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May 29, 2011
All I can say is “Whew! The Universe is working overtime in its own way to make sure this transition happens!” I’ve been a little quiet recently because I have been focusing on the transitions that I’ve talked about in earlier articles. As I mentioned in the article New Opportunities In 2011, ever since I made the decision to begin transitioning out of DJing and into living my life on purpose, new opportunities have been presenting themselves on a regular basis. And I have been applying myself diligently at working on these opportunities.
Have you ever had this experience? You make a decision and you begin moving in the direction of that decision. And the world begins to align with you, opportunities start appearing that you never would have imagined before. And as you begin to take the steps forward… everything seems to begin falling apart around you? Have you ever had the experience where you are taking every positive step on moving forward and as you do, you begin to feel like you are walking through a field of landmines? Even though you are being 100% proactive, things outside of your control begin happening that threaten everything you have come to know and understand. That is a big part of what I am experiencing right now.
No matter how many times I talk about the fact that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and I truly believe that it does... it can still be scary as hell when you are pushing beyond what you has become safe and familiar. The brain does mental gymnastics, jumping back and forth between "Everything's going to be ok!" and "No it's not!!!" And have you ever noticed that there is usually a lot more certainty on the “No it’s not” side of the argument?
But there are times in our lives when the only choice we have is to let go and move forward. No matter how much we want to fight and complain to stay where it is “safe”, the Universe knows that it is time for the next chapter to be written. We can make the conscious decision to move forward, or the Universe will find ways, many times not very subtle ways, to make sure that we step outside of our comfort zone and into the life that we are supposed to be living.
For me, this has meant several experiences happening in a very short time frame that no longer allow me to remain where I am. As I have talked about in the past, when I decided to take care of my mother and move her into my home, I returned to working as a DJ in NYC for the financial stability. And for the first two years working at the club allowed me to take very good care of her. Even when the financial crisis rocked New York City, my family and I were still in very good shape. In 2009, there were some changes at the club that reduced my income by about 20%. I had no complaints though because I realized how blessed I was. All around the world I was aware of how others were struggling having lost much more than I had.
In November of 2010 more changes led to another 10% loss. By this point financially things were getting a little tighter. I was also feeling less “security” with my position at the club. In this industry, when new management comes in they tend to bring in “new blood” or people that they have worked with in the past. This is what was beginning to happen where I worked. The owner who has run the club successfully for over 25 years has been training his son to take over the business and the son is bringing in new people. As he does they are being put into shifts that other DJs have had for decades.
I’ve worked as a DJ in the clubs throughout the Northeastern United States off and on for 20 years, and when this shift happened in November I also started getting “signs” that it was time for me to leave the world of clubs behind and move back to doing what I am passionate about rather than just working a job that does not serve my greater purpose. So I began putting things in motion to transition out of DJing and into living a life I would design rather than spending so much time doing something that really didn’t fulfill me at my core.
Based on a lot of the feedback I have gotten from younger people about this website, in November I started looking at what would need to happen for me to begin speaking in Colleges and High schools. I believe that there are enough venues here in NJ and NYC that I could speak regularly without having to travel and leave my Mother by herself. As I began to explore this new area for speaking, between November and January things started to fall into place. I connected with Ted Fattoross who is someone that has made a living speaking in educational venues for the majority of his career, and reconnected with Jeanne Cimillo who is someone I worked with in the Anthony Robbins organization in 1997 who had gone on to work with colleges and was responsible for booking speakers for both educational and government trainings.
In January a dear friend Harry Connor and I revisited a conversation we had last Thanksgiving to discuss combining a software idea I had with his photography business. We made the commitment to move forward with it, put the project out for bids and by Mid-February we had the developer selected, financing for the project in place and the project started.
Around that same time I was approached by another friend Carl Gould who has a global consulting business. Carl and I were working on some Real Estate deals last year when he told me that his business was expanding and he asked if I would be interested in working with his team when he had everything in place. In February he called and asked me to meet with him because he was ready to begin. We met and I agreed to attend a certification course the first week in April to allow me to work with his company and also be certified as an advisor for a 501C3 Non-Profit that he is associated with.
So my plan was in place. I made the commitment that by my birthday in July this year that I would replace the income from working at the club to make sure my mother was taken care of, and it would be done doing things that I enjoyed and was passionate about. The Universe was already bringing me everything I needed. I made the arrangements with the club to take the first week of April off so I could attend the certification training.
Then, the last week in March, The owner decided to take away the most profitable shift on my schedule, Saturday nights at his club on Broadway in New York City. In that instant my income was slashed another 50%.
Please know that I am not sharing this to complain. What I am sharing is that when you truly make a decision, be ready for things that you hope for… and things that you would never expect… to happen quickly. I believe that I am still on track for my commitment to be out of the clubs and have that income replaced by my birthday doing something that I love and am passionate about. The Universe already started opening those doors. I also believe that the Universe is making sure that I remain committed to that decision.
I need to share with you that as I am going through this experience fear comes into play quite often. The stability and certainty that I had for the past 4 years working at this club is now gone. There are times when I wake up and I am in a panic because there are so many things spinning in my head… things that need to be done… steps that need to be taken to keep moving forward… bills that need to be paid… basic responsibilities that need to be handled… and there are moments when I have no idea of where to begin and I am completely overwhelmed and filled with anxiety. And it is in those very moments that I need to apply everything that I have learned over the years. What is the benefit of learning all these tools if we are not put into situations where we need to use them?
You see, I believe that life is a journey of preparation. Every experience we have is preparing us to fulfill our purpose. I believe that we came here with a very specific intention or as some people would say a mission and destiny to fulfill. Our higher selves are very aware of what that purpose is. Our “ego” often loses site of that purpose due to the confusion that being “human” brings to the whole experience. But I also believe that our higher self is directly in contact with the Universe, God, Creative Intelligence, Higher Power or whatever you want to call it… and we are always being drawn and directed towards that original purpose.
Every experience we have is designed to help us become more aware of that purpose and I believe that it is also designed to give us the skills and resources that will allow us to fulfill it. Each goal we set, each journey that we take are all a part of that journey of discovery and fulfillment. The question is, are we going to be aware of the meaning of these experiences, the lessons we are being given and the direction we are being taken in?
As an example, have you ever been really committed to something, you knew it was right… you were aligned with your strengths and your heart… you were doing all the right things, and being authentic in your intentions, and yet the world seemed to keep pulling the rug out from under you? For many people this is when they give up and walk away. But what if you approached it from a different mindset? What if you were not being “denied” your dreams, but actually being led to exactly what you needed in order for them to be fulfilled?
As an example, many people want a specific outcome in their lives. I’ll use a "Dream Job" for the purpose of this example. The person may take all the right steps, they may talk to all the right people, they may take all kinds of courses and seminars to learn everything they think they need to in an effort to get that dream job.
But many times, the Universe, God, Higher Power or whatever you choose to call it understands that for you to actually succeed at that Dream Job, you are going to need specific skills that you do not yet possess and specific experiences that you never imagined you would need so you will be ready for the responsibilities of your Dream Job.
All of a sudden you find everything going "wrong" in your life and it seems to be pushing you away from attaining your Dream Job. And if we are to just pick ourselves up and "Push harder" we may have the same thing happen over and over again because we are not stepping back to learn what the Universe needs us to learn so we can ultimately achieve our Dream Job.
Maybe you need to learn more about financial responsibility before you get your Dream Job because if you do not learn how to manage the additional money it may become more of a nightmare than a blessing. If you don't become more financially intelligent, or learn about tax shelters and investment vehicles you may find yourself in worse shape with the income generated by your Dream Job than before you had it. Without having that knowledge of how to effectively manage that amount of money you would never be able to enjoy the benefits that you believe having that job will bring.
Or maybe you need to learn better communication skills because the new Dream Job will require you to deal with people in ways that you never have before.
I believe there could be a thousand reasons that we may find ourselves struggling towards our "goal".
Sometime these “obstacles” may be happening to make sure that we commit to the journey. Have you ever known someone who really wanted to make a change in their lives, but because things were “comfortable” they never really made the change? As an example, maybe they are overweight, but things aren’t “bad enough” with their health so they continue to eat unhealthy food even though they know that they should lose weight. Or maybe they want to quit smoking, but even though it is costing them a lot of money and is impairing their health they still are not “as bad as” others that they see and they continue to smoke even when they tell everyone around them that they should quit.
Examples can go on and on. Things are “uncomfortable” for them where they are, but the fear of doing something different, the fear of failing… even the fear of succeeding is more painful than the “discomfort” they have staying where they are and it prevents them from taking action. Most times the fear of the unknown is 10x more powerful than the discomfort that someone is feeling in the moment.
So the Universe decides that they need a "push" and something traumatic happens which finally gets them to take the necessary steps to make the change. Do you know anyone who may have experienced this?
I believe that when we truly make a decision to move forward, the Universe gives us both “the carrot” and “the stick”. We will find opportunities opening up all around us, and at the same time the foundation of the way we are currently living life will be shaken.
What happens many times is that when the foundation gets shaken, people get scared and hold on even more the what the “perceive” as security. They end up abandoning their dream because the fear of the unknown is put right in front of them. I can attest to having done this myself many times in the past.
I believe it is at those times that you really need to trust life. That is when you need to pay very close attention to what is happening around you and look for the opportunity to use each experience as a resource to keep you moving towards your outcome. I believe if you are focused on being self aware you will know when you are “on track” and when you are out of alignment with your purpose.
When I lost the Saturday nights, I was surprised that my initial reaction was acceptance. I knew that everything was moving me towards my desire. But within a couple of days I was starting to spend 80% of my time being confident and trusting what the Universe had planned, and the other 20% I was in total fear, anger, confusion and I was searching franticly for all kinds of ways of how I could “fix it” and get those nights or that “security” back. And although 80% of the time I was at peace, the 20% was so intense that I was at a loss of how I was going to deal with it and in a total state of depression when I was trying to fix it myself rather than trusting what the Universe had in store.
But as I allowed myself to settle into where my heart was, when I aligned with the purpose that I know I am here for and stopped being controlled by fear, I was able to look at everything and recognize that the Universe was actually giving me “leverage” to keep moving forward as well as a choice. I could choose to fight for the Saturday nights back; I could even fight to maintain my income by leaving and going to another club. And I did explore both of these. But each time I did, the Universe would give me a reminder of what I had asked for. I would go to approach the owner to talk to him about getting the Saturdays back and something else would happen that would shine a big spotlight on how being in this environment was not serving who I desire to be anymore.
I also had another choice to make. I was already working 5-6 days a week at the club when they took the Saturdays away. The person who makes the schedule was prepared to simply work me 6 days a week to try and help me out. But the reality was that I could work 7 days a week and would not make up the money I was losing by having that one night shift a week taken away.
I knew that I had the opportunities in motion with Jeanne calling to book colleges and high schools, I was working with Harry on the website, Ted was creating opportunities for me to connect with other people in his network of speakers and I was preparing for certification with Carl’s company which I knew would open up opportunities for me. All of these things were in motion, but none of them were generating income yet.
So… again I needed to “trust life”. I told the club that I was no longer available to work Tuesdays and Wednesdays which effectively took away another 15% of my income.
Let me share that this was an extremely scary decision for me to make and a big leap of faith in what the Universe has planned. My income had already been reduced to where I was going to make about 1/3 of what I had been making in 2009. At the same time, the expenses of taking care of my mother are increasing as she gets older and requires more time from care givers. Income was decreasing, expenses increasing and I knew that the other opportunities that I am working on were still going to take time to begin generating income.
But I also knew that if I worked the 6 days a week at the club I was going to have no time to work on the opportunities that had been opening up for me.
There’s a story I heard once that talks about a man showing up in Heaven and God is taking him on a tour of the largest mansion he could ever have imagined. As they are walking and talking the man notices that angles are busy stacking beautiful gifts in rooms that were similar to the huge ballrooms he had seen in the grand hotels on earth. When he looked into the rooms, he could see that the gifts were piled all the way to the ceilings.
As God and the man continued walking, they continued to pass more and more rooms where angels were busy stacking presents. At one point the man turned to God and said, “God, I have to ask … why are all these gifts that people are offering to you stacked in these rooms? It seems like a waste.” God looked at him and said, “You have it all wrong my son. These are not gifts for me. These are the gifts that you and everyone else asked for. And just when we were getting ready to give them to you, you gave up and changed your mind about what you said you wanted. So we are putting them back until you decide that you are ready for them.”
When I heard that story it really made me think. How many times in my life have I “given up” or “changed my mind” about what was possible when things got tough? It could have been about something as simple as asking a specific woman out on a date, or it may have been a multi-million dollar business venture. How many times did I walk away when the reality was that the “struggle” was preparing me to receive exactly what I had asked the Universe for? What would have happened if I would have chosen to trust life?
I do believe that when we are aligned with our core and allow things to unfold, ultimately we will arrive where we desire and the Universe will have given us all the lessons and resources that we needed which will allow us to fulfill our purpose.
Will that path always be easy? No. Will it be scary? At times. Will it be worth the effort of learning to deal with the obstacles as they arrive? Absolutely
Just my humble opinion.
Ask yourself. Could the “hard times” and obstacles that have come up when you were after your goal have been preparing you for your goal rather thanpreventing you from achieving it? What may have happened if you would have looked at the obstacle as an opportunity to learn or gain a resource you may need? How can you apply the lessons you learned from those past experiences as you move forward?
Over the years I have learned that when this happens in my life, rather than give into the fear and uncertainty it is best for me to commit to doing my best as I embrace the transition and know that even though there are going to be some bumps, bruises and mistakes made along the way... the fulfillment of my destiny does not become a reality by staying where I am.
This is not just some experience that I had years ago. Even with all I have learned and gone through this is exactly what I am experiencing right now. And over the past month I have been looking frantically for solutions that fit my expectations of how things are supposed to be. But… the Universe seems to have its own plans.
So I release this to the Universe and open myself to the journey by saying… Universe, I'm in your hands. Today, I'm leaving the driving up to you. "Cool Runnings!" (If you are not familiar with that term... you need to watch the movie Cool Runnings. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies)
I look forward to what the Universe has in store. As you have heard me say before… Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone! And for me... a new life has already begun!
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