SWIPE RIGHT: Bar Chat Episode
In the improbable event that you read last week's blog post, you might be hoping for a crash and burn (or sizzling) tale about my entry into the dating app world.
Don't worry; those posts are under construction. Or destruction. Too soon to tell.
The topic of this blog does begin with cocktails, however.
This weekend I met my friend out for drinks. As usual, he had made a bevy of new pals by the time I arrived, one of whom had boldly chosen to stop wearing her hijāb two years ago.
We spoke about a lot of things. You know . . . the typical bar chat.
She's a thirty-five-year-old badass from Pakistan with a Ph.D., kids, and a family that will no longer speak to her.
I'm a writer with a career path loosely held together by blind optimism, and a closet hippie with multiple certifications in those oddball, alternative healing modalities you'd only find in California.
Despite the math, we absolutely hit it off. One thing she spoke of, in particular, struck me as universal — a feeling of not being 'enough.'
She was upset about having brought kids into a world she saw as broken, and felt guilt over not doing more to 'fix' it—the world that is. Her sight was set on Syria, and she was determined to find a way to make a difference, starting there.
I wrapped her in a massive bear hug, 'cause that's what I do. I'm a bit 'handsy.' Don't say I didn't warn you, in case we ever cross paths — you never know with the dating app world. But before you swipe right on my profile (I was gonna say face, but that sounds a bit kinky), you might wanna read last week's blog before pulling the trigger.
Anyway, while I had this larger than life woman, who's packed into a petite five-foot frame, locked in my vice-grip-of-a-hug, I shared some thoughts of my own.
Well . . . just one. Impacting the world doesn't always require extraordinary feats.
In fact, one of the most significant gifts we bring the world is learning to be comfortable in our own skin. It invites everyone else to feel at ease too — to be a perfectly-imperfect human.
Let's face it, we are all weirdos. Just ask anyone who really, truly knows you. If they are awesome as all friends should be, they'd say, "Yes. You're a weirdo, and I love that about you."
Being comfortable in your own skin is where joy is birthed, inspiration is sparked, and the type of action that has a lasting impact is launched.
How we feel about ourselves matters more than we allow ourselves to consider. And it, I believe, determines the degree to which we can care for others.
Sure, it feels great when we are experiencing those moments of self-assuredness, happiness, and fulfillment. And sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.
In fact, the HeartMath Institute has been studying and testing the relationship between our heart and brain for years. The heart alone produces an electromagnetic field that can be measured up to three feet away.
News flash, electromagnetic energy interacts with matter — the stuff our physical world is made of. Or, if you subscribe to Nick Bostrom's theory, then this simulated reality we potentially exist in. Don't roll your eyes. It's a real theory that's gaining momentum and genius minds like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gregg Braden, and Elon Musk, to name a few.
But just as profound as joy, contentedness, heart-centered emotions (whatever you prefer to call it) has on our own lives, the impact that it has on the people around us is what shifts the world. And I'm not just talking about your friends and family. That's a given. I'm talking about random people.
I'm sure you've experienced those moments where a stranger or the cashier or the guy waving you into traffic offers a bright, genuine smile. That exchange lit up your day or even turned your mood around. It was as if they just handed you a little piece of their sunshine. You connected. It was a real, warm, human exchange.
Now you're rolling through your world, passing the positive vibes forward.
Normally, I'd dive into nerdville and talk about quantum entanglement and my belief that even our thoughts impact others.
But I won't.
Let's just suffice to say that I believe we are all connected in ways that science is beginning to measure. And a sense of contentedness (or discontent) spreads.
So what does it take to 'feel good' in our own skin consistently and remain there as we interact with the rest of the world?
I think we all agree that bliss is fleeting when it's hitched to something external like our job or appearance. These things fluctuate, and at times are out of our control.
When those things slip, it takes Jedi-level mind control to not jump on the white-knuckle ride of uncertainty and insecurity.
And so we begin the arduous task of 'fixing' ourselves or we set out to fix life.
This theme of brokenness or not enough-ness is pervasive and rarely do allow ourselves space to feel whole and complete exactly as we are.
We will never run out of shit to fix. Seriously. No matter how many levels we evolve, there is always a new personal ceiling. We will always come up against our own limitations. The universe is ever-expanding, and apparently, so are we.
Does this mean stop aiming for achievements that are beyond your current reach or ignore personal issues that would be helpful to address?
Of course not. And believe me, I've spent enough time and money clearing out my own baggage that I should have a freak’n degree.
Am I saying forget the world and just focus on yourself?
But I do believe that cultivating a sense of contentedness within yourself is the first place to start. It not only shifts the world in ways we may not even notice but adds pure intention to the actions we take.
When we aren't 'fixing' the world in order to become a better person, but rather being of service from a place of personal wholeness, the power to shift is greater. And I believe the results as well.
It brings to mind the Maharishi Effect, named after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who often spoke of the transformation he believed was possible if just 1% of the population engaged in meditation simultaneously. Tests have been conducted that support that claim.
Maybe we don't all have the wherewithal to meditate, but imagine what could be possible if . . .
~ We cultivated a little compassion for ourselves as we bumbled our way through this life.
~ We gave up the idea we were broken and instead embraced our own awkwardness and shortcomings as simply the next opportunity to grow, expand, and evolve.
~ We knew that smiling at someone could change their entire day . . . maybe more.
Then, just maybe, we would always swipe right on ourselves. (Ha! That sounds soo weird. I'm leaving it.) You know why, 'cause I think it's funny AND the perfect way to tie all my ramblings together.
Please. I one hundred percent realize my posts roll along like tumbleweed. And if you made it this far, you deserve a medal or a consolation prize.
Look me up on your favorite dating app. I'll buy you a drink assuming I have more than an echo in my bank account.
I'll leave it at that; this seems like a decent stopping point.
But check back for dating app crash and burn stories. I might even weave in some virtual reality theories like the probability that we exist in one. Honestly, try that idea on. Our national treasure, The Matrix, had to come from somewhere . . . right?
Now go, do something useful before I call security. You've been loitering here far too long.
Ciao for now.