Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspiration, Acceptance and Other Oddities of A Cultural Norm

Dream as if you'll live forever,
live as if you'll die today.

~James Dean~

Hot. Hotter. Hottest.
Messy atmospheric changes followed by a storm
consisting of a slight depression of attitude and increase in
gratitude towards the greater good.

Forgiveness (Release)
Sean Jones
"No Need for Words"
(do not go another day in your life without hearing this track)

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

Today, is one of those days. The entire year, thus far, has been composed of many of “one of those” days. Largely because I think I’ve let it get to me in addition to outside karmic forces that think they’re cooler than me and are trying to take over my soul.

Last night I had one of the worst nights of my life, arguably so. Details are not important. But, I do know that the night was preceded by one of the best days I’ve had in a very long time. And today, even after the antics of the night, was better than the last.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working with a new “client/writer” in the role of me being the agent, him being the, yeah...uh...writer. :) His name is Chris Lemig. He is one of the BEST memoir writers I’ve ever spilled my noggin on. He’s taught me, or rather, schooled me, on the concept of finding inspiration and life amongst a new start/beginning.

He had obliterated his soul, a suicide case years in the making. His will to live had lost the battle. But he fought, for some reason that isn’t ours to know, and won. I surely wouldn’t be as strong today if it weren’t for knowing his story and seeing that he made it out the other side alive and well. What I continue to see sparkle through his eyes is this, it doesn’t matter where your troubled and challenging past lays, it’s how you map your course for the future that paves the way to success. Of course success doesn’t mean monetary success or the acquisition of material goods, it means success in the small stuff in life. As in staying sober another day, waking up and thanking whatever god, spouse, child, friend, lover or loving animal you have by your side, for being there one more minute to see you through the murky waters of reality.

The journey outside your personal wasteland is only something you can control. Sometimes it’s not so clear that this is the absolute truth. Sometimes it’s too clear. Regardless, we must forgive ourselves these personal trespasses and allow this particular truth to reign supreme.

I spent most of today in a “vision planning” event/potluck luncheon for the city of Manitou Springs, Colorado. This town sits shoulder to shoulder with mine and is one of the best places on Earth. Heaven? Close enough. In this town, it’s easy to feel like you’re Norm on Cheers. Everyone, at least it seems that way, knows or wants to know your name and is happy because of it.

Manitou is a town that knows that planning for the future, as we are the only ones who can truly control it, is the key to its present and further success.

To open the meeting, a video was shown. It opened with a woman giving her reason why she loved this town. She said, “I love Manitou because when you’re here, you can be any kind of weird you want to be.”

Now wouldn’t that be something else if we, as a collective whole, felt that being our own personal kind of “weird” was perfectly fine and accepted everywhere, kinda like American Express? Those feelings and voices of self doubt seeded by the outside world and it’s various colors of negativity, often discourage this. What if we became flowers instead of weeds, treasures instead of trash? The trash that now composes the core of our earth would seemingly disappear. Can we control how others feel? Absolutely not. Can we control how we represent ourselves and show others how we feel about them? Yes.

The Mayor, a State Representative, City Councilmen, Independent Business Owners, Lovers of Manitou, Artists, Natives etc. came together during this event to become a (And thank you to Bren for this phrase) collective unit of critical thinkers. Together we can do anything, apart we can do nothing. In the meeting we learned about the past and present and then found from within each other, what the future means to us.

We were asked questions like, if we could have three wishes...?

What if there were no limitations etc...Those in charge of our future in Manitou didn’t want to hear us argue or debate on how to use budget surplus and/or deficits, they wanted to know our stories, our goals and our dreams regardless of boundaries set by the societal norms.

Dreams, aspirations, goals and visions were shouted out, argued over and written down. Copious creations of mission statements were created using our skills as professional day dreamers, lovers of the world and critical thinkers.

Turns out, our core goal as a community, is to remain as one that is built upon the shoulders of love, togetherness and the wish for a better future regardless of our challenging beginnings, middles or ends. We then talked about how to take these visions beyond our borders and become a model for others. The wretchedness of the state of world affairs disappeared allowing the perhapsness of a brighter, better and healthier future to become the center of our thoughts. We built an invisible web for our fellow Springs dwellers in our minds. And although this web, on the outside, may seem like a trap or negative space we are stuck in, in reality, it is a net. We agreed that this could only add to our “net worth” as a community because it would allow us to catch those that were down, needy and troubled before they fell.

This is something, I believe, most of us search for our entire lives.There isn’t a soul on this earth, whether alone or in a cast of thousands, that doesn’t need someone to know them, to care about them and to catch them when they fall.

Pipe dream? Probably. But for one day, I, and I’m sure others did too, felt that this was completely doable and made an inner bargain not to rest until the doing was done. Without these dreamers of dreams, today would have been a day that I fell, even though I didn’t let it show, and may not have been able to get back up.

And just as Chris has inspired me through the sticky sweaty sweet smell of rebirth beneath a heat lamp of exhaustion and reality, these visionaries have shown me that a vision must be seen with your heart and ears as a gateway to your soul.

I am grateful. Always.

Yours in Dreams, Drinking in the Healing Springs and Doing,


PS: If you’ve been following the “foot” saga on Facebook, CNN or Twitter, (That would be the Cicily News Network, not the other more biased one) you’ll know that I, once again, have been completely shit upon by my own body. But, at least this time out, it wasn’t involving my entire body, just a mere appendage. And, so far, so good, kinda. I haven’t lost the foot, so that’s a good thing. I think. One of these days I’ll have a real hollow wooden leg, and as my buddy Travis would say, I can not only “pull off” the pirate look, but have a great place to store tasty adult beverages. And if I really CAN pull of the pirate look I am that much CLOSER to having Johnny Depp as a life long mate. Right? Stay tuned. If a wooden leg becomes an ever closer aspect of my future self, I will let you guys design the carvings. :)