I attended the first annual Best You Expo in Long Beach, CA this past Saturday. And IT. WAS. AWESOME.
But, at first, I came in skeptical because I got the tickets for free. And let’s face it, how good could it REALLY be if they’re handing these things out like demo tracks on Hollywood Boulevard? (And even THOSE cost $10 if you actually take one. Trust me. One time I was chased.) I received the tickets because I’ve taken a class on mindvalley.com and they sent me an email. I needed some kind refresher so I signed up for one along with another friend of mine.
When we first got there I still wasn’t 100% sold. I was worried there would be red tape, like we could only see the speakers in the booths in the basement, who would tie us up and torture us with meditation until we bought their self help program. But it turned out we had access to everything. Still didn’t know what everything was. But we had it.
The first speaker talked about basic concepts like living in the now, instead of the past or the future. I’ve heard that one a billion gagillion times but, still, it was fine… until he showed us the trailer of the movie he is producing based on his life. Dude, I love your passion, but 1: You had a typo on the slides you showed us, proofread; and 2: your video quality was grainy and dialogue unoriginal. I did not come here to see a similar version of my own life under florescent convention center lights. I wanted ANSWERS.
The second speaker we saw was on the Main Stage and deemed herself “The Happiness Guru.” She was a very quirky lady who was OK being 100 percent herself. That in itself is a great message because I’m already second guessing my previous paragraph. Was I too mean? Will they know I’m just joking? Do you think the anonymous guy I was talking about will be one of my 57 readers? Anyway, she talked a lot about not listening to anyone else and following your own intuition. Also, don’t focus on money. Focus on what makes you happy. Great. I really like writing this blog but I also need to pay rent. Suggestions, PLEASE?
Then comes Kyle Cease. Whom I am now IN LOVE with. (He has a fiance but does that REALLY matter in Hollywood? Joking. Kind of.) This isn’t a physical thing, though. I love him because he is ME. He’s doing what I want to do. And doing it very successfully and effortlessly. He is a stand up comic that uses his comedy to make people laugh at reality, simultaneously bringing a transformational message. I mean, he opened with ten minutes on how bad the venue was, calling the convention center an airplane hanger, calling out the other booths making noise. “Alaska airlines flight now boarding at Gate 1,” he retorts when when we hear someone talking on a bullhorn off in the distance. I cannot do him justice but trust me, he was hilarious. He then went into the core of his message and I want to share the three main points I learned from him.
- FALL IN LOVE WITH NOT KNOWING
Fall in love with anything that is happening. Remember, what you resist persists. I instantly know this is why I was called to this Expo. He goes on to say that you’ll never be happy WHEN something happens. First, BE happy, then something happens. Don’t worry about being right or wrong. We only do that because we’re trying to get something. If we’re trying to get something that puts us in a place of lack and pushes it away. Translation in my head: Stop worrying about how many people read this. I do this because it’s a passion of mine and makes ME happy. And like five people consistently read it.
Also stop worrying about what’s going to happen. He points out that we get anxious by the thought, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” That’s because we have a belief that we SHOULD know what’s going to happen. Instead, feel your anxiety or your control issue, love it, and let it go! FALL IN LOVE WITH NOT KNOWING! That’s when freedom happens!
- TAP IN TO YOUR INNER APPLE TREE
We’ve all heard that we can go inside and access the infinite, unconditional love that we are. That’s the basis of meditation, getting in touch with God and hearing the truth from our souls. But how often do we REALLY trust this? Kyle assures us that we all have an Oprah or a Ghandi inside us so stop trying to be successful. Trust and let God and life flow. Stop being addicted to controlling things we can’t control. Go inside and ask yourself, “what feels light and expands me?” Then follow that passionately. Stop caring what everyone else thinks! He asked us, “Do you think Elvis passed out comment cards after a show?” Do you think he cared? NO! He was freaking Elvis!
This one is sometimes hard for me. I meditate, get an answer, then tell myself, “That can’t possibly be the right.” D’oh! This morning I was brainstorming for a spec script. I was debating between The Big Bang Theory and Difficult People. I kept finding excuses not to do Difficult People even though it’s an approved show by both NBC and Warner Brothers for their 2018 fellowships. Difficult People has been cancelled after its third season. I’m not sure I can come up with their brilliantly outrageous dialogue. I’m not Jewish or gay or particularly angry. The Big Bang Theory seemed easy. Simple formula, similar jokes each episode, I’ve watched all eleven seasons. But when I sat down, entered the silence, and asked, “OK God, which should I do?” I heard DIFFICULT PEOPLE screamed at me before I could even finish. Uh, are you sure? I’m not sure— DIFFICULT PEOPLE was shouted again.
What was happening was what Kyle described as “Your body says I would love to do that. Your mind says, YEAH, BUT…” This is actually the reason why you HAVE to do it. And also why I chose Difficult People.
- EACH MORNING POSITIVELY TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT ALREADY HAPPENED THAT DAY
We’ve all heard of vision boards and meditating on a certain scenario. I do think these techniques are useful but sometimes I’m not sure if I’m really connecting the way I should. Talking out loud to someone was a completely different experience.
Kyle had us pair up with a stranger and we took turns talking about what had happened in the month that followed the expo as if it had already happened. I talked about finally writing my TV spec, submitting it to fellowships, and getting picked. I started to get emotional with this stranger as I was describing all these things. And that’s when I realized that I had been forcing myself into areas of focus because I had been worried about money. I’d been applying for technical writing jobs at 2 cents a word when I want to write for TV. So why not actually try to write for TV? Why not believe I could get one of these fellowships? Why live small when I can live big? I felt empowered to move forward and excited to start.
I listened to my partner talk about her future life and loved supporting her. When we were done with the seminar, she told me that she and her husband had written a show as well and I would be perfect for one of the roles. She asked for my card and we wished each other luck. This felt like synchronicity to me and I plan to continue doing this kind of exercise.
The rest of the day I was on cloud nine. I was in beautiful Long Beach, I went to an aroma therapy yoga class where they rubbed the most delicious tangerine oil on my hands as I downward dogged. I got to see Nia Peeples talk about her career change and hear a reading of her new children’s book, coincidentally about an apple tree. I even went to a seminar because they were offering a chance to win free wine from around the world, and I didn’t even care when she tried to sell me her self help coaching infomercial style. I mean, it started as a $19,000 value and ended at $995.
The day ended on a high when my friend, who was a dancer, noticed that there was a high school dance competition next door in the same convention center. She said, “Well they told me to follow my bliss.” So she bought us two tickets and we watched some surprisingly great hip hop and contemporary dance. It was a perfect example of life providing us just what we needed to make us happy out of nowhere. Now if only we can trust that.
And so it is.