The Back Story
For the last 4 or 5 years, I have been asking myself “what is my new story?”
You see, I was sick and tired of my old story. Perfectionism ruled me; it even stopped me from creatively self-expressing primarily through singing, for over 20 years. After being turned down for the second year at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts when I was 18, any time I would attempt to sing, my arms were numb, glued to my side as I was petrified.
That all changed when I was in a car accident on my way to facilitate a work/life balance workshop when my life was not feeling so balanced. Consequently, I attended physical therapy and saw a flyer for a workshop titled “Joy of Singing.” This workshop changed my life.
I started reconnecting with my creative self-expression and soon produced three sold-out cabaret shows. Very quickly though my perfectionism got in the way and sucked the joy out of the experience.
I ultimately wrote an autobiographical self-help book about my journey – Stepping into More – Lessons from a Recovering Perfectionist. Publishing Stepping into More led to stepping into a whole lot of shit with various family members who took great offense by me sharing their stories as I shared my own. Eventually, I produced a companion CD of songs that hold much meaning for me.
Out with the Old Story
I was toying with the idea of writing and producing a one-person show. During my CD release launch party, I performed a mini version of the one-person show and held a meaningful and well-received concert. As soon as the concert was over, I had this clear feeling and heard a distinct message: “I am done with this story.” I shared my story in many fashions with all my heart and soul. I would like to discover what is next for me. Frankly, I was getting sick of hearing my old story. But I wasn’t clear what my new story was all about. So I took a pause. And that pause lasted 4 years.
Making Way for a New Story
Over the last year, I wanted to create my new story and decided to create space for reflection and writing. I sat down with the intention of writing “ my new story” and I drew a blank. I created space to write but nothing was coming forward that was interesting or meaningful.
Our family has been traveling to Ventura and Oxnard for years. Around seven years ago during one of our visits, I noticed a Mobile Home Park across the street from the marina during a bike ride and thought to myself “I could live here.”
I shared this insight with my family and they laughed at me. As we continued to visit Oxnard each year the feeling became stronger and stronger. I realized that I was soon to be an empty nester and that there was really nothing keeping me in Los Angeles. I lived in the same condominium for 26 years and was ready for a change.
When the pandemic hit my values around adventure and variety were squashed. I felt my frustration building as I found myself sitting in my home sometimes for four or five days in a row without going outside. I missed being in nature and felt a desire to slow down and to enjoy life on my terms. I was even more ready for a change, a new adventure.
A New Adventure
After many discussions with my husband Ron, we were aligned on the vision of selling our home, renting a temporary apartment in Oxnard, and ultimately buying a place ideally close to the beach.
As soon as we were aligned with this vision and began taking meaningful action, the universe cooperated and we were able to manifest the vision with grace and ease. We sold our home while taking a vacation in Israel. We received way over the asking price. I found an amazing rental with beautiful grounds and was able to secure a seven-month lease giving us plenty of time to find a new home. And eureka! Within three weeks after moving to Oxnard we found our new home! More amazing is how we found it.
The House Hunt
We visited a couple of properties in a Mobile Home Park across the street from the beach and really didn’t like them very much. After visiting one of those homes, we were talking outside the house and I heard a car. “That might be the owner, Ron. Maybe we should go.” We saw a man in a car and said hello. His name was Larry and it turned out that he was not the owner but another neighbor. His wife, Heidi, a therapist (similar work to mine as a coach), soon joined him. “This place is amazing! If you ever want to see how I set up a bedroom/office, please come to our place and I would be happy to show you.”
We exchanged contact information and we returned to our apartment. I hesitated for a couple of days, feeling a little awkward reaching out to them. Then I figured “what the hell?!” I texted Heidi and mentioned, “by the way if you know of anyone selling, please keep your eyes and ears open.”
We went to visit Larry and Heidi in their home a couple of days later. When we arrived, Heidi exclaimed, “you are not going to believe this, Larry spoke to the neighbor Lance across the street and he said the neighbor next to him, Karen bought a new home and she wants to sell her place. She’s not home now but is happy for you to go there and check it out.”
We could not believe this stroke of luck. We immediately crossed the street to check out Karen’s place.
As soon as we entered the 2018 unit, I could feel ripples of excitement running through my body. This feeling intensified as we climbed the stairs to the rooftop deck sporting a 360 view including the ocean and sand dunes. Ron and I both knew immediately that we wanted to live there. Ironically as we were walking from the guest parking lot to Heidi and Larry’s, we passed Karen’s house. I asked Ron “did we visit this house already?” Then I quickly said, “Oh no I would have remembered if we were here because this house is awesome looking.”
About an hour later, Karen returned and we walked through the house with her again. We negotiated on the spot and shook hands to confirm our agreement.
Follow Your Dreams
Long story short, I had a vision, I took meaningful action, and I paid attention to my environment including information that was coming my way, and the people that I was meeting. All of this led to me being in escrow on a new place three weeks after moving to Oxnard.
As I was reflecting upon this journey it suddenly dawned on me: “This is my new story.”
I was so excited by this awareness. Suddenly a flood of intuitive ideas and visions were coming my way. This hadn’t happened for a long time. I was creatively inspired and knew I had something to write about. That is why I am sharing this story with you!
We moved into our new amazing home a couple of weeks ago. Now that I am settling in, I realize that my new story and adventure have truly just begun. So much of this story is not about doing and taking action but rather getting intentional about how I want to experience things. I am innately organized, strategic and know how to visualize and manifest. What is more challenging for me (in the past) is actually experiencing the fruits of my labor with joy, happiness, grace, and ease.
A Different Perspective
This became very clear to me during the pandemic. When life suddenly quieted down, I could no longer travel like I wanted to. I wasn’t out running errands and going to restaurants. Suddenly all of the distractions were gone and the question became very clear to me: “how do I want to experience this life?” I am the common denominator in all life areas and relationships and it is up to me to get clear about the experience I want to have.
This insight continues with me to this day. I occasionally find myself getting triggered and wanting instinctively to go into my old story of worry, dread, and stress. I tap into my body, I remind myself I am safe. I remind myself that I am learning to live from a place of trust and abundance. I get to create my story and ask myself, “how do I want to experience this moment now through the eyes of my sage self?”
I am excited to continue sharing my new story as it unfolds.
I am truly counting my blessings!