The Secrets of Non-Conformity
I think there is a time in all of our lives (dare I speak the words Saturn Return) when we take a good hard look at our lives and feel a sense of discontent, depression, resentment, and question all the choices we've made and for many of us, not made.
It is the universe working through us, calling us to where our soul was destined to go.
It is a time when we desperately want to change everything as every fiber of our being is screaming that this can't be it! Life has so much more in store for me! I'm here to tell you that the voice inside of you that is yearning for something else will likely not go away until you are forced into a new path. We are all put on this planet for specific reasons and with very specific gifts. When we don't feel satisfaction and flow in our relationships, our careers, our day-to-day, its easy to throw in the towel and find all the blockers to be legit blockers. We hit paralysis by analysis, are trapped by our limiting beliefs, take comfort in the discomfort of our status quo, and cling to the very thing that we say we want to change. Why do we do this to ourselves? Then there is a tipping point, a catalyst, a trauma, a major shift whether we are ready or not.
"In every perceived setback or failure is the seed of success."
- Deepak Chopra
I often receive messages about the nomadic life I've been creating. Most people want to know more about how I have been able to carve out this experience for myself more than they care to know about the experience itself...What I often don't share are the years of being tossed around in heartbreak, abuse, injury, trauma, and depression that led me to finally make the change for myself and to live the life I was called to live. To say I have it all figured out or that I had it all planned is obviously to give me WAY more credit than is due but is also simply not the way things work. We ALL have to work through something. There will be challenges and major life upsets and changes for us all. It is part of the human experience...but so is how we choose to move through this life.
It was in the time when I was treated really terribly in both the job I was working as well as by the Record Label I had signed with who controlled the release of my creative endeavors, that I realized I needed to make a huge shift in my life. At the time, I had no money but I did have my lunch breaks and commutes. So while I would show up to the office day after day to a place that crushed my soul in order to strategically save very aggressively, I took the rest of the time to educate myself via audio books and podcasts. I laughed my way through house chores while Ramit Sethi taught me how to have credit cards, which I needed for acquiring free flights. Tim Ferris was in my ear while I went for walks...
How could I work overseas and sustain myself? How could I get another passport? How could I build passive income? How could I travel hack for free flights? How on earth was I going to save up to do a round-the-world trip? How could I afford to live the life I wanted to? Its like what my roommate used to say about my teaching yoga in Spanish - un poco a poco - little by little. To live more unconventionally, to live by non-conformity, it takes time because if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. So get out there, you rebel, and show 'em what you've got one step at a time. I believe in you.
That said, here is the shortlist of the people who have influenced me to live the way that I do, who have been my allies over the years, showing me that it is possible to live like the artist I want to be while traveling the world using my creative gifts.
Art of Non-Conformity, Born For This, and The Pursuit of Happiness - books by Chris Guillebeau
Vagabonding - a book by Rolf Potts
Escape Cubicle Nation - a book by Pamela Slim
Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life - a book by Neil Strauss
The 4-Hour Work Week - Tim Ferris
I Will Teach You to Be Rich - a book and movement by Ramit Sethi - a guy who helped me earn a 30% raise that I promptly turned down to also start the next chapter of my life.
With every setback in life comes new creative solutions to our problems, which make us redefine our priorities and explore other options and ways of living. We begin to view our challenges more positively once we realize that we possess the power to focus our attention on new possibilities.
That feeling, that yearning, that knowing, it doesn't go away. Listen to your intuition, listen to your gut, get in touch with your heart. You got this!
Love and light,