5:30am Wake up.
Lemon water, coconut oil teeth pulling, tongue scraping, 20 min self massage, goddess dance
6:15am Meditation 15 min
7:45am Tea and Gratitude Journal
8:30am Instagram Interactions
12:30pm Cycle to gym
1:15pm Walk on treadmill and read book for 2 hours
3:15pm Swim for 30 min
3:45pm Meditate for 30 min
4:15pm cycle home
5:00pm Make Dinner
7:00pm 1 hr meditation
This was more or less my schedule for two solid months, and to be honest, I wasn't seeing body results... plus I was still very uncertain with what direction to take my life given my talents and interests and lifelong dreams.
Then COVID19 happened and slew of other events. At the same time that isolation started, I moved. I was living with two of my friends, and I was supposed to go work on a boat before moving back home in May. However, work got cancelled, and I was able to find a place to live because Airbnbs got cancelled. My friend Sara offered me her Airbnb property at a hugely discounted rate.
For this, I was very grateful but scared. Terrified of being alone. I had never lived alone before, and now, I was to be isolated living alone. WTF mate.
I took the opportunity to reflect on my routine, why I had my routine, and how it was serving me. The purpose of my routine is spiritual, physical, and mental development which is really just for joy and intention. So I changed my routine. I decided that I would set an intention for the month: to follow my joy.
My routine now:
I wake up. I express my gratitude. I drink water and take my vitamins. Then I just end up doing whatever I feel like doing. Perhaps the greatest question I ask myself, what would make you enjoy this moment even more?
It leads me on adventures, and it makes my day purposeful, joyful, and exciting. It also brought me more clarity. I realized in the intention of improving my body, that I was not accepting where it was at. A lot of intention was put into loving every part of myself and accepting my body EXACTLY as it is in the moment.
After one month of this new routine, I was amazed by the results that I was seeing in my body and mind and also the strange serendipity that seemed to be coloring my life.
In fact one day... it was a Sunday... I had a very strong desire for a cookie. Specifically a cookie from this place called "Batch Cookie Co." They are local in Fort Lauderdale, and they have amazing vegan, gf options.
I road my bike there. It was somewhat comedic as we were in the desert of the corona timeframe... with no cars or people around... except just before the cookie shop in this abandoned parking lot, there was a group of 30 Charger cars lined up in the shape of a semi-circle.
Being alone for so long, I was really craving some interaction, and I was excited to share in the comedic value of this group getting together in the middle of a pandemic to celebrate their love for Chargers. I still have a chuckle as I type this.
Sliding off the front of my seat, I waddled my bike towards the service window of the cookie shop.
"Hi! How are you today? Did you see all of those cars?"
The attendant, who I came to know as Vasilios, responded, "Yes, people crazy these days! How have you been holding up?"
"Oh good. Just meditating and yoga as I need, and yeah. I actually am really enjoying this time."
"That's wonderful. I am actually a yoga and meditation teacher. Where do you teach?"
"Nowhere at the moment. I usually work on yachts. However, I am trying to focus on my music. I have these songs that I've written that have melody, but I don't know how to play anything."
"Really? That's so interesting! I have been focusing on creating, and would love to help you bring your songs to life. I play the guitar and piano."
That, my friend, is serendipity.
It is only three days later. Maybe four. I am riding my bike to a stranger's house in the middle of a pandemic. I am a little bit scared to be honest, but I believe in the good. I can feel my fear as a compass, and I know that I must go.
The rain was heavy, and I got a flat tire. Sometimes things like this will happen, and I have used it as an excuse to not move forward. 'It was a sign.' Though recently, I had discovered that those moments were more telling of my commitment to something rather than the outcome.
Did I want to honor this process? Yes.
So I locked my bike to a nearby street sign and took an Uber over to Vasilios's house. As soon as he opened the door, I knew I was in the right place. There was art everywhere, and his roommates were playing an old Mac Miller video while smoking weed and discussing its artistic nature.
It was an old Floridian styled home in the middle of Flaggler Village, Fort Lauderdale's 'Wynwood' district, if you will. The lighting was dark, and there was a bookshelf that divided the living room. A life-sized casting of a female silhouette was framed on the wall.
We walked through the living room to a small artist space. I could tell that it was where Vasilios was living. His blankets and pillows were folded on top of a nearby cubby while we sat on a small couch that I presume was his bed. On the back of the door hung pockets of paint, with little smudges on the outside of each pocket signifying the color of the paint.
"Okay, so do you have something you wanted to work on specifically?" Vasilios asked me as though I had a plan.
No plan is perhaps always my best plan, but of course, I always have backup plans.
"Yes, well do you want to try the song that you liked from my instagram? It's just important to me that you can feel it... ya know?"
"Yeah! Let's start with that."
"Cool... So I will just sing it, and if you feel something come to you then you can just play it?"
"Yeah, do you have an idea of what you want?" Vasilios asked but seemed to like the idea that I didn't expect anything.
"Hmm... Maybe not really. I'll just continue to sing it!"
His guitar is out, and he is intent in the moment.
"... I'm learning of the secret. I'm learning of new life. I'm learning of my gifts. I'm learning to fly...."
It didn't take long to write together. We wrote to that song and then another one before we decided to call it a day.
"So you don't know anything about music?" he asked me after already expressing his surprise that he has never worked with anyone who created melodies and had a musical vision without knowing a thing about music.
"Not really... I mean I kind of play the ukulele... Meaning if you play music, then I do not... and if you don't, then I do. It just depends on a person's perception really... So to you, I do not play music."
"You want to be a singer, but you don't know how to play music... It might be helpful to learn."
I heard his words so deeply. Those words were part of the fear that kept my dream hidden for so long. I do not know anything about music, but I want to honor these songs that I keep writing and the gift of my voice.
"I agree. Well what would you suggest? I have tried, but I am not really picking up a whole lot more from the ukulele."
"Have you looked into getting a midi-keyboard? There are some used ones on Facebook marketplace that you could get. It would help you to understand what notes you have in mind and what key you are in."
"Okay! Yeah. I will look into that!"
I looked into it a bit, but I didn't have any money to spend on things not related to housing, bills, or food. I had taken 4 months off of work for my spiritual development, but COVID had taken the income that I was supposed to be surviving with. I had just received the government stimulus check plus money from my real dad who was very eager to help me out as he hadn't been in my life since I was 8 years old.
Interestingly enough, he messaged me on instagram asking if I could use anything to help with my music. I couldn't believe the timing of it, and it was only a few days later that I had a full-sized keyboard set up in my living room. I learned how to read music that night through an application on my phone, and I was so excited for what was to come.
Vasilios came over and played the song that I had written on the piano. We recorded the chords to it so that I could put it onto my computer and start creating this vision of what my music would sound like. My vision of what it was, was in fact very different than what it is.
I spent days and nights trying to bring this music to life, and nothing gave the songs justice. Their vibe was lost, and you could really only hear a clang of instruments that didn't make sense.
It's all a process.