When the Time is On You…

When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.

What if we never climbed that mountain whose trunk invited us to reach its pinnacle?

That’s one of the 5 sutras for the Aquarian Age that Yogi Bhajan gave us, axioms for how we could live successfully in uncertain times. As exciting as it sounds to be alive during the time of a great shift, it’s also downright confusing and a bit scary. These words were given to us as a map for how to survive, but also to thrive. After all, we aren’t here to just buckle up for whatever bumpy ride someone else wants to take us on. We can and we should be writing our own destiny.

But there’s the second season of Making a Murder on Netflix, the new iPhone we need to stand in line for 4 hours to buy, that guy on Tinder who wants to meet up, this psychedelically immersive 4-D art show to check out, and the new vegan soul food place downtown. All of that must be done first…

Sound familiar? Your proclivities may be different from mine and perhaps you find other distractions, but most of us really aren’t living up to the full capacity of who we came here to be. That must change.

Perhaps the greatest promise of the Aquarian Age is the notion that we are in control of what happens to us. We are the masters of our own fortune. No longer do we have to be at the effects of others nor are we held back by a lack of access to information.  We are free, if we want.

At least that’s what my friend said it one of his rock songs. I think he’s spot on. We have to decide that we want to start living up to our potential. When we aren’t, we feel a lot of weight.

I’ve been thinking about this particular sutra a lot lately, mostly because I feel a lot of pressure and I haven’t exactly been in “start” mode. I moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago, a driving force behind my relocation being the promise of living in a city full of creatives. I’d long wanted to write a novel, but I felt I didn’t have the experience to do so. I figured I needed to take writing classes, learn more about the craft, surround myself with fellow writers, and be close to the proximity of power players in Hollywood to be successful at writing.  Eventually, I found my way to all of that. The one thing I didn’t do though was the only action that really matters: actually START WRITING.

I had lot of excuses…really good excuses. Exciting excuses!

At first, I got bogged down by the office politics of my day job and decompressed with a glass or four of Merlot after work. I told myself that I’d write once things got more stable in my department. A year and a half later, I was successful in my role of being an event manager, but massively failing at being a writer—simply because I was drinking wine when I could have been writing! Or going on hikes, or going to museums, or seeing my favorite indie band at a concert, or sun bathing at the beach, or binge-watching  Scandal or whatever fill in the blank distraction I’d pursue every hour I wasn’t at working. I was having loads of fun, but something inside me was festering.

At first there was this lingering suspicion that I should be writing instead of whatever I was doing. Then I started to wonder if I would ever write again. That created within me a gnawing thought that perhaps I would not, which soon turned into a constant worry that I would be forced to always work jobs I hated. I saw my writing talent as a golden ticket out of being a slave to the 9-to-5 life.

While I wasn’t showing up to write, I was showing up to kundalini yoga class—5 or 6 times a week! I learned early on in my practice that the technology of kundalini yoga and meditation allow us to re-write our destiny, both how we experience the moment of the day and what we can attract on a larger scale. That first year in Los Angeles, kundalini is what anchored me into my potential. I wasn’t showing up fully yet, but each time I’d go to class I was growing in ways I didn’t totally comprehend. All that kundalini yoga eventually gave me the gall to quit my job to pursue something more in line with my passions: working at a spiritual community center.

When I started this new adventure, I thought that my new business partner and I were going to write a book and get a TV show made. Finally, I could be creative! Then came the obstacles…

My first day on the job all but one person on our staff quit and I realized the organization was in debt up to its ears. We were in serious jeopardy of being shut down within a few months. Suddenly I had to summon all the experience I’d garnered in the political and non-profit world to create revenue streams, organization charts, job descriptions, cash flow spreadsheets, and budget forecasts. In an 80 hour-work week, there truly was no time to write, or so I told myself. I soon figured out how to make ends meet for the business, and the team we built was rock-solid at running the place. Under the most challenging and daunting of circumstances, we were persisting with success. Yet I was angry inside—viscerally upset at myself for not figuring out how to do all that was on my plate and write. The silver lining for my desire to create was that the TV show we were working on was inching toward becoming a reality. That didn’t quite satisfy me, though, because the show would never be my creation. When you’re a writer you know that you have a responsibility to bring forward your own words to light up the world you see. You can’t find true satisfaction within the framework of someone else’s vision.

That realization gnawed insistently, coaxing me to START, inviting me to ease the pressure. But instead I kept on not writing.

For the next two years, I was the executive director of the organization and also ran several Airbnb rentals. I maybe wrote like 2 blog posts during that time. The rest of my words were for delicately crafted e-mails, intricately thought-through job roles, and explaining to Airbnb guests how to turn on the lights. There was a lot of forward momentum in my life and the work I was doing.

Then it all stopped.

The TV show didn’t get picked up, though we did get one Real Housewife away from a network season! Soon thereafter it became apparent that our organization was going to close. When we did finally shutter, this strange quiet took hold. I had other sources of income by that time that didn’t require my fulltime focus, and for the first time ever I had no excuse not to write. The time was on me and I needed to start. This Aquarian sutra apparently doesn’t know how to quit me.

Well, 18 months later I still haven’t started. I’ve tried. I created elaborate outlines for multiple books. I even wrote entire chapters. I started on concepts, scrapped them altogether, and then began something different. But I haven’t written a novel yet, and I’m not anywhere close. I run a successful business today, but I feel like I massively suck at being self-employed because I should have used this time to write my book. On a more fundamental level, I feel like I massively suck at being alive because I’m not putting my energy toward the reality I know I need to create.

Looking back, I can see that I actually expended a lot of energy over the past 5 years NOT working on what I knew I needed to start. All of the circumstances that arose to “prevent” me from writing were really just manifestations of self-doubt that I called in. When we don’t do what we are here to accomplish, we create something else in its place. Usually that something will hold us back as powerfully as fulfilling our mission could propel us forward.

My creation is a massive complex of anxiety and social-phobia. For the past 18 months I’ve been crippled with nervousness, worry, and unease. The slightest obstacle becomes a mountain of distress. I still go to class all the time, I go to the gym daily, and I hike a lot, but I avoid social situations as much as possible. I have this weird phobia of interacting with people. I go out in public all the time, but I do so in this impenetrable bubble. I wear an energetic cloak that puts out this gnarly “don’t talk to me” energy. I use my iPhone as a shield of having to engage with anyone. I get out of conversation as quickly as possible. It’s a strange dystopia for someone who ran a political party and 8 years ago had ambitions to be mayor of a large city. For the longest time I wondered why I had retreated so far into my own shadow. Then during a meditation recently, it hit me right in my third-eye: I avoid being around people because I have nothing of worth to say. I’m not doing anything creative with my life and so I don’t have anything of value to bring to a connection or a conversation. That has to stop and it needs to stop by STARTING something worth talking about.

There was a partial eclipse this past weekend that amplified any actions we took. So, I wrote. I still can’t get into writing a novel, but I got into writing this. I am really into writing about how we can successfully circumnavigate these strange times. I’m taking at least a small step toward “starting” something by putting together this simple Tumblr blog where I’ll muse about what I learn as we collectively navigate this Aquarian shift. I already made one post before writing this and the plan is to do a few a week. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city where I can easily find the teachings of kundalini yoga and where conscious community is basically mainstream. This blog is a bridge to the rest of the world, and hopefully a way for me to learn more about the energies and activities that are happening in other places as we all level-up!

Besides, Tumblr banned porn last month so I figured it was a good time to fill up this space with something more productive J.

No matter where you are, stasis is our worst enemy; so too is stasis’ best friend, elliptical motion. We never really want to grow or change anything, but every now and then we’ll eke out a victory by kicking a habit or starting a new routine. In my own life I’ve noticed that overtime I get comfortable in familiarity, though, and activities that were once growth become a circle of the sameness rather than a climb to a higher level. Right now, I know that the time is on me to write. That must become my new pattern—the action of each day doing something to advance my writing. I hope the pressure is soon off!

More than that, though, I hope these words serve you. What aren’t you starting? What pressure are you feeling? Do you think that if you stopped making excuses or creating distractions that the pressure could soon be off?

We’re in this Aquarian shift together so let’s START acting like we’re in charge of our own destiny so we can all be there more fully for each other!