As the sun is setting, the light that it exhales lifts sparkles from the surface of the ocean. Every so often, the wake from a passing boat travels aggressively outward disturbing the consensus of the patterns of the water. Grey and white pelicans patrol the area like feathered dinosaurs, left behind by time. I’ve discovered that palm trees on the beach have a funny effect on the psyche. So many years of being fed with images of palm trees in association with the marketing of fantasy like vacations, that the sight of them is soothing. They seem to inform the mind that nothing could possibly be going wrong.
I am here because I have accepted an invite to visit IMG academy and then to stay on a private island near Lido Key Beach in Florida. One of the things I am the most shocked by on earth is the disparity between the lifestyles experienced by people. Some people are digging out of trashcans and sleeping on the floor. Some people are slaving away at a basic labor job day in and day out, trying to make the rent. And eating out at a restaurant is a big deal experience for them. Some people get educated and then work at a job they don’t love, but that is sensible, because it allows them to make the mortgage and save up to splurge on vacations they spend their whole year planning for. And some people own places on private islands. They buy private jets and yachts to save themselves from having to pay taxes. They find it hard to feel like anything is a big deal anymore. For them, paying to be one of the first civilians to spend time in space might be an experience worth talking about. And there is almost no cross pollination between these strati of people. It is as if each one exists as its own reality and is maintained specifically because any reality too far outside of their own, is inconceivable. People seem to believe that experiencing any stratus outside of their specific lifestyle experience is a betrayal to their own; and especially to the people who coexist with them there. There is obviously some belonging to be found in it; even if it is shadow belonging. Being what I am here on this earth, I belong to the people. This means I must travel and perceive life through the eyes and hearts of people belonging to every one of these lifestyle strati. I belong to all of them and none of them. This is because suffering exists on all of them. Each one seems to be infected with its own specific kind of suffering as well as its own plead for expansion. It is difficult to hold the disparity between them. Sometimes it creates a deep sadness in me. Like two of my own children are at war and that even though each of them holds what the other needs, I cannot get them to step foot in the same room and past the rejection of one another. This sorrow is especially palpable for me on this trip.
As you already know, I have a grand vision. My vision is to reform the justice system. My vision is to change the entire business of mental health. My vision is to give all people the key to transform suffering into choice and love and joy. This is my purpose. This is when my being here is quiet in the ecstasy of alignment with my truest self. But this week, I realized what I find the most “fun”. The answer is: Working with professional athletes. I feel the same way about working with professional athletes to improve their performance that most people feel about their favorite hobby. Even though the stakes seem very high when you have millions of dollars or rankings riding on a game or race, they are nothing compared to the stakes involved with whether or not a person takes their own life or not. Or the stakes involved with whether or not a person survives cancer. Or the stakes involved with whether or not a person will be able to feed their family next week or not. The pressure of my life working with people who are suffering, is this very high stakes pressure. So I find the sports world to be no pressure by comparison. I find it incredibly easy.
Sports act as a magnifier for the laws that govern this time space reality and a magnification for the things preventing your own personal expansion. Like a mirror within a mirror, anything that would play out on the stage of life due to your own personal vibration, will play out in a concentrated way in whatever sport you have chosen. At the highest level of athletics, there is nothing physical that separates one athlete from the next. What determines who wins and who does not is not visible. It is all about the resistance within their on psyche. Most athletes are 1/10th of what they could be because they are completely unaware of what is preventing them from the success they seek. They do not see their own resistance. For me, I see it immediately.
What I love the most about sports is that it is so ‘instant gratification’. If you change a single resistant pattern in an athlete, you can see the change instantly in the power of their swing, in the way they lift their knees when they run, in their timing etc. Athletes are naturally driven people. In sports, you commit every minute of your life to something with zero guarantee of return. They are the least afraid of commitment and that commitment coupled with self-discipline; makes them the easiest people to work with. You give them an inch of information and they run a mile with it; and run it by tomorrow. Shifts happen so much faster with athletes than the average person. And coming from professional sports myself; I find the pressure of that world and the mentality of the people belonging to that world to be both familiar and soothing. Because it was my world too, I can see it from the inside out as well of from the outside in. Working with athletes is not where I feel the most purpose, but it is what causes that deep ease in my body of fun.
The first time I came to this area of the globe was in October of 2013 when I was hired to speak at a conference here called “Return to Atlantis”. I wrote a blog about it that can still be found online. I found the beaches here to be my favorite in the United States. They are made of 99% quartz crystal… Pure white sand that never gets hot. When you walk in the moonlight on the beach, it messes with your mind because the sand crunches in the exact same way that snow does when you walk on it. It is also the exact same color as snow is at nighttime. But obviously, because it is sand, it is a great deal warmer than snow. The brain expects something else and so it feels a bit disorienting; like a lucid dream that feels just one degree off of reality. It is one of the most healing places I’ve ever been to. This healing nature of the place, coupled with the old legend that off shore was the site of the city of Atlantis, makes this a huge destination for those people who are metaphysically and spiritually inclined.
Near the Lido Key area is the city of Sarasota, a city on the southwestern coast of Florida. It is a city with an Italian architectural design, a humid subtropical climate and a penchant for cultural attractions. The dominant negative vibration of Sarasota is: Retirement. At first glance this may not seem like a negative vibration. But this is because most of us are overworked and desperately need rest. Sarasota and the areas surrounding it are awesome if you need a rest. But look at the negative side of retirement. It is a kind of ended-ness. For some, it can be a state of living death. No expansion, no movement, no change, no growth, no newness. So many people here are waiting for the universe to force them into change and into the next chapter of their life, as if passively waiting for it to happen to them, while distracting themselves in the meantime with things that they have always routinely done. Some of this dominant vibration owes itself to the extremely large population of people who quite literally moved here to retire. The city itself has not really changed. Instead it has stayed the same and declined along with them.
Sarasota feels like a giant eddy in a stream. Many of the older people here experience this feeling of being “done” without being dead and many of the younger people experience themselves as being stuck because of this vibration. It would be very easy to feel “stuck” in life here and extremely bored if you wanted any of the things that entail movement… Things like purpose or change or growth or achievement or creation.
The dominant positive vibration of Sarasota is: Ebb. Ironically, the dominant positive vibration of the city is the flip side of the dominant negative vibration of the city. Polarity is a fact of life. We cannot always be in one polarity and be healthy. We need movement and we need stillness. The ocean tide must come into shore and it must recede away from shore. Things must intensify and then they must relax. This vibration is everywhere in this town. In fact it is everywhere in this whole area. As a result, this is one of the best places on the planet to relax. It doesn’t matter if you want to relax or not, Sarasota forces it on you. If you resist it, you just end up exhausted. When you land here, if you have been suppressing exhaustion, you will feel your exhaustion. It will incapacitate you. This is the place to be if you want to get out of the hustle, bustle and movement of a purpose driven life. Between the perfect temperatures, the ocean breezes, the best beaches in the nation, the vacation restaurants and the street galleries and shops, it is the postcard vacation spot you have pictured in your mind when someone says vacation.
Today we are driving towards Orlando Florida. I am going to let my intuition lead me from place to place with no plan today. If I have to travel, I Love traveling like that. It is like surrendering to being taken on some universal current. I always end up in places that make perfect sense (in terms of synchronicity) to have ended up. We fly out of Orlando bound for Los Angeles, where I am giving a talk at the Conscious Life Expo on Sunday.
I was walking through the house that I’ve been staying at today, looking at the pictures on the wall and feeling this deep understanding. I was feeling the deep understanding of how incompatibility is such a reality in relationships. This house belongs to a family that has merged their life with the ocean. They have each found a partner in each other with the same passion as their own. They have named their daughter sailor. That is the degree to which they love boats. Their parents were the same, as were their parents before them. It is in their blood like the mountains are in my blood. Everywhere you look, is some relic belonging to the sea. If I tied my life to a person who wanted this life for himself or herself, I would spend my life not appreciating a life that would be an unparalleled heaven for another person. I would be living in a tropical paradise, missing the mountains and detesting the upkeep of boats. And the same would be true for someone like this tying their life to my life. I can feel such deep appreciation for the magic of this lifestyle while knowing that it is not my kind of magic. It is not my life. Incompatibility does not make either person wrong. It simply makes them 2 puzzle pieces that do not fit together side by side.
Every time I go somewhere, I imagine myself living the lives that the people live there. I find it always brings me closer and closer to what I really want. I want to live in the mountains and visit the ocean. The life I want is the life I already have. And today, I am acutely aware that this is my hope for all people… That they can honestly say that the life they want, is the life they already have.