I was laying on her floor in Montevideo on a warm summer day in November. Her name is Lorena and she was giving me a Reiki session (Hi Lore, you’re amazing). I was hoping to get some clarity around some big life decisions I had on the horizon.
I have lived most of the last 15 years of my life between New York City and San Francisco. I love cities. I love people. I love the action and energy. But for the last several years, I kept making myself a promise.
“This year, I will spend more time in nature.”
And then the year passes, and aside from a few hikes and weekend trips to the woods, I basically never leave the city. Another promise for another year, I thought, defeated. We always know when we disappoint ourselves, and it never feels good.
I spent 2020 living in Uruguay. And then “it” started happening. I caught myself repeatedly complaining about the traffic, the dogs barking, the constant motorcycle engines unnecessarily roaring. Why? Why is there so much noise?
I continued on with the same litany. “I just wish I had more nature in my life.” I’d find myself saying that line over and over. Maybe next year, maybe I can find a farm, maybe maybe maybe.
So, I am on Lorena’s floor, in a beautifully serene interior setup. Palo Santo burning, high frequency music playing at a low volume, Lore’s voice at a perfect tone as I settle in for the session.
It wasn’t five minutes into the work when, all at the exact same time, I heard: a symphony of barking dogs, a construction site drilling into the building next store, and a series of motos passing by, seemingly racing each other.
At that point, I laughed inside and spoke to myself.
“Brian, either move into nature right now, or never complain about it again. Make a choice, and do it. No more talk, or thought, or maybe.”
And I did. I now live on the Big Island of Hawaii, home of wild, other-wordly nature. Yesterday, I swam over reefs in the ocean. Today, I planted a garden. Tomorrow, I will walk barefoot in the forest. Tonight, I write as the wind blows and crickets sing.
I’m not naive enough to think we can change everything we complain about, but I do think that we can get real with ourselves about what is in our control. The only thing more certain than the ease of being comfortable with being dissatisfied, is the empowerment you feel once you honor what your soul is seeking.
In my case, it was to live a life more aligned, connected, and rooted in nature.
Whatever that thing is for you, ask yourself what can you do right now to shift that complaint to choice.
And then please choose it.