Moment #1: At Best Buy in Union Square
I watched two teenagers in Best Buy. One looked like she had Down’s syndrome, and the boy looked slow or mentally delayed. They had head phones but the music was on so loud it sprayed out into the aisles. They were dancing in the store with wild, exaggerated, sloppy joy. In their presence, it wasn’t a Thursday or a trip to an electronics store. I felt glee. I felt electricity. I felt the moment tear me open. I could feel the beat of the music, the exuberance of the Universe, as they moved and let out peals of obvious laughter. They had no edges. Goodness was real here.
Moment #2: Somewhere on 9th Street in the East Village
Later I was in an offbeat, expensive boutique on 9th Street in the East Village. “So she’s trying to give me this $100.00 bill for it and I tell her, lady, that’s not a real bill,” says the man behind the counter. An intense woman with dark glasses nods her head. She says, “You got to be smart. You got to be careful.” He’s loudly recounting how he dodged getting stuck with counterfeit money. He was “no fool.” He was “too smart for that shit.” New York memories come flooding back to me. It’s the New York City battle cry, the anthem hummed in secret places. You won’t pull one over on me. I am suspicious. I am alert. I am smart. I am on edge. I am no fool. I am a New Yorker. This attitude is hard to shake when you’re daring to live a life of your dreams, daring to trust in big unseen powers. I think back to the dancers at Best Buy. They were not smart. They were free.
Moment #3: At Penguin Publishing 375 Hudson St.
I stood in the halls of Penguin publishing, eyeing the glass cases lined with bestsellers. I want to paw them, but stop myself. “Every one of these people had a dream,” I tell myself.The receptionist calls my name. I am invited in.
I published This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love back in 2003 with Tarcher/Penguin. I’m back in the office now to discuss the marketing of my new book Inspired and Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding at Your Life’s Work coming out in August 2012. Yes, I’m a professional. But I’m still in major awe. Some part of me still jumps up and down inside—crying “I did it, I did it, I did it.” This is what I wanted more than anything else in the world and I am in the building now, in the lobby of paradise. I joke with Marilyn, the receptionist, guardian of the kingdom. To her it’s just Friday. She’s looking forward to 5:00p.m. I wonder if Gabriel sits at the Pearly Gates and looks at his wrist watch too.
Moment #4: The Cowgirl Café 519 Hudson St.
Joel is my friend and he’s the President of Tarcher publishing. He’s a Vice President in Penguin publishing, too. We have a 3 ½ hour lunch at a restaurant bar called the Cowgirl. We often have long lunches when I’m in New York. I am not a “money- maker” for him. On the roster of names he knows, no one would think I’m the obvious pick of anything significant. But Joel and I have creative synergy. We laugh and brainstorm and it’s easy. Time always zips by. This is the power of destiny, I believe. You can’t make connections happen. I’ve tried to weasel into relationships with “important people” and it doesn’t work. I’ve tried to get my own agent to “like me” and I still don’t think he does. But what’s yours is yours. You can’t force grace. You can’t force passion. You can’t force a door to open. But your doors will open. Your natural paths will emerge. And you will find yourself where you’ve always belonged.
I wrote This Time I Dance! Creating the Work you Love for years without an agent, a publisher, or a connection. I believed my Heart when it told me…this will go somewhere. I trusted, tenuously, anyway, that the Universe, the Unexpected, Unseen Force of Goodness and Love…would attend or move me in some manner. And it did. And it does.
Rushing off to Grand Central Station after lunch, I take in the pure shock of the goodness in my life. I am blessed. I believe this connection with Joel, like so much else, was always a part of the secret plan. I believe my destiny holds other easy surprises in store for me still. I believe everyone’s destiny is a luminous choreography for one. I believe desire and trust take you further than anything else in this life. It’s the music only you hear, and you have to listen to it.
I no longer believe it’s smart to be smart about things. The best part of life is softening your edges– and dancing in the aisles.