I'm not different
New connections, a reflection, a pod rec and streaming The Music Show.
Thank you Rich, Meli, Kev, Sean, Ash, Lars, J, McClune, Decker and Collin. Little moments with friends add up to a life fully lived.
Turning left onto Pier Avenue, nostalgia drenches my mind. I spot the Vons I visited for morning beer runs. I slow for the four-way stop at Ardmore; I must’ve made this stop five hundred times. Then I pass Fritto Misto and Gum Tree Cafe. Both staples of days spent living in South Bay years ago.
Pulling into Sean’s garage, the clock reads 6:52 AM. He greets me sporting a fresh haircut and a massive smile.
We agreed to run on the beach and grab breakfast. Sean represents a new, intentional relationship. He’s a Chief Fire Engineer for LA County, an entrepreneur, a model of health and one of the kindest dudes on the planet. I’ve been carving a path toward friendship since we met. He inspires and challenges me. It’s remarkable how a few interactions with a new friend can impact life.
As we walk onto the sand, a strong southwest wind blows through me. The surf is choppy and white caps break the clear, blue horizon. It smells like morning. Rising behind us, the sun warms our muscles and readies us for our four-mile journey to Manhattan Pier and back.
I place a pod in each ear, identify the tire tread I’m going to follow then glance over at Sean. I sense his energy. I wonder how it will affect my pace. And how mine will affect his.
I stretch one last stretch and think
I’m grateful you’re here
Life can feel lonely.
“No one understands… no one cares… no one notices.”
But feelings aren’t reality.
People understand. We care and notice.
During last week’s wedding, new friends remind me how connected life can be.
Joel is an accomplished computer programmer. He’s also an aspiring photographer. One skill fills his bank account and the other fills his soul. Listening to him during Thursday’s dinner, I can tell the guy loves to take some pics. He’s figuring out how to further integrate this love into his life.
I meet Pat, the groom’s mom, over breakfast. We dive headfirst into the deep stuff:
Living with intention
My fascination with The Twelve Steps
Alignment with The Universe, God, Spirit… our Creator.
She also asks, “what do I absolutely love about Tracy?”.
We cover plenty of ground for one meal.
Nico flags me down near the pool after dinner. A recent grad, he moved across the country to start a career in tech. He’s intelligent, driven and oozes with charisma. The kid has a bright future.
He shares his love for painting. He wants to be an Artist.
“But tech seems like the smart play, right?”, he asks.
After a decade in tech, I spend my days learning and writing about intention.
I read books about AA. I watch YouTube videos on how to slice dragon fruit. I produce a podcast that costs me money. Perhaps he should ask someone else…
“You’re a smart guy. Do what feels right.”, I respond.
Each conversation fosters a feeling of togetherness.
I see myself in Joel. I am figuring out how to integrate a passion into my life.
Pat listens with a mother’s ear. Her kindness flows right into me.
I sense Nico will find his answer in short order. At least he’s asking questions.
Life isn’t lonely.
We just need to remember to introduce ourselves.
To carve paths toward new relationships.
To make the drive to run on the beach with a friend.
To listen to each other with a mother’s ear.
Thank you for following along on my journey.
You make me feel less lonely.
And I’m grateful you’re here.
I’m not different
As I mention above, AA fascinates me. My friend Kevin calls it a “design for living”.
Last month, I ordered the book Daily Reflections. The top of each dated page features a quotation from various program texts. Following each quote is a personal reflection, by an individual AA member, on the quotation.
For February 19, the day before I write this post, the text reads:
I’m Not Different
In the beginning, it was four whole years before A.A. brought permanent sobriety to even one alcoholic woman. Like the "high bottoms, " the women said they were different; . . . The Skid-Rower said he was different . . . so did the artists and the professional people, the rich, the poor, the religious, the agnostic, the Indians and the Eskimos, the veterans, and the prisoners. . . . nowadays all of these, and legions more, soberly talk about how very much alike all of us alcoholics are when we admit that the chips are finally down.
I cannot consider myself "different" in A.A.; if I do I isolate myself from others and from contact with my Higher Power. If I feel isolated in A.A., it is not something for which others are responsible. It is something I've created by feeling I'm "different" in some way. Today I practice being just another alcoholic in the worldwide Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Like every lesson in the book, we all learn something here.
You do not have to be an alcoholic to isolate yourself from others. Doing so, regardless if you’re the artist, the professional, the rich, the poor, the religious or the agnostic, separates you from others and from Higher Power.
Remembering we all bleed, we all love and we all need each other takes practice.
It takes intention.
How do you remain connected to The Universe?
How can you be just another human today?
I’m not my identity
My friend Julian recommended I give Aubrey Marcus’ Podcast with Sadhguru a listen. It’s only an hour and well worth the time.
In the episode, Sadhguru shares the trouble with identity, our narrow definitions of our Creator, misunderstanding emotions as life and recommends we learn a global anthem. Click below and let me know what you think.
I’m inviting you to an event
Here’s a link to The Event if you want to add it to your calendar.
I’ll also send out an email a couple hours before we begin.
In the meantime, here is a clip from Episode 2 where I share a Barcelona story of wine, beef and a massage…
For next time (possibly):
Delegation and Trust
Knowing VS Discovery
Until next time,
Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.