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Tampa, Florida

Gator visit.jpegSpying above the flooded carpet of green, the alligator watches me. From my place on the wooden boardwalk just above him, his leathery black skin is almost close enough to touch. He is motionless, except for the occasional breath in and out. And the occasional blink of his eyes. The alligator is like a left-over relic of an ancient time. His is a fierce and respected medicine. The alligator puts you back in touch with your primal instincts, he teaches survival. He helps you to be alert and cunning, but patient; ready for whatever comes your way. Walking through his habitat feels like stepping back through time into the carboniferous period. The Spanish moss that hangs from the tree branches is ghost-like when the wind touches it. A few feet away, a juvenile cormorant is stretching out his impressive wingspan to sun himself. His remaining juvenile plumage is peeking through his head feathers. He and the alligator are completely unconcerned with each other. This swamp land is like an alien world. 

I have come to Tampa as a result of pure intuitive calling, to hold a synchronization workshop. As Florida’s 3rd largest city, the overall energy of Tampa is dominated by its suburbs. Healthcare, finance, supply chain and technology companies are now taking over the industry of the city, usurping the cigar manufacturing industry that has dominated the city since the 1800s; and that the city is so famous for.

shutterstock_1056164648.jpgThe dominant negative vibration of Tampa is: Stagnation. Stagnation is a condition of lack of movement, flow, development and progress. It is a kind of stuck-ness. To generalize, the energy of Tampa is stagnated. And the people of Tampa are stuck in life in general and/or relative to a specific aspect of their life. There is a serious lack of growth in Tampa. The people are set in their way of thinking and perceive themselves to be unable to make a positive change or to get away from a situation that is unwanted. And this leads to a repetition of the same things over and over again. So many people in Tampa simply don’t see options. They lack perspective and a sense of possibility. And the options for progress that they do see for themselves (and that feel big for them) would seem so small to many people on the outside.  

The people of Tampa make themselves stuck by seeing all of the consequences of each choice they might make to get un-stuck. Looking at these consequences, they then become unwilling to take a risk or to step out of their comfort zones and feel fear or discomfort for the sake of something that could be better. What is sad about this, is that when we are committed to comfort, we get into a behavioral state where in the name of risk aversion, we make decisions and take actions that prevent both pain and pleasure. We aren’t really happy and we aren’t really unhappy. We’re just… comfortable enough to not make changes. 

shutterstock_543617275.jpgThe dominant positive vibration of Tampa is: To Settle Down. In America, there is a classic saying… “It is time that he or she settles down”. When Americans say this, it means that a person needs to start living in a place that he or she intends to stay for a long time, become integrated with the place and with the society there, and begin to live a quiet, stable, steady and predictable life; by accepting responsibilities, getting a secure job, getting married and having children. The saying implies that there is something of value to find and something positive to experience in that feeling of settling down. There is a warm security to be found in settling down. The feeling of putting down roots and feeling stable and integrated with the place and people where you live is a pleasant experience for people. Tampa may not be conducive to things like change and progress and speed. But it is conducive to things like stability, predictability and family life. With no state income tax, so much park acreage per capita, large and diverse school districts, and relatively inexpensive housing, it is a family friendly city.   

Driving around Tampa, caught in the formidable traffic, I find that the red lights around the city seem to last much longer than in other cities. I laugh to myself because of how perfectly that seems to fit in with the dominant negative vibration of the city. To my right, three people who are homeless sit exposed in the brassy heat. One is completely still. The other two fidget in an unconscious manner as if sleep walking, their movements controlled by the methamphetamine that has pervaded their minds…There are so many people hurting in the world.  

Tampa is a reminder that it is tempting to think that the presence of fear and discomfort means that you should avoid something. It’s tempting to think that the presence of risk means that you shouldn’t do something. But discomfort, fear and risk often don't mean that. In order to continue to expand, grow and find happiness you’re going to have to seek perspective and possibilities. You’re going to have to lean into discomfort and take risks. If you don’t, you might just be compromising your own life, without even knowing it. 

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