The Right Direction: Diary of a Free-Flowing Spirit 11.17.18

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I had a fun thought the other night. In this stage of my life, and really any time I mention being unsure about what it is I want do to next, I’m brought back to the question of, “If you could do anything at all and money wasn’t an issue, what would you do?” I get this from others, but I also ask myself this question pretty frequently as well. My answer is always a combo of things and never a super clear-cut vision, but the general components have consistently stayed the same for at least the last year. Without getting into specifics, my answer involves: writing, hosting, event planning, things around personal growth + freedom for others, and having time to say yes to travels and adventures with no set schedule.

So here was my thought: I was sitting in bed in the desert, doing my end-of-day writing, and that question popped into my head. I then scanned my days for the past few weeks and how I’ve been spending then and realized I AM DOING ALL THOSE THINGS! It was the sweetest realization and made me feel like simultaneously giggling and getting choked up. I’ve found a way to be exactly where I want to be and it’s no wonder my days have been so joy-filled as of lately.

The only hiccup is that none of these things are currently bringing in any income for me (which, to be fair, is still right in line with that initial question - money is definitely not in this equation). So that’s a minor detail I will need to sort out, and am mentally working on. But for now I’m celebrating getting to a place of doing all the things I want to be doing. Even if some of them are just in the initial planning stages, I am taking steps in the right direction.

A fun celestial bonus has been the appearance of the numbers 11:11 often over the last few weeks (mostly on clocks, but they’ve popped up a couple other places too). I’m a big believer in paying attention to the spiritual synchronicities we see in our lives - as a sign you’re on the right track or confirmation you’re loved and being watched out for. And these numbers always seem to appear when I’m writing and doing the things I love, and so it serves as further confirmation to me that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

I don’t know how most of these things would connect to sources of income for me, or what I’m supposed to do about that part of this journey, but I do know that it feels really, really good to be right in the middle of where I’m supposed to be. So onward and upward I'll continue to trek.

Love Letter to the Desert: Diary of a Free-Flowing Spirit 11.16.18

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The last couple days I’ve been out here, I’ve been wanting to put words to just what it is I love so much about the desert, why this place feels so filling and healing to me. I know for sure a big part is the nostalgia factor. This place is home to so many of my best childhood memories. It’s making up games with my brother in our golf course of a backyard, like assembling “dinner pods” for the ducks and floating them out into the lakes, and waking up on Easter morning to overflowing Easter baskets and thrilling egg hunts. It’s second Christmases and New Years and Dad launching us into the deep end of the pool in the summers. It’s Grammy chasing us around playing “mouse in the house” and Grandad showing us his latest gadget addition. It’s careening around cart paths in the golf cart with friends once all the golfers have finished up and ice blocking together in the black of night. It’s my innocence and family and carefree, childlike fun all rolled into one.

There’s also something grounding about the desert. The way the surroundings are able to physically calm me by reaching all five of my senses – a truly connected and sensual experience in the truest meaning of the word. It’s like a visual, physical and spiritual feast for my soul.

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The colors, oh the colors – piercing blue skies covering a neutral landscape of sand and rocks, but interrupted by almost electric green lawns and deep pink bougainvillea and cheery yellow blossoms in the trees. My favorite color palette though is when the day turns to evening, and the mountains change to hues of purples, hanging in the foreground of pink and tangerine skies, with soft golden light streaming through the palm trees, casting dramatic shadows and a comforting filter onto everything it touches.

Then there are the smells. The sweet smelling flowers mixed with warm dry air and fresh-cut grass. The way our condo smells just a little bit dusty, but in a rustic way, and how when I leave I carry it with me for a bit, on my clothes but mostly in my hair, blended with skin that smells like sunscreen and the old school Tide detergent that’s here. The desert even feels good to touch. The feel of the grass beneath our feet when we do cartwheels on the fairway, the cooling chill of the pool when you finally jump in after letting your skin get sweaty and fiery hot in the sun, the way your skin melts into the air and that perfect temperature in the early evening. Then there’s the taste of cracker bread with melted cheese and tomatoes that we only seem to make in the desert, paired with cold grapes and fizzy drinks by the pool, all delivered by my angel of a mom.

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The sounds, or lack thereof, might be what calms me the most. The gentle white noise of the fountain in the lake nearby only interrupted by the crisp *clink!* of the ball flying off the tee from clear across the fairway. Every so often there are the wild winds that pick up at night - honestly being way too overdramatic most of the time - but still giving us Californians the illusion of weather for a bit.

Beyond the nostalgia and the body-to-earth connection, there’s the overarching simplicity of stillness that comes with the desert. My time is mostly spent lounging, strolling, swimming, sun-soaking, and sleeping. The ultimate place of surrender and receiving. It’s no wonder some of my loveliest and happiest memories are wrapped up in this place. And that my soul craves it when I’m away or in need of a retreat from a life that can get unnecessarily overcomplicated. A piece of my heart will always belong to the desert, which is why I’ll never stop coming here to be united with that part of me - the little girl that just wants to run wild and free, lavishly soaking up the care and love offered by my family, the earth, and grown-up Sara that still needs all those things too.

How I Get Into Alignment

When I first started learning about the concept of “Alignment Before Action,” I found myself wanting to know exactly what it was that other people were doing to get into alignment, even though I understood it was unique to each person and what specifically brought them joy.

I was most intrigued by this practice when I heard about Jess Lively’s rituals, which included things like eating chocolate for breakfast, drinking fancy crystal-infused sparkling water, designing and creating her dream home, spending long amounts of time meditating and reading books on consciousness and Quantum Mechanics, highlighting them and taking notes, and getting into such a good place before approaching any “work” that needed to get done that day. Sounds totally extra and over-the-top right? I was skeptical about this seemingly extravagant lifestyle until I heard her talk more about the outcomes. The results were days that ended up being 80% alignment time, and 20% working time, but produced high amounts of productivity, increased income, and work that was resonating with thousands of people and helping others create greater joy as well. So to say the least, this whole idea really excited and resonated with me.

As a follow-up to this post (on how this practice has greatly increased the joy and magic levels in my life), here is a somewhat abridged list of the practical things I do or think about to help get me in the best place possible each day: 

  • Getting a good night’s sleep

  • Having a clean room

  • Burning a good smelling candle

  • Making myself a yummy breakfast and treating myself to a little bit of coffee

  • Time in the morning to meditate, pray, read, write

  • Rampages of gratitude (will expand on this in the future)

  • Thinking of my friendship with Kelsey, our texts to each other, quoting the Office together

  • My friendship with Jonathan and Garrett, how we continuously and enthusiastically affirm one another

  • My friendship with Jessie, our high vibe conversations, Polos back and forth

  • Walks around the island

  • Listening to Jess Lively’s podcast

  • Listening to My Favorite Murder

  • Reading a good book

  • Making myself my own happy hour, eating it on the patio

  • Eating olives

  • When my fridge is clean, organized and filled with yummy drinks and healthy foods

  • Being in a new city or place alone

  • Putting my phone on airplane mode for awhile

  • Writing. Especially when it flows easily

  • Listening to my high vibes playlist (will share soon)

  • Dancing to my favorite songs

  • Dancing with friends

  • Taking a Grit (spin) class

  • Taking a yoga class

  • Texts and IG comments from my Mom

  • Meditating on how very loved I am and picturing it filling my entire body

  • Thinking about my future partner

  • Having bedtime routines

  • Having skincare routines

  • A calming drink before bed

  • The Office

  • Parks and Rec

  • Schitt’s Creek

  • Doing exactly what I’m in the mood for (listening to my intuition)

  • Wearing an outfit that makes me happy

  • Having my hair in a high bun

  • Wearing red lipstick

  • Wearing something with sequins

  • Thinking about all the abundance in my life

  • Having my nails done in a color that I love

  • Wearing my jangle bracelets

  • Looking at the ring I bought myself

I hope this list helps lend inspiration or guidance to ways you can fill your day with joy-filled practices. As you can see, some are as simple as listening to one song that makes me happy, or choosing to wear one piece of clothing I know I always feel good in. Others take a little more time or emotional investment. But each of them play a helpful and integral role in getting me into the best possible place I can be, so that I can bring the world the most whole, happy and sparkling self I can offer.

If this type of practice isn’t something you’re already incorporating into your life, even in a small way, I would recommend starting by doing what I just did – write out a list. Take some time to get still and think about the times in life that you are the absolute happiest and filled to the brim. What are you doing? What are you thinking about? Who are you with? What are you wearing? What are you listening to? Where are you? What’s surrounding you? What actions make you feel like you’re “treating yourself?” Or living your best life? Pay attention to these thoughts and what your intuition tells you, and then write it all down. And start to plan on how you can incorporate these things into your life, or start the practice of drawing on each of them when you feel yourself getting in a low place. Think of it as your happy toolbox!

There’s one last thing I want to say about this practice. A common pushback I hear expressed by others, or a critique I’ve even held at times about this type of living (“live your best life” / “if it’s not a hell yes it’s a no” / “do what brings you joy” / etc.) is that if we were left to our devices and were told to just do whatever makes us happy and reject everything else, wouldn’t we turn into selfish, constant cake- (or in my case, pasta-) consuming monsters who sit in a jacuzzi all day online shopping from their smart phone while guzzling down wine? Well I mean maybe for a day, if that’s what your soul really needed. But no, you wouldn’t. Because here’s the crucial difference: I truly believe that when listening for the deep-down voice of what we need in any given moment, and tapping into the hard-wired ways in which we were created to experience joy and pleasure, that we would only do things that are in the best possible interest of ourselves and others, and that all lead towards the highest good for everyone involved. So for example, if your favorite food is cheesy pasta, there may be some days that a big bowl of that is exactly what you need to bring comfort and joy to your body. But your body also knows that eating it for 2 meals a day, every day that week is probably not in its best interest, so I doubt that’s what your Inner Voice would tell you to do if you really stopped and asked it. Same goes for neglecting certain chores – you may want to say “hell no” to vacuuming the living room, and some days that’s 100% ok, but you also know that when you do, you will be caring for your home and providing more peace and joy for yourself and others whenever that room is inhabited.

So long story short, I don’t believe this is about living a life of self-indulgence and only chasing after things that cater to our base desires. Rather, I believe this is a holy (and sometimes difficult) practice that asks us to tap into our deepest crevices that have been individually hard-wired by a loving, divine, and all-knowing Source in order to live sweetly into the things that allow us to live our most whole and full lives, inevitably spilling out this pure joy and the inspired insights we glean onto everyone we come into contact with.  And that is one of my deepest hopes for humanity: that we would all have clear insight into our inner joy tanks, and have the permission and tools to access them whenever they’re needed.

xoxo,

Sara B.