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img_6011I will leave the update post where I explain where I have been for the past couple of years for another day. Today, I feel compelled to express my thoughts about freedom. Not the flag waving, “God Bless America” kind of FREEDOM, although I am all about that too, but the personal freedom that we don’t even know we have or understand or appreciate or realize is gone until we give it up for another value that may or may not be more important than our personal freedom.

Actually, I am going to back up and remove the “we” from all the statements above. I am going to talk about the personal freedom that I didn’t even know I had or understood or appreciated or realized it was gone until I gave it up for another value that may or may not have been more important than my personal freedom.

For context, it is important to start with where I am now. I am living on a tiny sliver of land on the very edge of the North American continent and in between gigs (recently laid off) and trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

My layoff occurred in March. I was graciously provided outplacement services by my former employer, which should be a good thing, but instead simply moved my daily focus from my job responsibilities to the job search “shoulds”.

“You should update your resume, it should only be 2 pages long, you shouldn’t mention how old you are, you should remove your college graduation year, you should go to networking events, you shouldn’t tell people you are only interested in a virtual office, you should work on your search 5-7 hours a day, you should keep a spreadsheet with your contact points”.

I could go on. I am not saying any of this isn’t valid or important, but it makes one huge assumption – that I want to replace my last job with another job just like it and that I “should” be taking specific actions to make it happen. To be honest, when I started the job search, I was under that assumption myself. But I have found myself resistant, feeling less than inspired by the job openings available and not sure what I want to do next.

So that brings me to this morning and why where I am living now is important. I’ve taken to walking 5 miles around the island every day; my loop takes me about 90 minutes. As I was walking, I was appreciating the beauty of the island, the general vibe of wellbeing that pervades the neighborhood and the fast energy exuded with the fresh tourist season. And a thought popped into my head.

No one, not a soul, (well, except for MapMyFitness) knows where I am, what I am doing or when I will be back. No one is looking for me or expecting anything from me, or telling me what to do next.

What freedom! What relief! What exhilaration! After 30 months of being highly scheduled, highly responsible and highly accountable, it feels amazing to realize that no one gives a damn where I am or what I am doing.

A MOMENT OF ABSOLUTE FREEDOM!!!

Now I realize for other people this might sound disorienting, scary or sad, but you have to understand that I am genetically programmed for independence. My mother often says that as a baby, I insisted on holding my own bottle to feed myself and I think that perfectly details my personality. I prefer to take care of myself and provide for myself. I don’t enjoy being told what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. I like to figure these things out for myself; even if it means I trip and fall sometimes, get a little lonely or feel confused about what to do next.

So what does this all have to do with personal freedom? What is the ultimate freedom? Is it physical freedom, the ability to move around this world as we choose? Is it mental freedom, the ability to think our own thoughts, make our own choices and create our own beliefs? Or is it emotional freedom, the capability to manage our own feelings, decide how we want to feel in each moment and choose how we want to respond to the world around us?

For me, it means paying really close attention to the thoughts and emotions I am experiencing and exploring how true they really are. Are these beliefs actually valid? Or have they been introduced via societal indoctrination, organizational expectations or social media click bait? Many times, I have found myself choosing to take actions (completely unsupervised) from a “should” perspective – I should get up early to start my day and be productive, I should make 20 calls before I do anything fun today, I should send out that email, I should…… fill in the blank.

It was that tiny glimmer of recognition that I can do whatever in the damn hell I want to do right now that felt like freedom and felt like fresh energy moving within me. It was realizing who I really am without all the protective mechanisms that keep me “safe” and “responsible” and sadly, unfulfilled.

I am not suggesting that everyone needs to go to the very edge of the country’s landmass to be reminded of their personal freedom, but if it is the only way to shake off the external voices and belief systems so pervasive today, I highly recommend it. Toes in the sand and an unfathomable ocean before me is as hopelessly optimistic and unfailingly free as I can BE. My hope for you today is to find one tiny space of personal freedom and appreciate the heck out of it and maybe find a little bit more tomorrow and build on that until you are feeling equally full of yourself and unapologetically FREE!

Hello Old Friend…

Don’t look at me like that…I know, I’ve been an absentee creator! It isn’t that I didn’t miss you, I’ve just been crazy busy. You know, traveling, criss-crossing the US to far flung cities and states on a weekly basis. I can’t say it hasn’t been fun, it has, and I can’t say I haven’t thought about you, I have, but I knew you would be just fine without me for a little while.  And truth be told, without the ocean outside my doorstep, I haven’t felt as inspired as I once was.  Which is fine, sometimes we have a season of creativity and then we move into a new phase, when another urge presents itself.  However, today I was inspired to look you up, old friend and felt compelled to say hello and promise that it won’t be so long between visits. I promise!

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Susan Maravetz

As happy as I am when I am coaching clients and teaching movement, there is another part of my personality that is most happily fulfilled as an entrepreneur.  From the outside, my life might look a bit schizophrenic, but to me it all makes sense.  I am always asking myself “what am I excited about, focused upon and lined up with?”

Technology has been an ongoing theme in my experience, in the 25 years since I first sold a ruggedized hard drive, I have been fascinated by the ever changing nature and empowering capabilities that are forever expanding and delivering more and more potential to corporations and individuals.

A year ago, looking for something to keep me busy, I co-founded an entertainment and video game production company – Laughing Soul Media, with my business partner Bradford Brown. We started off with a bang in May 2012, launching a week long proof-of-concept event – Experience IT! in Wilmington, NC. IT was a huge success and gave us great rocket fuel for the next year of business planning, community building and technology blueprinting.

And finally! We are here! This week we launched our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $75,000 in funding that will allow us to build a 360-degree projection dome/theater in Wilmington, NC. Inside the dome we plan to create exciting and fantastic worlds to explore, games to play, meditation experiences to share, photography expositions and many cultural opportunities yet to be defined!  And Experience IT will be portable, so we can take it to festivals, conferences, music events…the list goes on and on…

We chose Indiegogo because it provides a great platform for gaming companies and allows us to involve our friends, family and gaming community in this new adventure.  We’ve put a good deal of thought into fun perks that will appeal to our audience and we will be busy for the next six weeks getting our community motivated to support us through video updates, contests, surprise perks and of course lots of social media interaction.

Here is how you can get involved:

  • Visit our campaign page and support us by picking a perk (they start as low as $5) and sharing our page with your community.
  • Join our email list on www.laughingsoulmedia.com to receive regular updates to the campaign.
  • Like our Facebook Page so you can hear the latest scoop and SHARE away!

I will post updates here too, since it is a part of who I am and what I do, and I am enjoying the integration of all aspects of my being into a happy life.  It really is The Essential Path!

If you would like to be added to the Laughing Soul Media email newsletter list, you don’t even have to leave the page! Provide your contact info here:

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