Investing in a Trust Fund.

trust is hard. right?

photo: Dana Ming

just when we think we’ve mastered this life business and everything is flowing, there’s a break-up, a disaster, we get sick, lose something or simply fall into a state of numbness or confusion.

it’s hard in romantic relationships because it’s hard in life. it’s hard to trust even ourselves most of the time…and what is our self, anyway? it’s hard to trust something when it’s not always 100% clear on what that thing even is.

what trust asks of you is to open your heart and allow for the unexpected to happen, to let go of controlling the outcome so that you can enjoy the journey. it means you might have to lose your self.

i don’t know about you, but i’ve never been a big fan of getting lost.

i am working on changing that.

Being Here Now is the Only Place We Can Be.

that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go anywhere.

i am currently in Crestone, Colorado. i had to go way out of my comfort zone to get here. i had to trust getting in a bunch of strangers’ cars, sleeping in their basements (or wherever they would let me), and following a feeling that despite pretty much everything the conventional world was telling me, i was on an epic spiritual journey—one i couldn’t have dreamt of if i tried.

and now i am in one of the most magical places on this continent, a spiritual meeting grounds, the likes of which doesn’t quite exist anywhere else in the world. among many reasons for its extraordinary nature is its designation of a healing sacred land by Native American Indians and the fact that it lives on top of one of the largest untapped aquifers on the continent, going down 30,000 feet and resting on a bed of crystals. here is a great video interview of Hanne Strong, who is managing the land and is realizing Crestone’s divine purpose.

i am back to work at the Sangdo Palri Temple of Wisdom and Compassion painting corbels and touching up cedar while hanging off scaffolding. i feel like Michelangelo must have felt painting the Sistine Chapel, except with far less skill wielding a paintbrush (though it seems Michaelangelo and i have both expressed, “nè io pittore—i am not a painter). the work (more like paint-by-numbers than fresco) allows me to zone out to podcasts, which is more like zoning in to something really important that i don’t quite understand yet. but i feel it. the glorious repetition of task allows me to enter into flow. and being that i’m painting in the main shrine room—i have the chance to ask the gurus questions about all manners of life.

when i chill out enough to remove my earbuds, i get some serious answers.

We Cannot Underestimate the Value of Community.

i officially joined the Mangala Shri Bhuti Sangha this year at their annual Nyingma Summer Seminar!

it was a big decision for me, being adverse to organized religion and a mostly lone wanderer who delights in solitude. however, Buddhism is no dogma and i am abundantly aware of how much we can accomplish with a healthy tribe in place. the members of this sangha are some of the kindest, brightest, most diligent and wise beings i have ever met consolidated in one area and united for a shared purpose. and our teacher, who will henceforth be lovingly referred to as Rinpoche, has become the spiritual guru i didn’t know i was searching for.

everything in my being was telling me that it was the right decision. uniting to bring enlightenment to all beings is a cause that i can definitely join forces for.

photo: Dana Ming

Through the Power of Collaboration, We Can Rocketship to the Stars.

(or at least other places on this planet…for now.)

just as soon as i started to settle into life out here in Crestone, i was asked to shift gears and propel in another direction.

it looks like the end of August will take me to Vermont, Italy, India and back.

Vermont is for Sangdrup, a Tibetan Buddhist offering practice. According to the MSB site, “This practice of ‘great giving without holding back’ reverses our habitual self-centered psychology and can thus enable practitioners to overcome even their most tenacious obstacles.”

i am ready to give everything i got, and trust that the latter is true!

during the Nyingma Summer Seminar, Joey Waxman declared that i was going to Sangdrup and that if i make aspirations, i will do a retreat in Japan. Joey tends to say things that then come true, but i still wasn’t sure how i would make it out there to Vermont.

so it only made sense when a new project i am creating with Lorenzo Montanini, Pathways to Wonderland, got invited by the European Commission to present itself to scientists for future collaborations. (whaaaaat?) Vermont happens to be on the way to Italy. goodbye, tenacious obstacles!

and while i’m on my way, Jayme and i have been trying to put our schedules together to move forward with our Compassionate Social Action Project in Delhi. everything seems to be lining up perfectly. we might even meet the Dalai Lama. it’s a long-shot, but you never know. you just get a feeling and go with it.

never mind that i don’t know how i am going to pay for any of this escapade, but this whole thing is an exercise in trust, right?

photo: Dana Ming

Not All Paths Lead You Where You Want to Go, but They Will Lead You to the Unexpected.

trust your path. i hear these words yet doubt lingers everywhere.

i went out to walk the winding roads of Crestone today. i have to wrestle myself away from the instant gratification of the computer and the comfort of my little meditation haven to deal with this body and commentary of thoughts in the unpredictable outdoors. i went out with a question: what will i write about in this next Lobsterbird newsletter?

i had a goal: figure it out.

but my mind was fixated on a million other unimportant things.

finally, the Smart Voice inside said, “Answer your question. And while you’re at it, look at that majestic mountain looming ahead.”

Intuition said, “Take Moonlight Way.”

Logic said, “You know this road will lead you home.”

Curiosity, “Can you find a new rock for your shrine?”

i continued up the road, now unsure that Moonlight Way actually did lead back home. i saw a curve to the right in the distance. hope! i think that’s it!

but as i approached, i noticed another path just before it leading in the same direction. maybe this is it? though something in me knew i was copping out again just before getting to the right place, i took it anyway. it’s a habit, this second-guessing myself.

and, of course, it did not lead to where i wanted to go. i realized after awhile that it was taking me pretty much back to where i started. i laughed at myself and committed to enjoying a long walk.

but i found an awesome rock on this path. and i found out what to write about without even needing to think about it.

last night, i asked my friend, writer/director/empowerer of women Sharon Wajswol, “If it’s all about following one’s path and that means being in the present moment, then do you have a vision for your life? Or does that take you out of it?”

she replied, “I have vision because I follow my intuition.”

that truth was as tasty as dehydrated astronaut ice cream.

for two reasons:

  1. trust is difficult because it means being really proactive and putting oneself out there when it feels scary or when one doesn’t feel ready.
  2. because it requires a receptivity to being guided by deep intuition (which takes training) and by forces that may feel outside you—sign posts, white butterflies, Celtic symbols, a friend’s advice, and a whole world of interconnected influences.

it’s fascinating, hard to get into (yet oddly delicious when you do), and unless you are an astronaut, outside of conventional experience.

so this month’s Happiness Tip comes in the form of a challenge for you!

take an inventory of some places you feel stuck or frustrated. make a list. writing it down gives added perspective. then, pick one sticky place and do a little trust fall.

for example, if (like me) you don’t trust you’ll have enough money to survive or pay your bills at the end of the month, take whatever you can find and invest it in something you love, that you feel would be helpful to your life or business, or someone that needs it more than you. maybe taking that class seems frivolous when you’re scrambling to make ends meet. or maybe it’s exactly what you need to take your career to the next level and the universe is just waiting for you to show you’re interested. or maybe you need to show someone else love to get some.

we truly cannot predict the exact ways karma will play out.

and as marketing expert Seth Godin says, “The reason that some investments offer higher returns is that they’re not guaranteed to work. Implicit in that high return, then, is the clear warning that sometimes, you won’t get what you’re hoping for.”

the trick here is to go outside of your comfort zone and invest in something that your intuition whispers “yes” to. something that feels bigger than you may feel capable of in this moment. then, watch and wait. trust that by putting that energy out there, you will get something back. it might not be right away or in the way you expect, but that’s the part about trust and remaining open that allows for surprises to come back your way. this is how we learn what greatness is. and the more we watch our conscious actions pay off, the easier it is to listen when our intuition guides us to our happy place.

See How Far Trust Will Take You.

for the time being, i won’t be able to post much of my personal stories and creative writing on my blog. if you’ve been with me awhile, please stick around. they’ll be back! and better than ever soon enough.

first, i need to work on making this writing expedition a sustainable endeavor. i found a team of great teachers (even if they don’t yet know each other), experts in the fields of blogging, business, and Buddhism. they are providing me with the fuel and anti-gravity training to take this spaceship to new frontiers.

it’s going to take a lot of elbow grease, but i’m committing to that as my main creative work when i’m not traveling. i’m giving it my all and finding out how incredibly creative entrepreneurship is!

i’m buckling in because i believe i can translate the dharma into multi-sensory experiences that could potentially reach a lot of people. i believe in the power of creativity to shape our world—and i envision a world where compassion and happiness reports are broadcast far more than what we currently see on tv.

so i’ve hired myself for this new job broadcasting from space! and i am trusting that somehow i will find the funding to carry out my mission.

i have been encouraged to open up the space for donations by multiple trusted sources. so if you are interested in donating to my cause, i will do a happy dance broadcast especially for you and transmitted via email. you can do it directly through my Paypal (just click the link and see what magic comes back!)

but truly, what i want most is to hear from you: when it comes to trust, what is the biggest challenge you’re facing right now? 

photo: Dana Ming

Our Connections Make Us Stronger.

really! i want to know about your feelings on trust.

leave a comment below and tell me what your trust challenges are. tell me if you are going to join me in a Trust Happiness Experiment and how you are going to do a trust fall into the arms of your fears. no amount of detail is too much and i read every response because it helps me to make work that can help others. we can engage in a community discussion about trust! plus, commenting on the blogspace seriously helps me keep bringing this work to life.

so does sharing this with your tribe, our extended virtual tribe! social media, forwarding it to those who might appreciate it—these are all tremendous ways to support.

it all goes towards bringing you, my beloved team of co-pilots and navigators, special content that will take us to the stars!

with love and great appreciation, i look forward to hearing from you. i trust that your path is taking you places.

xxSophi~the Lobsterbird~~

this is a monthly update to you kindred spirits who i share news with about spirit quests and creative writing. if you want art news, that’s a separate newsletter. you can sign up here and i’d be happy to update ya!


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