Singapore this past weekend was filled with opportunities to grow and to be more aware of my current journey. The only thing that was planned was my flight and the cozy little airbnb I booked far from the city centre.
The goal was to visit a few key spots and wander the city and take lots of pictures on my short 4 day trip. I overpacked as usual. I picked up my suitcase from baggage claim upon arrival, and of course I can't leave home with out my heavy camera and laptop backpack. I jump in cab and decided before checking in to my airbnb I would drop off my passport to the Visa office. It's now 11:30am Friday August 11th and I'm standing in Singapore, I was just in New York not that long ago, I never would have imagined being where I am and doing what I'm doing.
So I decided to just recap some of my experiences and show you that what I planned is not what ended up happening.
Again I only planned my flight and accommodations, but the day before my flight I did reach out to a private online AA group and asked about attending a mtg while I'm there, I knew I needed one but thats all I was expecting to get. I received multiple responses and was invited to 3 meetings, one on Friday evening and a 3 hour workshop on Saturday and a one on Sunday.
Day One - I met an incredible group of people, although I was exhausted I exchanged numbers and made commitments to meet up the next two days. After my haircut I cabbed it back to my airbnb and passed out by 9pm.
Day Two - I left the house at 8:30am and headed to my workshop in Chinatown, I arrived early and only a few people were there, I was immediately greeted and offered a seat by this woman. She asked my name then she shared her story, one that was similar to mine, and I knew I was supposed to hear it. Especially, the parts about her current product pitch and Shark Tank, manufacturing and her hustle. She found something that she believed in, so much that she poured everything she had into it. As she's speaking I'm listening and holding on to every inspiring and encouraging word coming from this strong womans voice, knowing she's from the States and she sounds just like me.
She had that one moment in her journey that just propelled her and made the difference, we talked about rising from our rock bottoms and surrendering to the journey. I left there even more inspired about my journey not just from speaking with her but listening to the stories of the people in this workshop. We had attendees on this call from, New York, Canada, Maldives, Orange County, Australia, and a few other places around the world to help share their experience with others.
For the rest of the day I wandered the streets and took a few photos but I was in my own little bubble, inspired and blessed, a high that I just wanted to sit in for awhile. I got some food and tried my luck with the local transport and did great for my second day. Now back home early to do some reading and writing.
Day Three - Sunday meeting at 10am and the discussion is sponsorship and sponsoring others, I couldn't help but share how that topic is exactly what I needed to hear. My sponsor told me a few months back that it was time for me to have a sponsee and I ran, there was no way I was ready. But I shared my story about my fear of female sponsors and possibly falling in love with the person who I thought was supposed to save me, everyone thought that was funny. But now I have the most amazing sponsor who I truly believe I have an energy connection with, a love, a sense of family and she has sixth sense for when I need her and that's a blessing.
The first time she showed up to a meeting I was at, it was the worst day I've had in a long time, I think I was 3 months sober. When the meeting ended I walked out and lifted my head up and she was standing right there, I started crying and I hugged her. How did she know? I asked her that and she said she just felt like I might need her today, so she showed up. Can I give that to someone else? What if I can't just show up?
So back to my meeting in Singapore, after it ended I walked around Chinatown to shop before lunch with friends, I decided to walk to the train because I was now running late. Right before I walked up the stairs I hear someone call out "Jamie", I turn around and its a girl with only 9 days sober from the meeting. She does what we all do when we first come in, we try and mask all the pain in our eyes and say we're ok. I had that split moment thought, should I say "I'm running late for lunch? and go" or "are you ok? and stay". I decided to ask if she was ok.
Crowds of people are walking around us and her eyes are tearing up, I ask if she would like to sit and talk. We walk around to the other side of the barrier and we talked and she cried for the next hour, I listened and I didn't look at the time. For an hour she strengthened my recovery and she didn't drink, I left her with my number and then we parted ways. I walked away remembering trying to string together 5 days myself during a time when everything around me was falling apart. She reminded me that to be a sponsor, is to just listen and share my experience, strength and hope so she might relate, and for me to remember that my sponsor is always there to guide me.
I left and headed to lunch with an amazing group of people and there was a moment sitting in this beautiful high rise loft in Singapore that I realized, no matter where I am in the world I will never ever be alone again. As long as I keep doing what I'm doing, then I will get what I need when I'm ready.
I headed back home with this bad headache that has been lingering all day and end up having this open and honest conversation with my airbnb host about life and recovery. We end up having dinner that evening and she took me to acupuncture the next morning before my flight.
Day 4 - at the airport, delayed flight and I'm drawn to the bookstore, I haven't read a book in a long time but I walk and grab this book from Carmine Gallo "The Storyteller's Secret" then I grab a book by Adam Grant "Originals". I never heard of either but I have always had this secret desire to do a Ted Talk, to inspire others to go after their dreams. But now I'm learning how to go after mine.
I read the Acknowledgements and as he's thanking all the people that have helped him, I also am silently thanking everyone that has helped me on my journey as I'm reading.
I really believe no matter what you do, or how big or small you think it is, you have to always acknowledge the people that helped you. There is a power behind humility and gratitude, not only do you recognize and show your appreciation for someone doing for you when they didn't need to but you show others that you can truly appreciate receiving kindness. And then give it in return. Gratitude is first and for me has to happen everyday and the rewards for that are bigger than I could've ever expected.
So I continue with the preface and at the end it reads
"One of the major findings in this book is the fact that most great storytellers have struggled in their life and they've turned their adversity into victory. Their failures make them more interesting because, as you'll learn, we are hardwired to love the rags-to-riches stories."
He goes on to talk about "The Back Story" our story shapes our future. Pay attention to your past, it holds the story of where you've been and where you are.
Tony Robbins said "People who have experienced pain, poverty, struggle, or despair are only empowered by their experience when they've developed the courage to embrace their backstory, learn from their failures, and share their lessons of struggle with others."
When I read this I realized that I was guided to write my blog over a year ago sharing my backstory, without knowing the benefits I would receive. I started to slowly peel back the layers of this protective bubble I was in all my life, one layer at a time.
I planned a trip to Singapore to see the sights and instead my higher power decided I needed to be told I was ready for the next chapter of my life, that I was ready to peel back another layer of this bubble.
I made a suggestion to that that girl with 9 days and said "Give yourself 90 days, one day at a time to not drink and I promise you, you will not feel the way you feel right now." I sat on the plane thinking about that suggestion and realized that could be said about a lot.
Give yourself 90 days, one day at a time to really work on whatever you want to work on. The results will be incredible if you are serious about it, it depends on how much you want it.
If I want to teach or inspire then I have have to learn and listen. I have to practice, train, continue to face and share my backstory and invest in myself.
I got more out of this weekend not doing anything that I originally planned.
Getting out of the bubble one layer at a time only started to happen when I got out of my own way. My journey will continue to take me to amazing places.
Mucho Love, Jamie