I have spent a lifetime creating distractions that were designed to pull me away from my center, my truth, my connection with the universe. As I continue to grow I realize none of these distractions matter; not the debt, the house, or the material things. Even as I write this story, the universe has simplified life for me. The pen I used to share these words was borrowed from the coffee shop that I sat in. For paper, I used torn open paper bags, the kind that you would slide a warm muffin in and take on your way. Writing on the paper was especially enjoyable as with every stroke of the pen the paper crinkles, adding texture to the experience.
I cannot help but feel grateful for being given the opportunity to simplify my life. Some of the things that I have let go of have been by choice, and others have been chosen for me. It started when I went from owning a house to renting one, and it progressed from there. In the end of all my transitions I found myself renting a three bedroom house and feeling quite cozy living by myself. At the time, I felt like I had everything I needed. I had a car, bike, scooter, tech gadgets, and many other things, including my amazing clients. But, it is just when you think you have it figured out that the universe reminds you that you don't.
I was finally settled and making the most out of my life when I got “the call.” It came when I was visiting a friend in Los Angeles and taking a weekend spiritual class. By noon of the first day, after doing much energy work and meditation most of the morning, it was time to go eat. As I walked down the old, broken up sidewalk admiring all the lush green trees I heard, “it’s time.”
Now for those who don’t know, my entire business has been built around the messages I have received from the universe. Messages much like the one I had just received. You see I have a gift, and it’s not in the ability to hear the messages, everyone is able to do that. My gift is in the ability to act upon them. It is this action out of trust that has been the secret to my success. However, this particular message was not one that I had welcomed so when I heard “it’s time” I tried to ignore it, much like a child will ignore his mom when she tells him it’s time to stop playing. But truthfully, as soon as I heard the message I knew what it meant for my future.
It was time to move to Los Angeles. Part of me tried to fight it because I could feel the truth in the message, and I knew it was already happening. I actually started to laugh as a defense mechanism because I honestly felt a little scared. I had worked to build a great foundation in Phoenix, Arizona and finally felt like I was in my groove. I was making good money, lived in what many said was a mini sanctuary, and had an office in my home where I saw my clients. It was perfect. On the flip-side, LA was so big and I heard it was so expensive. How was I going to navigate it all? So my solution was to pretend I didn’t hear the message, to avoid it altogether. For me this meant not meditating, in fact I didn’t meditate for almost three weeks as a result.
Nineteen days into my boycott, I got the courage up to meditate again. Mainly out of necessity as not meditating every day left me emotionally unbalanced. I started my usual routine of getting in a comfortable seated position. Then slowly took a long, deep breath into my nose, feeling every bit of the air moving past my nostrils. As I reached the top I gently opened my mouth, letting the breath fall effortlessly out of my entire body. Every muscle opened up releasing all its tension. My mind quickly followed my body, relaxing every thought until they were far away from the front of my mind. With nothing in the way of my mind or body, I connected to the universe. Instantly feeling warmth from the unconditional love, I took another deep breath pulling in the amazing energy throughout my body. I saw it as white light and let it become my vibration. I was ready to ask my questions now and open to listen to the truth in the response.
What was I supposed to understand in what you said? Why would you want to take me away from the work I was doing here (in AZ)? How is this my path? Realizing that all these questions were starting to speed up my mind I stopped, took a deep breath of comforting white light, and sat quiet, understanding it was time to listen. I am so grateful that I did, because the response I got was so loving and profound. The universe showed me how it saw me, actually how it sees all of us, as such beautifully powerful beings of love and light completely capable of doing anything. It shared with me that in order for me to go to the next level in business, LA was where I needed to be. Then it proceeded to show me how effortless the transition could be if I allowed myself to have it. It showed me that I would have the support from my current clients and how they would still be there for me, as I would for them.
After my meditation I took a moment to let all this information sink in. It was time for me to show my ultimate trust in the universe. This is who I am, this is what got me here, at this point how could I not listen to what the universe was trying to tell me. My entire career I have been practicing what I preach, I couldn’t stop now. I started telling a few clients and the response was amazing. They immediately said, “Yes Al, you are meant to be there!” and the more I shared, the more the same response was echoed. My clients and the universe already saw me as bigger than I saw myself; I guess it was just taking me a little longer to catch on. This is not unusual, as many people seem to make less of themselves than they really are.
Now this entire process started on January 11th, 2013, that is when I received the original message. By the beginning of February I had already started to make plans. I meditated a lot during that time and got many messages. I even sought out my teacher, Claudette Cleveland, for guidance as she has always been there for me and I will always go back to her. At this point I was still unaware of the amazing gifts and wisdom that would be given to me as a result of this transition. It started with the need to cleanse and purge myself of material possessions. You see, I knew through the messages I received that I would be renting a single room in an apartment--I even knew the area I would be living in. So now I had to take a fully furnished three-bedroom house and somehow condense it down into one small room. I knew some stuff I would sell, some stuff I would give away, and some stuff would be put into a very small storage unit. I started to quickly shift my energy and let go of any attachments I had to these material things. I had fun selling some things, but even more fun giving things to people who needed the items more than I needed the money.
While we are on the topic of money, understand I didn’t have much of a savings and basically made enough money each month to pay my bills. This may help put things into perspective of how big of a deal this was and how much trust I needed to have. The universe was telling me to abandon my sole source of income and go to LA to start over. Even with the weight of all of this, I charged forward anyway. I nailed down a date and the move was set for April 21st. That alone was a small miracle. I had to get my landlord to okay me moving out if I found someone to rent the place. Surprisingly, she agreed and within two hours the universe had manifested someone to take the house. Just a day later the contract was done. I was grateful as I saw this as proof that by trusting in the universe it would all work out.
It was now April 4th and I had yet to figure out exactly where I was going to live in LA. I made plans to drive out the following Tuesday, April 9th and had only five days to find a place, get approved, and get back to Arizona. This didn’t concern me, as I knew through the information I received in my meditations that I would be successful. Many people ask me how did I know, how could I trust the messages? I guess at this point I just hear the messages as truth. Not a possibility, or a great idea, or even wishful thinking that I am making up in my head. To me it is just truth, plain and simple truth. So onward I went, feeling blessed and excited. Anytime I felt fear I just realized I was human and that it was natural. I would look to myself with love and understanding. I would appreciate the feelings I was having, then I would raise my vibration above it, and continue this amazing journey. It wasn’t always easy but I felt if I was more positive than anything else, I was staying ahead of my negative ego.
The universe ended up guiding me to a place right in the area I was told I would be. It was a cute neighborhood right next to Hollywood, nestled up against Griffith Park. It has a small neighborhood feel with a little health food grocery store and many restaurants with almost any ethnic food you could think of. You could walk or bike the entire area appropriately name Los Feliz, which in Spanish means, the happy. I was amazed to find this place because I later came to find out many of LA’s residents have never been to this area of the city. As I drove the area I searched intensely for places with for rent signs. I also got online and looked for any listings I could find. I made a lot of calls and drove many miles. I was able to see a couple places too, but nothing resonated with me. I was so worn out after that first day. I was beginning to think this was going to be harder than I thought. The fear started to creep up again when I heard, “your action is not out of trust.” The universe was right, I was pushing so hard and trying to make something happen instead of letting something happen. It didn’t have to be so hard, I didn’t have to feel and act so frantic. As I went to bed that night I remember meditating and finding peace again. I set the intention of changing my energy, relaxing and having action out of trust. When I woke up the next morning my mindset was different. I decided to get up and go out as if I was living there already. Since breakfast is my favorite thing, I wanted to find a perfect little cafe to enjoy. I got on Yelp and looked at a couple of places and picked the first one that felt good. As I left I felt excited, I knew I was being taken care of and I knew today I was going to find a place. So instead of being frantic and full of fear, I just relaxed and headed off to my new breakfast spot--aptly named Los Feliz Cafe. Now that I had my trust back, and an amazing homemade croissant breakfast sandwich in my hand, I knew that it was time for action out of trust. Well, as soon as I was done eating the most delicious sandwich of my life. I needed to get back online and look at the listings with fresh eyes; just focusing on the ones in the immediate area and only single rooms to rent.
After devouring my sandwich, I searched for a cool vibe coffee shop where I was going to continue my search. Before I got online I took a minute to appreciate where I was, looking at the cool architecture of the building I was in, sipped on my coffee, and most importantly got very clear on my intention. This was supposed to be a fun experience full of joy and trust. I closed my eyes, took a couple of deep breaths, and filled myself with white light. I was reminded that I was a beautifully powerful human being, then felt my body relax and my mind open. I was ready to try this again, but this time with the power of the universe working through me. I opened my computer and went back on craigslist. I kept my search very simple and remembered what type of place I was looking for. This allowed me to narrow my focus and price range. As I put all the specs into the search and hit enter, one place popped up. I had seen it before, at least I thought, but never really looked at it. This time I was paying attention and really looked at the post, and was still questioning whether I had seen it before or not. Then I closed my eyes, quieted my mind so I could see how it felt to me. It felt good, this was the one. I reached out by email to request a time to see the place. I still wasn’t confident that I would get a response because most of the previous listings did not respond. I then sat back and enjoyed my coffee time. Part of me wanted to keep searching but I heard the universe telling me to just relax. I stayed there for about an hour watching all the amazing people walk in and order. There was so much color, texture and energy to people. No one cared about how anyone else saw them, their only focus was expressing themselves outward. This felt good, it felt right and I knew that this kind of energy is exactly the kind I needed to be around. I was beginning to understand the bigger picture. This snapped me back into reality and I decided to check my email and see if I had received any responses. There it was, a response to my email, I couldn’t believe it! It was simple and straightforward, “If you want to see the place call me at the number below.” I quickly called and set up a time for the afternoon to meet. I was excited, I knew that this was the universe flowing to me and three o'clock could not come fast enough.
I spent the rest of my time exploring the area, feeling what it was going to be like to be here every day. When it was time to finally go to the apartment I was filled with so much amazing energy. There was a beautiful courtyard in the middle of the structure that the apartments wrapped around. As I made my way up the steps, I could feel the energy of the trees and flowers welcoming me. I walked in to find the place was just as described in my meditation, a small room in a two bedroom apartment. There was no storage to speak of, and not much room in the kitchen for my many gadgets and dishes. After the tour, which took all of thirty seconds, I looked at my potential roommate and felt his energy. At his foundation he was a kind soul and that was good enough for me. I didn’t really ask too many questions, I knew that I wanted the place and sat down and filled out the application right on the spot. I left feeling like I was still in flow but some fear was creeping back in. I just wanted to be sure I was making the right decision. I quickly countered with the words trust, as I took a deep breath.
Later that night, I meditated on it to make sure it was the right place and the universe responded, “It’s time to simplify your life Al, get rid of the distractions and excess. This is the time for you to create your path on a higher level and clear out the stuff that no longer serves this,” which seems to be almost everything, I thought. The universe was giving me the gift of freedom because everything I collected was weighing me down. As I started to let things go in my mind I already was feeling lighter. I was no longer letting it define me. It was time to define myself with who I was, not what I had. This new feeling of freedom felt amazing and so pure. I took those feelings to bed with me and slept deeply as a result.
Waking up the next morning, feeling refreshed, I jumped out of bed. It was time to do a coaching session for the friend I was staying with. This excited me very much because it was a perfect way to show my gratitude for her letting me stay, and one of the most powerful ways for me to express my love. The session went amazing, and afterwards I was on an emotional high, which is typical after I finish coaching someone. I was so connected and knew that very shortly I would hear about the place and that I was approved, although this didn’t stop me from checking my email a little more frequently than normal. Finally, just as I was about to leave to head back to my “new neighborhood,” the email came through. I had been approved and he wanted to me to meet him to take care of the paperwork and put down a deposit.
This place that I was guided to was a gift in so many ways, first financially as my rent including utilities was only $590 per month. Almost $500 less than anything else I was looking at in the area, and less than half of what I was paying in Arizona. It felt like magic was happening right before my eyes because I really believe that the listing appeared out of nowhere. I got to see the place the same day, and only one day later was approved and finishing the paperwork. Again, I saw it as more proof and reward for listening and trusting the messages the universe was giving me. Since things happened so fast, I was able to come back to Arizona a day early and immediately started packing. I was not keeping much which meant I needed to decide what I was giving away and to whom. Once again I sought guidance from the universe and what I decided to give away felt so amazing, as I was able to give people things they truly needed. They later told me how much my gifts impacted their life; to me I thought they were small and simple but to them, they were not. It made me realize that acting out of pure unconditional love is simple, but its effects are profound.
Six months have now gone by as I share my story with you. Los Angeles has been a whole new awakening, and I am finding my light and the greatness that I am. It’s coming out in ways I never thought it would. Photography, art, writing, videos, and teaching are freely flowing out of me. I am at a place where my focus is about the energy I am sending out. My intention is love and all my actions are based on this. I cannot focus on how people respond, as that only distracts me from my intention of love. I have been given the gift to jump in completely and trust totally. I have learned to open my mind up to the wisdom of the universe and let it guide my success. I have found an even deeper faith in the universe’s truth and get confirmations on a daily basis. My destiny to be a spiritual leader in the world is happening. I have to say I am still a little reluctant, mainly because I don’t imagine myself being the center of attention, but I continue to trust that the universe will show me the way while staying humble.
I still live in the small room in the two bedroom apartment. It is an amazing experience because so many big things are happening out of a place with such simplicity. I continue to get rid of the distractions in my life, as less distractions creates more actions. Next up in the releasing department is selling my car that I love. I am not doing this because I need the money, I just don’t need the car. I walk most places, as a second choice I take the subway. With the combination of my beach cruiser and the subway I can get almost anywhere. If there are no other options I ride my motorcycle, which gets me niftily in and out of traffic with ease. I’ve never felt richer in my entire life as I do in this moment, and the feeling has been accomplished with the least amount of possessions. My attention is turned inward, my focus is love, and I have infinite wisdom of the universe at my disposal anytime I need. All I have to do is listen.
The messages are there for all of us, but we must slow down enough to listen. The more you do the clearer the messages get. So whatever your dream is, I suggest you jump in with both feet and seek the guidance from the universe that is there for you all along the way. It is time to let go of fear because that is the only way you are able to hear truth from the universe. This is the process of finding yourself, your real self--the beautifully powerful human that the universe sees you as. You are capable of more than you ever imagined, all you have to do is see your true self, then be that self.