How we view the world is how we will experience it
Yes, this really happened.
On the early morning of my birthday while strolling along the beach, a crisp $100 bill (albeit soggy and sandy at the moment) appeared before my freshly manicured feet. Despite being slightly bleary-eyed from late night travel, I was delighted to have escaped what was beginning to feel like the unending, winter doldrums for a few days — and to awaken to sunrise and warm ocean breezes, a much needed and welcomed reprieve to celebrate another spin around the sun.
Like a kid on Christmas morning, I had jumped out of bed and hit the sand as quickly as possible, wanting to savor every moment. Sand between my toes, waves breaking at my ankles, sunshine warming my face — I was in my happy place. Aaaah.
I was stunned when I first saw it. As I reached down to pick it up, I did a double take — is that really a $100? It was.
I took it as a good omen. This was a great start to my new year.
As I walked along holding it in my hand so it could dry in the warm air, I felt a mix of both childlike playfulness and deeper contemplation — caught between, this is amazing and what does this mean?
I love birthdays with all the fanfare, cake, candles, cards and goodies. Nope, no shying away from them around here. I’m happy to declare it’s my birthday to anyone who will listen. As a matter of fact, that morning in my hotel when asked my name while waiting for my coffee before heading out for my beach walk, I gleefully responded, Birthday Girl. I think you get the picture. (wink)
No judgment on how you handle yours, but I see it as the true new year — your day to celebrate YOU, to quietly inventory the previous year and envision the one before you. It’s a little corny, but no cornier than any other resolution, so why not embrace it? Why not indulge in its offerings? I certainly don’t get to wake up on beautiful beaches each year, but I don’t allow that to control the ‘specialness’ of my day either. I invite you to reimagine how you celebrate yours as well. And hey, while we’re at it, why wait until birthdays or calendar new years to flip the reset button?
Having grown up in the northeast and being born a spring baby, this season holds great resonance for me. It is the season of awakening, of ourselves and the natural world around us. It is also the season of possibility.
But back to my $100. What did it mean? Well, I don’t know, it could mean a lot of things. On one hand I immediately started thinking about what I was going to spend it on and then on the other, I thought about its bigger message and significance. For as long as I can remember, money has been a trigger for me. It’s come and it’s gone, in big dramatic ways and small, slipping through my hands like the receding waves. I’ve spent a great deal of time exploring its power over me, its roots and untruths. Suffice it to say, our relationship is complicated — making this occurrence all the more significant for me, an on this day.
So when money mysteriously or miraculously washes up on shore, what would you think? Would you immediately reach for the logical explanation: someone must’ve gone swimming with money in their pocket that slipped out — or — perhaps accept that it is a nod from the Universe, a sign that all is well?
Money, like energy, is meant to ebb and flow (literally) as if to say, you’ve always been fine. You always land on your feet. It’s OK to take a deep breath and to receive abundance in all aspects of your life.
(And it’s OK to believe it too!)
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you simply think-happy-thoughts your credit card debt away. Instead, I’m asking you to show up for your part and create space for miracles. Create space for abundance in whatever form you need it to flow in. But you might have to clear out some old cobwebs and gunk in the corners in order to do so.
It’s a great experiment in observing how we view life: with logic and reason or with some Unicorn and fairy dust. How about a melding of the two? Life without either can throw us off kilter, make us rigid and feeling stuck.
Of course I felt grateful for the magical appearance of money at my feet, for the beach stroll and the birthday getaway. But most of all, I felt grateful that it ushered in my new year with some deeper gratitude and reflection.
What do I want this next trip around the sun to look like?
Who do I want to be while I’m doing it?
With my soggy gift in hand, I strolled the shore, humbly rattling a gratitude list to the Universe while deeply inhaling and exhaling gorgeous ocean air. I also made note of things I’d like to leave behind in last year (thanks for your service, but you are no longer needed), creating space for some other things to come forth. Below is the framework of my list. (Think about what would you put on yours.)
And keep in mind, it’s not that complicated. It’s actually quite simple when we become still, when we listen to the soul’s stirring and heed the call. What’s complicated is navigating through the noise of our own heads and breaking free from destructive patterns we’ve created that keep our feet in cinder blocks and our spirit tethered. Freedom is only one choice away, truly. Don’t be afraid to embrace simplicity. In the space of simplicity we find the breath of contentment and can connect to ourselves on a deeper level.
This is my ‘Leaving Behind’ list, a few things that have needlessly sucked up time, space and energy:
- The need to be right: At first you may think this doesn’t apply to you, but witness yourself in conversations and especially confrontations. Do you really try to hear the point of view of another or do you feel the need to convey your opinion? Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong here. We can all be ‘right’.
- Judgment: OK, this is going to sound harsh, but bear with me. If you say you don’t judge, you’re not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We do it a gazillion times a day. We judge ourselves, each other and everything in between. Judgment has its place, but for the most part we misuse it and waste molecules. The key isn’t to stop thinking, it’s to consciously note if the things we are thinking about are feeding or draining us.
- Worry: Worry begets worry, period. Within relationships, we often disguise worry as a form of loving another. People don’t need our worry, they need our love. Fix only that which you can fix and are responsible for and then support others to be their best selves. I promise you, worrying only brings forth more of what we don’t want for both sides. The same goes in regards to worrying about ‘things’ like finances, attachments to outcome, etc.
So in the spirit of my new year, spring and redecorating my life, here’s my ‘Calling Forth’ list:
- Room for play: Fine. I’ll admit it. I’m rigid and routined, probably hard-wired that way to some degree. However, all work and no play isn’t exactly a recipe for fun. I know there’s a little girl deep within ready to bust a move; I’m going to carve out some time for a playdate with her to see what unfolds.
- Spontaneity: I love being impulsive and it makes me nuts at the same time, what’s a girl to do? Mix it up for sure. We all need a shot of spontaneity from time to time, particularly the most buttoned up and scheduled of us. The world doesn’t stop spinning when we shake things up a bit. Go on, play hooky. Observe your soul singing.
- Wonder: When we can drop the need to have logical scientific explanations for every event, we can create space for magic and wonder and whimsy to be seen. There are gifts woven throughout the fabric of our lives each and every day. Trust me, no one’s got exclusivity on them, some just see things with more widely opened eyes. Let’s seize some together. And dare I say, life may get a lot more fun.
I love walking through this life with you at my side. Some of the things listed above may not be on your list, but hopefully they will spark you to reexamine your own. Whatever day you decide to make a shift, may it be abundant and whimsical, may it feed your body, mind and soul, may the Universe sprinkle gifts about and may you see them…but most of all may you remember your magnificence, your big, bold, beautiful best self, right there for the taking. Become what’s possible. Go!
As always, I love hearing from you. Where does your life fall between logic and wonder? Do you make room for both? I’d love to know how this plays out for you. Let me know in the comments below. I’d also love to connect to you more regularly; are you following Best Self on Facebook and Instagram? Let’s be social!