When In Doubt

Reality finally settled in…or shall I say, the reality also known as DOUBT has settled in.  A few months ago, I knew it would happen.  It was inevitable. 

Being back in a first world country where people put too much emphasis on things that don’t really matter…this is the same world that is so lost, they don’t know how to live…I knew that it would finally envelop me.

I decided to do what I always do when I start to feel like maybe I’m not making the right decision…I decided to take a moment and listen to what the universe was telling me.  I looked for any sign that could possibly be thrown my way, only to remind myself that I should not block off my entire life to just one dream…I had to be open to possibilities…including the impossible being made possible.

That’s when I noticed a book in the bookstore last week: “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho.  I should have known that Paulo would tell me what I already knew…after all, re-reading “The Alchemist” reminded me that I had found my own adventure in life in Morocco.

There comes a time, even in the most spiritual beings on earth, that we can become lost.  We stop hearing God talking to us.  We can’t connect with God the way that we used to.  We have trouble staying focused on the things that matter…like remaining positive and doing all of those good karmic actions. 

In essence, we become human once again, disconnected from our Father…not knowing if we want to go back to him.

We start to make the wrong decisions.  We distance ourselves from the good things in life and start focusing on the drama of the world.  We let bad stuff get to us and bother us.  We judge others.  We become a part of this dying world…not knowing if we want to be saved from the whirlpool that is spiraling us out of control and dragging us down to the bottom of the ocean.  We don’t know if we want to be saved or helped out of the water and into calmer seas. 

Yep…even the best of us who are so connected with God feels this way sometimes.  Surprise, surprise…what I’m feeling now, that is Coelho’s latest book.  It’s about being stuck in that moment of routines and disconnectedness from God.  It’s about feeling like you don’t have the answers…or maybe everything you believe to be true is all a piece of crap. 

Maybe it was all just a momentary happiness…a moment where we dipped into the pool of magic and made the impossible a reality.  What if it doesn’t last? 

What if I’m making a mistake changing my life?  This is where fear settles in.

You start to think of the dreams you had all throughout your life, trying to find some meaning in it all.  There are those strong predictions that happened…and you’re left thinking…’what does it all mean?’ 

You see that one dream is unfolding, while another is also unfolding…and the two are very different from each other.  It’s as if I’m stuck at a crossroads trying to decide which path would be the best path for me.  This is where I kick myself for keeping my options open in life.

Then there’s the Aleph.  Have you ever met someone in this lifetime that you remember from previous lifetimes?  I have.

I think we both sensed it the first time we saw each other.  It was as if a magnet was pulling us to each other, but we had to keep backing away from it.  People around us always sensed the pull.  They saw it.  It was too powerful to say it didn’t exist.

You start to think ‘why?’  Why show that person now?  It wasn’t meant to be in this lifetime.  Why show that person now? 

Remembering the laughter from lifetimes ago, being able to still taste the first kiss, to remembering moments from a long time ago…worlds away from you both now…you both start to realize how you were both in love before this lifetime.  The souls remember.  They don’t forget.  It’s because the souls remember, it creates conflict in the present.

Yet, it is in this lifetime that you remember…that amazing love was not meant to be in this lifetime…but you do remember how powerful it once was.

Going down one road, you see the dreams you made into reality.  You see the world you’ve been dreaming about for years.  It’s like you can put your hand through that veil separating reality from dreams and push it to the side to make it real. 

It’s setting foot on the city’s cobblestones and feeling like you are home once again, in a land you’ve never been to before.  It’s falling in love with the city, the people and the country that you feel that you are destined to live there and be happy for the rest of your life.  It’s as if you are living in that dream, preparing for that day that this really will be your home.

It’s no coincidence you felt that there…or even the fact you wound up visiting the place not just once, but three times.  That is the reality of that dream.

Did your soul dance with his?  Yes, it did.  And then you let him go…  Yet, he eventually came back.

 Then you remember the dreams of living in a riad in Morocco, watching the sun setting over the mountains while you sat on the rooftop of your home, enjoying dinner with your family.  It was pure happiness.

Then there’s that life that you live in New York City as a hockey writer.  You enjoy that world of arts, literature, and fashion.  You actually really enjoy that life New York City has offered to you.  Why give up a life that you love?

Which adventure do you choose?

You listen to your heart.

Today, the adventure has already begun.  It’s not towards love or romance.  My journey is taking me towards the passions of life…as in the things in life that I am passionate about.

At the same time, I have to remind myself not to lose sense of myself.  I don’t have to lose everything to become someone new.  I just have to take with me the things that have defined me since 2007.  I planted the seed and buried the roots deep so that when I finally emerged from the soil, I could branch out in every which direction I could.  Before I could do that, I had to build a solid foundation deep within myself.

Miracles do not happen overnight…neither do dreams.  Dreams change.  One minute you could be an astronaut.  The next day you could be President of the United States.  The next day, you could be a famous writer.  Life is meant to make every dream you can dream come true.

Over this three-day weekend, I had a lot of time to think about the crossroads and the journeys ahead.  One road leads to Africa.  The other road leads to Europe.  Then there’s always the option of staying right where I am.

For once, I didn’t think about those roads.  I just thought about what I wanted in this very moment.  I chose happiness.

I saw my office coming into being.  What I once thought was a doomed project from the get go all of a sudden became a realistic idea taking shape before my very eyes.  The big pile of crap all of a sudden became a small pile that is easily conquerable.

I realized that even in moments when we try to refill our karmic baskets, we start off small so that we do not become overwhelmed, only to find that later when the bigger karmic actions appear, we will have no fear and aim to tackle that action one small deed at a time.

I started to notice that the things I did over the weekend while I was listening to the universe all ended up showing me that I am making a dream into a reality…and they didn’t involve love, marriage, family or children.

It involved the gifts God had given to me. I spent a lot of time organizing my new dream from its new headquarters.  I spent hours on the computer uploading photos and preparing them for delivery for each project.  I created gifts and really started to imagine making a lot of new projects into a reality…and then I pressed CHECKOUT.

Someday projects became NOW projects. 

Someday I’ll try and go vegan…became countless hours in the kitchen trying out all new vegetarian recipes. 

While I was in the Library, I decided to check out a vegetarian cookbook and a bunch of Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes & Gardens magazines.  The librarian took one look at a potpie on the cover of Martha Stewart Living and said, “You must be a really good cook.”  I smiled and said, “I like a challenge.” 

You’ll be amazed at all of the different meals I constructed for the first time.  A homemade vegetarian tortilla soup is now at the top of my favorite winter soups…and I’d never made that before.  Pickled eggs?  Never tried it before…took one bite and it was heavenly!  Kale salad?  Never knew you could eat kale raw.  Not only did I try that, but I made my own salad dressing for the first time…and that salad became a WOW factor.  Most importantly, it will help boost my immune system during the cold/flu season.

In other words, cooking, re-decorating, working on the photos, reading, writing, etc. these are the things that make me happy.  They are the things that complete my NOW.  It’s putting the present into action for the future.  It’s building the foundation you need for whatever is coming in the future.

This blog changed because I wanted it to become a lifestyle blog that talks about everything that I’m learning, loving and experiencing.  It’s about sharing that world of happiness with others.

I didn’t spend this weekend thinking about whether I would head to Morocco or head to Europe.  I thought about what I wanted to do now that would bring me happiness.  The only thing I wanted to do was to put the new dream into play…but at the same time, I had to remind myself, don’t lose what you love already.  That means, I’m going to continue to write.

Last month, the universe started veering me in a new direction in writing.  That’s why the blog changed.  I started to meet people in the fashion industry.  I started to notice that talking about celebrities (non-hockey players) and photographing them, netted more interest on this site than hockey. 

The universe was showing me all along what the new path was…I just had to embrace it a little more.

I was telling someone recently that I wasn’t looking for love when I went to Morocco.  All I knew was that God wanted to show me something in Morocco and that’s why I went.  I know what I found there…an ending to my book (and ironically, the next story I’m writing).  God showed me a lot of things all throughout the country. 

But right when you have no idea what it was you were looking for, that’s when it hits.  Love will strike when you least expect it.  In “Aleph,” Coelho talks about how sometimes when you are searching for someone, you don’t realize that they’ve been searching for you, too.  Rumi once said that ever since he heard his first love story, he went searching for his love, only to realize how silly that was.  Lovers are in each other always. 

It’s like when you find the person you are meant to love, it seems so silly that you were looking for the other person, because you were in each other all along.  Your love was never lost or found.  They were always there inside of you.

Today, I’ve spent many moments in my mind, sitting at the top of a sand dune, watching the stars above me, telling Hamid, “Did you know that when you wish on a falling star, your wish is supposed to come true?”  To which he responds, “Really?” 

He then started to look frantically all over the sky for a shooting star, wanting to make a wish from his heart…not realizing he didn’t have to make that wish because it already came true.  But while his head was turned the other way, I saw a star shoot across the sky.  I exclaimed, “Oh!  I just saw one!”  He turned in the direction I was pointing only to be disappointed he didn’t get to see it, too. 

I realized that God did that for a reason.  The shooting star was a sign to me that a dream had come true.  I didn’t have to make anymore wishes.

Now, I sit here and think…was that just a dream?

If it was, it would make one hell of a story.

But the truth is, it is my story…and it’s been one hell of an amazing ride. 

So why do I doubt?  Why am I scared that I am changing everything I know for a world that is completely different than my own?  What if I was never supposed to leave NYC? 

What if…How am I…What am I…doesn’t matter anymore.

What matters is that I am focused on right now and all the days I have to live before the future arrives.  There are certain actions I have to put in place today, not tomorrow, in order to plant the seeds and build a strong foundation so that I can shoot up from the ground and branch out in every which direction.  That is the tree of life.  You can plant your roots deeply so that nothing can blow you over. 

If one branch falls, you still have many more that survive.  Even when a storm barrels through, if you are strong deep down to the core, no amount of bad weather can take you down. 

When the seasons change, you change as well.  Life is all about the changing of the seasons and how you can shed one life for a new one just by shedding your leaves in the winter, and budding new leaves in the spring.  It’s about living through the changes life has to offer and embracing it.

You always want to share the beauty of growth in life by making yourself beautiful through to your very core, because no one likes to bask in the beauty of a diseased and dying tree, that is rotted through to the core.  People enjoy the beauty of seeing a healthy tree thriving in the garden of life.

As you see the world change, you, too, must change as well.  A tree evolves when the world evolves.  Just as it changes according to the seasons, so too must your dreams.  For me, that means in business…when you see that one branch is falling, you must focus on the other branches of your life, because once that branch has fallen, it means nothing to the tree anymore.  What matters is what is left.

What’s left after doubt?  The now.  Doubt is about the future.  Right now, the heart and soul are in agreement…what I am doing right now is right for me.  My focus has to be on my happiness and the changes that must happen in order to bring enlightenment to the world.  Like bringing schools to children in Morocco…forcing bans on things that harm the world (like plastic bags that don’t break down and avoidable waste).

Each change begins here.  It begins in every single one of us.  When you start doing random acts of kindness, it is like doing a little bit here and there every single day…it starts to build where you do more and more as you see progress…and then you start to work on bigger projects, knowing how to tackle each action one little act at a time (because you know that everything takes time, it doesn’t always have to happen right now, it takes effort in the right direction to make a dream a reality). 

That goes for all walks of life, including diet and exercise.  Just committing to doing the act a little at a time works its way into something called PROGRESS.  After all, we all know, you can’t lose 100 pounds in 24 hours.  It takes one small step in the right direction.  You keep doing a little bit here and there until it starts to become a bigger bit here and there…and then one day you’ll see yourself taking shape.

So whatever the focus is…it should always be about the now and taking that right step in the right direction.  I’ll worry about what road that is later on…maybe I’ll just follow my own road and if one of the other two roads ends up veering into mine along the way and it becomes one big interstate, then we have a winner!  Until then, I’m just going to focus on the new road being paved ahead just for me.

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth has been a member of the NHL credentialed media covering the New Jersey Devils since 2008 for Inside Hockey. She is the owner or PerfectionistWannabe.com.