30 Minutes Before the Ball Dropped

2017-selfie

What words would you use to describe me in this picture?

Festive
Happy
Joyful
Energetic
Funny
Silly

All true.  My family and I got dressed up and went for an incredible dinner in Soho, enjoying an amazing meal, taking lots of pictures, and feeling celebratory.

All true, and an hour after this photo was taken, I was doubled over on the bathroom floor, horribly sick.

30 minutes before the Ball Dropped.

I came out of the bathroom, shaking and holding a full trash bag, and told my family I had just thrown up, and then I started to really plummet.

I did see the ball drop.  I was standing, not even able to take a sip of water and all my body was screaming was,

I want to be home.

My family was staying at a close friend’s who lives two blocks from my apartment, and the TV was so loud, I could feel this was just the beginning, and I put on my coat and boots and was just about to hug my father goodbye…..

And then my body fully took over.

And I didn’t leave that night.  Thank goodness I was with family, because things got very intense.

Hello 2017.

 

There are few celebrations that are global, that are felt by billions at the same time, and New Year’s Eve is one of them.  With so many different beliefs in the world, the ritual of a new year is pretty universal.

How do you celebrate your New Year’s?
What goes through your head as the ball drops?

We can feel everything from excitement to anxiety, but the glimmer of that ball, or the glow of the fireworks usually brings a very strong message to us all.

Hope.

Hope for a new tomorrow
Hope for a new opportunity
Hope for a new year full of all we desire
Hope to truly make a difference with our work

So, how do you take all of this in while you are flushing the toilet, too weak to stand?

With all the expectation, what does it mean?
I think the real question is, what are we CHOOSING it to mean?

 

This past week has been one of recovery, and staying home.  I ended up clearing my calendar and staying in to heal and sleep.

It’s been ups and downs, and my mother stayed an extra day to make me magical electrolyte elixirs, soup, and get food in for me.  Having her here an extra day was a lifesaver.

And being home, with low energy, actually allowed me the space to do a few things I had been really wanting to do.

Clearing out old papers in my office
Clearing out and donating cds to the library
Clearing out clothes in my closet
Clearing out my night stand

Do you see a theme here?

It seems this was my journey for coming into 2017.

What is yours?

I went through my own anxiety over having to postpone meetings and several things I had originally planned to do this week, but I knew I needed to heal, and the real question became

What is the gift here?

When I think of how I want to come into 2017, it’s CLEAR.  I want to have space and clarity so I can show up.  I want to be present here for you, for my life and Creativity.

And when I look around at my home now…..my office….I feel something very powerful,

Inspiration.

It would have been very easy for me to spiral with the flu, to believe that how I spent my first moments were a “sign” that my year was doomed.  Instead, I made another choice.

And you have that ability in any moment, at any time.

As you face 2017, it’s not about what will happen TO you, it’s always going to come down to HOW you handle it, and what you decide to make it MEAN.

Your point of power is always in the present moment and sets you up.  Very often, I have heard that what you are experiencing now is a result of the past three months. And I know that is why I was able to clear out this week and open to Inspiration and Hope.

So, what do you want your 2017 to mean for your Creativity?
What are you choosing for yourself?

Look for the gift. It’s always present.

When the Party Stopped

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How I Stopped Partying On New Year’s Eve, Ended Up Living In Paris 
And Forever Changed My Life



Guest Blogger: Wani Iris Manly, Esq.

 

Circa December 31, 2010. Miami, Florida, otherwise known as “Party Central.” It’s New Year’s Eve. A high vibration day where everyone is super excited to close out the current year and beaming with high expectations for a fresh new start. But in Miami unlike anywhere else, the emphasis on this day is to party into oblivion and as the phrase is often used there —

BLOW IT UP

Any other New Year’s Eve, I would be in oblivion blowing it up with friends — but not this year.

I was in my 17th story loft located downtown on the Miami River with partying the farthest thing away from my mind. Instead, an intense look at the state of affairs of this thing called “my life” was more on my mind and weighing heavily on my heart.

The state of the affairs at that point was sadness from a relationship that ended, a law practice that was struggling at the time, which meant I was broke, and a then foreclosure lawsuit that was looming over me.

There was also the constant bickering with my mother (my biggest teacher) that coupled with everything else that was going on was just sucking the life force out of me.

To say that I was stressed to the nines wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Not to mention, I had zero inspiration living in Miami.

In fact, I was over Miami. Having been there and done that, I was beyond ready for something new. But what “new” was, I had no idea.  But I knew that in order to bring in new, I had to go deep — way deep into myself and figure things out.

And so on that day I turned into a monk.

I went in silence and stayed in solitude for the entire day. With my cell phone powered off, I took pen to paper and went into “The Analysis.” I started off with the positives and began writing a list of everything that I had achieved that year. It didn’t take long as in my opinion I hadn’t achieved much that year. I let my circumstances define me and considered myself to have failed miserably that year. After I was quickly done with the list of positives, I went to the other side of the spectrum to the mishaps. That is, the things that went wrong or the things that I had failed at. That list took a while — like a long time.

Like many people, I am my own worst critic. I wrote for what seems to be an inexhaustible list but at some point, I eased up. I then took another critical pen going beyond what happened and looked into my accountability and contribution to the mishaps. I took full responsibility and embraced the mess I had created and the shitty feelings I felt.

  Eventually, I moved on and went looking into my mind and limiting beliefs. I began writing every possible limiting belief that I had about myself that was holding me back.

As I wrote, the limiting beliefs became repetitive, beliefs such as:

I’m not good enough,”

“I am unworthy,”

“I am unlovable,”

“I can’t,”

“money is hard to come by,”

kept looping. Nothing new.  I had heard all of these before. I then got on all fours (literally) and begged the Divine for me to let all these beliefs go, and whatever I didn’t have the courage to let go of, for it to do it for me.

My heart and everything within me was on the floor in a massive state of surrender pleading for a transformed consciousness. I desperately wanted to see what I hadn’t yet seen, to understand what I hadn’t yet understood because I knew that it was only my mind’s conditioning that were creating the circumstances of my life.

Till this day, I don’t think I have ever prayed a harder prayer and or set the strongest intention as I did during this hour.

I then took a much-needed break. As this was the first of this kind of activity I had ever done, I did not take into account that energetically I would be spent. Yet, inside I was still and remained still. After a short break, I was ready to move on and look ahead to the new year. I grabbed my journal that I had bought the day before.

It was a pretty pink journal and it had the word “imagine” written on the front cover in colorful block letters. I started writing in it and wrote until my heart was above and beyond content.

I wrote down everything that I wanted to be, do, have or experience in 2011.

Nothing was off limits and I wrote as if I had a genie at my command granting every single wish. I allowed myself to dream big, bigger, and biggest. I allowed myself to go beyond the unimaginable, to go where I have never been before in my imagination. Yet, no matter what the particulars were that I wrote down, what I really wanted was a transformation — a radical transformation of this thing called “my life.”

When I was done with my wish list I started setting intentions around each one and visualizing them. At the time, I wasn’t big on visualizing as I am now but I allowed myself to do it. I even got on all fours again and prayed asking that each of my wishes come true.

I also started reciting Sanskrit mantras that had been given to me by my Guru and teacher, both silently and out loud to the point it tired me out even more. After all, I had been at it since 6:30 am that day and by now it was almost midnight.

When 2011 rolled around, I first and foremost thanked God for allowing me to see another year. Then I poured myself a glass of champagne, toasted an awesome new year to myself, and then passed out. Literally.

Three days later, the Divine answered with the quickness and most overt daily signs of all roads leading me to Paris. Initially, there were anywhere from 5-7 daily signs. At the end of February, I booked an investigatory trip to Paris to see what the signs were all about.

I wanted an answer.

I spent first four days in Paris and received no insight whatsoever. Then, I headed south to the French Riviera and visited every major city on the Cote Azur except Saint Tropez. While in Monaco, I finally received a “message” while I was standing next to a fountain resembling the symbol of my astrological sign (Pisces).

Fountain Photo

That message was that my life was now in transition — from a lawyer to a writer. I headed back home to Miami thinking, “So much for that.” But, it wasn’t. Not only did the signs continue, they intensified for an entire year every single day without failure.  Sometime in August on a scorching hot day, my heart just spoke to me and whispered —

“Move.” 

I looked down at my chest and it spoke again with,

“Move to Paris.”

Without hesitation, I said, “Yes!” I had been ready to leave Miami anyway. Paris had never crossed my mind, but I thought, “Hey, why not?”

After all, I had not chosen Paris. Paris had chosen me.

A few months later, I sold my prized loft in Miami; my beloved Porsche I bought as a gift for my thirty-first birthday; sold a handful of things on Craigslist for next to nothing; gave some items to a friend staying with me at the time; and donated the rest to three different charities in Miami.

I then set on my sojourn to Paris — without any plan, without knowing a single person, not knowing one word of the language, and hating the cold.

And, despite all those things, what did I find?

That Audrey Hepburn was spot-on!


Paris is a Good Idea

Since then my life has transformed into something that to this day I still can’t fathom. In some respects, I am living my own version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love.

I’ve become a writer having written two books, and I am days away from becoming a published author, with the publication of my first book Get Out of Survival Mode and Live the Life You Really Want. I have met the one that I have been longing to meet my entire life and that one is not a he, but instead a me. That is, the real me.

I have also discovered my life’s purpose and what it is that I am living for and that is — inspiration. My life is about one this one thing and I flat out refuse to live any other way.  

And the rest is history and continues to unfold…

From that NYE’s day in 2010 leading me to this point now, I learned an important lesson and tenet that I now live by and it is this: Whenever you take bold steps with your life, the Universe pays you handsomely and rewards you BIG TIME.

Furthermore, I learned that God’s dream for us is way bigger than we could ever dream or plan for ourselves.

So lean into it. Trust it. Take refuge in it.

And most of all, surrender to it because it will give you the life you really want with on caveat — a life better than you could ever possibly imagine.