ve yearned for is MINE!)

Off~Peak, a blog I recently began (about how going against the tide taught me to go with the flow) is merely my first foray into self-expression.  I’m also chronicling my 500-mile journey, solo & on foot, across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, where this lost soul found spiritual connection (massive Oneness revelation! You breathe, I breathe – we are all the same song: the Uni-verse) and some really fab friends.  Research has also taken residence – I’m kneeling at the altar of playwriting, too – A coming-of-age during-the-Cold-War tale about false illusions is BEGGING me to write it.  I’m heeding the call.

I’ve so much to say.  I’ve so much to share.  I’ve so much to learn.  And I am…

My challenge is overcoming the unknown, but I’m on it! I’m kicking those fears to the curb.  I’ve enrolled in Web Design classes to learn the tech side of blogging.  I’ve gotten on the mat in yoga class and confronted constriction, transforming it into spaciousness! I’ve asked a broadcasting friend to teach me how to podcast, and a playwright friend how to develop structure and direction for the stage.  I’m getting good at asking for help;  I know now it’s a sign of strength.

photoWhat I want more than anything in this moment is to throw on my futuristic power suit (which includes visionary glasses – to see grand possibility with laser clarity, titanium stilts – to stride farther and faster, and my new Kris Carr-cleansed Body of Vitality), thrust out my hand with confidence and grab the outstretched arms of my tribe.  I can ask the questions (SEO tricks? find an editor/publisher? NGO bookkeeping?), all I want is to get what I want to give: a community of creative collaborators, generous think tankers, prosperous prognosticators, uplifting visionaries.

Where am I going? Ever-evolving is the birth of Luminary Foundation, a physical and organizational model that supports social justice and advocates for access around education, the arts, and food security.  With a far-reaching approach and dedicated vision (I’ve some radical ideas about a post-capitalist economy & the emergence of global non-money-based prosperity), this Foundation will shine its brilliance collectively, because only with transparency, accessibility, and collaboration will our best future come to light.

Thank you Danielle and Maria for this opportunity to join forces – inspiration overflows!

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Need A Penny? Take A Penny. Got Life? Save A Life.

Tragedy hits.  What do you do?  Freeze or take action?

I tend to jump in, wanting to help.  More than most anything else, I thrive on feeling useful;  it gives meaning to my life.  A gimme-the-reins kind of person, I prioritize well, delegate easily, and know to apply direct pressure when the blood starts to spurt ( a scary story I’ll save for another time).  However, I’m not really trained in the finer points of crisis management;  in many life-threatening emergencies, apart from dialing 9-1-1, I am often helpless.

Once when my nephew was very small, he had something in his mouth and I feared he might be choking.  I was nearly paralyzed, except to run to my sister, whose pragmatic nature would surely take over.  He was fine, she was fine, it was me who panicked.  I just couldn’t think my way through the fear, because he is so beloved to me.  What I needed was a skill set to fall back on, a clear set of steps to follow so that I could accurately assess and manage a traumatic situation, and keep those pesky emotions at bay.  I needed emergency training.

A friend who lived in New York City on 9/11 metabolized that disaster in a similar manner.  She didn’t just want to be of general service, donating money or time, she targeted a specific goal and became EMS-trained.  No small response, it was an honorable and inspired action.  Her commitment to civic duty surfaced in my memory this past autumn when I saw a man dying in Central Park.  (Read about it here.)  Afterwards, I vowed to learn first aid and CPR, so being a mere bystander wouldn’t be an option anymore.  While my instincts to jump in are strong, I needed competency to be effective.

This discovery of duty, of harboring a strong sense of social responsiblity surprised me.  Duty had never surfaced before;  in fact, besides the military and medical fields, duty seems to rub up against the rugged individualism of the United States psyche.  Where does it otherwise reside in such modern democracy?   To each their own, problems and all, right?  Well, my evolution from dependent child to (sometimes too) independent adult has been bumpy, and I’m happily embracing a new relationship with my inner citizen.  So, this past weekend I followed through, turning my vow into action and became CPR/AED-certified, the first of many steps to lead a more politically engaged and community-minded life.  Oh, how many others have gone before.

Now, I can approach someone in distress and offer trained help.  I am capable of opening someone’s blocked airway, breathing for someone when they can’t, keeping a heart pumping and if necessary, even use a defibrillator.  When someone chokes, suffers a stroke or heart attack, or just needs comfort until the medical professionals arrive and do the real work, I am prepared.  I just hope it never comes to that.

 

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