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!
My name is Harold Newcomb and I purchased your video with the training skills and I really love it. I purchased it for my grand daughter, but she wasn’t interested.
As I tried learning all these tricks and drills I found out it is a very good way to exercise while doing something very fun and enjoyable. It is no easy task for me even though I’m a good athlete. I have several problems learning and performing the tricks. I’m 6′ 2″ and I’m 80 years old, but I’ve got heart and determination.
I am an inventor. I mow lawns and use a zero turn Cub Cadet mower. I’ve invented a special mower and I can use the feet to steer the mower, so I am free to do many things with the hands.
I also must alter some of the tricks because of the seat on the mower and can not use my legs because I’m using them to steer the machine. The zero turn circle enables me to use the baton to perform many of the neck rolls, continuous elbow rolls, mouth rolls, elbow pop rolls, as well as many other functions.
I am still learning to do all these tricks and would like to someday make videos for you tube. I would much prefer teaching you to steer the mower and allow you to do the baton tricks. I do have the patten on the invention and these videos would help in selling the idea to some huge manufacturing company.
I had thought that it would be much easier to teach you to operate the zero turn mower than me to do the tricks.
Please let me know what you think of the ideas.
I play your videos every night and imagine myself twirling the baton to some wild James Bond music.
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.
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.
My days are filled with humor, and I want to share some of it with you!
Applying for a residential visa in Norway requires company employment. A “real job” is something I’ve never experienced aside from a stint at McDonald’s. My step-father insisted I “learn to work.” I disagreed, and was artfully fired after 2 days.
I have been self-employed since I was 14. I’ve taught baton twirling and circus, created companies, choreographed productions, presented speeches, worked contracts for Cirque du Soleil, etc. etc.
Now, however, I wake up early, get my kids off to school and ride my bike to a pristine office to do my day job.
I am employed by wonderful people at a huge private pre-school/kindergarten chain in Norway. I accidentally landed my job due to my gift of never censoring my laughter. On a trip to Norway earlier this year, the magnificent people who own the company asked for my opinion about an objectives manual, which had recently been translated from Norwegian to English. Browsing the halted narration I noticed some spelling errors and oddities before hitting the jackpot that ultimately redirected my life. Written, clear as day, was this sentence: “Our children are the most sensual children, who are willing to take it at every angle.” My reactionwas not subtle. In a classic Ned display I laughed far too loud for waaaaaaay too long.
Alarmed, my friends asked if I knew of anyone who could help. I said I did and the next morning I gave them a re-written brochure. Upon reviewing my work, I was handed an academic manual and a polite request was made for me to “please fix it”.
Since beginning at the office about 2 weeks ago, I have been translating direct from Norwegian rather than simply fixing the English errors. I have learned to decipher the written language by memorizing the “floor pattern” of the language like choreography. When I am stuck I ask co-workers for definitions and I utilize “google translate”….. which brings me to the reason for this post. I am amused by the decoding aspects of my assignments, and thrilled by the ridiculous translations that pop up each day. My co-workers are often curious as to what I have come upon when my laughter echoes through the halls.
Without further adieu, here are real examples of my favorite “google translate” faux pas:
Best of Google T. Faux Pas:
…placing your penis in the flask with your hand while you are nicely speaking to each child, in turn.
…an adult has a burning torch and lights the children one by one.
…the child will be selected as this days ass-kisser / boot-licker and sit on the chair.
There are so many more, but you get the gist from these examples. I’ve got to get to sleep now so my brain can be clear, refreshed and firing… Honestly, I can’t wait to get to work in the morning.
Norwegian> Hvorfor Aktiviteten bevisstgjør barna på hva som fremkaller gode følelser, og de får øvelse i å uttrykke seg i en gruppe.
What google T gave me> Why Activity deliberately makes kids what Evoke good feelings cheaper than its fancy the receive training in Out themelves in a group.
My conclusion> Purpose: This activity helps children to evoke good feelings and to be comfortable speaking out, in turn, within a group atmosphere.
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.
The threat of molten lava engulfing one’s home will certainly light a fire under one’s rear-end. My year of unbelievable change escalated when Madame Pele began making her way towards my neighborhood in Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Amidst daily reports of advancing lava and preparations to evacuate, the great unknown for me was where I was going to go?
After some attempts for housing in New york, and challenges blocking an easy entry to London, I fell upon an opportunity in Norway, and decided to go for it. In the process of figuring it all out the lava stalled, but my momentum did not.
Now my children and I have made our way to a place of complete contrast to where we had built our previous life. Many changes have occurred in my personal life since the lava began to cover, morph, burn and rebirth everything in it’s path.
There are days of great uncertainty and I interpret those times as a door to possibilities opening, if I continue to operate from a place of courage, kindness and growth. Sometimes I’m a little frightened, but that is fleeting, there is too much to sort out to waste my energy on fear. Sometimes I’m lonely, but that gives me the opportunity to examine myself and to learn how to fulfill my own lingering empty spots. Sometimes I’m elated that it is all happening, and when this adventure has run it’s course, the colorful art house, built on the rock in the sea, may still be there waiting.