The Definition of Freedom Is An Individual Understanding
One of my favorite places in Los Angeles is Venice Beach. That area is pretty much an amalgamation of every culture and subculture that you can imagine. I call it the “Hippie Haven” because the people who live and work on Venice Beach are so free. They carry themselves as though the don’t have a worry in the world. Maybe they don’t.
As I stroll the boardwalk, I see a multitude of of vendors selling their wares. T-shirts, art, hand made jewelry, food, blankets, massages, and all kinds of oddities. There is not much that you can’t find on Venice Beach. I can’t forget to mention the skateboarders, Muscle Beach, and the musicians. You have to stop, if only for a few seconds, and listen to Nathan Pino, who has been playing piano on the beach for years. It’s a very colorful place and the vibe is awesome. However, the best part of Venice Beach is the Pacific Ocean! It’s the most calming scene that I have ever experienced. It provides the backdrop for this colorful Hippie Haven
When walking amongst the people on the boardwalk, you’d probably think that some of them are in costume, but they’re not. They’re very comfortable with who they are; that kind of freedom is enviable. Most of the beach people that I spoke to had amazing stories about who they are, what they do, and how they got there. Some of them are homeless and actually live on the beach. Some threw caution to the wind, went for it and moved to Los Angeles on a whim, like I did. Many of them live in cars and vans. Regardless of their stories, the all seem very happy and without restraint. Every time I go there I am amazed by the lifestyles of the beach people.
While sitting in the sand on the beach, I found balance and my vibe was restored. I was overwhelmed with peace. As I mentioned in Finding Your Inner Strength, upon landing at LAX a couple of weeks ago, I was uptight, agitated, I had a false sense of reality, and I was pretty mean, impatient, and bitchy. But when I sat in the sand by the water, I saw myself and the image that I was projecting — it wasn’t me. I was familiar with that person because I had worked really hard to make her go away. Because I had stepped away from the things that kept me grounded, perhaps ignorantly believing that I could take a break from it and maintain my cool, that person who I worked so hard to make go away came back. I saw all of that in the water.
I began to breathe slower and more deeply. I could feel the calmness that I had allowed to escape me, come back. I could smell the ocean. I could feel it spray me. I felt the wind sweep my face and hair. I closed my eyes and continued to breathe deeply. I inhaled life, and exhaled the negativity that I allowed back into my life by once again allowing other people to impede on my peace, and neglecting my rituals and regimens. I could see the way I had been acting, and I was ashamed of it. I also knew that I only have the power to make amends — not the power to change anyones mind. I hold myself accountable for any pain, anguish, or bad energy that I’ve exuded onto anyone.
After a while of meditating by the water, I got up and started my trek back to the boardwalk. The experience that I had by the water had brought tears to my eyes. Add tears to my astigmatism, my vision was pretty blurred. I could see colors and movement, but I couldn’t distinguish images.
The closer I got to the boardwalk, the better I could see (I could’ve remedied the vision situation by simply putting my glasses on. I can only assume that The Source of all things needed me to step into that light and realize what was in front of me). As images became more clear, I was most fixated on the beach people, especially the vendors who were selling their own creations. I thought about how much money they might be making on the boardwalk; probably not much. I bet there are days when they don’t sell a single thing, but when I look at them, they seem very happy. They’re having the time of their lives while smiling, conversing, and fellowshipping with each other and people who are visiting the beach. I could really dig it. They’re not slaves to money, the establishment, or some conformed way of life. They have a level of wealth that most humans will never attain, one that money can’t buy. They have so much happiness inside of them that it touches everyone who steps into their presence. That’s living. That’s REALLY living
I strongly suggest that you find a beach, or some other body of water that you can go to and re-energize, or reinvigorate. You don’t have to go there everyday, just when you need to recharge. There’s something about the water that makes everything alright. It’s like a big hug from the Universe. The type of hug that leaves you with a feeling of empowerment. Before I moved to Los Angeles, I would often watch the Venice Beach cam online, because, it gave me a feeling of serenity. That feeling is multiplied by a zillion when I’m actually by the water. If water is not your thing, that’s okay, but I urge you to find a happy place, a reprieve from those things that will leave your mind and soul congested. The small amount of time that I spent at by the ocean was able to calm me down enough to see my flaws, what was missing, and what is beautiful about life — which is life!
If you don’t seek balance, you’ll remain unbalanced, and you will not receive harmony from the Universe. You’ll only get what you project. I’m living proof of that! #GOODORBAD
Love to the beach people. I love their lives. I wish you all the level of freedom, harmony, and happiness that you require and desire.
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
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