Chelsea In The City

Adventures in Living Dynamically

Nomad no more…

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There were many factors that motivated me to live in Kampala, Uganda for a month this past April, but one thing I felt certain I would discover on this journey was a breakthrough or revelation about Home. Having lived in a nomadic way since childhood “Home” is a concept that I have created my own meaning around for as long as I can remember and largely home, for me, was were most of my stuff was. Yet increasingly, as I’ve gotten ride of much of my “stuff” and what I do have is store in various places, this definition has felt limiting and had led me to feeling “homeless”.

In the past year, as I’ve explored and being a Global Citizen, I’ve explored embracing the whole planet as my home. Unfortunately, that’s one of those “truisms” that without being grounded in experiential knowledge lives on as an intellectual concept – not unlike saying “I love everyone” which I have also said and I believe to be true, but it’s not until I experience love for someone I’ve just met or for the woman on the train who seemingly gives me a stink eye on a day when I’m hungry, short on sleep and contenting with an active 5 yo that I KNOW that I love everyone.

Also, as a multiracial person (with almost half of my genetic heritage coming from various African nations) I thought that perhaps there might be some magical sensation in “returning to Africa”. This last piece was the most quickly dispatched. In Uganda, and I’m guessing in much of Sub-Saharan Africa – I am considered a mzungu “aka lost white person”. Coming from a county where no matter how much you like to watch I Love Lucy, or listen to Patsy Cline, or pass notes in Hobbit runes, if you are permanently tanned year-round you are black, and furthermore for many people being black has a particular texture and comes with certain inherent stereotypes – but I digress.

Beyond being “white” in Uganda I also came to appreciate all the more having grown up in the United States and how much I enjoy being American. Had I been born and raised in Uganda, I’m certain I would feel that way about Uganda – it’s not a matter of one being better than another it’s a deepened sense of appreciation for my indigenous roots – not those of my blood relatives hundreds of years ago, but those of the identity that I have created, and continue to create, for myself in this lifetime. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve shared them with and for how they enrich me and allow me to enrich others in my travels. Ah Dorothy, you were home all along.

Which brings me to my leading edge experience of home. But before I go into that I feel it’s important to mention that I love good food, food that tantalizes all of your senses and feeds your soul as much or more than your belly. That could be a 7 course meal at a Michelin rated restaurant made in the French Alps with fresh ingredients hand-picked that morning or or the juiciest grass-fed burger with bacon, cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, fresh pickles, hydroponically grown butter lettuce, onion jam and red pepper aioli served with a side of out-of-this-world truffle fries. By comparison, most of the food I ate while in Uganda fell squarely in the category of functional, substantive nutrients. This one factor alone was enough to leave me feeling a little off balance and not at home. And to that being without the other creature comforts that I have come to enjoy and rely on (like hot running water and wi-fi) and increasingly I felt as though I was the least at home I had ever been – which sparked the realization that this was the perfect place for me to discover a deeper experience of home. If I could feel at home here, I said to myself, I could feel at home anywhere.

From that point on my journey transformed into an inner homeward voyage and throughout the rest of the month I said yes to anything and everything that interested me: I taught acting classes at a major university, I advised local NGOs and gave speeches to students and organizations inspiring them to take action on their passions, I sang at an open mic night and a poetry session and at schools, I travelled to villages and visited families and ate at their tables, I sat for a photographer and poet whose soul radiates beauty and light. It was incredible to experience myself in ways that I had previously only dreamed of and to realize that I am already as valuable as I could ever hope to be. I also began a daily habit of meditating for one hour every morning and for that hour I would give myself 100% of my love and attention. This final piece was perhaps the most transformative, and I continue that habit today, because it was in the moments of intentionally giving my love and my attention to myself that I experienced the joy, the fulfillment and the bliss of Home.

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Compromise…

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Wow! So much has transpired since my last post 8 months ago! One thing I love about living a dynamic life is that every day and every moment is brand new and potentially very different from the previous moment or day. One challenge I experience is communicating all of these amazing shifts with the people in my life. This is my practice. I love you and I am here.

In this post I won’t get into all that I’ve experienced in the past eight months, however I will say that in that time my attention was focused primarily on romantic partnerships and co-creationary relationships. What is their nature? Why are we drawn to them? Why am I drawn to being in this kind of partnership? How do we create them and how do we sustain them? I am grateful to have shared much of this exploration with a man I love and cherish deeply and I’m also excited to start sharing some of what I discovered here with you.

The first place I want to start may seem counter-intuitive in a reality where finding the “right partner” for you means finding the partner that fits best with how, and who, you currently are. News Flash: If you’re living life dynamically you don’t know who or how you will be in the next moment as life is a constant dance and act of co-creation with all that is. But let me not get ahead of myself and instead let’s look at compromise.

What does it look like when we compromise and what purpose does compromise serve?

In Heaven on Earth there is no compromise and there is no need to compromise. We are the sole creators of our experience, we are universes unto ourselves, and there is nothing we need from another creator, nor is there anything another creator needs from us. Together, we creators co-create whatever experiences we choose. When we do this consciously we co-create experiences from a place of excitement, curiosity, openness and love. Suffering, lack, dullness and similar experiences exist when we are unaware of our role as sovereign creators on some level. Look around you – everything you experience is your creation. Everything.

Let’s look at the word compromise again. In a Google search, compromise is defined as: 1) [to] settle a dispute by mutual concession; 2) accept standards that are lower than is desirable; and 3) weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than desirable.

Often times we think of compromise in terms of the third definition. We see compromise as something that weakens us or makes us less than we are. Or, we may be aware that we can never be more or less than we presently are (and certainly not at the hand of an outside force) but we may still see compromise in terms of the second definition – that we accept a co-creation created out of less than our optimal excitement. In either case, if we perceive that we have compromised ourselves we are likely to become vigilant about doing only that which pleases us most, accepting only those co-creations that are most in alignment with our current highest joy. We may remove ourselves from situations, relationships, responsibilities; we may choose to move towards a new group of creators who we perceive to be in alignment with our current highest flow; or we may even choose to isolate ourselves completely. We may do any, or all of these things, and yet they will not bring us to the end of experiencing the second and third definitions of compromise. This is as far as we can go with the tool called “compromise” in the world of duality.

Note: I LOVE following my highest joy and I am all for living on a planet of people who are also living from their highest joy, the question to ask yourself is “for which version of myself is this my highest joy?” I may write more about that in a future post, but for now I’ll move on.

Beyond duality there is another experience of compromise, which is present in the first definition; settle a dispute by mutual concession. If we choose to utilize it as such, compromise can be a very useful tool in directing and shaping our experience with another creator.

Compromise comes from the Latin prefix co (together) and the Latin word promittere (promise). Promittere can be further broken down as pro- (forward) mittere (send). In this light we can define compromise as – together send forward.

We are infinite beings with the freedom to focus our attention on any reality we choose at any moment. Faced with infinite experiences and infinite time to explore each experience, beings often find it beneficial to create boundaries and limitations to bring full awareness into a single experience and to create an overall cohesive experience from which to grow, learn, gain, insights, explore and in all ways relish and appreciate their experience fully. Common limitations include death (or rather the experience of having only one lifetime), lack, obstacles, identities, inherited conversations and ways of being, families, social groups, and on and on.

Just as one may choose to create boundaries or limitations to experience oneself fully, one may also choose modify their choices voluntarily, in favor of co-creating a partnership with another being. Why? Because the collective power of two creators co-creating together as one is exponentially greater than one creator creating alone. That’s it. In the loving compromise of partnership we create a reality with our partner that we can both agree upon and send it forth into other “future” moments. Where we create confusion, and get into trouble, happens at three major points.

The Search: First, we look for partners that are completely, or mostly, a match for our ideal version of ourselves. Don’t bother – the nature of relationships is that we attract our clearest mirror. If what you want to attract is a juicy, inspiring, romantic co-creationary lifetime partnership then start by turning your focus on being your favorite version of yourself. Focus on being the version of yourself that is in that relationship already, and with curiosity see who shows up, likes what you’re up to and wants to create that with you. This is also the first entry point for dualistic compromise. DO tell your absolute and complete truth about yourself and the reality you’re creating to all interested people at all times. It’s when you hold back communicating your truth that you attract people to the idea of who you are rather than who you actually are. Also, be aware that you create different futures for different versions of yourself which correspond with the partner you choose. Or said another way, different partners will create space for different versions of yourself to come forth, so when choosing a partner go with the partner with whom you experience being your favorite version of yourself.

Once You’re In It: The second place we get into trouble comes once we’re in what we think is our ideal partnership and we discover that –surprise– it doesn’t match up with our ideals. We then interpret this to mean that this must not be the relationship I am meant to be in, it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t feel “right” and now, through this experience I see how it was never right from the beginning. We then proclaim “Now I am ready to attract the relationship I was meant to be in” which is akin to declaring “Now I am a finished and completed creation ready to partner with another finished and completed creation.” The moment that is true for you will be the moment you move into singularity, so double check yourself, do you still have a body? Still sense possibilities that excite you? Then you are still a work in progress and every partner you attract will therefore likewise be a work in progress. Cut them, and yourself, some slack.

So what do you do when you’re in a relationship and you get the inkling that something is not right? Rejoice and get ready for growth and massive breakthroughs! – not just for you, but for both of you. Act as if your partner, whoever and however your partner may be, is your lifetime partner – which not coincidentally, is the key to creating the experience of a lifetime, co-creationary partnership. Keep creating it. No matter what. Don’t stop creating it for as long as it is true for you to desire a lifetime, co-creationary partnership.

Note: Use common sense here. Divorce is a choice I have created for myself and continually reaffirm because the level of workability in a previous relationship did not work for me and required more compromise than I was willing to agree to. Through completing that romantic partnership I actually freed myself up to experience my love for that person more deeply. We also share a beautiful, loving son and so in reality, we are still lifetime partners – we simply reconstructed our partnership in a way that worked for both of us. Too often though, and especially for those of us who are well practiced in following our highest excitement, we stop creating a relationship once it no longer feels like our highest excitement.

When you powerfully choose to create a lifetime partnership you will show up and say yes regardless of your feelings. You will show up and say yes because you are clear on your commitment to creating that experience for yourself and for the benefit of all beings everywhere. Your commitment to living your individual highest joy will reveal itself as a commitment to living your collective highest joy which you will acknowledge is unknowable without communicating with and co-creating that with your partner. You will no longer show up to conversations with your partner having made up your mind, you will instead show up with questions and an open mind. When the question arises: Should we stay together or should we complete our relationship? It will not occur to you to ask or answer that question on your own without your partner. The moment you try to answer such a question on your own is the moment you stop co-creating partnership with your partner.

Have I strayed too far from the topic of compromise? And how does that factor into creating a lifetime, co-creationary partnership? Now it comes to the third point of confusion; The Inception of the Dream Itself. Whether you’re currently in a relationship or not, know this – within your desire to create a lifetime, co-creationary partnership is a desire to deepen your experience of surrender. Ultimately the desire to experience the freedom of surrender is at the heart of why compromise exists in partnerships. We want to share our highest excitement with another, to surrender it to them fully, and for them to willingly co-create a reality with us birthed from that excitement. When you are in that state of surrender you will attract a mirror who is likewise in that state of surrender and what the two of you create together is be beyond description. Get to the edge of surrender and pull back however, and you may find yourself ricocheting down a hall of mirrors until you are ready to surrender fully.

Wow! I feel that I could write a book about this subject…and also that perhaps I’ve crammed too much into a long post/mini essay! Ok, two last thoughts I would like to leave you with…

Everyone on this planet alive during our lifetime is a partner in creating the reality of the Planet Earth at this point in time and space. In short, everyone alive is your lifetime partner in that sense.

Finally, the experience of having one lifetime or another is ultimately an illusion. There is life. Period. You are life, you have no beginning and no end…so maybe don’t worry so much about picking exactly “the right” partner in this lifetime and consider that the right partner is the partner you have right now.

Mastering Failure…

For the last few years I have steeped myself in transformative learning. I have read countless books, attended seminars, hired a private transformation specialist to coach me and lived my life as an ever-evolving experiment: my own personal vote for how life can be on this planet. Through it all I’ve had some amazing experiences and insights, yet somehow I feel that I’ve come to the end of the line in this process, or rather this plane of the process. I no longer feel like input and consideration is what’s needed, but rather action is what is called for now. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been totally inactive for this entire time but my action has been in service of my inquiries and discoveries; the action of probing and testing out if you will. Now is the season of consistent action and of persisting through failure rather than purely following “the path of least resistance” or what feels to be my highest flow moment to moment. This is the season of trial and failure and then trying again; of taking actions not because they necessarily feel good but because they bring up an edge that wants to be crossed. Now is the season of risking it all and learning to FAIL, because on the other side of mastering failure is the freedom to soar.

So here are some actions I am taking this week:

I am meeting with my agents: my commercial agent to nurture our existing relationship; my voiceover agent to encourage them to star sending me out on auditions; and my theatrical agent to nurture our relationship, discover what I can be doing to make their job easier and suggest projects that I would like to be submitted on.

I am meeting with a fellow actor and friend to discuss starting a production company and our first project.

I am meeting with two different people to discuss possible employment leads: one as a restaurant manager and the other as the owner of an Internet franchise business. 

I am applying for at least four jobs.

I am writing a short story or screenplay in the genre of science fiction.

I am singing, playing guitar and writing new music for one-hour everyday.

I am doing something active (like running, roller-blading, biking or yoga) everyday. 

And I’m singing at an open-mic night.

Home…

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By now it feels hard to say, but I think I’ve been in Thailand for a month now…maybe. I vaguely know what day it is, I almost never know what time it is (except for when I’m wanting to connect with people in other parts of the word, in which case I’m holding two time zones in my mind at the same time), and now that I’ve just checked out of my sixth hotel, I have no idea where I’m going next. What I do know is that I’m here, now. In this moment, sitting in the Full Moon Cafe in the Si Lom neighborhood of Bangkok, I know that my heart is full of Love, Joy, Peace and the Spirit of Inspiration and Creativity. How is that possible when I don’t have a place to call home and when I am currently using my finite resources without replenishing them? In truth, I’ve NEVER had a true sense of Home until now.

As a kid, I was what is commonly called an “Army Brat” – which is to say I moved…a lot. In fact, that’s how I’ve lived my whole life. Even as an adult I’ve constantly been on the move, and each place I go I’ve gotten faster and faster at setting up shop if you will. Ask me where home is? Where I’m from? … I haven’t ever had an answer for that. Mostly I would try on different answers: I’m from Montana (I was born there at least, and had a number of “major life mile-markers” there), I’m from Cali (I spent nearly nine years of my childhood there and in recent years have made a commitment to myself to move to L.A.), I’m from New York (kind of…I mean I did just spend the last 7 years there, but love NY as I might – and I do – I’m not a NYer any more than I am anything else). In general, I’ve answered the question of home by telling people where most of my stuff is…which is usually, though not always, where I lay my head down at night.

So why am I sharing all of this? Because when I woke up this morning I had the strongest sense ever of Home that I have ever experienced in my life, and it felt like this…my Home is this planet: Earth. The whole thing. Being here, I’ve realized that I feel as at home in Thailand as I do in the states and that I’m no more American than I am Thai. Why should I be? Because I happened to be born there? What I am is a Human Being and I am proudly and fiercely In Love with all Beings – human and otherwise. For me cultures, nations, countries, communities, families are all beautiful, and the differences amongst them are incredibly precious for the infinite number of opportunities they provide us to celebrate diversity to experience what it is to be a human being. 

Speaking of embracing diversity, how about we all acknowledge that we can ALL experience Heaven here on Earth…NOW! Why wait to get to some other place, whether real or imagined, when we have an opportunity to create Heaven right Now? AND how about we acknowledge that there are as many versions or experiences of Heaven as there are people on this planet and that that’s what makes heaven so magical! Everyone gets what they want. That’s what I see possible…today…for everyone, but it starts with us acknowledging that We Are All One. Whether you take that to mean we are all One consciousness expressed in an Infinite number of forms or just simply that as human beings we all  share a common ancestry (regardless of whether that’s Noah or the Ice Man) and as such we are ALL part of One Big Beautiful Family. We Are One.

In my version of Heaven people are encouraged to move freely about the planet, to mingle, share ideas and to choose where they feel most at home and in alignment with those around them. Gone are the days of border patrols and visa restrictions. Everyone has freedom of motion and the freedom to create anywhere they want and with whomever they want. Everyone has equal access to resources and we all see to it that everyone on the planet at least has a place to live, food to eat and clothing to wear – if they so choose 🙂 Will we all be living in mansions?  No, probably not, but for everyone who wants to they’ll have that opportunity. Either way everyone wil have a place they can call Home. Also, in my version of Heaven, no one will have to work…unless they want to, and even then they’ll be doing what they Love to do so it won’t even occur to them to be work. Instead it will occur to them as the creative expression of their heart’s passion. Sounds appealing? Awesome! Come meet me here…not in Bangkok, but rather in life doing what you love, in the place you love to be and with the people you love. And when you notice that someone is “different” from you, celebrate them for providing you with another option of how you can also live life, if you so choose. So choose. How do you want your life to be. Stop fighting “the system,” it’s perfect as it is and so are you. Now choose. How do you want to be now?

So, if you’re asking me where I’m from, here’s my answer: I am from Heaven, and I live with a beautiful family of beings called Humans, and I Love my family – each and every member – collectively we are Stewards of the each other and of our home: Earth.

Where are you from?

I Love You,

Chelsea

 

Me as a Completed Work of Art…

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“I seem to go in this cycle of experiencing myself growing, expanding and creating and then “suddenly” realizing I’m stagnant…does that happen to anyone else out there? One minute you feel like your climbing Mt. Everest and the next moment it’s like you woke up from a dream that you were climbing Mt. Everest but in actuality you’re still at home in your pjs? This week I had one of those sudden wake up moments in the form of a though: I am my own masterpiece. The moment I had that thought I started to picture what I would be like when I was a “completed” masterpiece, and I thought well…I’ll split my time making great films and traveling all over the world, and I’ll speak at least six languages (English, French, Italian, Russian, German, and Mandarin to start) so that I can make friends from all over the world as I’m traveling and better understand the world from their perspective…and, I thought, I’ll be in excellent physical condition (I’m not gonna lie, I look pretty damn good right now but watch me try to run a mile and you get how little looks have to do with your actual overall health) because I’ll be the kind of person that hikes Mt. Kilimanjaro to see the view or surfs a 50-foot wave because it sounds like fun…and I’ll be one of those people who could whip up a gourmet meal using only what they find in a 19-year-old college kids dorm room…oh! AND I’ll be one of those people whose so incredibly real and self-expressed that it’s exciting just to be around them because they break all the “rules” and you never know what they’ll do or say. Yeah! That’s me as a completed work of art! Beautiful!”

Above is an excerpt from a post that I started a couple months ago and never completed. Well, I may not have posted this but I’ve certainly been living it. As I write this it’s a quarter past 3 in the morning, I’m listening to The Civil Wars and relaxing on my bed…in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Yep, Thailand. In the last week I sold or gave away everything I owned that didn’t fit into a hiking backpack, I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok and hit the road on an adventure around the world. This is without question the experience of a lifetime.
Until now I’ve been posting about my experiences on FB and now I’d like to open this experience up to as many people as possible; one, because my experiences are enriched through sharing them with others and two, because it was others sharing their adventures with me that inspired me to follow my heart and embark on this adventure which has been until now a lifelong dream with little chance of seeing the light of day.

I imagine I’ll have more to share in the coming days and weeks but for now I wanted to invite you to join me on this journey. And please, feel free to catch up with my most recent posts on FB: http://www.Facebook.com/DawnOfChelsea

In Love,

Chelsea

Inside Bravery…

Thank you all for being a part this adventure with me. It’s so wonderfully rewarding, encouraging and downright fun to read your comments and to feel you Love and support. I am enjoying Thailand immensely and have already made some wonderful friends here who I’ll be hanging out with over the weekend. Then Monday it’s back on the road and into Myanmar – a country I know little to nothing about and am excited to experience face to face. I also love that so many of you are encouraged by me marching into what is for me unknown territory.  That said, I also want to share with you my experience of what it’s like to be brave: “Sometimes I’m afraid a about the journey ahead, especially some of the territory I’ll be traveling through where violence is a part of people’s everyday lives, but I also feel that as each one of us faces the fear in our own life – whatever that may be – we inspire others to do the same.” I wrote this to my friend Val earlier this morning and I’m sharing this with you all because I want you to know that I do feel fear, and I also have faith – faith that Love, not fear, is the building blocks for everything in existence. Where I go, I go with open eyes, an open mind and an open heart – and that for me is bravery. If you feel so inspired, please share an act of bravery that you’ve taken this week the comments section. If love to hear your stories – and I have a good feeling that they’ll add fuel to own fire!

I Love You Guys

Chelsea

A fresh start and a clean slate…

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When I first started writing this blog, which was barely any time ago at all, I had two things in mind: one, I wanted to journal my own exploration of what it is to live a dynamic life and two, I wanted to stick to a schedule of posting every Friday by midday (EST). It didn’t take more than four weeks for me to go off the rails on both counts. The first place I went from there was to Mt. Make Myself Wrong – wrong for my last blog post (which I thought was not up to par with the first two…really Chelsea?), wrong for not knowing what to write, wrong for missing my Friday “deadline” and wrong for quitting. Whew! That’s a lot of wrong making, enough to make you want to just scrap the whole damn idea, right? Actually in the past those few thoughts would have been more than enough reason for me to quit and run away. And here’s where the beauty of living dynamically really kicks in…I’m not confined by what I usually do or what I’ve done before. In fact, by definition in a dynamic lifestyle the whole point is to constantly push past your limitations, optimize what you’re already doing well and consider new actions to take and paths to travel and know yourself as limitless. Yeah! (insert cheering stadium)

With my internal compass realigned, I spent the last couple weeks looking into why it suddenly seemed like I had nothing to write about…and it all started the Friday of my third post. By this point a handful of people had started following my blog, some that I knew or knew of but mostly people I’ve yet to meet which I think is super cool and is an indication to me of technology’s ability to connect and unify humanity…but that’s another post for another day. The point is I started having an expectation of myself to write amazing posts and inspire people! Oh yeah…and not to write about anything too controversial so as not to make people uncomfortable or to tarnish whatever nice ideas people currently have about me. (Soapbox Note: In general, I find expectations of any kind to be more limiting than helpful in the way we tend to utilize them. For me, expectations are most useful as blinking lights indicating buried beliefs I hold to be true and which might actually be standing in the way of me experiencing a life I love). At any rate, I don’t see much use for self-censorship and people pleasing in a journey to explore limitless living so here it is, my previously restricted topic of exploration: non-monogamous living and open relationships…duh duh duhn

This is actually a topic I’ve been exploring since last spring – I’ve read books about this, journaled about this, explored this in conversation and finally in my relationships – so it’s funny to me that I would stop myself from sharing my questions of and experiences with non-monogamous living and open relationships on my own blog. All the funnier because for many people that I talk to that’s just the way life is and they seem surprised that I’m only now considering a non-monogamous lifestyle. Then there are the people that I’ve excluded from this conversation because I’m “certain” they wouldn’t approve/understand/be interested/etc. and I’ve been afraid of losing their love/support/approval. The amazing thing is it’s through exploring non-monogamy that I’ve come to experienced that when I am present, authentic and vulnerable in my relationships I create the space for myself to experience a limitless abundance of love, connection and acceptance. My heart is open to all beings because I believe that LOVE IS LIMITLESS