This is the post excerpt.
Reality is something you have to face.
Reality can slap you in the face.
Reality never seems to be something we seek, or desire to be in.
We’d rather escape reality.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “How great is reality?!?!?”
There’s even an expression, “The sad reality is….”
No one ever says, “The happy reality is…”
Welcome to the real world.
Such a depressing pool of unsatisfying emotions that we are “required” to swim in.
Unless we consider who shapes our reality?
For everyone who cares to dream about what might be there are the reality-shapers who will say we live in a fantasy world.
But what if our fantasy world is our reality? What if the way we choose to exist is to enjoy the things we want rather than suppress them? What if our reality is fantasy?
The reality is that we are an endless interconnecting system of feelings and emotions that plugs into a miraculous mass of gray matter and a membranous bag of blood.
What we choose to do with that can be nothing short of fantastical.
When we shape our reality, we can experience a world of fantasy that can be both fulfilling and intoxicating.
There’s nothing that this universe has to offer that says that we have to believe solely in something that is grounded in reality. The universe is infinite and mysterious.
And as we exist in this vast and vibrant space, we too can enjoy the reverie of what it has to offer.
If we so choose.
Such is the lesson Of Reality.
Ever since I saw the movie Superman, I’ve wanted to fly.
I would take a red towel and tuck it into the back neck lining of a blue t-shirt and run around the house pretending I could fly like Superman.
At that time, I thought it possible.
Over the years we become more programmed to believe that flying, on our own, is not only an unrealistic expectation, it is a scientific impossibility.
We’re grounded into a belief system that our feet stay firmly planted on this earth and that gravity is a veritable force.
Recently, I’ve come to understand that flight is achievable.
The idea that the essence of our being is not encased in our physical limitations, allows us to truly understand what flying can feel like.
Take this photo:
I took flight.
I launched myself into the air and for those few seconds I felt what it was like to fly. You might even notice the birds in the background. We were on a level playing field…if only for a couple to a few seconds.
That moment is one that I try and replicate when I’m experiencing something new, exciting, exhilarating.
To feel like you’re flying is to understand what it is to be in a suspended state of bliss.
When we capture those moments, those experiences, those timeless adventures is when we understand and feel what it is to fly.
I’ve had more dreams than I can count where I’m flying. And now, as I understand what those dreams were, I translate them to this world. To the world of what elevates us.
We all have wings. We just have to know how to use them.
Such is the lesson Of Flying.
Screw the Venn Diagram.
Who cares how something compares or contrasts to something else or what they have in common?
As if we can only appreciate something once we see how it relates to something else.
We have become embroiled in a series of comparisons which often times lead us down a path of “supposed to” rather than pure wanting desire.
Having appreciation for someone or something is to eradicate comparisons and embrace more the uniqueness of that entity. To discover and experience a newness rather than a replacement for or better version of.
In order to understand this concept better we must ask ourselves the question, “What motivates and inspires us?”
As you consider that question, take a look at this photo:
There is so much beauty. So much to appreciate. So much to be inspired by.
And not for one second do I consider how it compares to anything else. Because the moment I do, it loses its luster. It becomes something that can only be related to something else rather than what it stands for on its own.
So what motivates and inspires you?
For me, it’s the idea of reaching that level of appreciation that can be achieved when we sever comparisons.
Try eliminating the following from your vernacular:
Replace them with:
When we cease to compare and begin to embrace and appreciate, we flood ourselves with gratitude, which is the pathway to happiness.
Such is the lesson Of Comparisons.
Technology puts us in this ubiquitous place.
We are accessible 24/7.
This is a new norm.
But, what if we re-calibrated our accessibility?
What if we commit to being fully present?
What if we channeled our present experiences and only thought about how we were going to enjoy and appreciate them rather than where and how we were going to post about them.
How do we capture moments in a way that allows us to experience them over and over again without snapping a picture or posting it on Instagram or Facebook?
To truly feel a moment one must consume themselves with the moment, savor the moment and recognize the intensity of the feeling of that moment.
We have to slow it down.
Hit the pause button in our mind and allow our senses to take over. Inhale the air deeply and let it out slowly. Capture the emotion in the moment.
You’ll know you’ve truly experienced it when you feel what I refer to as “The Flare Up.” It’s that fluttering, swelling feeling inside you that starts right below your heart and flares up to the back of your throat. And in that moment, you actually feel like you’re floating off the ground.
Have you felt that?
And it can only happen when we make ourselves less accessible to the outside and more accessible to our inside.
We have to put our phones away. We’re missing out on our most ripe emotions. We shun them in order to reach out for other emotional connections that perhaps are unrealized or maybe even unattainable.
I am committing to this. Please know that if I don’t respond to your text message or answer your phone call immediately, it’s because I am making myself more accessible to the moment.
The relationships I have and aspire to have will be enriched as I will be more connected to my emotions, more intertwined to the people I am present with and more appreciative of the “flare ups.”
Such is the lesson Of Accessibility.
In the world of education we are in a perpetual cycle of problem-solving. It’s what I love about it.
Breaking down situations and doing a deep dive into the core in an effort to find reason and then wind back to a place of resolution.
It’s a puzzle. It’s a challenge. It’s enriching.
Often times, when we discuss students and the difficulties that many face, a common theme comes up; they struggle with transitions.
Don’t we all?
A transition is something that takes us from a place of comfort, to an entirely new place.
Who doesn’t struggle with that?
Instead of harping on the struggle, I’ve decided to become an advocate for transitions.
It’s the ultimate in breaking out of a fear.
Going from the comfortable to the unknown.
But what I’ve come to learn is that going from that place of comfort to the unknown is the ultimate in finding adventure.
Close your eyes for ten seconds.
Did you feel that you were in the dark? That you were lost? That you weren’t sure what was going to appear when you opened them?
Were you calm? Were you lost in thought? Were you looking forward to what you might see when you opened them back up?
That’s a transition.
And one mindset evokes fear. The other presents a new opportunity.
Training our mind is the new way to exercise.
The treadmill of thought is always running…we just have to get on it and take charge of our pace.
This sign hangs in my office…a gift from a colleague. (Thanks, Chuck!)
It reminds me of why transitions are important.
The road less traveled is dark. It’s the one that is uncertain. It is outside of our comfort zone.
But when you train your mind to not only accept transitions, but to embrace them, you may just find yourself in that place of adventure where you’ve only visualized you might go one day.
Train your mind. A new opportunity awaits. Find that road less traveled.
Such is the lesson Of Transitions.
As I am writing my 24th post on this blog, I decided to go back to the beginning.
Whenever I consider something that I am inspired by, something that motivates me, or something that I simply can’t be without, I like to start from the beginning.
I didn’t always love to write. The idea of taking a pen or a pencil to a piece of paper provoked more anxiety than losing my cell phone.
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t have ideas floating around in my head. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to write about. It was that writing is such a deeply personal venture. It is foundationally a manifestation of your emotions as you connect the heart to the brain and the brain to a writing utensil and that utensil marks up that paper with every ounce of fear, elation, exaltation and explanation of the very essence of who you are.
And then….it’s out there.
It’s out there for you to revisit and relive.
And then, if you so choose, you publish. And I don’t mean you have a company that’s running copies of this for someone to Amazon Prime it. I mean you let others in to experience your writing. Notice how I didn’t say “read” your writing.
Writing is an experience as much as reading a piece of writing is. It requires a level of engagement of your emotions. It’s active and involved. It’s living.
How did I get from the point of anxiousness to enthusiasm?
Well, I went back to the beginning.
I happened upon my red spiral bound Creative Writing notebook from my senior year of high school.
There are so many entries. So many different topics explored. So many scratch outs and teacher comments. So much rawness and so much enthusiasm.
I focussed less on my own writing and more on my teacher’s feedback of my writing.
And that’s when it hit me.
The feedback I received from my Creative Writing teacher led me to a much deeper place. It required me to explore myself more deeply. It didn’t say anything critical. It didn’t say much about spelling or punctuation. It just spoke to me. It spoke with me.
She translated the writing piece into a soul searching venture simply by giving the precise feedback. Asking the perfect questions. As every great teacher does.
She agitated something inside me that inflamed my desire to take that writing utensil and emote through it.
My writing improved. But most importantly, I improved.
I encourage you to write. To find the courage to dig deeper into who you are. To start from the beginning.
It will take you places you’ve never been. It will transport you. It will transform you.
Such is the lesson Of Writing.
Of Roller Coasters
What happens when you take that leap of faith? When you put yourself out there like you’ve never done before. All your cards are on the table. You’re exposed. You’re vulnerable.
Is every breath a dance of liberation?
Or is every breath a tango of anxiousness?
Do you feel alive or at odds?
Do you question whether there is anything that could better?
Or do you question what it is you’ve done?
Do you want to dive deeper?
Or are you looking for an escape route?
That risk. That leap of faith. That’s your instinct taking over. That’s your intuition.
The rest are questions. Questions we all face all the time. Embedded in them are our doubts and our fears. Our hopes and our dreams. We will never stop asking our questions.
But sometimes, we let our questions stop us from experiencing the very things that make us feel ourselves the most.
Our intuition is our greatest asset. When we go with it, we ride a roller coaster of emotions and feelings that teaches us to be the better version of ourselves. When we fight it, we hide. We retreat. We take cover.
Life is a roller coaster no matter how you look it. But if you love roller coasters as I do, find the fun. Enjoy the ride.
Because, as far as I know, we only get one turn.
Such is the lesson Of Roller Coasters.