When I explain Los Angeles to non-Angelenos, I speak of this massive city as if possibilities are endless. I declare that it’s the mecca of health, fitness, and alternative wellness. I go on to say that I have everything I could ever ask for at my very own fingertips. My friends and peers are imaginative, open-hearted, vulnerable, and emotionally intelligent human beings. I rarely mention traffic, because based on the lifestyle I’ve created for myself – I rarely experience it.
I was born in a tiny little ski village (population 150) called Bear Valley. I have since then lived and traveled all over the world and my home base is Pacific Palisades. I’m a block from the beach, and I can’t imagine ever living away from the healing properties of the ocean.
My dad, sister, and her husband all currently, and very happily, live in Bear Valley and I make a point to visit them every year. They will more than likely always live there, and they love the tucked-away sense of serenity. I love being able to unplug and relax in the woods every once in a while, but my spirit calls for the ocean. I excitedly choose to be where I am. For my family, the thought of being in L.A. for more than a few days is unsettling to them. It just isn’t their cup of Starbucks.
I used to take this personally, but I finally accepted that everyone’s feelings, reactions, perceptions, emotions and opinions are all based on who he or she is as an individual. Furthermore, how we choose to respond to said individual has nothing to do with who he or she is. We choose to emote, vocalize, communicate, and express our “stuff” however we want. We create our own world, moment by moment. I’ve said that L.A. can be 5,000 different cities.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer
My description of this place I call “home” creates hopefulness for those who are wanting to move to The City of Angels. A common perspective of L.A. is that it’s a big, dirty, polluted, and fake city full of flakey and toxic opportunists who only care about their personal success. This fable has been portrayed in many movies and a “typical Angeleno” is usually easy to detect on the big screen.
Have I met people who exemplify the above stated in my beloved city? Sure, but also I’ve met quite a few people who are equally closed-off, guarded, angry, and on a mission to self-destruct in places outside of Los Angeles; even in remote towns similar to Bear Valley – where you can drink the tap water. Did those guarded people seem to glow in their pristine surroundings? Did they bask in the glory of their limitless possibilities to create something new and fresh in their community without any kind of competition?
The answer is “no.” They had victim conversations, limiting beliefs about what can be done in such a small town, and their livelihood also seemed to be mediocre at best. Did I also meet people in the same community who were thriving and succeeding in all domains of their lives? I most certainly did. They were happy, grateful, and abundant. Same town, multiple perceptions. No matter who we CHOOSE to be, our personal world is an exact reflection of however it is that we decide to show up.
You are the center of your own Uni-verse, the creator of your own life, and the architect of your skyscraper dreams.
Love all that is you,
Jenna Phillips is a Total Wellness Philosopher, Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & the founder of her lifestyle brand I’m On A Mission. Follow her on Twitter and be inspired.