Just the tip…
Okay, you perverts! Now that I have your attention… 😉
What, you may be wondering, is this guy talking about?
On the edge is in the middle?
Just the tip?
Of course it doesn’t make sense, yet…
But as you will see, the only way to live a satisfied life is to live on the edge of your comfort zone…
Then, and only then, will you actually be living in the middle of life!
Get out onto the tip of your supposed security, and pierce through the unknown like a spearhead whirling through the air…
It is only there you will find freedom and fulfillment.
The Status Quo
Last week I was railing on about Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Most men [people], lead lives of quiet desperation.”
This quote has been the war cry of many-a-restless soul who’s had e-fucking-nough living in (what Tara Brach calls) a “Trance of Unworthiness” (https://www.tarabrach.com/inquiring-trance/).
Tell me if this sounds familiar?
It’s Monday morning. You wake up and curse the alarm clock, hit snooze, and begrudgingly wake up for work.
Your mind begins to conceive of all the things that will probably go wrong at work.
You think about all the time you wasted watching Netflix or scrolling social media this weekend and that list of things you wanted to do, but didn’t.
You start looking at the news and the weather.
People are shooting children, and it’s going to be another 100+ degree day outside.
After your cup of coffee, you take a shower and can’t bear to look at yourself in the mirror. “I’m ugly, fat, have bags under my eyes, I’m old, anxious, depressed, alone…”
You get in the car that you’re making payments on and going to a job you don’t really want to do because you HAVE to pay for this car, the rent, your credit cards, medications, your various entertainment subscriptions.
You pull up to the gas station and someone races in front of you to get to the pump first.
The price of gas is nearing $6.00 per gallon (over $7 in some places).
You wonder, how am I going to afford to drive to work? They’re not giving me a raise that’ll cover the cost of living.
After fueling up, you try to pull out of the parking lot onto the street and no one will let you out.
There are people with cardboard signs staring at you, pleading for a little help.
You avoid making eye contact with them because they look scary and you feel guilty.
Once you do get out in traffic, the person behind you is tailgating you when you clearly cannot go any faster because of the car in front of you.
Get the gist?
You haven’t even made it to work yet, and you are a slave to the status quo…
Before You Jump…
Okay, now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you (and myself for that matter), let’s talk about choices.
Sure, one could reframe the above scenarios and start looking at it from a privileged standpoint and lace it with gratitude.
You have a home, you have a job, you have a car, you have money to fuel it…
And that gratitude and shift in perception will carry you far…
For a while…
And maybe this is one of my character flaws speaking, but I carry in me a restlessness that knows there’s more to life than living this way.
Yes, I am grateful for the life I have.
I have a home.
I have a job.
I have a car.
And at the same time, these things feel like fucking shackles around my legs.
I have dreams…
I trust the Universe is a generous place full of Abundance…
I see people all around me manifesting health, wealth, and freedom by practicing a certain mindset and taking certain actions…
I feel the energy welling up inside of me that believes I can have these things, too.
Before I can step away from the status quo, I have to become sick of it, visualize a better existence, and then take the steps towards living the life I dream of.
At the same time that I want something better, I embrace the status quo as a fundamental part of my journey. It’s not that I hate my life. I am very grateful for all of the ups and downs and the drive they ignite in me.
And I don’t know about you, but since I have realized I have dreams that won’t go away… living a life stuck in the status quo drives me fucking crazy.
The cognitive dissonance tears me up inside.
I’ve seen too much…
The bell has been rung…
It cannot be un-rung.
I HAVE to do something or I will sink into the mire of unfulfilled dreams and life will just be an existence…
I’d rather die…
It’s Not a Challenge
If It Doesn’t Scare You
I’m not necessarily saying you need to jump out of a plane, but it might help…
I have jumped out of a plane (with a parachute). I don’t know why I felt it necessary to clarify that.
It scared the living shit out of me.
At the time, I was a heavy pot-smoker and afraid of flying. I did it because I had recently turned 40 (six years ago), and wanted to check that box off my list.
It took a lot of weed to get me up in that plane and to jump out.
It was terrifying and one of the most incredible experiences of my life…
I swore I’d never do it again.
However, lately, I’ve noticed my resistance to it has all but disappeared. I have been discussing with some friends setting up a jump.
What has changed?
I think my threshold and tolerance for facing fears has.
By routinely challenging myself.
By making it a practice to face my fears…
As I’ve quoted Mark Twain before:
Fear is the bogeyman… And it needs to be faced to learn to live free…
Courage is a muscle and it must be worked regularly.
I’ll give a small example and a bigger one…
So I’ve been meaning to do a burpee challenge for a while.
One of my coaches did 110 burpees every day during the month of March.
I like doing physical challenges that push my endurance because they make me more resilient to whatever life throws at me.
It’s all about overcoming the quitter’s mind (as David Goggins calls it).
When I can push through a long, difficult workout, I develop mental toughness and resiliency which carries over into the rest of my life.
It’s kind of like taking cold showers. When you can overcome your resistance to discomfort, you can accomplish many things.
So anyway, I’ve been intending to do a burpee challenge for a while.
I love the idea of it because most people hate burpees.
Which by the way, burpees hate you, too! 😉
I, on the other hand, wish to be an exceptional person, so I welcome difficult challenges.
On Saturday at the gym, I got reacquainted with a new member and she told me that morning, that she, too, loves burpees.
What kind of sick and twisted woman is this?
My kind of sick and twisted… that’s who!
So I proposed a burpee challenge with her, and eagerly (possibly cautiously), she accepted.
Without telling too much of her story, let’s just say her life started over again recently.
I suggested that every day we do two burpees for each day of her new life and then when we reach 100, we’ll do 100 burpees daily for 30 days.
We started yesterday with 54 burpees, and today we did 56.
We sent each other videos and hold each other accountable for it.
Here’s the rub about a challenge…
It’s not a challenge if it doesn’t scare you…
I don’t know if you’ve tried doing burpees before.
If you’re not familiar with them, check this out…
Fun looking, aren’t they?
Now, I’m in pretty decent shape (although I was sick for a week with COVID), but I’m able to get through these…
However, today, Day Two of the challenge, I woke up and was like, fuck… I have a bunch of burpees to do?
That’s when the mind goes to work against you…
I’m tired, my wrists hurt, I’m sore, I’m still sick…
Is this going to make me too tired to work?
Why am I even doing this?
To impress this woman?
Then the commitment voice starts up…
I know once I start, I’ll get through them because that’s how I’m wired…
What if she flakes and doesn’t continue the challenge?
I’m doing it for me!
I’m challenging myself.
I’m building my resiliency to life so I can be exceptional and break free from the fucking status quo!
Engage Beast Mode!
I find my why: transcending my mediocre life and becoming the person I am meant to be!
Strong and courageous!
Willing to face fear!
Lifts others up to their potential through my example!
So I start doing the burpees…
Then I hit about 16 of them, push four more out to 20 and have to stop to catch my breath…
There’s always this space when I start a high-intensity sustained workout where in the beginning my muscles and endurance fight against me…
They cry out, “NO!!!”
This is too hard!
I can’t do this!
That my friends, is the magic door to push past.
The quitter’s mind is the gate keeper, and the price of freedom lies in pushing past it!
Push past your fears and the mind that tells you to quit!
Choose to not believe the quitter’s mind.
Find the beast in you that is sick and tired of living in desperation and fear.
Fucking roar if you have too!
Find the dark places and pain in you psyche and channel that shit to keep you fucking moving!
This untapped resource is in you!
I know, because I only recently found it in me.
I may be exceptional, but I am not special.
You have this too.
If something scares you and tells you to quit… Run straight at that thing and tear it’s fucking throat out!
You have it in you to go beyond where you think you can.
Always trust that you have more…
Overcoming your fear is a voluntary decision and deliberate action.
Push through pain to unlock the door to your freedom…
I’m Calling in Well Today…
I’ve always wanted to call in “well” to work instead of sick…
When the boss asks, “Well?”
I’d say. “Well…. I don’t fucking working work here anymore.”
I think the comedian who wrote that delivered it much better than me, but I’ve always thought it was funny.
And the truth of the matter with my job is I am claiming wellness. So, technically by quitting, I am calling in well..
And at the same time, this morning my decision to leave my job scared me a little…
Mornings seem to be the time when I’m most vulnerable and my mind attacks me…
I practice not trusting my mind – especially in the morning.
The quitter’s mind wakes up 10 minutes before me and starts whispering in my ear everything that can and will go wrong.
Not to mention, everything that’s wrong with me, and especially why no one likes me….
Man that fucker ruined many days and years for me…
I’m grateful today to just ride the waves of the thoughts and feelings, watch them go by, and insert a positive message.
That my friends, comes from a regular meditation practice… but that’s another story.
Having said all of that, I’ve come to believe that if something scares me (and quite frankly excites me) that’s the direction I need to go…
That fear is telling me I am on the edge of my comfort zone…
And by being on the edge I am right in the middle of life!
The people in history who accomplished great things faced tremendous odds and certainly had to find a way to push past their fear and discomfort…
Well behaved people rarely make history.
If you look back at all of the great leaders, spiritual or otherwise, they overcame great adversity to effect a positive change in the world.
This, folks, is your mission should you choose to accept it.
Yes, I am scared that I am making a huge mistake quitting my job.
I am leaving a reasonably “secure” position with guaranteed income and (albeit shitty) insurance.
Most people in our society would think I am foolish to leave an honorable and secure position as a mental health case manager to chase my dreams and deliver fucking food.
The food delivery is the supplemental income until my life coaching takes off.
Today, I am willing to look like a fool to chase my dreams.
I am willing to stand up to ridicule to honor my Sacred Calling.
Like I said last week, to thine own self be true! (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/06/10/to-thine-own-self-be-true/)
Every test I’ve taken in school, every performance I’ve done on stage, every fucking tree I climbed as an arborist gave me that same feeling of fear.
Sometimes the fear was just that of failure…
Sometimes it was fear of death and dismemberment… (just the tip) 😉
And it was at those moments that I rose to the occasion and performed.
I not only performed, I excelled!
Fear fuels the performance!
Let me qualify that… managed fear fuels the performance…
Panicking and being terrified will fuck things up.
The key is to feel that pit in your stomach, the butterflies, and to breathe through it, affirm that no matter what, you will do great, and then fucking go!
Jump into the deep end!
Even if the water’s frigid…
You’ll emerge a new person – fully alive!
Living on the edge of the spear whirling through life is where freedom lies…
I will channel my nervousness to fucking hustle and make these dreams come true.
Manifesting isn’t just about sitting around imagining positive shit happening…
You have to do the work!
You have to take the leap!
God can move mountains, but you better bring a fucking shovel!
Quitting my job may sound insane to some folks…
But in my mind, I am honoring who I really am, what I really want, and making the sane decision to align my behaviors with my values and desires…
Keeping a job I do begrudgingly is insane…
Choosing my own path is an act of wellness…
So… today, I am calling in well…
And so should you!
If you feel like you are trapped in your life and sad because of dreams not yet realized, step into the middle of life by stepping out to the edge of your comfort zone!
The only person holding you back is you.
Not your parents.
Not your spouse.
And especially not what others think…
Get the fuck out of your own way!
Maybe your dreams and desires aren’t quite as grandiose as mine…
Maybe you just want to go on a trip?
Or attract a love interest?
If you want to go somewhere – look in that direction.
Book the fucking trip.
If you can’t afford it, save the money.
If you can’t save the money, figure out a side hustle to earn more money.
If you want to attract a love interest, start dating!
Get around more people you might want to date.
Sign up for an online dating site.
You know what’s sexy as hell?
When someone does something they love to do!
Find out what you love to do and do that!
That will make you more attractive to the people you want to attract.
The point is, find your edge of what’s holding you back and take the leap!
What’s the worst that can happen?
You won’t get what you want?
You already don’t have what you want.
Find the thing that frightens you and do that.
That is living on the edge so that you will be in the middle.
Embrace the nervousness as a signal that you are alive!
Tell the person you like that you like them.
Quit your fucking job!
Hold a demonstration in public to challenge oppression.
Tell people no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes!
Jump out of the fucking plane!
Be the edge of the spear whirling through life in uncharted territory.
Ignore the voice that says, “I can’t, I shouldn’t.”
Get out on the edge…
Just the tip… 🙂
Thank you for reading another installment of Mastermind Theatre. Maybe I’ll come up with a different name than that? Maybe I’ll call my blog/podcast, “Just the Tip.” That’ll attract a niche crowd for sure… Okay, maybe not. If you’re tired of leading a life of quiet desperation, I offer Life Coaching services. Like, follow, comment, and reach out. We’ll get you on track!