How a sprained ankle taught me the meaning of life

Today I drove a motorcycle through the entire circumference of the
island of Koh Samui, Thailand, with my friend Sam.

It took us about 4-5 hours and we had no real plan except
stopping at gorgeous views along our way and checking out
interesting sights that peaked our interest on the map.

About halfway through our journey, just after coming down
yet another hill with a stunning aquamarine vista, I happened to
glimpse over at my rearview mirror.

I noticed a woman, looking like a badass, in a motorcycle
helmet, grinning from ear to ear, full to the brim with love
and life as the wind whipped through her hair.

An explorer of the world and life.

Someone I’d want to sit down and have a conversation with.

“Now that’s the kind of woman I want to be,” I said to myself.

And then I realized that the woman I was admiring in the
mirror, was me!

It took me totally by surprise.
And then a memory came back to me from my childhood.

One of my favorite things to do when I was younger, was to sit by my
window and daydream about my future, who I would become, what I
would contribute to the world with my life…

I could spend an entire afternoon just watching the birds fly
from tree to tree…
seeing the sunlight glint off the metallic bodies of planes
taking off from the nearby airport…
tasting the scent of the salty Florida wind…

And then I would write pages and pages full of my thoughts,
my visions for the future, who I wanted to be.

It was one of the most creative times of my life.

I wrote music, taught myself to play piano, painted, sketched,
sculpted (wtf??)…and filled journals and journals full of poems,
plays and essays.

When I sold everything I own and moved away from New York
back in June of 2013, I went through so many of those journals
and I found things that blew my mind.

I found a journal entry where I, with no spiritual education other
than the Catholicism I had been brought up in at the time,
drew out an entire diagram with accompanying essay on how
all living beings on the planet are one.

In the journal entry I explained “I know this sounds crazy,
but I think that our bodies are merely shells that contain
the same “stuff” that is in and around every living thing.”

“It’s all one consciousness and that is God.
We are God and God is us”.

Pretty profound for a 15 year old.

I look back on my creative body of work from that time and am in awe.

How was I so open?
So creative?
Where the heck did I get all of these ideas?
Why was I so certain, so clear about what I was meant to do?

Why, as an adult, does it feel harder to be so creative?
Why is it so much easier to hold ourselves back?
Tell ourselves, “that’s a dumb idea, no one will want to hear
about that”?

So many of the people that I work with as clients, experience
a “blockage” when it comes to connecting to their purpose,
beginning their great work and making the impact they are
on this earth to make.

And because we always teach what we are here to learn,
I also experience those blockages and that resistance
from time to time.

So what changed after 15 that made me less prolific
and more prone to stopping up my creative flow?

Last week I wrote you about my decision to take a month-long
sabbatical form my business.
In Thailand. No work at all.

I told you what a terrifying decision that was for me and how
much I had resisted it.

But I finally made the decision to go because, after a really
busy year with my business, I realized I was burned out and badly
needed a break to integrate, disconnect and go within.

And then three days into arriving in Thailand I ended up badly
spraining my ankle. 

I had to go to the hospital, where I was ordered to stay in bed.

I was furious for 30 seconds.
I had a lot of things to do and see in Thailand!!
Was this some sort of cruel joke?

One day I was heading from my bedroom to the dining room
for lunch and due to my ankle, I had to walk the slowest I have
ever walked in my life.

I grumbled at first in annoyance.
And then something really interesting happened…

I started to notice everything around me.
Colors looked richer.
I could hear the beautiful native birds outside.
Decoration details in the house I was staying in popped out.
I was breathing more deeply.

My body actually felt really, really good going this slow.

My ankle had forced me into being completely in the moment.

There was simply no other option but to do that if I was to avoid
hurting my ankle all over again.

This continued on for a week as my ankle slowly healed.

My writers block went away.
I started to recall my dreams for the first time in a year.
I gained deep clarity on some issues I had been struggling with for
over a year in my business.
I started playing piano again.
I came up with an idea for a new program, the likes of which has
never been done before.

All from slowing down and getting really present.

I was IN my life, instead of “working on creating the life I wanted.”

And that’s the secret.

If you have always known deep down inside that you are here to make
an impact in the world with your unique gifts.

If you have a calling…

Then you must know that the path for those who are here to make
impact, will be riddled with fear, self-sabotage and doubt.

You will feel blocked.
You will stop yourself from unleashing your revolution in the world
many, many times.

The solution is to slow down.

Listen, I hear you.
You know how important your idea is.
You can see the impact it would make.
So you want to race there.
You see other people get there before you and you think the solution
is to speed up—get there before they can lay claim to it.

The solution is to slow down.

Take a deep breath.
Feel your heart beating. Notice the world around you.

Be IN your life. Be present.

You came into this life with your calling.
You will never ‘get there.’

The whole point of having a calling,
is that your entire life is your calling.

Everything that happens to you in your life, every experience you’ve
had, every wound, every triumph, every random occurrence…
has always been leading you deeper and deeper into your calling.

Your calling develops across the entire course of your life.

One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, says,
“When you want something, the whole universe will conspire to make
it happen”.

That means that the whole Universe is conspiring to help you live into
your calling.

It is constantly gifting you with ideas, inspiration and answers to the
questions you seek about your purpose.

Know where those answers are?

In the present moment.

So take a deep breath.

You don’t have to rush.
You don’t have to “be brilliant”.
You don’t have to “do” anything except be present.

Be IN your life.

And then, maybe, one day you’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in the
rearview mirror of a motorcycle and realize that you’ve already
become the person you always dreamed of being.

And that the best is yet to come.

More beautiful, more incredible and more heart-opening
than you ever could have possibly imagined.


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