Becoming Captain America

Times of grit and times of grace are needed, now more than ever. Homeless families trying to keep minimum-wage jobs, global warming crisis that is causing levels of panic, veterans coming home from war and causing harm to themselves and others. We are no longer peacemakers if we want to make an impact, we have to be the cause-and-effect participants in helping the person next to us. 

And it starts with the nuanced hero at home.

Look at your life, everything about it. Which parts make you feel scared? How often do you find yourself alone with your thoughts and they make you feel lost? Which parts of yourself are you really convinced may someday be the end of your own happiness. 

Comic book movies have been hitting the theaters and making big bucks lately : The Amazing Spider Man 2, Captain America, Winter Soldier…

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What do these movies have in common? Good guy. Bad guy. Good guy wins. Bad guy loses. It’s what we are all hoping for ourselves : some clarity of the enemy and the hero. What we are doing wrong and what we are doing right in our life becomes a true or false question. We become heroes. 

Today, I give myself permission to be the nuanced hero at home. The hero who has trouble getting out of bed sometimes because things are hard for her. The hero who then decides to do yoga instead of feel bad about it, and calls her friend to say hello. The hero who sucks at math. The hero who is constantly apologizing for things that aren’t her fault. The hero that isn’t sure how to live in this world, but keeps trying to be better even when she sets herself back.

I’ve got some news : the nuanced hero at home is the good guy and the bad guy all at once. Make peace with who that nuanced hero is RIGHT NOW, and end your suffering. End the idea that you have to have it all figured out. End the idea that you can’t handle the unstable life you have, or that peace is an impossibility. Because at the end of the day, the nuanced hero needs to be happy – and he’ll find that making himself or herself happy first, then sharing that with others. 

I wish all this for you, my heroes. 

Sat Nam,

Going Pro at Being Stupid

Try this : fake a laugh for 3 -7 minutes. Guaranteed? Within the first 5 minutes you will eventually have one or more organic laughs, because the idea of faking something for that long puts the body in an autonomic response.  Isn’t that amazing? If you get over your fear of looking stupid long enough, eventually you become yourself and do what feels good anyway. 

Today, I went for a run. After doing my laundry, inevitably I’m left with two mismatched dress socks and nothing else in the immediate vicinity that vaguely resembled a match. 

ImageWith every decision there are drawbacks and payoffs. To me, the day outside where I get the chance to be limitless far went below the risk of looking like a crazy vagrant who does hand dances when she runs. The fact that I had no pants on as well, probably didn’t help – (just kidding, but totally thought about it) and of course? My white shirt with a burrito stain on the front, making this an effortless, classy yet completely stupid look.

Then I went and sat at Starbucks, as usual, looking through the classified postings and nagging people who have never met me to take a look at my resume. I saw someone who shares the last name of a friend of mine, working for a production company. I was willing to be stupid enough to take his picture in public, although was completely discreet. 

But then I had an amazing thought : I’ve got my resume, why not walk up to him and ask if he needed anyone like me? If he’s in production, what’s the worst that could happen? He would say no, maybe. I would definitely not do this in Los Angeles, CA…but what is overbearing about this in Los Altos, CA? Smaller pool, he probably doesn’t get the chance to meet someone like me that often, even if he is annoyed, all I do is be quick and judge the situation as it is…what if-

And then he walked out the door. Granted, it was at the exact same time I was scheduled to have a phone interview, but it would have taken me 3 minutes tops to make an elevator pitch about my skills. 

Dammit, do you mean I wasted this day being stupid like an AMETEUR, and then I get the chance to do something PROFESIONALLY stupid, for something I cared about and I let it WALK OUT THE DOOR? 

This week, don’t make the same mistake I did. I hope you look stupid for the things you really want and can laugh at yourself about the absurdity in small things. I hope you become professionally stupid. I hope you fall stupid in love for things that make you happy. I hope you are stupid enough to follow them. 

Sat Nam.