If Trust is Risky, Why Put Yourself On The Line?

Do you find that you have a hard time trusting? Do you wish you could trust more, but you have been so hurt in the past that you don’t know how? If Trust is so risky, why take the chance? Because distrust leads to far worse scenario then trusting ever will. By not trusting, you close the door from anything great happening.

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There is one thing I can think of off the top of my head that people have the hardest time placing their trust in. The Future. What could, should, or would happen to us in the future because of some person, place, or thing. We will literally drive ourselves stir crazy wondering “WHAT IF…” about other people and what they can or might do, think, or say to us if we let our guard down (or even when it’s up) and what will happen to us in the future and if something will prevent us from receiving what we want.

Fear is the foundation for distrust. When we distrust we become overly consumed with more fear. We want to keep our guard tower manned with maximum security, making sure we know exactly what’s going on at all times, controlling the situation AT ALL COST. Even if that cost is our own peace and sanity.

That person is not going to get over on me“, “I can’t let that happen to me“, or “what can i do to make sure that ______ never happens to me?”, we tell ourselves. We begin to question ourselves over an over looking for the solution that will finally give us comfort. Yet what we don’t understand is that looking for a solution through the same fearful energy that brought us to this place is near impossible. Whatever solution we come up with, will never be enough because, it too, is produced through fear. We then find ourselves in a cycle of pretending everything is okay yet constantly questioning if it really is. Distrusting doesn’t sound very fun does it?

Ironically, by distrusting, we are trying to prevent something that could potentially hurt us. Yet  the fear that we engulf ourselves in through distrust is doing nothing BUT hurting us. Causing us to feel unsafe which is what we are trying to prevent all along. Distrusting can cause destruction because we are holding on too tight. It closes the door for any other possibility. Trusting on the other hand allows us to let go, and relax. It opens the door for multiple possibilities and better solutions.

Do we remember what gets us to the place of distrusting in the first place? [it’s okay, you can scroll back up if you need to check]. Yes! It’s FEAR. Have you ever really thought about what TRUST entails though? Trusting is like gambling in a way. Even when we think we have 100% chance of winning, do we ever really? Do we ever really know EXACTLY what’s going to happen? Can we control EVERY outside factor to make sure it plays in our favor only? The answer to all three of those question is…. you guessed it, NO! Outside factors in the one thing we DO NOT have control over. We do not have control over other people, places, or things, therefor as much as we would like to predict what the future will bring, we never know that something is going to happen until it happens.

Even if we can predict that something has a 99.9% chance of happening, we still have to save room for that slim chance that it won’t happen the way we think, if at all. It’s that 0.1% chance that will still be attached to fear. But that’s what trusting is. It’s knowing that something MAY not work out in the way we would like it to, but betting on it anyways. Trust takes courage, especially if in the past we may have lost a time or two.

“Whether we are aware of it or not, every act of trust carries with it a shiver of fear. A favorable situation can become dangerous. Deep down we know that life is insecure and precarious. However, if we do trust, the shiver carries with it a philosophical optimism: Life, with all its traps and horrors,  is good… The bet is implicit in trust itself. If we could be sure of everyone and everything, trust would have no value – like money, if it were suddenly limitless, or sunshine, if there were always fine weather, or life, if we were to live forever”
– Piero Ferrucci (The Power Of Kindness)

When you are someone that has a difficult time placing trust in the future, then the second you feel that shiver of fear, you’re alarm goes off telling you that something is wrong. The distrusting begins producing nothing but MORE fear. Remember though, Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Unless it’s a life threatening situation (which is not the situations we are talking about here), it does nothing but hold our energy and our action hostage.

So what’s the alternative then? How can you choose to trust instead? When we surrender to the idea that we can’t control everything. Through this surrendering, we come to the conclusion that we are MORE than capable of handling all that life brings our way. When we allow ourselves to acknowledge that trust will ALWAYS carry a little bit of fear, we can become more aware of when we are actively choosing to be in a place of trusting. This can allow us to reroute our alarm system. This time when you witness that shiver of fear arise, instead of the fear multiplying, it is now giving you knowledge that you ARE in a place of trusting and accepting that this ounce of fear just comes with the job. You will be aware that you are trusting because you CHOOSE to trust, and if the worst case scenario happens to take place, we can continue to trust that it’s for our highest good and continue moving forward.

We have the choice to trust or distrust. While we are in a place of distrust, it’s like we are constantly waiting for the bomb to drop. A bomb that may NEVER drop. We spend our time and energy trying to prevent the bomb from dropping. The thing is, if the bomb is meant to drop, it will drop, and you have no more control over it then you do of gravity. So instead of worrying so much about what COULD happen in the future, why not just enjoy your present. And if the bomb ends up dropping, you deal with it then and at least you enjoyed the ride to that point…then you get on another ride. If it never drops, then you continue enjoying that ride wherever it takes you. What’s the point of the ride if you can’t enjoy it? What’s the point of life, if you don’t live?

“In trusting, we let ourselves go. We know that all kinds of unexpected events may come our way. Our tension eases, our mind and our hearts open spontaneously to be possibilities. It is an ever new state of mind, in the present moment, because we have detached from all we know. But it is also a feeling as old as can be, because, before all betrayals and all disappointments, there was a time in which trusting another was the very substance of our life.” – Piero Ferrucci.

Do you have the courage to place the bet?

xoxo,

The Invitation

A classmate posted this in our USM group and I absolutely loved it. Speaks Loud.

 

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The Invitation   By: Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

 

:::sigh:::

 

xoxo,

barista

My Truth: How I Learned To Honor Myself

So it’s 10:30pm and I’ve figured out that this might be the time I have to write posts for the time being. AFTER the baby goes to bed. Hopefully I can get back to writing more frequently.  I don’t like waiting so long before talking to you.

So this last month has been extraordinary for me in so many ways. It all started with my classes last month. It was a very powerful weekend for many people and things have just been shifting a lot for me and others. Everything that weekend flowed together so perfectly. My whole path started to make sense and things just really hit home for me.  It started at the Friday night class on May 2nd.

We had to do a trio conversation in which we talked about what the hardest thing  has been for us during the program so far. I talked about how I have had a hard time “DOING” the work. Implementing the practices. Practicing the skills. Really learning how to walk that talk. I mean this is one of the main reasons I decided to go to USM. To have the experiential practice that would catapult me forward on this path I have been on during the last 6 years. And here I was learning all of this amazing stuff, and I would come home on a peace high for a few days but then I would dump my folders and books to the side until it was time to prepare for school again 3 weeks later. Not really staying mindful daily about how to keep the work going.

Reading books and blogs and going to seminars had only worked so much for me. I have been able to develop a huge  passion for my spirituality and purpose but really felt lack in the “DOING” area. Sometimes I would feel really motivated and empowered to stand in my integrity but most of the time, I can admit, I was just intellectualizing it all and not really connecting on an emotional level for myself. Helping others was great but doing the work myself was a lot more challenging. Going through months and months of class and witnessing people’s lives changing right in front of me was starting to make me jealous. Started making me wonder if I was ever going to change or keep wasting time by not “DOING” the work.

In one of the next trios I had acknowledge myself. I acknowledged myself for sitting in the chair. For being in that classroom. Sometimes I would be in class and it would just hit me that “I’M HERE”. I’m doing it. I had heard of USM three separate times before I decided to check it out. When I looked it up online it was in perfect timing because there was an intro meeting THAT week. I thought of a couple of excuses of why I wouldn’t be able to go but I felt the fear and went anyways. I immediately felt the connection and knew this was the place for me because it was exactly everything that I am passionate about. It was the opportunity to really get pushed into DOING. And get my Masters in the process. What a bonus!

I then made a million excuses for why I might not be able to go. I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford it. Plus a million others. BUT I went through with it. I felt the fear and I did it anyways. I had to really acknowledge myself for that. Usually fear makes me turn the other way but this time I dove straight in and it all has worked out perfectly.

After 5 years of wanting to go back to school, here I was. And not just any school. School how I always imagined it would be. I love this school so much that I was in class the weekend of my due date. I was having contractions in class and STILL participating in trios (until of course they got too painful and I had to leave to give birth). THAT’S how dedicated I am to becoming a better version of myself to serve the world.  I almost took that weekend off until I realized there was no place else I would rather be. What beauty to have the loving energy of my classroom surrounding my child right before his debut into the world.

During the Sunday class is when everything just hit home. There was a surprise waiting for us as we entered. I can’t spoil it for when anyone reading this decides they want to attend USM in the future (which I promise it’s the BEST thing you can ever do for yourself). But what I will say is that this SURPRISE was absolutely amazing and so so powerful. I was moved to tears and it really just hit home that I AM HERE! I am right where I need to be. It hit me that Year 1 is only the beginning.

Year 1 is the preparation for the best yet to come. Year 1 is where my hands are supposed to get dirty. Where I am supposed to go through a ton of emotions. Get mad at myself. Get mad at my process. Get mad at my ego. Get mad at my job and my friends and my family. I dont doubt this will continue to happen, probably more intensified, in Year 2 but its so I could learn how to love and appreciate it all. The process is the beauty of it all. I was realizing that Year 2 was where it was really going to begin and I was perfectly in a space of being able to trust my process and timing.

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After our surprise the next trio we had to express gratitude to those who have helped us on our path. The first person that came to mind was my boyfriend. If you personally know me and are really close to me, then you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. If you are in my class at USM and have done a trio with me, you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. I am not going to cookie cut it for the sake of looking good, we have had issues for a really long time and so many times I have wanted to call  it quits or have tried to only get back together again and repeat the process over again.

I will admit, my relationship is also another reason I am at USM. As I said, I want to become a better person to better serve the world and in that includes being able to better serve ALL my relationships, the one with my boyfriend being most important. I also knew though that learning everything I am learning, and by really stepping into my true authentic self, I was also risking the relationship. I was risking the possibility that we wouldn’t make it through. I was risking the possibility that I could lose him. And as I write this, maybe that’s been the hard part about the DOING. I had been afraid of losing what I was used to. I had been afraid of being uncomfortable. But trust me, If you really want to step into your true authentic self, you can NOT be afraid of losing anything. What you have to gain is so much more powerful.

Looking at my relationship though from a place of gratitude, especially having gone through the feelings I was going through from the weekend, gave me a VERY different perspective of my path. I won’t go into the connections I saw in past relationships but what I will say is that over the years, most intensly in the last two, I have had a VERY strong calling to honor my Self (Self with a capital S meaning my Soul)  and step into my truth. Two of the qualities I am working on are Vulnerability and Authentic Expression. I had a hard time being vulnerable, especially with my boyfriend, and a hard time authentically expressing myself because of the fear of getting into an argument (which happened a lot with us).

I have done multiple meditations and insights that always have led me to the same answer of “BE VULNERABLE, SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. TELL HIM HOW YOU REALLY FEEL. CHOOSE LOVE”. I have had ample opportunity to do so and almost always I chose to ignore. Let me tell you, you can only ignore the whispers for so long before it becomes a yell. Over the last two years that is what happened. HONOR YOUR SELF. HONOR YOUR TRUTH. HONOR YOUR VULNERABILITY. HONOR YOUR AUTHENTIC EXPRESSION. CHOOSE LOVE. I’ve heard it over and over and over.

The first time I remember hearing this whisper was during my last long-term relationship ten years ago. I had been unhappy for a long time but instead of honoring my feelings and expressing myself, I waited for things to get bad so I could just leave without feeling guilty. And  it worked. I have tried to do that in this relationship a bunch of times but the beauty in this situation is that we have kids together. The Universe wasn’t giving me the easy way out this time. THIS is the time the lesson is going to be learned. I would want to leave but every time I couldn’t leave because I KNEW I hadn’t expressed myself. I knew I hadn’t been DOING the work. I knew that there was a possibility that things could be different if I would just HONOR MY SELF. But I also knew there was also a possibility of loss.

Thinking about this in my trio, about this guidance being yelled at me over and over for the last two years, I realized that if it were not for my boyfriend and how he is, or how I perceive him to be I should say, If it weren’t for how we act and react with each other, I wouldn’t be in a place to where I am being called to honor my Self. I wouldn’t be in a place of opportunity to step into my true Self. To step into my vulnerability. To step into my Authentic Expression. To step into the LOVE that resides in me. Its because of that, that he is perfect for me.

I would get mad at myself a lot for how I would respond and react in certain situations. I wanted so badly to change but had felt like there were no results. If it weren’t for my boyfriend, and all the boyfriends before him, ALL the relationships in my life, and how I perceive it all to be, the issues that come up for me, how I respond and react I wouldn’t be called to change. I wouldn’t be called to really step into my full Self. So really, I thank everyone.

I was REALLY realizing that everything has happened the way it has because THAT is the way I would learn how to become the real me. Issues were mosy present in my boyfriend because he was the closest to me. He mirrored myself perfectly. We all learn in different ways and we attract to us the situations that aid in our learning of lessons and this was my way. So what had come from that realization was nothing but pure and honest gratitude. Gratitude for my boyfriend for being who he was and being with me the way I was. If it weren’t for our relationship, I could not say that I would be where I am right now and for that I am grateful.

Gratitude helped me shift my view. Everything came together in that moment. I realized that yes here I am at USM and I have this great opportunity to learn so much about myself and others, I need to DO USM. This is the chance I have longed for. Take advantage and DO the work. DO the skills. DO the practices. I outlined my ideal relationship and now it was time to DO the steps that would take me on my way. I felt more empowered then I had ever felt before to HONOR MY SELF.

That weekend my boyfriend and I had argued (such perfect setup by the Universe) and usually when we argue, it feels very vulnerable expressing myself to him, especially in any loving type of way. Until then, Vulnerability had not been my strong suit. That Sunday I got the urge to call him just to tell him I Love You. Sounds silly and maybe so simple for others, but to do that in the midst of an argument, especially when I was feeling defensive, was a very big deal. I felt the fear but I also saw the opportunity for me to step into that vulnerability and authentic expression. So I got out my phone called him and said “uhhh so ummmm i just called ummm because, umm i just wanted to tell you that I love you”. Of course he responded very lovingly and it was THAT phone call that changed our relationship.

We started talking about our argument, I listened with my heart instead of getting defensive. I HEARD him and I empathized with his feelings. This led us to stay in a very loving place when I came home which then led us to a very open and honest conversation about our relationship. Where it was and where we want it to be. It led for more opportunities for me to be vulnerable and express my truth and HONOR MY SELF.

My teacher has always said something along the likes of, “If your calling is to be courageous, you won’t wake up one day all of a sudden courageous. The Universe will provide you with opportunities in which you can choose to display courage.” This time instead of running away, I chose to step into it and the response was wonderful. I chose to be vulnerable. Let me just say we have just made it a whole month without fighting. If you really know us, you know that’s a miracle. There have been little spats here and there but nothing like they once were. And when there have been little spats, we have been really quick to enter our loving and dissolve them. I have to continue to chose vulnerability and authentic expression. Most importantly I am aware of my self judgements and compassionately forgiving myself for them. Now instead of asking myself “Why am I still in this relationship?” every time I feel uncomfortable, I now ask myself “What opportunity is my soul presenting to me?” and let me tell you, it makes the world of difference.

You see, it all started with GRATITUDE! If it weren’t for EVERY SINGLE THING that has happened in your life, you would not be the YOU that you are today. And YOU are a wonderful, powerful, being of love. GIVE THANKS to all that has presented itself in your path. You can have the life of your dreams, give thanks and DO the work.

I want to hear from you. What is something you want to DO that has challenged you? What quality would it take for you to step into your greatness? How has the universe given you the opportunity to step into that quality? How can you acknowledge yourself RIGHT NOW? Who can you give thanks to in aiding you on your path?

Leave me your comments in the section below.

You are loved.

xoxo,

barista

 

 

 

Commencement Speech: The Earth Is Hiring

While we were taking a break at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, on the table sat this laminated copy of the commencement speech that was given in 2009 at the University of Portland by Paul Hawkin. I wanted to copy it here for all of you to read. It is amazing!

THE EARTH IS HIRING

“When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” No pressure there.

Let’s begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation… but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

“Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.”

This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn’t afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

“Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.”

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,” is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown — Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood — and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, non-governmental organizations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.

The living world is not “out there” somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequeathed to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.”

Guest Blogger: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

 Hello… I haven’t always been a straight “A” student nor a contributor to life. Growing up disturbed, lonely, and afraid led me into a constant cycle of abuse which varied between abuse coming from outside myself and the abuse coming from inside my own beliefs and decisions. I always knew I was meant for something greater than a life in the adult industry, but I never had the enthusiasm and determination it takes to overcome the obstacles I was facing. That is, until I became a single mother and vowed to do whatever it took to learn what it meant to heal and become a healthy, hard-working mama. The love I had for my child gave me the key to my motivation and success. Through showing up for her, I get to heal myself and give her all the things I needed as a child. Love is a powerful thing.

I would say most people do not like to be uncomfortable… the ones who do, get used to being uncomfortable because they have seen the payoffs. Those are the ones truly living. Like Olympic athletes who struggle through every training, push themselves to the edge & triumph in their success after they have reached their goals. They have to learn discipline, dedication, and foster the ability to overcome adversity. I have realized, I am the Olympic athlete of my life.

Ever since I can remember, I have lived with this deep pain in my heart and the overwhelming feeling of not belonging to anyone or any group. I experienced a lot of adversity through multiple layers of abuse that no child should ever experience. I was in so much pain that I had to learn how to survive, not life, but survive my own feelings of discomfort (suffering). I would run, literally, I would hide, and I would self-medicate for over a decade. Until one day, an innocent human life was put in my hands to take care of & I decided to face reality once in for all. Intuitively, I knew that the only way to being capable of mothering a child would be to stop the crap & get ready for battle with my own demons.

Over time the lessons get deeper and more clear. Just recently I transferred to UC Berkeley with a bundle of fears and self-doubt. How can I, an ex-stripper (some would say ex-whore), keep up with the big dogs here in the academic & spiritual world? I have recently won 29 awards for my community service efforts, my club involvement, and advocacy. I am riding on a full-ride scholarship to the best public school in the world. Most people without heavy abuse baggage & decades of self-loathing would be delighted. I, however, went into a terrible depression. All the issues I thought I had already worked on came rearing their ugly faces & for a moment I believed it was who I was. But then, through reaching out to God, to my inner self, to my friends, and my family… I realized this is the lesson. I am allowed to feel. Deeply, truly, for better or for worse & this very torment I was going through, I knew it would soon come to an end & I would be bigger, stronger, and ready for the next level.

The trick is acceptance & non-judgement BUT how can I not judge myself when I am on the kitchen floor crying wanting to give up and feeling so alone? You just have to breath and ride this part of the wave and trust this the path will not abandon you. I chose this! I will practice receiving & soaking up the fruits of my hard work & dedication. This is the hardest part for me… just accept the goodness & let go of everything that I AM NOT. I can testify that when you set out the intention to heal & to reach your fullest potential… WATCH out bc it ain’t no joke! You will have to face the deepest darkest ugliest parts of yourself & the world to emerge on the other side. 

All I wanted four years ago, when I became pregnant, was to not party and to heal for this child. I wanted to be a good mama, I wanted no one to ever take this child from me… and I got it! I didn’t know how hard this road would be, but I also had no idea how deeply rewarding it was going to be as well. Just when I think it can’t get any better, it does. And, then it gets bumpy again… but those bumps catapult me into another level of existence with my heart blazing on fire, ready to take on the world & love & be & sing & dance & play & eat & feel. That’s the adventure.

People always tell me “your so inspirational” “how do you do it” “you are so brave”… For me, there’s absolutely no other option anymore. I refuse to live in misery and pain and shame anymore. I have the most precious responsibility to adhere to raising a little girl… I don’t dare give up or back down from that even when everything in me screams to run away. Get comfy with being uncomfy & wonderful things will happen.

If you want to heal, if you want to be free, if you want to learn what it means to live, just ask & get ready. Take your stance.

xo, Robin

Robin Rivera, a former worker in the adult industry and abuser of alcohol and drugs for many years, is now an ambassador for the CalWORKs Association (which supports low-income families get out of poverty through education & training). She is also a mentor at MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth) where she works helping many young girls and prevent sexual exploitation of young children through raising awareness, education, and development. Recently Robin was awarded the  2012 Miller Scholar at UC Berkeley as an undergrad and started her curriculum there this August. “All of these involvements have been part of my healing process teaching me one step at a time to love my path and to have self-acceptance. 29 awards later and numerous public speaking engagements, I have accepted that because of my position it is my obligation to give voice to all the people who society can not hear”. You can follow Robin’s personal blog, Crazy Beautiful.

Believe In Your Dreams and They Can’t Help but Come True!

Soooo I finally met Mastin Kipp, my hero!  Although I havent made a vision board physically I definitely have one in my head and certain things have been implanted so thick that, especially after this one, that they are starting to happen or I KNOW they are going to happen one day. Meeting Mastin Kipp was one of them. Meeting Mastin AND sitting and having a real truth conversation is another. Oh and add on being a part of what he does and TDL to go even further up on the Bucket List. But I’ll take meeting him, being nervous out of my mind that my hands were shaking and I made no eye contact and didn’t ask what I wanted to ask and feeling lame, for what it is… Which is, my visions are coming closer and closer to happening.

The craziest part is thinking about how it came about in a way that I didn’t even realize at the time. I was reading TDL and saw the banner for the seminar, it didn’t cost much money, it was in West Hollywood, I just figured why not make this move towards what you want and go to this seminar. I wasn’t even really thinking about meeting and speaking to Mastin. Seeing him speak was enough for me.

On the way to drop my son off at the babysitter, my boyfriend and I BOTH realized we left our phones at home. Which is rare because we are kinda stuck to them. I realized I had no clue where I was going and was dying without the Navigation on my phone. As we were dropping my son off we asked my friend to look up the address and directions on her phone as we had 15 minutes to be there. Her phone wasnt working at first, then we got directions to the wrong place. Luckily I noticed it before we left because we had directions to Culver City. We then had to look up the correct address and directions and then the traffic said one hour. We left it was 6:50pm and the seminar started at 7:00pm. The traffic was horrible and as it turned 7:00pm all I could do was wince because now not only were we late but we were gonna be really late. While we were driving, there was times where I was feeling like “of course this has to happen to me when it’s something I have really looked forward to” and I felt myself getting really frustrated but also I was stopping myself and breathing and trying to relax and just know I was gonna hear what I needed to hear no matter what time I got there…and that gave me peace! Whats meant to be will be, right?

Being able to catch myself thinking out of control and gain some control back, even if just for a moment at a time, is something HUGE in my head. It’s the small steps like these we have to give ourselves credit for. These are the small steps that are going to lead us to the top of the mountain, and it starts with recognition and gratitude from ourselves first. We don’t change over night, this is ongoing work, but with each little step life gets better and better. Maybe not easy, especially at first, but indeed better.

And guess what, I walked in and Mastin was JUST introduced and I hadn’t missed his turn at all. I missed Gabrielle speak her story but maybe it wasn’t my time for her yet. (I bought all her books though, I’ll let you know how they are). Just like I had told myself a better story in the car while in traffic… I am telling myself a better story about this meeting. I am grateful for the opportunity, the inspiration, and I am CHOOSING to see it in a better light. This switch in perception alone gives me that much more juice to keep the momentum going. That’s the crazy part, the positive feeds us ten times more yet some reason we still jump to the negative because it’s what we are used to even though it doesn’t make us feel good.

The Daily Love has absolutely changed my life and I will never be the same because of it. My brain has transformed in the most inspirational way. Recently everything has been making more sense, after 4 years of learning what I have learned, I KNOW that I am doing nothing but growing and working towards my purpose and that gives me HUGE fulfillment. I want to put myself out here, be vulnerable, express my fears and share my trials and in turn inspire others the way in which I have been inspired.

I have seen TDL grow from JUST a Twitter site, to a website, to only Mastin posting a couple of times a week, to every day, to a couple of people a week guest blogging, to what it is today. From him not having a relationship in 7 years to being in a beautiful relationship with a beautiful girl. From being a guy that was sleeping on couches to a guy that has met and even inspired Oprah. I have witnessed his life transform before me as a result of the truth he speaks and can’t help but want to test the formula on my life.

After meeting Mastin, My boyfriend asked “so are you satisfied”. I looked at him and said “NO!” and I went in to all the reason I just screwed up that chance. I felt like I didn’t show confidence, I probably sounded lame, I didn’t catch his attention. All these negative stories about myself. Although I still felt very much inspired, I couldn’t help but think about how I just might not be good enough to do what he does and get where he’s at. Today I was telling my friend the story and she said “All your visions are coming true”. I suddenly thought “Yea, you’re right!”.

 Yes I can think of all the ways “I messed up” when it comes to this seminar or I can step back  and, like my friend said, “I’m getting closer to my dreams”. It doesn’t matter how I thought I appeared but the fact that we met and spoke is a step. When you believe in your dreams, they can’t help but come true!!!

I wasn’t lying Mastin, I’ll see you again sometime!

xoxo,