I Love Tacos

I left behind Seattle for good. I just watched the sunset 30,000 feet in the air- pale yellow fading into orange, fading into a thin gray cloud, and finally pink as bright as lava descending into a flat plane of white, puffy clouds. Once we dip below the clouds, nighttime falls. The airplane then begins its descent along the coastline. A grid of orange lights and lines dots every speck of land to the east; the wide Pacific Ocean ebbs and flows on the west. As we descend further, I can make out the 405 by its signature unmoving lines of red lights on the right and white lights on the left. 

I love it.

I love the 405. I love the (over)population. I love the shitty suburban cities that sprawled away from Los Angeles. I love the lack of trees and abundance of electricity- palm trees are good enough for me. I love the dirt, the grit. 

I love the streets in Long Beach that are “nuts and fruits” (the ones to avoid, according to some guy). I love when the storefronts aren’t in English. I love being surrounded by people who come from all over the world and/or whose families might look and act quite different from mine- yet in Long Beach we find commonality. It is a city in which cultures mishmash. 

I don’t love poverty, but I love having grown up somewhere unsheltered. 

I love tacos.

I don’t care that Seattle tops lists of best places to live, or that it’s so clean or environmental or whatever. Lists and methodical studies don’t capture a city’s heart, or my own, and Southern Californians are environmental in our own way.  

The plane lands smoothly into the Long Beach airport- my favorite airport, well, ever. I’m home. 

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(Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach)

Aside

Self-Referral

I recently read Deepak Chopra’s short but powerful book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. It outlines how one can achieve one’s dreams by becoming in tune with the workings of the universe and one’s own spiritual nature- as opposed to traditional Western methods of hard work and conquering others. I, however, have been fixated on one tenant of the first law (“The Law of Pure Potentiality”) outlined in the book. This tenant doesn’t completely have to do with achieving success, but it is something that has basically become my daily mantra: self-referral. Chopra states:

“The experience of the Self, or ‘self-referral,’ means that our internal reference point is our own spirit, and not the objects of our experience. The opposite of self-referral is object-referral. In object-referral we are always influenced by objects outside the Self, which include situations, circumstances, people, and things… in object-referral, your internal reference point is your ego” (10).

In differentiating between our ego and our Self, he says, “The ego is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing” (11). On the other hand, the true Self is the spirit or soul. The Self is connected to the greater “pure potentiality” or “pure consciousness” (basically, God/God-like energy/higher power).

See how dense this book is? Now I must elaborate further on “pure consciousness.” Chopra states:

“Pure consciousness is pure potentiality; it is the field of all possibilities and infinite creativity. Pure consciousness is our spiritual essence. Being infinite and unbounded, it is also pure joy. Other attributes of consciousness are pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, invincibility, simplicity and bliss” (9).

Okay, are you following me still? Our Self/spirit is connected to the greater consciousness, just like one grain of sand is connected to the whole beach. Our ego, on the other hand, is our outward self, but it is not our true being.

SO! Here is my point: we must base our self-worth on our own self and not on anything external. We are not powerful because of our titles or possessions; rather, we are powerful because we are spiritual beings, and that is it. Titles and possessions fade and are unreliable, whereas or own self is eternal and stable. As Chopra explains, “Ego-based power only lasts as long as the object of reference is there… self-power, on the other hand, is permanent, because it is based on the knowledge of the Self” (12).

Using myself as an example, I cannot derive power from calling myself a writer. I cannot feel like a more powerful person if I have an article published, and I cannot feel like a less powerful person if I receive a meager reception at open mic night. Another example can be with dating. I am not a more powerful person if I have a boyfriend or if I have a lot of guys interested in me, and I am not a less powerful person if I have no guy in my life. I am powerful because of my spirit, and that is it. However, spiritual power is the highest and most fulfilling power that a person can have.

Life becomes a lot less of a roller coaster when one does not depend on “situations, circumstances, people, and things” for joy, fulfillment, or worthiness (10). In realizing that our souls are made from the same stuff as “infinite creativity… pure joy… pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, invincibility, simplicity and bliss,” then we do not need anything outside of ourselves (9).

I thus highly recommend this book! At least read the first chapter, as that has clearly been the one to have stuck with me most. However, the book is only about 100 pages, and I actually read it all in one sitting (not something I typically do). We all deserve true self-love!

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Here’s a photo of me reading an entirely different book.