Since being back in New York, I have to admit, It hasn't been easy.
The reverse-acclimation has been REAL...
Living in South-East Asia and South America for 7 months, and then returning to the concrete jungle ... well, they're just two very different animals.
Or maybe just two sides to the same coin...
Let me explain.
Why are they so different
I think it makes sense to begin by really breaking down the differences between the East and the West.
Let's start with the West.
The west embodies what I've come to understand as Male energy.
What that can be categorized as in one sentence is, "Being a Do-er".
We are execution machines here in the western world, especially in Metropolis type cities like NYC, and we have culture and reward-systems in place that help keep people framed in that mindset.
For instance, when I was working in the corporate world, being smart, sharp, and arrogant would be the merits to get you promoted.
As an even more micro-example, in a corporate setting, the more succinct you are in your e-mails, and the less emotion you depict, the more professional you come off.
Efficiency is everything. And theres no place for emotions in the professional realm.
This also of course translates outside of the workplace, to how folks manage their relationships, to their romantic life (or lack there of).
Here are some positive attributes to the masculine energy that exists in this part of the world:
Grounded, Physical, Security, Stability, Comfort, Livelihood, Prosperity.
However, if you don't have a good balance, here are some negative attributes that you could be experiencing from the energy in this part of the world:
Fear, Anxiety, Workaholism, Sluggishness, Excessive Spending, Greediness
The East has a special spot in my heart because I was literally deprived of this energy my entire life being an first-generation Israeli-American from an especially ambitious family.
As the saying goes, The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.
The Eastern part of the world, embodies what is known as female energy.
To me, the east represents compassion and love. And I had a serious awakening of those traits that existed deep inside of me, but just didn't have a space to release it. As I think lots of folks that are reading this right now might be feeling.
One thing I learned in the East, that might be very counter-intuitive to those who live in the West:
Ya'll ready for this...
"Relaxing is one of life's gifts" - Said nobody ever in the West -- And also Alistair La'mour
I was taught this by my healer and mentor Alistair La'mour, that I had the pleasure meeting while I was living in Ubud, Bali.
When he first said that to me, I almost laughed at him, but held it back out of respect.
It was just the exact opposite thought that was planted in my brain in the 25 years leading up to that.
My dad always taught me to Work, work, work, work, and Work more.
"Drive and passion is what gets you places" - My mom
And now i'm hearing that relaxing is a gift.
So I decided to give it a shot.
It took some time to let go of the, I need to be working, productive and efficient, mentality.
I think it took about a week.
But once I let go, something beautiful happened.
I was at peace. For the first time in, potentially my life.
And I hadn't exited a startup, or gotten a promotion.
What in the world? How could this be? Was I tricked?
Turns out, I wasn't tricked at all.
The reason I could relax in the first place, was because I busted my ass for 5 years prior, to get me to the point that I could live as a Digital Nomad in this beautiful period of my life.
But in order to enjoy this type of sabbatical (7-month leave of absinthe from reality) that I was taking, I needed to nurture my feminine side that I had neglected for so many years.
I needed to learn how to relax. I needed to be at peace with myself.
And thankfully, that's exactly what I got.
The truth is, we all have East and West, Masculine and Feminine energy in each one of us.
The trick is to find the right balance that will lead to the most happiness and success in our respective lives.
If you haven't realized, we live in a dualistic world.
Yes & No.
True & False.
Masculine & Feminine
Sun & Moon
and the list goes on...
Another interesting duality that's recently come into my life's context is the notion of Cloud vs Dirt introduced to me by someone I look up to, Businessman, Gary Vayerchuck.
This clouds vs dirt duality, is very relevant for me right now, but I think it's very relevant to a lot of other people, which is why I've decided to write about it.
So let me explain.
Clouds is basically your intuition.
If you get visions about a better future for the world, that's your clouds.
If you really want to get a job in California, that's your clouds.
If you really want to become a singer, that's your clouds....
It's basically your intuition telling you, "THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO GO, because this is the life path that I've assigned you, youngest grasshopper."
"... and if you want to be happy, you best listen to me, because if you don't listen to me, I will fill you with regret, and other negative emotions"
Now there's been LOTS of literature that explains how to enable your clouds to work with you.
A popular body of text is called "The Secret", which basically states that if you're positive about reaching your goals ... ehem ... your clouds, and you control your mind, and keep all the thoughts to be positive you will naturally attract everything into your life.
What they neglected to mention, is ... that's only one part!
And here's where things get dirty...
hands people... hands.
Gosh you have a dirty mind.
The dirt, is the work you have to put in. It's the masculine energy.
It's great to have visions, but there's a lot of WORK you have to do to MANIFEST those visions.
You cannot just sit on your couch and hope and dream. That's just not how it works.
You need to be a force.
Far are you willing to GO, and at what depths to make your dreams and reality.
I recently read a book called "The Last Lecture", by Randy Pausch.
He describes this phenomenon as Brick Walls.
In life, we're constantly presented with Brick Walls.
This can be a rejection from a job.
This can be non-acceptance to a college.
The Brick Walls are setup to show who wants it the most and also what sacrifices are you willing to take to turn your dream into a reality.
Further, the Brick walls are setup to keep out all those who don't want it ENOUGH.
My take on how to receive your dreams
Now, let me preface this, by saying, I don't know shit.
I'm very proud of my achievements, but I still have a long way to go to manifest my dreams.
This is my best shot at trying to capture what I've learned so far.
I've learned that you need to optimize your little engine that could.
We have limited resources and energy.
Which is why I need to balance my time, energy, and resources accordingly every single day, to ensure i'm moving in the right direction towards my dreams.
What kind of sacrifices have I made you ask?
- I'm a Vegan; Yeah you got it, that means when I go to chipotle, I get burritos without any meat or cheese.
- I have very strict rituals / morning routines that involve yoga and meditation to keep a powerful mindset.
- I don't drink or do recreational drugs
- I go to sleep at around 10 and try to wake up at 6AM naturally.
- I try to journal or blog when possible to capture my thoughts. It's a form of meditation.
Those of you that know me for a long time, know how extreme these changes are.
But this is what it means to me to be my BEST self. And my best self is what's going to achieve my dreams.
I was to postface (is that a thing) this by saying not everyone needs to be a vegan, meditate, and cut out drinking.
You do, whats right and good for you.
The key is, you want to wake up in the morning, knowing you're your best self, and you're on track and on your path.
Peace Beautiful People.
HUGE UPS & CREDIT: Thanks Alistair Larmour and Gary Vee for giving me stuff to work with.