On February 13, 2018 I was standing on the beach in front of our home in Costa Rica, marvelling at how beautiful EVERYTHING was. Not just the ocean and the sky and the jungle-garden. But everything!
(You see, I had just completed my first-ever retreat at our new home, and it was incredible. Truly, everything I had hoped for — and more.)
I was thinking to myself, "It’s true: anything IS possible". I was looking at, and living, and feeling the truth of that belief. Calm in my body, joy in my heart, and excited and inspired about what I wanted to create next.
And then, February 14 happened. The horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead…many of whom are the same age as my own children, and maybe yours too.
I flew back to the US the next day, sickened and depressed, thinking, “Nothing will ever change” and feeling the truth of THAT belief. Knots in my stomach, grief and rage in my heart, fear about what was next.
Not exactly the same feeling as my “Anything is possible” optimism from just days before. In fact, just the opposite.
Hopelessness and helplessness are killers of inspiration and action.
Sure, I knew I would join organizations, give money, and share articles on Facebook. I knew I would march and argue and worry. But I’m not sure I really, truly believed that any of those actions would create any real, meaningful change.
Then, between binge-watching Parenthood (highly suggested in times of heightened upset) and watching the news, I started to remember the truth again:
Anything IS possible.
I began feeling my energy and hope and power again.
If you haven't seen it yet this speech by the well-spoken young activist, Emma Gonzalez is where the title of this post came from. It rocks.
Emma, and all of her peers, give me hope.
NOTHING will take them away from their commitment to create gun reform. Nothing will make them soften in their focus. Nothing - except finally changing the laws - will stop them from pursuing what they want.
They will face obstacle after obstacle. They will face challenge after challenge. And they will keep going.
So while this article is about gun reform, yes, it’s also NOT about gun reform.
It’s about your life. It’s about your passions. It’s about cultivating the “anything is possible” attitude and the actions that back that up.
What do YOU want?
What is that thing you keep saying you want to do/be/feel/have/experience?
You can have it. Read below to see how.
Want to create the future that YOU desire? Here are some ideas, inspired by the courageous young activists, to make it happen:
- Don’t minimize your desire or let anyone else minimize it. Don’t make it small, don’t poo poo it as “not that important,” don’t bury it underneath other people's agenda.
- Commit. As in the “I will not back down no matter what” kind of commitment.
- Share. Share your desires with others. Use your voice. Express what you want.
- Take action. Like real, sit-down-and-do-the-work type action.
- Call B.S. when necessary! Yes, obstacles & challenges will happen and they will test your commitment. No, they are not there to make you give up. Don’t. Give. Up.
- Don’t use fears as excuses. You WILL have fears. We all do. In fact, often the bigger the dream and desire, the bigger the fears. They are not “signs” that you shouldn’t continue. They are simply fears.
- Get support. You don’t have to do it alone, really. In fact, we all do better when others have our backs.
- Use the energy of "possibility" to fire up your inspiration and passion. It's WAY more energizing than hopelessness & helplessness.
- Find your fierceness. Going after real life desires is not for the faint of heart. While you can always be kind, you don't have to roll over and make sure you don't rock any boats. Go ahead: Rock some boats. Make some waves. Ruffle some feathers.
- Remember your WHY. Let the reasons behind your desire fuel you when your motivation gets low or your fear gets high.
What do YOU want? What is that thing you keep saying you want to do, be, feel, have or experience?
The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas are my heroes. They are my inspiration. They are my reminders that passion and grit matter. Commitment matters. Your voice, and mine, they matter.
Whether it's gun violence you want to change; or a story you want to get out into the world; whether it's a passionate relationship you want to have, art you want to create, or a body that feels amazing to inhabit; whether its joy, freedom, purpose, passion, travel...that you want more of...it's yours, if you are willing to do what it takes to create it.
I'd love to know what you are wanting to create, and if there's any way I can support you in your endeavors. Connect with me on Facebook and let me know if I can help you.