The lifeless black eye of the video camera stared into my soul like death itself. “Why are you doing this?” was the question my interviewer asked me. And I found myself struggling with the answer. Not because I didn’t know, but because there were so many reasons why. As soon as the thoughts formed words and came out of my mouth, they crumbled into ash and fell to the floor. The reasons no longer made sense when I said them aloud.
Usually people decide to do the vanlife for practical or spiritual considerations: money (or lack thereof), career (or lack thereof), need for adventure, wanderlust, boredom, needing a change. All these reasons resonated with me, but none really hit the spot…. Bills weren’t an issue because I made more than enough money to pay myself and my team, and still save for taxes and my future. I was already traveling a ton, so I didn’t feel any sense of wanderlust. I wasn’t bored, I was busy. But I did feel like I needed a change. The constant upkeep of my lifestyle and my business was taxing. I enjoyed doing client videos, but the projects that I really wanted to do – those that burned in my heart, that lit me on fire – were not client videos. I felt chained to my life in Austin, and there was no break from it.
But there was still something deep down inside: an itch that needed to be scratched, something that I couldn’t put into words. Around the end of 2017, a phrase kept creeping into my mind, almost as if my subconscious was trying to communicate with me. “LIVE IN ALIGNMENT,” was the message I kept hearing. But I didn’t really understand what that meant until I received an interesting fortune from the wisdom of my Yogi tea bags. “Use your head to live with heart.” And it clicked.
I finally understood that I was ignoring my heart. There were so many things that I really wanted to do, but was putting off because I thought I was supposed to make money and build this business. My mind was not in alignment with my heart. In fact, there are usually in conflict. This can lead to countless uh-oh’s like discomfort, unfulfillment, sense of being lost, loneliness, pain, disease, even trauma. I was listening to what everybody else told me I should do, rather than listening to my own heart.
I was about to turn 30, which doesn’t really mean anything, but I felt it was time to start taking myself more seriously. My dream since I was a kid was to direct feature films, so it was time to drop the client work and actually put that dream into action. Also, I’ve always wanted to write a book, so it was time to sit down and do it. I’ve always wanted to travel the country in a van, so it was time to do it before I got tied down by a family. Taking myself more seriously simply meant that it was time to love and respect myself enough to align with my values (travel, adventure, film, art, friends/family, growth, contribution, experiencing life to the fullest). Choosing to live in alignment is the highest expression of self-love because living in alignment puts you on the road that leads directly to your dreams.
Therefore, to live in alignment means to align your heart (or soul or spirit) with your mind and body. Your dreams, your passions, your visions, your bliss, whatever those are… you must use your head to strategize how to make it happen, and then use your body to put it into ACTION, rather than just wishing or hoping for someday. “Someday” is the worst word. I hate it. It is procrastination. It is sinful. It is blasphemous. If you want to do something, just go out there and do it! The only thing that is stopping you is YOU, and any reason you have for not doing it, no matter how logical, is just a stupid excuse. So get off your ass and DO IT. Why else would you have these feelings and desires? Because you are meant to pursue them.
It’s incredible how quickly things happen when you’re living in alignment. Have you ever had the experience of trying something new and it just would not work no matter how hard you tried or what tactic you used? I experienced this for years with dating in Austin. I was so lonely, I was trying so desperately to meet somebody. But mostly the experiences just went to shit. I dated a girl who ended up having a boyfriend she didn’t tell me about, I met a girl at a music festival who tried to convert me to polyamory so she could have me and her three other “boyfriends,” I dated a nice young lady who cried at the mention of sex, I visited a love interest in San Diego who I guess realized she did not like me and abandoned me, I even dated one of my clients’ assistants for a while, but she told me point blank that she regretted having sex with me. Ok… So I don’t think I’m that terrible of a guy, but my experiences with women were proof that I was doing something wrong. Well… the only reason I was dating in the first place was because I was lonely. Rather than waiting to attract somebody who actually resonated with me, I was jumping into anything I could without doing my due diligence because I was desperate. I wasn’t living in alignment because I’ve always known that what I want for my life is partnership and family, but I was acting on short-term flings with anybody who would show up. I was sending mixed messages to the universe so the universe sent me mixed results.
But when I made the decision to do the vanlife, I found the exact van I envisioned within a couple weeks, the money that I needed showed up, the tools and workshop I needed were offered to me for free, the building went pretty much flawlessly even though I had very little construction experience – everything was smooth as silk. It was as if the universe was screaming, “YES! DO IT!” How and why does that happen? I believe when you’re living in alignment, you resonate at a different frequency because your heart is singing. And the universe responds to that energy, by giving you more of that energy. If you feel great and put out good vibes, you receive more good vibes! If you feel crappy and put out crap, you get more crap. The universe is like a giant mirror mocking you. You get what you give. In physics, this is called “The Law of Conservation of Energy,” meaning you literally cannot give without receiving or receive without giving. The energy never births or dies, it is only transmuted into a different form. That means the responsibility is in your hands. So what are you going to do with that responsibility?