I’m an opportunist. It’s not like I’m looking and searching for opportunities, they kind of come in like a rolling wave and before I know it, I’m sailing toward the shoreline. I’m very, very open to riding the wave.
For some, opportunity comes knocking and for others it seems like a constant grind to make something happen. What I’ve noticed is the energetic qualities associated with both of these experiences have to do with openness versus closure, yes versus hesitation.
It can be scary to leap. It can feel dangerous to say yes and start moving toward something without all the details or certainly of outcome. But if you’re looking for certainty of outcome before moving, before leaning in with a big, fat, joyous YES, you’ll likely feel the constriction that comes with lack of momentum.
I’m living a dream right now. I woke up the other morning and realized that I’ve built a career that allows me to work from wherever, formed connections that open doors into creating experiences that feel totally aligned with what I’m most called to be doing and offering, with relationships that are deeply nourishing and a lifestyle that’s embarrassingly exquisite. As I found myself acting dumbfounded and wondering ‘how did this happen?’, it was as though Rafiki (that funny little, wise monkey in the lion king,) came up and smacked me on the head and said ‘you know exactly how this happened.’
I’m co-leading a yoga and visioning retreat in Costa Rica. My co-teachers (Chantal and Christine,) and retreat participants are both awe-inspiring and damn good company. Instead of staying for the week, I decided to stay for five. My new love will be joining me here in a few days, followed by my mother and son the week after that. My work schedule is mostly uninterrupted and mellow, and my time between getting to work with my amazing clients has a different pace and texture and flows to the soundtrack of crashing waves. I’ve imagined living like this for a very long time. It unfolded suddenly and without a ton of effort. In many ways it felt like I just kept saying yes. Yes to the invitation, yes to the ideas, yes to expanding possibilities and yes to making requests of others. Yes.
Upon reflection, upon thinking about sharing this with you, I’ve wondered what else I’ve been drawing on to make all of this come together with seeming ease. It’s not like this all happened over night. In fact, it’s been a lifetime in the making, having a lifestyle as such and I’ve actually put a great deal of effort into things, sometimes even necessarily. Here are the pillars of what I draw on to create, pursue and realize opportunities.
Trust: I cannot and do not know how things are going to turn out and they certainly never look how I imagined they would. ‘What if this doesn’t work?’ is not a line of questioning I indulge. It doesn’t matter. One failure just leads to the next opportunity. Trusting that there’s another door, another opening, another possibility help to keep me moving. Probably most important is that I trust myself. I trust myself to deliver what I say I will, to be who I need to be to create what I want. It’s not always been this way. For years, I identified as an unreliable shit-show. Trust is something that we develop and earn, in and with ourselves and others.
Curiosity: We could do it this way, or maybe that way, or what about a bit of this and a bit of that? What works for you? What would work for me? how can we bring those together? Lots of people think they need to have things figured out or need to know the answers. This is understandable. Let’s blame it on the way we were educated. The thing is, if we have to know the answers and have it all figured out, it kills off the ability to be in motion and figure things out as you go, through experience. Being able to say ‘I have no idea, what do you think?’ is extremely powerful. Suspending the notion that I know what I’m doing allows me to be open and curious and, in the end, build a way wider scope of competency because when we’re curious, we receive far more.
Self-Love: I’ll admit, there are moments when I feel like a bit of dink for how well things are going. I do have Wayne and Garth moments of wanting to bow down in ‘I’m not worthy’. But then I remember that I’ve had my fair share of anguish, pain, hard work and gruelling suffering and that if I know anything about life, I will again, since there’s no such thing as arriving. But even justifying being able to receive my good fortune because I’ve ‘earned it through strife’ is fallacious. What about being able to open and receive because I love myself, because I deserve to be happy as all of us deserve to be happy? Deeply loving ourselves means that we don’t have to create struggles and dramas, we can move to where the joy is, we can receive the pleasures. We can be open to the opportunities that are always there that are difficult to notice when looking through the veils of self-loathing or inadequacy.
Relationship and Service: I care so much about my relationships and being of service that you could say this is my orienting compass in life. That, and having a good time. Greed and perpetual self-focus make people small. Wanting to serve, be there for and support others, and build genuine, trustworthy connections is not something you can fake. I’m quite certain that my honest desire to share my wellbeing with others is a great contributing factor in the opportunities that come my way. Others can feel our intentions, and when our intentions stop with us and don’t flow beyond us, it seems that opportunities get a bit more stagnant.