As many of you may know, in December I decided to follow a 31-day calendar that I made for myself. And on each day in that month, I had to do something that would get me out of my box, which is the life I was used to. Overall, it was a challenging yet incredibly rewarding project and not only did I learn a lot about myself, but I took from it things that will stay with me forever. But more on that in a moment…
First, I’d like to write about a theme that kept occurring as I went through this month and that was one of happenstance. Once again going to my trusty Apple dictionary, happenstance means “coincidence.” Now, I am not a believer that the world is predetermined and I tend to side with the rationalists in philosophical thought. Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” are words I live by. But that said, call it what you will – karma, fate, destiny, happenstance, divine intervention – there’s no denying the world works in mysterious ways. However…
You know how when you’re in a hurry, you manage to catch every red light on the street? And you know how when you have time to kill and don’t want to be early, there isn’t any traffic? Or when you spill something in your car and you need to clean it up but every light you pass is green? Well, I’ve always wondered, is that a coincidence or are you just aware of it more because it matters?
Think about it…
While I was doing this month-long project, I can’t tell you how many times things just happened to fit perfectly together, like Nature was working with me. For example, on the day I had to find a shell on the beach and figure out a way to make it into a necklace, as I was about to turn around, I found one that just happened to have a perfect hole in it. What are the odds?
And another time when the day called for me to write a poem, a friend of mine had just died and I happened to be attending her funeral the next day. So naturally, I wrote a poem for her.
I don’t think these things are weird or predetermined but I do think it’s all about energy and awareness. If we are conscious (aware,) we notice things with our mind rather than just act on emotion. And positive energy flows and it comes back to those who give it out. And the same for those who unleash negative energy. What’s that famous expression?? Oh yeah.. Karma. It’s a bitch.
But I can’t take sole credit for this realization in terms of this project. The other day, I was hanging out with some friends and one of them was listening to me about my 31-day project and he said something about how most people focus on the negative but rarely the positive. He mentioned that positive things happen everyday, such as some of the things I was talking about in regard to this, but he said they mostly go unnoticed. And as I was listening to his point of view, I kept thinking, he’s totally right. Then add that to my own thought of – was I just aware of these moments of karma, happenstance, whatever you want to call them, because I was on high alert with the project I was doing? Perhaps… (Kudos, Roger! Loved our talk.)
Again, awareness and energy. So important.
I try very hard to unleash positivity rather than negativity but it’s hard in today’s world, especially when people often perceive your positivity as some offense to them and yet, those who are negative seem to bond and wallow in their misery together. Well, I can’t do that. Nor do I want to. That said though, I really learned through this project to not only be positive but to FOCUS on the positive things that happen rather than just the negative. Recently, I’ve been turned down to five film festivals already for my latest film. I was starting to get sad but then, instead, I changed my focus and decided to think about the fifty other festivals, including many top-tier ones that can help my career, that have not turned me down and you know what, I honestly do feel better.
I’ve been thinking more and more about this project and how helpful it’s been to me. Not only did it make me go outside my box, it taught me things about myself. Like by eating vegan for a day, I realized I am a carnivore through and through. And by not being able to drive, I was forced to walk and though I’ve always loved walking, I realized it was more refreshing and simple to just walk the mile to the store instead of getting in my car every time I needed something there.
Not too long of a time but long enough to learn that I will indeed be thinking outside my box without being forced. I’ve decided this month is all about doing things that are good for me and trying to get rid of my bad habits. Yeah, yeah. Everyone says this but seriously, DOING it, is quite different. And my 31 days project has propelled me to do just that.
Thanks to all who came along on this ride with me. I appreciated the support and company. And to those who have expressed a desire to do something similar, please let me know how your experience goes…