Spoken Word

THE EMPTY SPACE

Wrote this after reading Book of Truth.  

I’m stuck. Stuck in progress, ambition, achievements, relentless perpetual growth.

As if it doesn’t matter where I’m going as long as I’m shooting for the moon but we all know what happens when you install that update too soon. What do I do when I can’t stop running and last year’s dreams came true and mean nothing?

Realize that the stories you tell yourself about what you should strive for, what you’re capable of and what you need, are fabricated. To avoid the vulnerability of living in truth, they deflate it. Compelling lies told to replace it. Using so much of your vitality to justify why you’re not doing what you know you must do.

I’ll do it next year, it’s in queue. Or I don’t have what it takes to break through, don’t bite off more than you can chew. It takes a lot of effort to convince myself it’s true.

I grew up on just do it, impossible is nothing, you only live once, be all you can be and I listened. Conditioned for progress, never fearing it. But the priority became maintaining it as opposed to steering it.  

You’ll need to shift an ideology that’s deeply implanted. Progress isn’t linear, it’s an assembly. To put it together, first, be empty. Hit the delete button on everything. Create a space where only truth is allowed to cultivate. Lie detect every thought, belief and insight through a security gate.

In this space, let go of what feels heavy and grab a hold of what feels right. Unanchored by rules, schedules and convention. Be light. Open, patient, content. No to-do lists. No intent.

But I feel guilty when I do nothing. Like it’s counterproductive, even irresponsible, like I’m avoiding something.  

You’re a product of the “doer” culture that doesn’t welcome the in-between space. It wants you to leap from one goal to the next in a never ending chase.  It’s debilitating, disorienting, intangible. While the clarity that comes from surrendering to emptiness is invaluable. You’re not falling short of anything.

Dive into whatever’s inviting. In this space, exploration isn’t limited to what makes sense but whatever feels exciting.  

I’ve been here before but felt reluctant. Despite how enjoyable it can be, I never embraced it without judgment.

Expect resistance when allowing time to incubate. If you tear open a cocoon to free a butterfly, you’ll ruined the process that forms its wings. Don’t ask how long this is going to take. Or what aligning with truth will awake.   

Just know that a new future is taking root. A map is being designed. Simple and resolute. Renewing. Slowly expanding. In the emptiness, something is brewing.

Shapeless Future

Wrote this during the last 4 months of traveling »  

We create the path where our minds wander.

Where they go, our actions follow. What our actions create, or don’t create, is what our lives become. So I try to take the time to explore my landscape. To walk inside the boundaries that I built for myself.

I pass hill after hill of easily accomplished goals, built on shiny rewards that never seem to satisfy. I pass should haves holding hands with the perfect excuse for why they must remain in this land of missed opportunities. I follow them towards a landfill of ideas that were never executed and watch as they fall in like lemmings.

Staring at what might have worked turn into you’ll never know, I get a new type of worry – am I just moseying through my story without ever reaching the climax? The unfolding plot of my life is feeling a bit boring. Maybe I should stop reading this book and start a more interesting one.

I feel like my brain has no reception here. It can't receive the messages my heart is trying to send to it. I need to find a place with a better signal.

This thought sparks a flame casting just enough light to reveal a new trail. One that ends at the massive walls that surround this entire landscape.

The first step feels like a relief.

I don’t hate this place, it just got old. Like the repeat button got stuck on a song I used to like. I hear it all day everyday and now I’m just numb to it. I think of it as the familiar melody that protects me from the countless horrible songs that could play next if I hit shuffle.

As I get closer to the edge, I hear the echos of a new tune in the distance. I feel my curiosity taking over and a frenzied desire to go to the other side of the wall. To reach for something that I’m not sure I can grasp. To live where I’m breakable. Where I have less control, less comfort, less support but more passion, more surprise and more possibility.

Standing face to face with the wall I can see it’s made out of doubts, fears and insecurities. Held together by a need to preserve this psychological dome that protects me from having to feel these emotions.

This need is fading. And the more vulnerable I am, the weaker the wall becomes.

I lean down to read a tiny sticker on the edge of the wall – “Break in case of emergency”. A nice little reminder that I created these boundaries and therefor I have the ability to destroy them.

As this awareness sinks in, the walls begin to crumble. I can see lifes endless possibilities emerging on the other side. I know that it’s time to leave the hills behind and head for the mountains. It’s time to go beyond my will.

As I step over what was once an impenetrable wall, the pain in my stomach turns into a tingle. My entire being is awakened. I feel like I’m in the heart of a wild but surprisingly pleasant storm. Like unexpected torrential downpour on an unbearably hot day.

Looking at the mountains in the distance, I feel like I’m staring deep into someone’s eyes. It feels intimate and intense. Like behind the horizon there is something living and that something is staring back at me.

I can sense there is risk ahead. I wonder why am I here? Why not relax in the comfortable life that I built? I guess it’s because I know that what lies ahead holds the answers to much more important questions. Questions like, “what do I want to become?” and “am I capable of becoming that?”

My only plan is to avoid the urge to make a plan. I threw away my to-do list. I loosened my grip on life. I'm letting go of what I don’t believe in and grabbed a hold of what feels right. What makes my heart race and my eyes light up. I no longer feel guilty when I do nothing. And the tired notion that I’m falling short of something has finally left the forefront of my thinking.

My future is now shapeless.

Life is beginning to feel like a long boat ride in the middle of the ocean with no compass. Unanchored, always in movement, always in transition, completely detached from the invulnerability of a shore.

As answers slowly break into the locked portals in my mind, I feel certain about one thing – the quintessential future I’ve always been after would have never been as radiant and exciting as my current life.

Photos » @whereisyali

Our New Video » Go Seek

Here it is! Please share it!

-Yali

Myself, Eric Gillespie, Kylor Melton and Harmon Clarke took a road trip through Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Oljato Monument Valley and Lake Powell to shoot this. Shot on a RED epic, 5D mark iii, Inspire Copter and an iPhone (battery ran out on those graveyard shots...). Also we had a crazy moment in the middle of nowhere, deep inside the slots of Labyrinth Canyon we ran into Jay-Z!

Making these videos is always a challenge because we're operating at a bare minimum budget but we were lucky to have the support of Nectar Sunglasses and Forsake so make sure you check them out and show them some love :)

I got inspired to write the voice over in the video after visiting Da Poetry Lounge in West Hollywood and hearing some legendary spoken word pieces by people like Shane Koyczan. So I decided to give it a shot… Here is the transcript »

I want to go on a road trip with no plans

Play with my inner child

Take my heart off the leash and let it run wild

 

Have you ever drove past a hill on the side of the road

and had an urge to just stop and run up it?

Break the routine and just do something different

 

But instead you just keep on driving

looking back at your rear view at what could have been

I’m so tired of this feeling that the best is yet to come

the best is right here, right now

yes there’s what you need to do to make a living

but there’s also what you must do to feel alive

 

Go seek

because life is hidden and in adventure it can be found

because these pursuits are triggers for self-actualization, releasing my potential

because my body can only feel rested after it’s pushed, stretched and tested

because sometimes I feel like something is sleeping inside of me

deprived, just waiting to be revived

 

I need to be revitalized

I think that if I can spark this fire I can find the strength to reach higher

challenge myself in experiences I’ll never forget

and when I’m 80 years old on my rocking chair I’ll have no regrets

this is my calling, I’m all in

 

but it’s not just a desire, it’s my responsibility

because these places open up my eyes to  possibility

giving access to the limitless nature of our existence

distance from that voice in my head that says stop when I struggle to stay persistent

 

So I chase the version of me I want to be

stay on track by following the fear that holds me back

climbing up a setback, deep inside of what I lack

I’m stalling, running as fast as I can but feel like I’m crawling

I tell myself to take a break, relax

let what you lack be an empty crack

you don’t have to be whole to be intact

but I’m not very good at lying to myself

I know I need to catch that uncatchable self

I know that trying to be more than I am is who I am

I know that I’m in love with the never ending search

it’s my drive, my passion, my thirst

and it’s not because I’m never satisfied, it’s because I’m always satisfied

learning how to glide in this bumpy ride

this is my life commute

it’s not the pursuit of happiness

it’s the happiness of pursuit

 

I know that this trip will be over in a flash so I respect the dash

the gravestone dash between birth and death is my time

my time to explore, my time to live unbound.