Not long ago I auditioned for a TEDx jury in front of a live audience.
There were 14 passionate, intelligent speakers vying for the chance to present their “idea worth spreading” for the 2017 season.
My topic was My Unrealistic Reality. Each time I share my stories and how I view life, many people ask, But HOW DO YOU STAY SO POSITIVE AND HOW CAN YOU TELL THESE STORIES WITH SUCH EASE AND HAPPINESS?
I offer my viewpoint throughout my presentation, with examples such as: After my body was crushed in the car accident and the doctor came to offer his prognosis for my recovery, he stated, “Your injuries are extreme, your body will not fully recover and your athletic career is over”…. and I WAS DELIGHTED…. because what I heard him say was, “You have a completely different body now, so you get to choose interesting, new and exciting things to BECOME!” I did choose new and exciting things to become, and so, there was nothing wrong with the circumstances, and, after some time I also healed decently and DID return to my athletic career.
Although I give these examples and live my life with this kind of thought process, not even I realized how my personally trained way of thinking is such an engrained part of me, until a gentleman named Oliver, spoke on the subject of happiness. His focus was about how our thoughts, rather than our circumstances can help us to create our own level of happiness.
Toward the end of his presentation he said, I am going to quickly demonstrate just how powerful your mind is. Please close your eyes. Imagine a big, yellow, juicy lemon. It is on a plate in front of you. You have a sharp knife and you cut the big, yellow lemon in half. It is glistening in front of you. You see the juice dripping from the slice. Now you pick the lemon up, and you take a big, juicy bite. Now open your eyes.
He then asked, Raise your hand if you had a physical reaction of some kind during that story.
Everybody in the room raised their hand… Except for me.
Oliver then chuckled and said, That’s how powerful your mind is. There was no lemon. I was just saying words. Yet, your mouth was affected wasn’t it? Everybody laughed and nodded, yes.
I had no physical reaction to Oliver’s story.
The moment I heard Oliver say the word lemon, I chose to re-imagine a lemon as the most sweet and easy thing in the world to taste. I did not know where his story was going, or that he would ask us to take a bite in our mind. I did know that the thought of a lemon causes my mouth to have an unpleasant reaction, and I like pleasant things… so, I just made it pleasant. When he asked us to taste it, I took a completely different bite than everybody else in the room.
I did not think about the significance of this until I was on the train home after the event.
When life gives me challenges I re-imagine them into advantages and when my mind gives me lemons, I make butterscotch fudge!
Fact: Focused practice causes improvement.
So, what is it you want to “get better” at?
What is it that you would like to practice and expand in your reality?
Twirlers, would you like to always perform “No Drop” routines? No drop… No DROP… NO DROP… DROP DROP DROP DROP DROP DROP.
If you approach performance routines with the focus and fear of dropping you will pound that DROP right into your experience. Or…
You can shift your mindset to the CATCHES.
Place focus on the FEELING and JOY of the baton landing centered in your capable hand.
How about mentally celebrating every catch, and training yourself to stop responding to errors with negativity? Adopting a mindset of gratitude for being talented, and having the ability to pursue an athletic, artful activity will enhance your practice sessions.
How about not worrying, talking and obsessing over the story that Betty Bigtricks is doing a triple Hoo-Ha, and just focus on what is special about YOU? And YES, there is something supremely special about you that can easily be discovered when your focus changes from Betty to YOUR GIFT, your style, your strengths, your contributions.…and SURPRISE…. this goes for every aspect of life.
You get better at what you PRACTICE.
“Oh did you hear about Fanny Fake-Face? What a JERK!”
Practice improves EVERYTHING. If you practice speaking poorly of others, you are going to become a MASTER. And guess what the result of that skill will be? Yep, YOU get to receive exactly what you offered Fanny, from others.
What is it you desire from this experience we know as life?
Whatever it is, practice the highest and best potential of THAT thing.
Do you want more love in your experience? PRACTICE love.
Acceptance? Tolerance? Kindness? Joy? Prosperity? Generosity? Friendship?
PRACTICE those aspects, and you will become a master of THOSE things. The things in life that are focused upon not only expand, but that expansion draws more of that very same thing to you in a variety of ways.
So…. No Drop, or ALL CATCH? SHE is a jerk or I AM UNIQUE?
It’s your choice.
Choose, PRACTICE, Change, Expand….
My son Jaidon lived a short and powerful life.
He was 16 years old when he took his last breath.
He was my teacher while he was alive.
There was one brief moment that affected me more than any other…
This is what I learned from Jaidon’s last breath:
If I am still breathing, I have to try.
I must see things lively.
When he took that last breath, time stood still.
Love and sorrow mingled as all of the make-believe mind dramas of this manufactured world melted away.
Then, there was no more Jaidon.
There was no more struggle or trying.
When I am most distressed over life’s scenarios,
When things seem too heavy, overwhelming, impossibly complicated or hopeless;
I think of my son’s last breath.
His life was such a gift.
My life is a gift as well.
I will eventually experience my last breath.
But, until then…
I no longer expect others to “make” me happy.
It has become obvious to me that what I perceived as the shortcomings in previous relationships, began with me. I chose partners that embodied my own strengths, deficits, entrenched patterns and limitations. The illusory emptiness, confinement, and privation in those relationships, and the pain of ending them, caused me to seek more in myself.
Many consider the ending of a relationship to be a “failure”. I now believe that some relationships are mutually propitious for a lifetime and some are not. Learning what is possible from one another, and then releasing the dependency on the familiar no longer equates to failure for me. It simply means that some relationships can be concluded once all of the benefits and lessons that it had to offer have been experienced. Once there is no more for the participants to lovingly give, do or receive, it is wise to consider that rendition of the relationship complete and move on.
I stayed in some relationships due to the bromidic belief that it was “the right thing to do”. The drudgery of forcing a relationship for reasons outside of myself, (societal expectations, familial or financial pressures), leaves all involved dissatisfied and miserable with themselves and one another.
Coming to this place of personal understanding has generated fortuitous consequences in my own life. I am able to more acutely see myself as the architect of my own being. The relationships I now nurture are more stable, honest and indelible. The expectations and responsibilities I formerly placed on others have been reintegrated in to a keen awareness of my own self and self-worth.
Releasing the thoughts, habits and compulsions that conscripted others to be responsible for my fulfillment, has brought about the emergence of a ME who is fully capable of loving with ease and grace, and in return I am now receiving the same.
When I was pure bliss, among the bright stars, I floated in knowing for eternity.
At some point I chose to have an adventure.
I chose to experience the illusion of splitting myself into what would seem like a countless myriad of colorful parts.
I chose to ride in a separate vehicle called a human body and to be given a name, and a life.
I knew life would pass as a near invisible blip on the radar of everlasting beauty, yet, I desired to feel, see, absorb, know and expand.
In the creation of my own adventure I thoughtfully chose one particular part of myself. I asked it to help me more than any other.
I said, “when I am separate, and have forgotten that I am only ME, and that the “I” ME is YOU, as well, I would like YOU to remind me of WHO I AM.”
The part of me playing YOU asked, “how might I do that?”
The “I” ME was very creative and bold. The “I” excitedly painted a picture that would provide the most opportunity for expansion, adventure, growth and wisdom.
“I” asked YOU to deliver life, to love ME, and to stay with ME throughout the journey.
YOU said, “Yes, of course I will do these things, I love ME. I can agree to anything “I” desires.”
“I” was pleased and continued. “I want YOU to offer ME pain, darkness, sadness and oppression as well….”
“What?” YOU exclaimed. “Why does “I” ask for such things?”
“I” smirked and breathed deeply. “I asks for an experience that will provide the most opportunity to remember “ME”.
The place ME is going has many variables. I want the highest possibility to feel ALL of the emotions, to see ALL of the contrast, to absorb ALL of the beauty and horror, to know ALL of the pain and glory, and to expand ALL of the ways I desire… Can YOU provide ME these gifts?”
Without hesitation YOU confidently stepped forward. “Not only will YOU provide all of these things, YOU will give ME clues in this adventure to help uncover ME’s magnificent and whole origin.”
“What will the clues be?”, “I” excitedly asked.
YOU now looked pleased and mischievous.
“”I” shall be named, ALL.”
“Oh! That is lovely!”, “I” exclaimed.
As the ME separated and YOU began the journey to Earth, “I” waved with joy and lovingly called out…
“and “I” shall name YOU, Mom!”
Thank you for ALL of it, Mom.
~Annetta Louise Lucero
I keep learning and expanding and finding more understanding for myself and others; but I am getting further from societies expectations and guidelines, so I must leave all criticism and judgement or I chance making myself miserable worrying about what others think.
I do not think like many, and I do not want to.
I am not interested in conforming.
I am not religious or spiritual. I’m more of a Philosopher-ish – Ponderer – Question Asker. I claim to know nothing and I reserve the right to change anything at any moment. I am not married to my opinions, ideas, concepts, thoughts, feelings, or existence.
My interest does not lie in hoping others will think as I do, for I may be completely askew. My current beliefs may be appalling to some, yet I do operate with as much self-honesty as I am able to muster, under my current condition of being trapped in this meat costume.
In my flowing search for realness, I have come to a point of releasing cultural and societal conditioning.
I am not keen on standard sentences such as, “it’s going to take a long time…” or “He’s in a better place.” or “I’m trying my best”, or “God only gives you what you can handle.” or “and they lived happily ever after… ”
They didn’t live happily ever after. They eventually died, and most likely they were woefully sick of one another because they stayed together, “through thick and thin”, even after they no longer shared the kind of love they once experienced when they were enthralled. Of course, they “did it for the sake of the children”, who have learned to stay with somebody they nag, complain about and believe they possess on a daily basis. They have learned to fear that their mate may be “cheating” on them and behave in jealous ways that cause more of a rift; yet, they wear matching sweaters for the Holiday photos and send greetings to others that say “Peace on Earth”, when 3 minutes prior to signing the card they sneered and snapped at their “beloved” for leaving the milk carton out.
Of course there are folks who find a particular someone to truly respect and love for a lifetime. Possibilities are always limitless so I do not rule out any scenario. But as an observer, those life-deals are rare in comparison to the, “it’s easier to stay together than go through splitting our assets.”
I’m not claiming to be above any of this. I’ve actually experienced all of it. These situations, my own jealousy, fear, limitations naiveté… lack of thinking my own thoughts caused me to live out most of the things I previously mentioned.
Personally, I will not put the pressure on anybody else to be “my everything” again. I’ve experienced the pain of that for all involved. I’ll leave my options open to have different parts of myself activated by those who resonate with those needs and desires. I will continue to give to others the very things I wish for myself. Love, a moment of time, respect, adoration, kindness…
There is no “worse case scenario” that can happen by living the way I feel is the best direction for myself.
So, others gasp, disagree with my viewpoint, gossip, do not invite me to get togethers with the “acceptable crowd”.
Cool. None of these things affect me in the least, the opinions of others have nothing to do with me. Anyhow, I’ll always be invited to get togethers, I’m fucking entertaining.
Worrying about money, “I haven’t got a penny to my name”, not true. Possessions, politics, nationalism, “America, we’re number one”, PLEASE. blah, blah blah…. not my deal. I’m done with the standard thought process about these and all other things.
So what if I move to a different country, take chances, make a mess, create beauty, succeed or fail? I’m prepared to become entirely ME, and if I’m rejected, accepted, praised, shunned… arrested, well, I’ll deal with it, it will pass, and I’ll eventually go home to paradise and swim with my beloved gays and dolphins.
I will live my truth as often as possible. I will leave my kids with stories to tell. And I will leave them with my viewpoint and advice that they may choose to adopt, alter or furiously reject:
Make mistakes, travel, seek knowledge, forgive yourself and others, be kind, create beauty, show generosity to all… LIVE.
Live well. Eventually we are all dead and on to the next thing… or not. ~Lucero
When I was really little my bio dad would run after me pretending to be an insane gorilla-monster.
It was, at first fun, yet quickly progressed to alarming and ultimately terrifying. At the peak of fear I would always react in the same way. Rather than run faster or seek a hiding place, (thus prolonging my own insecurity and fear), I would STOP, boldly turn around, exclaim, “Dad!”, and run right at him.
Embracing him, whether or not he had changed from the character, put the power back in my realm and instantly altered the reality of my fear.
I thought about this last night after I caved in to the alarm and fear I allowed to build in my own mind.
In the midst of my self-induced panic I STOPPED. I named my fear and then ran directly towards it. I wrote of my frustrations and asked for help.
Embracing the monster rather than trying to run or hide from it is the quickest path I know to regaining my own power.
I am not going to continue telling and rehashing the story of my fear. I deleted my panic-driven post and desire to speak as the person I choose to become.
While I am not sure WHAT solutions will appear to remedy the current challenge, I know that the solutions WILL appear and they will present themselves at exactly the moment they should.
I CAN BE fearless in all situations and circumstances.
I will always embrace the monsters.
“I take it back”
4 words that pierced my heart
The phrase that initiated a new path, a restart
I’ve carried baggage filled with pain
But repeating mistakes is something I’ve been trained
To know is utterly insane
Make a different choice
Find an open space
Throw it to a different place
The mirror stares me in the face
What do I want…
Regret, sadness, bleeding soul
Or elements that make me whole
What is real
Is it possible to fully heal
I don’t know
I have no answer, no path to “how”
Peace resides within the NOW
I’ll step off cliffs, and as I fall
My heart expands
Last Friday night I made the decision to remove past relationship images from my computer. The constant reminders of what is no more hits me like a raw nerve every time I click to iPhoto.
In the midst of my task, my left molar ignited. Searing pain shot through my mouth, traveling to my left eye and down my throat.
The next day I taught an eight hour clinic, engulfed in pain that ranged somewhere between 10 and 200.
By Sunday morning my old trauma patterns kicked in and I was experiencing FEAR; an emotion that I have practiced stepping away from.
I succumbed to an illusionary menu of mind stories— the winner of these delusions being; “I have jaw cancer and my tongue will be amputated, thus leaving me without the possibility of booking speaking engagements.”
Sunday night I was gargling whiskey, choking down some along the way to dull the pain, and asking for dentist recommendations.
Many options and well wishing comments appeared quickly and I was able to procure an appointment.
On Monday morning I double checked the location of the dentist I had selected, and a little comment from my friend Thomas caught my eye. “Happy mouth, happy teeth” is all it said.
Thomas is a soulmate. We are traveling down a similar path at an equipollent speed. His seemingly benign comment caused an immediate switch in my perception. I put the brakes on my “doomsday” inner dialogue and opted for a moment of meditation.
I could feel my tooth painfully throbbing to the beat of my heart as I sat in silence.
Peddling to the dentist office a while later I had gratitude statements flooding my mind. “I am grateful for the teacher’s throughout my life”, “I am grateful for healing”, “I am grateful for growth and…” BAM! Some force hit me. My mind went blank and a feeling of knowing washed over me. The feeling was that I had not yet been willing to fully release my thoughts, desires, and stubborn grasp on the past story of my decayed relationship. I stopped and stood with my bike as I stated out loud. (Yes, like a cray-cray).
I release this. My contracts are no longer. I accept the release of not only past contracts, but the release of my perceptions of reality on this matter. I release anger, jealousy, regrets and grievances. I am free. He is free, I can not, nor do I want, to hold on to this any further. I am love. I am loved, I give and receive love and I fully forgive myself and others in this story.
A peace washed over me, and my tooth ache disappeared.
I went to the dentist. He examined my teeth and x-rayed the one that had caused such brutal pain for the past 3 days.
He said, Annetta, there is nothing out of order here… It must have just been a very raw nerve.
It’s more thrilling than I could have imagined, especially after previous relationship missteps, disintegrations and heartbreaks.
I have heard it said that true love can often surprise you when you are not seeking anyone, and that has certainly been the case for me and the reason for my unexpected engagement.
Although I’ve known my new fiancé for a very long time, I had not ever truly recognized the importance of this person in my life, the fullness of their beauty, dedication to my well-being, strength in kindness, loyalty, ability to adapt to meet my needs and I certainly did not consider this person to be the one who would complete me as my other half.
As the proposal was happening I was filled with amazement, peace and a knowing that I deserved to be loved fully by this amazing, compassionate soul. This is someone who can forgive and even snicker with good nature at my shortcomings, encourage my growth and root for me under all circumstances… they’ve got my back.
On the frivolous and fun side of things, my true love enjoys ALL of the same things I revel in. We have the same eccentric style, music choices, decorating sensibilities, appreciation for art, adoration of nature and sense of humor. This person totally gets all of my jokes and laughs hysterically right along with me. Beyond that, I have never come across anyone who loves, admires and offers so much positive attention to my children. Even my mom is completely in awe of this person. It’s absolutely the most perfect match possible!
It’s been quite a journey getting to the place in my life where I can recognize true love, embrace it, and throw all caution to the wind, and so I would like to vibrantly proclaim, I ACCEPT YOUR LOVE AND I PROMISE TO COMMIT MY HEART, MIND AND SOUL TO YOU FOREVER!
Annetta Lucero, you complete Me. You are EVERYTHING I have ever needed and I feel so grateful to have found you. You are exactly what I have always deserved in my life and I am so excited to continue my journey with you by my side.
I AM committing to myself.