Day 20: Living in the Moment

Random Observation/Comment #307: Having an open mind is the first step to change and transformation.  Sometimes you just have to realize that the opinions you made about certain things 10 years ago while you were a dumbass were not 100% true.  Let’s revisit that and do some additional testing.

Hi Ariel & Shya

The city is filled with opportunities, communities, and experiences just waiting to be explored. As I have found this 30 day challenge to expand into a number of new journeys into what this city has to offer, I am more than happy to adjust my plans to see new things.  Even though I project managed the crap out of these challenges on the first day, I think a part of a happy life is one that is open to change and surprises.  A life that is flexible and malleable in all situations will be one that approaches problems clearly and sees the world with continuous interest and optimism.

The Challenge:
Attend and review Ariel & Shya Kane’s Monday Night Alive event with an open mind.

The Reason:
My co-worker, Madhu, has asked me to go to this event with Ariel & Shya Kane on Mondays for about 2 years now.  I’ve always skipped it because I am addicted to Monday night Spin table tennis tournaments.  There was always an excuse not to go, and I felt really bad not taking the time just one of the weeks to attend.  So, when Madhu contacted me yesterday reminding me about this, it was a done deal.

The Result:
I attended the Monday Night Alive event from 7-9:30PM tonight and had an absolutely wonderful time.  It is difficult to put into words exactly what Ariel and Shya have created in this environment, but I will do my best to explain the three main parts that come to mind: 1) the teachings, 2) the community, and 3) Ariel & Shya.

“Live in the Moment” is the underlying philosophy of the community.  It simply reminds everyone to not reflect about the past or plan goals for the future, but rather appreciate the things that exist in your being.  It’s an awareness with your surroundings and considerations of different perspectives that make up the whole environment.  I see it in Shya’s calm demeanor as I can tell that any negative emotion of fear, pain, or anger would wash over his body – not that these feelings would not exist, but rather a more powerful control and understanding of outcomes that causes one to “simply stop being sad, and be awesome instead” (Barney Stinson).  There is a recognition of problems and issues that plague each individual, and it is the meaning behind these gatherings to address everyone’s thoughts.

Speaking of everyone, the community I met tonight were a group of the most friendly and genuine people.  Coming from all ages, backgrounds, and specialties, this community is what every person wants in their web of peeps.  Their smiles are not plastic, and I felt welcomed into the group within seconds.  Most people actually rubbed my bald head as a friendly greeting.  It’s hard to explain a sense of belonging – maybe it was like that scene in Fight Club with Tyler Durden being hugged in the center of the room – well, not literally, but I can easily imagine it.  This community alone is reason enough for me to continue attending.

Ariel & Shya sit in the front of the room mediating an open discussion of anything and everything shared among these trusted friends.  They speak (sometimes synchronously) with a soothing voice of a couple truly in love and in an enlightened state of being.  I admire their spirit and genuine care for everyone in the room.  I feel oddly at ease while listening to them and find it hard to look away.  I think it’s mostly because Ariel stares into Shya’s eyes with such a welt of love every time he shares his wisdom and insight about the situation.  Just that alone made me listen with the same intent.

The Conclusion:
My normal ADHD tendencies of drifting into separate streams of consciousness/reflection subsided as I fell deep into a sense of belonging.  Every member that spoke in the front of the room about their daily stresses, accomplishments, and interesting events taught me something.  Listening to their stories taught me that everyone feels like they don’t make a difference and everyone is just as lost trying to go somewhere – and we’re never alone in any of these self critiques.

The most important thing that struck me was when Ariel spoke about the Wizard of Oz and the emerald tinted glasses.  She mentioned that we tend to see the world through glasses tinted with our self doubt and insecurities, while others see us for who we are.  With that, I finally see that the community – the web of peeps and board of executive mentors – is what makes us sane.  We do not face these problems alone because the love from your friends and family will keep you grounded.

~See Lemons Transformed (Almost)