Friday, October 11, 2013

Something Wonderful

A few years ago I had an experience with a neighbor that has been coming to mind again lately.
I currently live in Salt Lake City – where the culture is predominantly Mormon. One day, after I had departed from said predominant culture, I was having a catch-up day. I put my overloaded writers-brain to bed and did about three million around-the-house-and-yard projects that had been screaming for my attention. It felt amazing. Digging in the dirt in a light rain clears my mind in a way that few things do.

One of the things I checked off my ginormous list was to haul up from the basement, and empty into the yard, all two dozen 2-liter "Food Storage" water bottles that were covered with dust, sprinkled with mouse poop (ugh!) and had quite simply become something that I no longer felt the need or inclination to stockpile.

Later, after trimming down my rose bushes, I crossed the street and returned the clippers to the neighbor I had borrowed them from. As she handed me a bag of garden fresh tomatoes she asked, "Was that your water storage that you were dumping out earlier?"

"Yeah, the bottles were old and gross and just needed to go."

"Well, Emily, very tough times are coming. You really need to have a lot of water on hand. Just wash out your milk jugs, fill them with hot water and store them. That should work fine."

"Great. Thanks. And thank you for the clippers and tomatoes..."

She got a pained look on her face and reiterated, while burning a hole in my forehead with her laser vision, "Emily, very, very tough times are coming. Very, very soon. We all need to be ready."

I was floored. Not because of what she said, I had been receiving the same lecture all my life. I was floored because I could see so clearly how far I had come from where I had once been. My neighbors all thought I had fallen, but I knew that I was soaring to heights I had never before imagined. I vividly remembered when I had believed the exact same thing. When I obsessed over the end of the world and how I was going to haul 200 pounds of wheat back to Missouri in preparation for the Second Coming. I remember organizing food storage and preparing for all the horrible, dark and miserable times that lie ahead. Crossing the street back to my house I wanted to leap for joy that I wasn't there anymore. That I wasn't that person anymore.

Years later, I look around me and still see people hunkering down – preparing for the worst. Not with a 2 year supply of food but with a lifetime supply of excuses. How often do we hear someone express the desire to go for something – a dream, goal, new job, relationship – and then dig into their storage room of negativity and excuses? How often do we do that ourselves? We hoard all our past disappointments, heartbreaks and pain and turn them into an endless supply of fears. We no longer risk or take giant leaps of faith because we did that once, twice, three times before and it hurt like hell. We expect the worse so that when disaster strikes – when we allow ourselves to fall in love and we get our heart broken again, when we don’t get the job we risked everything for, when we reach (again) for the brass ring and miss (again) – it won’t hurt so bad.

Do painful and disappointing things happen? Of course they do. Welcome to being human. But unspeakably wonderful and beautiful things happen too. More than we even allow ourselves to recognize. Sometimes things do play out the way we want them to – oftentimes even better. It’s important to be prepared. It’s a good idea to have food and water on hand because we do live in a physical world where we lose power or become, however temporarily, unemployed. And it is important to prepare ourselves for disappointment and pain, but NOT by hiding from Life in our emotional storm cellars and focusing on all the shitty things that can go down. We prepare ourselves by doing our inner work, by gathering and focusing our energies on the million pieces of evidence we have at our fingertips that prove Life is a safe and beautiful place to be, and by intimately knowing who we are. Because once we really know who we are, we know beyond any doubt that we are bigger, brighter and better than anything that has ever, or will ever, happen to us – no matter how seemingly cataclysmic.

I have on my refrigerator a bumper sticker that a friend bought me years ago. It reads: Something Wonderful Is About To Happen. And it is. Something wonderful is always about to happen because that is what I choose. That is what I expect. We create our own realities - both internal and, to a large extent, external. And I for one would rather go through my life believing that something wonderful is about to happen than believing that the shit is going to hit the big-ass fan any minute.
Tough times are coming?

Not in my world they're not. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


So, I know that I keep posting snippets on Facebook about being brave… This has become my singular theme of late. People think that I am a ballsy chick and, generally speaking, I am. But I also have had a long list of things that terrify me, accompanied by all of my very good reasons for that terror and equally good excuses for not facing and busting through it.

I am so tired of being scared of the things I’m scared of. I have so much love and creativity I have yet to tap into and I KNOW that I won’t be able to do it until I get to the other side of my biggest fears. Once I have done so, I’ll probably share specifics. Until then, it’s time to jump off a series of rather high cliffs. Time to dig deep into the inner realms of untapped kick-ass bravery.

Who’s with me? 

For the official record, the guy in the mall with the happygasmic hair took the RIGHT pills. And I want him to be my next door neighbor.

Remember, you are Bigger, Better and Brighter 
than anything that has ever happened to you. 

Go make your world a better place. xo