It's what you do, before you do.
“It’s as if the universe knew I was entering a major life transition and she conspired to have me collide with what I needed. She’s like that.”
by Daniel DAlonzo
Three months ago, I was sitting in my Princeton, New Jersey apartment wondering if I would be in that place for the unforeseen future. That narrative remained true until I decided to write my own story.
At the time, I was participating in a 12-month personal and professional development program. Here’s a reflection from my experience in the program along with my thoughts on the future of business.
Arielle, also from my program, shared a desire to explore vulnerability. We ventured to Brooklyn to see what it was all about.
At VAF, I cultivated new superpowers and immersed in a culture that opened my mind to a new reality. VAF introduced me to a world of people just like me who were cultivating superpowers on their own terms.
I was seeking a more authentic existence and spaces to fully express myself. Once I discovered it, a seed of possibility was planted.
My dream was possible.
I designed a life plan including aspirations of the self, relationships, love, finance, and work. If actualized, I would find myself living in my new reality.
I outlined practice areas that would enable me to realize my aspirations. I set the declaration, made the commitment to go all-in, and got on the path to manifestation.
I made a decision, and continued to decide each day, that I no longer accepted the current state. I hadn’t physically moved to the city yet, but in my mind I was already there. I spoke as if I lived there. I eliminated any thought of lacking or negativity or not being ready. I lived from the future place of possibility.
I developed a mindfulness practice that came natural to me.
I found myself meditating for 30-60 minute intervals several times throughout the day. I visualized my body surrounded by a soft bubble. In the bubble, it was my space for me to be. Just be. The people, situations, and things that typically take up space in my life were in the visualization. I acknowledged them, and I gently nudged them out of my space. “This is my space.” I found myself suspended in water where all distractions fell away. I was there – nowhere – surrounded by everything and nothing.
I journaled with a new intention.
How do I feel right now? What does my body feel like? How am I being? How did I grow yesterday? Why didn’t I follow through on my commitment? Why? What becomes possible when I don’t show up for myself? What becomes possible when I take up space and own my experience? Which do I choose?
The life plan I designed articulated June 1 as the date I would be living in the city. As I neared the end of May, there were a few financial elements of the plan that had yet to fall into place. I continued to live as if I was moving to the city. I terminated my lease in NJ. I had an apartment in NYC being held for me.
My coach, Dr. Lauren Borden, PhD, kept herself out of my stories as I worked hard to rope her in. I would do my best to draw her into my context, “yes, I am doing these behaviors that aren’t good for me, but listen to my story about why I have them! See! It’s not my fault!” She showed me the state I was in – a state of being immersed in the same stories, the same narrative looped in my mind for years. Once I had elevation over the stories, I was in a position of power to decide which reality I preferred.
Another thing I appreciate about Lauren was the personalized resources she recommended between our sessions. It felt valuable and special to know as a result of learning about me, and seeing my blindspots she shared specific resources that would best serve me.
In the middle of my manifestation she recommended I read Jen Sincero’s book, You are a Badass at Making Money. I listened to it on audio book that day in its entirety. I had to be sure that I did everything I could possibly do and put it all on the line.
Two other books were recommended and played a critical role in this transformation: Conversations with God and Zen and the Art of Falling in Love.
Sincero’s voice was there to remind me I was surrounded by abundance. I would be presented with what I need when I need it.
Two nights before June 1, there were still components of the plan that had yet to fall into place. I intentionally positioned myself so there would be no choice to give up because there is now only the way forward. I trusted the universe was conspiring in my favor. I had a dream that night about a sequence of events I hadn’t thought of prior. These events would ultimately lead to me moving to the city. I awoke with a loud, “Aha!”
The feminine energy that led me to this moment began to shift to a series of “doings”.
Over the next 36 hours, I watched the universe carefully pick me up from my apartment in Princeton, NJ and gently place me in my new home in Brooklyn, NY.
I experienced the magic.
Knowing what becomes possible when I give myself permission to take up space, play big, and live from that future-facing conversation has me sharing the gift as much as possible. It’s a key that unlocks doors of opportunity. Social mobility is what gives me hope.
It has me wondering, “What becomes possible now that I experienced the magic?”
I settled into my Brooklyn apartment. I learned one of my roommates has strong social justice and digital advocacy gifts. We got the talkin’ a few times, and recently had an opportunity to go deeper.
In the first four days of Brooklyn life, I signed four new clients. I now had some runway to explore the city.
My life began to expand.
I found my way to the East Village where a group of people I never met were running a popup shop for empathy. I hadn’t been to a popup shop for empathy.
I made new friends, shared vulnerably with compassionate strangers, and experienced ongoing gratitude. Especially during the moments of direct, one-on-one human connection as I was fortunate to share with Elizabeth Werbe, seen in the cover of the video. There weren’t many rules, but the popup generally wasn’t where people came to talk about occupations. When I come in contact with a person from the social innovation / social enterprise space we relate in a unique way. Speaking with Elizabeth reminded me of my roots, and I am grateful for beginning to cultivate a one-on-one together.
At the popup, I had an opportunity to heal through some life events that I would have typically kept to myself. One evening, I sat with David Sauvage, founder of the Empath Popup, to work through something specific. He joined me in my experience and shared with me the ability to feel my way through the pain. There were tears, but they came from relief. David gave this gift to me after our session.
Surrounded by a supportive community had me feeling aligned and connected with my humanity. Bailey Robinson and Jess Mason brought this concept to life with David. They share their gifts passionately and I am grateful to have received them.
It’s as if the universe knew I was entering a major life transition and she conspired to have me collide with the Empath Popup so I had what I needed upon my arrival.
She’s like that.
I experienced authentic connection at the popup. Rather than sticking to the basics there was an invitation to go deeper. We shared how we experienced each other. We shared what was coming up for us in the moment. We shared our feelings. Life challenges. It was a healing space. The Empath Popup was a social experiment. The team is now spreading the love globally with their first Empath Online Popup this week August 16-20th.
At the popup, I met my future accountability partner who invited me to the enlightenment studio, Three Jewels, where her and I meet weekly to cultivate a deep sense of ourselves. We began the engagement with a conversation dedicated to values.
We created the container for our partnership and operate through the principles of the social contract. This relationship brought a new level of self-awareness for me. Also, knowing I would be meeting with her each week had me showing up differently for myself throughout each day, “If I don’t do xyz I am going to have to explain why.” This engagement is also unleashing my creative spirit as I turn my practice areas into tools for others to use.
I continued to explore new communities.
I met a mystic at a potluck who I now meet regularly with to talk about life, consciousness, and dance in the exploration of possibility.
I connected with Remy Teicher, an artist I met at the potluck. She was kind enough to invite me to a picnic in Prospect Park.
We did yoga, shared snacks, sipped juice, sat in a circle, and exercised our imaginations.
Creating this article has me reflecting on these wondrous experiences in a new way. To see all of your work together is powerful. I acknowledge you for the gifts you are sharing with humanity. I am honored to be apart of it.
The opportunity to connect deeply with healthy male role models is something I expressed as a desire at the popup. That same day, an elevated, purpose-driven man named Nathan Schultz arrived to the popup. We got the talkin’ and I learned he is involved in the men’s community. He runs men’s circles from his home. We connected and have been cultivating a one-on-one relationship ever since. Nathan also invited me to break bread at the first coed Dinner Confidential at the founder, Sybil Ottenstein’s, home where we shared our stories with another cluster of extraordinary humans.
At the dinner, one of the men, Kevin Hermann, shared a story that resonated with me. I later discovered he runs the men’s groups with Nathan. Another kindred spirit I aligned with in this thing called life.
I am grateful for the opportunity to traverse a few of the dynamic pockets of this city. Each experience brings with it a heightened sense of clarity, self-trust, and a knowing of who I am and the gifts I am here to share.
Last week, I was having coffee with another person I met at the popup. Sarah Davis and I meet weekly for coffee. She inspired me to invite all of you to an event of sorts. As I reached out to each of you one-at-a-time I realized the power of what I was immersed in.
I arrived to NYC three months ago only knowing one person. Now, I am blessed with the opportunity to invite you to an intimate gathering.
I thought, “I am a founder, surrounded by creators, makers, entrepreneurs, and this certainly feels like the way.”
Founder’s Way is born.
Founder’s Way is an intimate gathering of humans having future-facing conversations coming from a place of possibility. It’s a space to strengthen social ties, bridge unlikely connections, and explore the future.