The Sweetest Freedom that we can bestow upon ourselves and others, is to allow every, single thing to Be as it Is. 🙏🏻♥️✌🏻
I MISS HUGS. It’s true. I understand social distancing. I cover my nose and mouth when I go out in public. I am working exclusively from home. I have not travelled in two months or more. I canceled my True Vision 2020 Hug Bug Tour. And, I have not hugged anyone, but my wife and my cats, for weeks. It hurts deeply.
I understand, appreciate, respect and honor the concerns and the uncertainty. And, at first, when all of this started to impact my life circumstance, I didn’t cancel any plans. I believed that in a few weeks, life as I know it would return to its usual routine, its “normal” if you will. I wasn’t sure what the truth was; I’m still not sure what the truth about the virus itself is. But I am playing by the rules, and I don’t want to get sick, or be responsible for others getting sick, either. I want to do my part.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I started to get depressed. I started to wonder, what will happen to hugs in our world? To touch? I believe in hugs and touch more than anything, as being a source of connection, healing, and Universal Oneness. I felt scared that it may be possible that human beings will avoid touching one another. That out of fear of death, which is a completely natural phenomenon as a human, we will disconnect from one another in ways that we may not have ever imagined. I believe that those fears and worries about the future created hopelessness in me more than I have felt in these few weeks of strangeness.
However, this week for me, the sun came out again. Not because the projections are any more favorable about touch. Not because there is an imminent time that distancing will be lifted and that I will be free to resume life as I have known it. But because I remembered, thank goodness, what the Real Truth is for me. The only Truth, to be honest. And, that is the Truth of Now. Now, it is all there Is. It is the only Truth. The past is a memory trace; the future has not even happened yet. So whether it is hope for a better future, or despair at a projected one, I only cause suffering for myself when I dwell there, or reflect on times that have gone by that no longer exist. Being Here Now is my only saving grace, my only respite from the weariness of what is the current form of Life.
So, I breathe. I come back to Now, again and again and again. When I feel bored, scared, overwhelmed, angry, or hopeless. It is the path that will always lead me back to myself. Back to Peace and Love and Universality.
And, I plan to meet you all in that space again one day.
I love that each day it seems, I get to more fully awaken to myself and who I really Am. Beyond my career, beyond my relationships, beyond anything that is defined by my physical form, I am realizing the power of that. The magic of that.
In 88 days, I will embark on the biggest adventure of my life, driving across the United States, hugging people, talking to them, connecting, sharing and opening my heart. On the surface, that could sound like any previous adventure that I have had through free hugs, and through shining my light in the world in my own way. Yet, this phase of the learning, this new chapter, is different than any other one I have experienced so far.
It isn’t about the magnitude of the trip; although, it is in reality, the biggest and boldest tour that I have ever intended. It isn’t about where it is that we are going. It isn’t even about doing it with my son. It is about lessons that are so much bigger than even that, so big that I am almost astounded at how at ease I am with embracing them.
The first lesson that this trip is about for me is otherness. The focus of this trip is less about me, and what I bring to the world, but mainly about what others in every corner of the world are doing to help spread a message of love and peace. I am so honored and excited to hear their stories, hug their bodies, and be in presence with them and all that they bring to the world, bring to Life. To connect deeply with other humans satisfies my own craving for community.
The second big lesson is about being Present. For the last three tours, I have gotten dozens of opportunities each time to be in the moment, even when every fiber of my Being wanted to resist that. I wanted to anticipate, control, or predict what would happen and with whom. However, the bigger goal has always been, now more than ever, to not miss any aspect of how Life is unfolding for me. That may not always be what I anticipate, but it is always valuable and worth the experience.
However, the biggest and most profound lesson for me as I prepare for and anticipate this journey, is the brilliant lesson of letting go, surrender, and trust. I have not, for much of my life, trusted that all would be well, without me having a hand in it. Whether one calls that faith, or trust, or belief, I always wanted to see the proof to know that all would be well. And, of course, that was always a disappointment, because things never turn out exactly as we may anticipate, or wish for in our minds. Yet, I would plot and plan what I desired as an outcome, and then not only be disappointed, but also, not appreciate the beauty of how things unfolded.
I now trust that all is well, no matter what happens. I still get scared sometimes, yet I know that this trip is a symbol of my declaration of Trust, of Faith, of Believing and therefore, Seeing. I have sketched out an idea of what will happen, and then Let it Go. And, the most magical occurrences have come my way as a result. Because I loosened my grip and realized the fleeting nature of EVERYTHING. And, that I don’t need to see evidence in the physical world to prove to me that all is Well.
I can just Believe it is So.
Today, I get to bear witness to two friends, whom feel like family, as they commit to love with one another. It recalls to me the day that I did the same, and how our marriage represented Love to me in so many deep, life changing ways.
I am thinking today, as I do most every day, about Love, and how to really, truly Love. Of course, I have had a lot of practice in Love over my lifetime, with my relationships with family, with friends, with partners, with co workers, with my child, and with my wife. It has been a learning experience all the way along, because in my lifetime, I haven’t actively been taught how to Love. Not really.
Love, as it is known to us by humans, is shown in the most capable ways that it can be. It is shown by the expression of love, as best as we can, through words. It is expressed through actions with one another. It is shown to us, in the best way it can be, as we exist here in our human forms. One of the things that we learn along the way, is that love, by definition, means to love unconditionally. Yet, how hard it is to do that.
As humans, it is so challenging to not want to have expectations, of ourselves and others. I believe it helps us to feel safe and secure, to want to know, if we can, that things and people with stay the same, stay around for us. Not many of us really embrace change, because it throws us off of our balance a bit; it goes against that which we thought that we had known. Yet, as we know, change is not only inevitable, but it helps us to learn to detach, let go, and let things be as they are. When it comes to being a human, and loving humans, this can be some of the most challenging lessons to learn.
Yet, let’s think about it. We often think that it is loving, to want the best for those that we love. For us to express our own opinions and views and perspectives about a person or a situation. And what I have found out is that when I do that to others, it isn’t actually loving at all. It means that I am not only accepting them or situations precisely as they are; I am not trusting that person to have the capability to handle it on their own.
Although realizing and knowing that I have done this in my relationships, for most of my life, at first felt awful; I viewed myself harshly, knowing that I had not truly, authentically loved those around me, by wanting them to be what I wanted them to be. However, I have now understood that the beauty is not in getting it perfect, or always remembering to let go and accept; it is in the remembering when I do forget to truly love, to truly see someone as capable and to allow that someone to be just as they are.
Every time that I forget, I get to remember again. I get to keep learning. I get to keep understanding how to Love.
Winter is not a favorite season of mine; I don’t like being cold, and I don’t like driving at this time of year. Yet, I love the feeling of being cozy, cocooned, and in a sense of hibernation of mode. Tucked away and allowing ideas to emerge during a period of perceived slumber.
I go out less. I feel quiet more. And, on the Winter Solstice, I see how the darkness starts to diminish, and the light gets warmer and stronger. Although this is a truth meteorologically, in that the days will now begin to get longer by a minute each day, and more light is available to us, it is more than that for me. Symbolically, it feels like the deepest darkness before the dawn, the deepest sleep before waking up.
This time of year is always very emotional for me, for many different reasons. I feel nostalgic for my family Christmases from long ago, and all of the people that were part of them. I remember and smile at the car rides to my grandparents’ house, over the river and through the woods. Riding on the toboggan down the hill in the field by our house with my siblings. New Year’s Eve parties, dressed in my finest attire, and drinking champagne at midnight with my friends. The sound of the creaky stairs as my young child attempted to sneak downstairs on Christmas morning, wanting to peek at what Santa delivered, without waking me up. Present moment awareness, and gratitude for all that is. Anticipation of what this new year, new decade, will hold. And, at times, a deep well of feeling completely alone and forgotten, and yet feeling more connected to others than ever before. The culmination of it all feels at its peak at this time of year, more than any other time of year for me.
I am living the most brilliant life, and feel more awake and real than ever before. I am vulnerable and forgiving. I am energized and peaceful. I am also unsure, lost in my thoughts and focused on the form of life. And, without wanting to live in the future, I know that every day that I am in my human form, breathing and alive, I will continue to learn, and grow, no matter what that looks like. I will keep moving closer and closer to the truth of all that is.
So, I love, honor, and appreciate the darkness. The solitude. The quiet and pensive way. The expansion of light. The nurturance of the new.
After all, flowers emerge from darkness and climb toward the light.