Do You, BooBoo

I've always been in the business of trying to help people. As a nurse, it's what I'm paid to do. Outside of my job, however, it's been hard reading/seeing/hearing friends and family go through some serious struggles, especially lately, and not be able to help. I used to be of the belief that if somebody is suffering, you could help them by giving them something to stop the pain. Whether it's medicine (holistic or pharmaceutical), money, love, your time, attention- whatever. I've since learned that that's not always the best answer and unless they make changes to fix the root of their problem, my aid is just a temporary band-aid for their pain versus a cure. After months of spiritual searching, thousands of dollars invested in books, classes and travel, the answer I've found to truly end suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally is, to put it simply, Do You, BooBoo. 

I've been talking a lot of spiritual talk lately about how we are all perfection and all our problems can be solved if we just accept that simple fact. When we acknowledge our perfection and tap into it, even the most Herculean effort feels fulfilling instead of excruciating. The Universe makes calls and makes things happen when you Do You, BooBoo. I've seen many eyes roll at me. I've heard sarcastic comments about how money problems or family problems will disappear if we "Just trust the Universe, right?!" (Insert a five-second eye roll here). They do in time. They truly do. Hear me out.

When we're born we have no expectations. We live a life of straight chillin' as babies. As we grow up, however, we start to get bombarded by "shoulds". We're told to be still and not to move so much. Be quiet. You're making a mess! Don't break that! Boys are encouraged to play with trucks and dirt, while girls are encouraged to play with dolls and tea sets. As we grow older, we're set on the fast track to the cookie cutter image of success. We're told to get straight A's for the rest of our lives! Kids are enrolled in a dizzying assortment of after school activities starting at the age of three to give them a head start on the list of accomplishments they can put on their college applications so they can graduate at the top of their class as a doctor, engineer, or whatever career was ranked with the highest salary that year and buy a big house and luxury cars and the latest designer whatevers and afford the best healthcare, pay for expensive personal trainers and take the latest supplements to make themselves skinnier, feel younger, and have more energy to repeat the cycle of hustling for $$, fame, and eternal life/youth. When will the list of standards that we're supposed to be measured by ever end? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing any of those things to be the BEST YOU. What I am asking/saying, however, is  are those standards truly a reflection of who YOU are? 

Most of our suffering is driven by trying to meet standards that were dictated to us by our families, culture, and society that are not reflections of who we are or who we are truly meant to be. Your ideal YOU might not look anywhere like the image of success held up by society nor anybody else and here you are, killing yourself working 16 hours a day to fulfill a dream that was not meant for you. Once you tap into discovering who you truly are and what makes your heart fucking sing/shine/dance/cartwheel, the journey to being the BEST YOU will be the richest adventure you can imagine and will be filled with ease. Do You, BooBoo.

When I speak of a life of ease, I don't mean a life of laying on the couch eating chocolate (maybe only on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Hehe). It means living a life of creativity, excitement and adventure guided by what your heart truly desires instead of what society dictates you should desire. Effort applied in the direction that is in alignment with your soul is still effort, but it will flow versus effort applied towards something not congruent with who you truly are will be met with resistance. And you'll know when you are in the flow. The effort of Doing You, BooBoo feels remarkably different.

There's a difference between going to Zumba class religiously everyday because you truly enjoy shaking that ass versus forcing yourself to go because you feel like your ass is too big.  It's the same difference between busting your butt working 16 hr days for a business or a job that feeds your soul versus working 16 hr job just to pay the bills. Or the difference in putting in the work to be the best quarterback because you just simply love the game versus feeling the need to prove you're better than the rest or even for the sake of winning because that's what winners do. Or getting married because you've truly found someone who speaks to your soul versus getting married because everybody else is or your family expects you to. Or even just wearing the slinkiest dress that shows off all your curves because you feel like the glowing goddess you truly are versus wearing what you think will make guys notice you. You can apply this even down to what food you eat and what underwear to wear, if any. If it doesn't make your heart truly sing, don't do it. If it does, Do You, BooBoo.

The same goes for giving. It's great to give time, attention and/or money if doing so will make you feel good and you don't expect anything in return. Take acts of kindness, for example, or even love. When you give of yourself, you should do so purely because doing so makes you feel good. An act of "kindness" out of obligation, fear(and, yes, that includes fear of God/Allah/aliens/karma), or because you're expecting a certain behavior, favor, recognition or payment in return also leads to unnecessary suffering. Although it feels good when you get what you expected in return, the disappointment in unmet expectations drags you down unnecessarily.  If it doesn't make your heart sing, or if you've got strings attached to your generosity(consciously or subconsciously), don't do it. It is not selfishness, it is kindness to yourself. Do You, BooBoo.

So, how do I know it works? Because I've seen others live it and I'm seeing so many examples of what happens when you don't. Looking back, I've realized that I, myself, have lived it for a good part of my life and the most miserable times of my life were when I wasn't Doing Me. My life is far from the conventional picture of what a "normal" life should look like. A product of divorced parents, I was raised by a single mother. With the help of a village of loving female family members we made do. I met a guy online, despite being told that's not the proper thing to do and ended up spending the last 19 years of my life with him despite people telling me he wasn't the right kind of guy to be with. Although it wasn't all good at first, ours has grown into the best example of a fun, loving, reciprocal, and enriching romantic relationship I've personally ever experienced. I got pregnant at the age of 19 and despite being told by loved ones what I "should" do, I followed my heart and decided to be a mom. Although I got kicked out of my house, I immediately gained a new supportive, generous and warm family in my fiancée's relatives.  Best if all, I was rewarded with a funny, caring, sensitive, smart and guapo(naks) son. I was offered a decent paying stable job despite not having a college degree after having my son. Despite generous compensation and benefits, I just knew it wasn't right for me. After reading an article online about Florence Nightingale I cried and felt my heart open up and knew that I just had to be a nurse. I ended up getting laid off so that I could collect unemployment while pursuing my degree in nursing. It took work, but everything came together to make it happen and all of my efforts flowed. When I graduated, I was advised by my mentors not to go straight to ICU because they said I needed to gain more experience and skills in less critical settings. I knew that wasn't for me and I applied to the only New Grad ICU program open at the time. Good thing, because that was the last New Grad ICU program they've offered ever since. I've been at that job for over eight years and it's no walk in the park, but I love it. My career makes my heart sing as I'm able to sincerely touch so many people's lives at their most vulnerable moments. Being paid well enough to completely support my family was honestly never my primary objective, but it just happened to end up that way. I made enough so that my fiancée could quit his stable job and follow his own heart's calling to be a nurse. It took great effort but generous support from his family once again flowed and helped make it happen.  He's now enjoying the heart warming rewards of being a nurse, but he's also going through an adjustment period, trying to find his right place. The Universe is clearly guiding him away from where he doesn't need to be through repeated closed doors, but he's learned not to take them personally. I, myself, am feeling a stirring, and I'm feeling out an urge to take a scary leap in the near future. It's scary, but something's calling me and I'm freakin' excited to see what the Universe will come up with to make things happen. 😁

I can't promise that Doing You will be cake. There's a lot of trial and error, especially as you first start to let go of old limiting beliefs. And it can be scary if you let fear take hold of you. There will be rejection, disappointment, and even illness(it's just your body lovingly talking to you) along the way as you test the waters to see which direction feels right for you, but don't take them personally.  Doing so will only cause unnecessary pain. They are just messengers to help guide you to the best path in your journey. When an obstacle comes along, try to glean the message from it and heed whatever lesson it's trying to teach you. From there, readjust and Do You, BooBoo. I promise, suffering will transmute into exciting adventure as long as you're Doing You.  When you walk along your path, even if it appears to be leading you off a cliff, jump whole heartedly and be amazed at where the Universe takes you. 

I can't wait to see what you all do, BooBoo.