Professional beach goer, bonfire builder, and boogie boarder. I also tell jokes at UCB Theatre
The left side of your brain is like a calculator. It figures things out. It presents a logical solution thru analyzing data. In other words, your left brain thinks, thinks, thinks, and when you’re ready to go to sleep, it continues thinking. It does not stop thinking, It does not stop analyzing.
The right side of your brain reacts on intuition. It analyzes this same data, but with the consideration of what is important to you. Your right brain is emotional and affected. This is why I cry when I watch superhero movies and why other people cry when they hold their baby for the first time.
In most situations, we rely on our left brain to tell us what actions need to be taken. Other times, what we feel weighs so much heavier than what we know. We become dominated by our emotions.
Two weeks ago, I knew that the right thing to do, the logical thing to do, was keep my job that pays a decent wage. Fall in line, follow my bosses orders, rearrange my life, set aside my passions, change my goals, and direct my attention to being better at my role there. Dictate more time working in the office and connecting with with my peers.
Yet I also knew that the headaches, I got only while I was working, would persist. I was afraid that if I put work/money before my passions [again] I would totally lose myself and never take a step in the direction that I ultimately wanted to go. I wanted nothing more than to move back home to California and work on my goals, but fear of being unemployed dominated my every thought.
Moments like this is when we must listen to our right brain. It knows your purpose. It nags you each time you go off course. It plants seeds of desire in your heart and reminds you that you do not have all the time in the world to care for and help them grow. Your left brain says ‘That’s right. You don’t have time to grow cute little flowers. You have to go to work on someone else’s farm, tend to their crops, feed their animals, and make sure that their property flourishes. Then after they reward you with not even a fraction of their profits, you may tend to your cute little flowers, but not for too long because you have to get up early in the morning and do it all over again.’
This becomes a cycle. You exert all of your energy maintaining someone else’s farm until you have no strength available to tend to your little garden. Nothing will change, no progress will be made, and you start to forget about those seeds.
However, your right brain won’t forget. It will nag you. You will never find peace until the nagging stops. The nagging wont stop until you tend to those seeds it planted and you grow your garden. Your right brain is smart. When it knows you are ignoring the nagging, it will cause a physical nagging, so to speak. Such as my headaches. A few years ago, I hated my job at Apple with a deep passion. I hated going to work. Then I broke my ankle and was ordered by my doctor to stay off my feet for 3 months. That meant to could not work. I think I had the best NYC summer that year. When the doctor said I could go back to work again, I think I lasted two weeks before my ankle began throbbing again. My body simply refused to allow me to work there. When I recognized this, I quit.
As a result, I found a job that I did not hate, one that employed happy people, and would allow me to pursue my goals while still maintaining their farm. Unfortunately, they are growing at a rapid pace and becoming more corporate. Becoming similar to what I experienced at Apple, who is a very controlling and cultish employer.
Two weeks ago I decide I was not going to work on someone else’s farm or devote all of my time and energy towards maintaining another man’s dream. Instead, I am focused on own dreams and passions. I am singing my song and not somebody else’s. I am tending to my garden full-time. No more pounding headaches. No more fear. It is only a matter of time before my flowers begin to flourish.
All the images in this article were taken by Marcella Riley.
The key to not allowing our worry drag us down is to stay focused on now. Focus on the moment you are currently living. Our mind loves to loop our troubles over and over again in our head. Which makes staying focused that much harder.
Living in a big city like New York can be stressful at times, and these are ways in which I was able to overcome anxiety.
In New York during the day, I would take excursions through Central Park. I would climb rocks and walk down paths that were not familiar to me. This heightened my senses and made me more alert. Mainly because there are perverts all over New York and they don’t just come out at night. They will creep up on you in broad daylight. So I had to be mindful and cautious.
A safer place to walk, is along the West Side Highway. I’d hang out there and watch the sun set below New Jersey, then walk back to my studio.
If you really want to kick anxiety, volunteer at a children’s hospital. Things sort of fall into perspective when that cute but sick kid who would always wave hello as he walked by while holding his IV bag, all of a sudden doesn’t come around anymore, and it’s not because he got better.
Also, you simply can not bring your baggage into an environment like that. Kids are particularly perceptive and pick up on things. So you let your troubles go and allow the kids to dump glitter in your hair, you drop paint on your clothes, have Justin Bieber dance parties, sip on a Capri Sun, bite off the head of an animal cracker, and pretend to have a casual conversation over the phone with Mickey Mouse.
I have a tough time sitting in one spot and trying to force myself to not think about anything. I’m still working on this, but it has been helpful in times.
Dr. Wayne Dyer has some great audio books that you may find helpful. Also check out transcendental mediation. It is great for relaxation and it helps reduce stress.
You can spend some money and take a dance class, go to a club, or simply put on your favorite music at home and rock out. I dance when I am stressed, I dance when I am happy, I dance all the time. Which reminds me…. I need to put new strings on my air guitar. Also, my cat goes bonkers whenever my energy is high. She runs all over the house playing with her toys.
In New York, there is a man who is always dancing on the 1,2, and 3 train platform at the 42nd Street/Time Square stop. He does not seem the slightest bit stressed out. Always has his headphones on (I would not be surprised if there wasn’t any music playing), a smile on his face, and totally oblivious to the few people who stop and stare or giggle at him. He is harmless and so most people simply walk by.
Travel somewhere you have never been before. I took the Bolt Bus to Philadelphia. It was about a 2 hour ride from New York City. I spent the entire day exploring Philly. I visited some historical locations, ate a Philly cheese steak at a place called Geno’s (I still think they make better cheese steaks in San Francisco), walked thru the free museums, and then caught the Bolt Bus back to NYC. The next day I quit my lousy dead end job at the Apple Store.
I have never felt such a great release of anxiety as it did that day.
Naturally I have always been good at drawing and sketching things with a pencil or charcoal, but I suck at painting. I think this because I am terrible at mixing the colors and I have not so steady hands.
So I have been teaching myself how to paint. It is extremely difficult and time consuming, but the payoff is always worth it.
No initiative is taken in life. Your decisions do not align with being productive. You do not hold yourself accountable for the choices you have made and their ramifications.
You have not discovered who you are nor can you define significance in any of your personal traits and the result is that you do not have life goals.
You are not involved in activities that will help you discover who you are. No initiatives taken to understand your character values. Terribly lethargic and a major procrastinator.
Typically you are not surrounded by people with a long term life goal or purpose. Your relationships are not beneficial for you nor does it benefit the other person/people. Odds are, neither person will strive for success through collaborating with the other.
You make little to no attempts to be influenced by the people in your life. There is no genuine interest in their priorities and in return, they do not seek to be influenced by you. In a team situation, problem solving can be difficult.
Unable to identify and combine the strengths of people to create positive teamwork, and achieve goals that no single person can do on their own. (My current struggle)
Incapable of sustaining a long-term, healthy lifestyle. Odds are you are physically unfit and need to change your way of thinking. You have low energy and poorly managed resources.
This universal law is pretty simple and very straightforward, yet a lot of us sit idly hoping for something to happen.
I am totally guilty of spending more time thinking about the things that I would like to do or have happen in my life, rather than taking the necessary action that will almost certainly produce the result I desire. Sitting is a whole lot easier than working to accomplish a goal.
Maybe you choose to do nothing because you are lazy and used to things being handed to you. Maybe you choose to do nothing because you are afraid. We tend to give fear more attention than it deserves. Maybe you choose to do nothing because you feel that you are lacking in something.
For a long time, I chose to do nothing because of a belief that reaching my goals required money. Once I was able to prove myself wrong, I chose to do nothing because I believed I was not good enough and that the only solution was to take more classes. After I took more classes, I chose to do nothing, because I saw other people do it better than me. Eventually I stopped comparing myself to other people but developed a fear that no one would like my work. Recently this year, I was able to get over that one. Now I am sitting in my bed doing nothing because do not have a team of people in my life to help me produce my work.
It seems like every time I overcome an obstacle, another one is waiting for me to turn the corner. And I have these long gaps in my life where I am just sitting, staring at my todo list, and doing nothing. But I have to keep moving, we have to keep moving. Nothing happens until something moves.
Some people have never moved. Not a single step has been taking toward a goal or desire.
Whether you are similar to me or you have never taken action in your life, you have to tell your ego to take a break. You’ll be able to make progress once you get out of your brain and get involved in the life that is happening around you.
What you lack today may come tomorrow, but not if you are sitting around doing nothing. When we are engaged in life, life engages us back.
I am pretty certain that once I get out of my bed and dive back into the comedy community, I will find the people I need to help me achieve my goals.
Rather than taking a nap, make a habit of taking action. Taking action will build your confidence, bring you a step closer to the place you want to be, and lead to other unintended opportunities.