Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
This past week I read “The Game” by Neil Strauss – I had heard a lot about this book when it came out in 2005, but at the time I didn’t have any reason to read it since I was married. More than a decade later and two years after my divorce I thought – why not give it a shot? Let’s see if I can learn anything about how men interact with women.
I have never been so thankful for being married in 2005! If you haven’t read the book, it was quite the phenomena in its time. I don’t want to ruin the pick up “games” but the one that I was particularly happy to have avoided was the magic tricks. Apparently so many men were trained to do these tricks that they had to come up with some other gimmick since all of the girls already knew them. Wow!
The Game was written before online dating became “a thing” so guys still had to actually make an effort and go out to meet girls. These past few years I have wasted endless hours swiping through dating profiles and though I am infinitely amused by how men represent themselves – and yes, there are trends with tigers, babies, puppies, selfies at the gym, selfies in the bathroom, selfies in the car, etc.… – you are not original, trust me. Amazing to me though is even when you “match” with a guy they will rarely talk to you first – it is hilarious. In their profiles they whine about no one talking on the app and no one meeting them, but they don’t make any effort. They wait for the girl to initiate the conversation.
My take on this situation though, being the Alpha Female that I am, is that if I have to initiate the relationship I will have to initiate everything else too and then ultimately I will be accused of being controlling - You know its true. I find this to be a no win situation. What happened to the man asking the woman out? And if that rare event happens, it seems the best you might get is an offer for coffee, which may or may not qualify you to eat something – really? Yes, dating can get expensive – especially if you are going on multiple dates a day – that’s the reality now. The online dating apps are so easy and accessible that everyone seems to be hedging their bets and instead of trying to get to know someone and putting in some effort and time, they meet you for a nanosecond at a crowded coffee shop and access you instantly – which, in reality, is more to see if you are the person in the pictures. I get that coffee is cheap and if you play it right you don’t even have to pay for theirs…that’s the one I like the most. I wonder if that trick is in a book?
What I found most amusing about the new dating world is that I am a Taco Bell and beach type of girl. My ideal date is going through the drive-thru at Taco Bell and hanging out at sunset on the beach and getting to know each other. Walking hand in hand – enjoying nature, the beauty of the surroundings, and experiencing each other - really listening to what the other has to say without the noise and interruptions in a crowded restaurant. But, I guess it’s a good thing I’ve learned to like coffee shops now…
While my good friend, Richie, was visiting in November we made a short film (2 minutes) about online dating. We wanted to practice our video and storytelling skills so we gave each other an assignment. Three ideas. We would meet Sunday morning and decide what to shoot and our project would be done in a day. Richie had an awesome concept about telling a story entirely with our hands – no words. He wanted to see if we could convey meaning and emotion without words. I loved it! I wanted something to do with the passage of time so we put that element in there too with sand filling a half-moon bottle. The soundtrack is an original song by Richie. I hope you will watch and enjoy and come back for more!
“Live with Passion” - the first time I heard Tony Robbins speak those words was on a cassette tape, probably in my car, driving to work and I was instantly hooked! His voice, as well as what he was saying resonated with me on a level I had not felt before. Tony invigorated me to do more with my life than just exist. If I ever had a bad day I always knew I could count on Tony to rejuvenate me. Throughout the years I have subscribed to his emails, read his books and bought his updated programs. I was invited to Dreamforce 2012 in San Francisco at Moscone Center (I was living in San Jose at the time) where Tony spoke for four hours – he had us all dancing, hugging and high fiving those around us. Typically I would not be participating but when Tony said jump, I jumped. It seemed the most natural thing in the world. So when I had the opportunity to spend four days with him (along with 10,000 others) in Los Angeles I signed up.
I had always thought that a seminar with Tony would be thousands of dollars, but I only paid $650 and got a free ticket for a friend. I didn’t invite anyone because everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to do the Fire Walk and I didn’t want anyone to ruin my experience. A few years before, when I was living in San Jose, there were injuries at his Fire Walk. I remember being envious of the attendees as we waited in line together at the Starbuck’s close to the convention center. Now I think it was meant to be that I didn’t attend that event! The injuries didn’t scare me because I knew I had to try it myself. I would have attended the four days without the Fire Walk, but the Fire Walk made it a MUST instead of just a WANT. I love to push myself to do things others find uncomfortable – the very same reason I take classes at local colleges for credit instead of taking classes at a community center that cost less, but do not test me.
The first day of the four-day event was the Fire Walk. We started at 11 a.m. that day. All 10,000 of us in a freezing cold room (we were warned about the temperature before the event), with little to no breaks that day – we jumped, we danced, we hugged, we screamed, and all the while the Fire Walk loomed. At 10 p.m. the preparation began. I was excited to do it, and was happy it was happening earlier than the scheduled midnight. Little did I know that it would end up being MUCH later. We meditated, we had a live performance from Melissa Etheridge who attended the event last year and did the Fire Walk. Melissa sang a song dealing with fire: “I’m the Only One.” The large screens around us flashed live shots of the burning flames throughout the night. Instructions were given not to look down, to not run or you might trip and end up with burning coals on your face, and they gave us a mantra to chant – I don’t remember exactly what it was, something about “cool grass” – they repeated the instructions several times as they alternated the screens from hard rock music videos to the burning flames of the fire outside. Finally they had us pair up and take our shoes off. We would leave all of our belongings inside the convention center while we went outside. I, of course, took everything, not sure why people trust strangers. With 10,000 people the procession was not quick. We probably spent over an hour in line and the queue was not well thought out – everyone crowded in to get ahead. It was uncomfortable and by that time it was after 1 a.m. – we had been there 13 hours and now we were sandwiched together outside in almost total darkness with the sounds of jungle music rising from around the corner. I wasn’t sure if this was a Fire Walk or we were being burned at the stake. It was all very surreal.
As we approached the approx. 12’ of burning embers it was a relief. I wanted to go home since we had to be back by 8 a.m. the next day. A few people in front of me walked away, they got within inches of the prize and they said “no thank you.” It was hotter than I imagined. And of course, I got a fresh batch of burning embers right before I walked. But I was READY. I started out across the burning coals - it was HOT, you definitely knew you were walking on fire, and the heat rising up was enough to make me walk a little faster. Luckily no one fell or was seriously injured. I saw a few limping to the First Aid station in the Los Angeles Convention Center and many complained about being burned. Well, you did walk across fire.
How did I feel at the time? I was glad it was over and I could go home. I was a little annoyed, I wanted to come across completely unscathed but one ember had embedded itself in the soft part of my left foot and I had to flick it off once I got on the other side. Even the water that you step into immediately afterward didn’t remove it. I can still feel that burn if I think about it now. I didn’t feel quite as accomplished as I thought I might, just relieved. I had done it! I didn’t need to do ever again, but it was an experience no one could take away from me. I have always valued the experience as much as the achievement. I can access the memory at any time and it takes me back to that precise moment and feeling. I am forever a Fire Walker!
UPW 2012 – If Oprah could do it, I could do it!
(c) 2016 Teri Temme