Life Lesson: I Am What I Focus On


Some of you may recall a post I shared last August, in which I spoke of my decision to leave Philadelphia and move back to New York City. Well, that time will be arriving this coming September. Only 4 1/2 months away. Yahooooo!

You may have also recalled me mentioning in that post about sharing with you in the future the detailed reasons why I decided to finally leave Philadelphia. I said,

"...I don't like senselessly complaining about an issue until I can do something to change it. I won't go into everything right now, I'll save that for later posts during this next year..."

Well, a lot has changed since I said that. And by changed, I'm referring to my consciousness, my outlook on how I wish to spend the remainder of my time here in Philadelphia; choosing not to focus on what I no longer want. But instead, letting go of this city and looking forward to where I'm headed.

Why is it that when we don't like something in our lives, we seem to addictively focus our attention on that thing, creating more and more negative thoughts and feelings about that thing, giving it more and more fuel to become something even more of what we don't want. It's like an old movie that replays over and over in our heads, containing the same negative inner dialogue and pictures, depleting our spirit of energy.

In my younger years of searching for a healthier way of perceiving things in my life that I don't like, whether they be temporary or permanent, I discovered that the only way to move through those things is to stay consciously aware of where I'm directing my attention. Therefore, I should have known better than to do what I've been doing these past seven months, which has been to continually focus my energy on why I can't stand Philadelphia.

It's like the Socrates quote above:

''....focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new"

And that's exactly what I've not been doing. Rather, I've been fighting (and reliving) the old, giving it more attention and more power.

Well, finding that quote online last month was a blessing because it sobered me back to reality; reminding me of what I've known all along...I am what I focus on.

Therefore, I've decided not to share with you the countless reasons for why I'm leaving this city because I've been focusing on those reasons way too long.

But what I will share with you, is this...

I believe that people are people no matter where you live. We all have the capability to think, feel, and express the same emotions because we're human beings. So in that respect, yes, we are all the same.

However. And this is a very important however...

I also believe that every place in this world, whether it be a state, a country, a city, etc., contains a specific energy. And that energy attracts like-minded people together, who think, feel and express similar emotions and act certain ways because they resonate to the same kind of energy.

And that's the reason why I'm leaving Philadelphia. I am not (and have never been) like-minded with its people. Nor, do I resonate with the energy here. I have always felt like a foreigner.

You see, I don't believe that you have to be born somewhere to feel a connection to that place. For example, I was not born in New York, yet I feel a deeply personal and spiritual connection to that city and its people. And that's because I resonate with the energy there.

A home can be wherever you feel at home, because a home is all about knowing that you belong.

In conclusion, I have chosen to exit Philadelphia with a feeling of gratitude. Looking back, I've grown a lot in the years spent living here because I've traveled through some of the most challenging experiences of my life.

So thank you, Philadelphia.

But it's high time to say goodbye.


Yup, I'm ready to go home...


Have a fantabulous week, y'all!
X

21 comments

  1. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comApril 16, 2018

    Wise words indeed, Ron. Focusing so much negative energy on something just gives it more power, like you say. So glad you are now focusing forwards!

    An aside: A couple of years ago I was on holiday in Ericeira, Portugal, a small seaside town. I met a woman there from Lisbon who said that she had found her spiritual home in Ericeira, which is why she had moved there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, dear Ron, you are on the way to happiness. It is sad that you never could settle in Philadelphia, but it wasn't a waste of time. You discovered a lot so it was a worthwhile experience but now it's time to move on and I wish you every happiness in your return to the place you know so well. I hope you take your followers with you when you go, otherwise we shall have nothing to look forward to. By that, of course, I mean the blog. God bless you, my dear friend x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, that was interesting to me! You never felt at home in Philly, even after so many years? I think I totally get that! I lived in a city very briefly (9 months) that I completely hated and even though I could list what I hated most about it, it as really because I just didn't fit in with the mind set of the people.

    I've been recently thinking about how much pride so many folks take in their communities. What a good thing that can be, if it builds your quality of life. Happy journeys to you, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ron, I absolutely LOVE this, and your reasoning is spot-on. Dwelling on the negative eventually brings us down to its level and gives it a power over us that's way stronger than is healthy. I rather feel the same way about my little Central Illinois town and am certain I won't be staying here forever (I just need to figure out where the best energy is for me!)

    And yes, I don't fault you one bit for not delineating the reasons for your move. Of course we all care about you and want you to be happy -- that's the main thing -- and just feeling your excitement at the upcoming changes convinces me you're making the right decision about leaving. After all, it's not the leaving that's important, it's the moving *toward* something better!

    Hang in there, my friend. Four and a half months will FLY by and before you know it, you'll be posting all kinds of wonderful, interesting photos of your new HOME! xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Ron, I've been enjoying your blog for several months but have never left a comment, but felt the need to share one on this particular post. I'm from Boston but lived in Philadelphia in 2015 for almost a year. I was there on a temporary job assignment for the company I work. That city has got a very strange vibe. For being called The City of Brotherly Love, I found it unfriendly and unwelcoming. The people there seem to be inept at socializing with anyone outside their own familiar group. Everyone seems to have an insecure chip on their shoulder that comes out in such a defensive way. I've never seen so many suspicious people in all my life. And angry. I had a very hard time making friends while I was there, except for one guy who wasn't even from Philadelphia, he was from the Midwest.

    Since leaving, I've never been back to Philadelphia. Never plan to either. I hope you don't mind me sounding off.

    I wish you the best in your move to New York City. I can understand why you want to live there, it's an amazing place. And just from knowing you through your blog, I can tell from the way you write and express yourself, your energy is much more suited to NYC than Philadelphia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello there Valerie!

    Yes, in one way it is a bit sad that I have never felt settled in Philadelphia; especially being that I was born here. But even as a kid, I never felt like I belong here, which is why I left for so many years. I thought coming back, 16 years ago, it would be different. But alas...it wasn't it. But that's okay because like I shared, I've learned some of my greatest lessons here. So for that I am sooooo grateful!

    And YES....absolutely, I will definitely be taking my blog followers with me to New York, you better believe it. Which is something I am looking forward to because in New York, I'll have SO MUCH MORE to share - stories, pictures, etc.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and your for support and encouragement, dear friend. And please know that I am happy in making plans for to my move in September. Yahooooooo!

    Have a FAB week!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words, Fiona :) Yup...from this moment on my focus is onward and upward!

    "An aside: A couple of years ago I was on holiday in Ericeira, Portugal, a small seaside town. I met a woman there from Lisbon who said that she had found her spiritual home in Ericeira, which is why she had moved there."

    OMG....I LOVE that story and thanks SO MUCH for sharing it. Because it just goes to show that you don't have to be born somewhere to call it your spiritual home!

    Have a fantastic week, my friend. And thanks for stopping by!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  8. "You never felt at home in Philly, even after so many years? I think I totally get that! I lived in a city very briefly (9 months) that I completely hated and even though I could list what I hated most about it, it as really because I just didn't fit in with the mind set of the people."

    So yes, you can understand.

    And yes, even being born here, I have never felt at home. I know of someone else, a longtime friend of mine, who was also born here, she too up and left because she just couldn't take living in this city anymore. Philadelphia is a very difficult city in MANY ways. Some day when you and I meet in person, I'll go into more detail about why that is.

    "I've been recently thinking about how much pride so many folks take in their communities. What a good thing that can be, if it builds your quality of life."

    A-MEN!!! And I agree! And that's why I'm so longing to move back to NYC, because I feel such a strong sense of pride and belonging in the New York community.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, my friend. Have a FANTASTIC week!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  9. Helloooooooo there Debbie!

    "Dwelling on the negative eventually brings us down to its level and gives it a power over us that's way stronger than is healthy."

    Yes....yes...yes! And since making my decision to move from Philly, back to NYC, I've been doing that. I've been dwelling on all the many reasons why I can't stand this city and why I'm moving. Which has been such an unhealthy thing to do. However, I won't be doing that anymore. I plan to spend the remainder of my time here looking at what's ahead of me....NEW YORK CITY.....yipeeeee!

    So that's why I decided not to post about the reasons for leaving this city, because it would only add more wood to the fire. Plus, it would take TEN posts to share all the reasons - HA!

    "After all, it's not the leaving that's important, it's the moving *toward* something better!"

    You said it, my friend!!!!

    And yes...I am soooooooooooooo looking forward to sharing all kinds of stories and pictures about my life in New York City. OMG...I can't believe how many things they'll be to see and do once I move back there permanently.

    Have a FAB week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello there Daniel. Welcome! And thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. And no, I don't mind you sounding off at all. In fact, what you shared in your comment was identical of my own feelings of Philadelphia.

    And can you imagine being born here (like I was) and STILL feeling like an outsider? Even as a young child, I didn't like the "strange vibe" of this city. I always tell people that the slogan "The City of Brotherly Love" is the biggest falsity about Philadelphia.

    "The people there seem to be inept at socializing with anyone outside their own familiar group. Everyone seems to have an insecure chip on their shoulder that comes out in such a defensive way. I've never seen so many suspicious people in all my life. And angry."

    YES...that is 100% true!!!!! Boy, for being living for only a year, you nailed the essence of this city with such accuracy.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Daniel. And your your support and encouragement. Please stop by anytime!

    Have a superb week!

    X

    ReplyDelete
  11. So beautifully expressed, Ron. You have such a way of expressing your thoughts and feelings with such clarity. I found your blog by way of your photographs on Instagram, but discovered that you are also a wonderful writer. I love the way you explained how different places contain different energies because you're right. I've lived in several different places throughout my life, some feeling like I belonged, others not so much.

    I look forward to your move to New York in September and hearing all about it. I'm happy for you, Ron! You're on a whole new journey.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found your blog reading your comments left on Valerie's blog.

    Yes home is where the heart is for sure. I live in the UK but fell in love with Scottsdale in AZ, and now have a home there too. I can't tell you why, well apart from the wonderful weather, but I just feel at home there too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey there, Cool Joe! Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

    "I live in the UK but fell in love with Scottsdale in AZ, and now have a home there too. I can't tell you why, well apart from the wonderful weather, but I just feel at home there too."

    That's awesome! And that's what I mean about feeling drawn to certain places and sensing as if it's home. I felt that way about Japan. I lived there for about 2 1/2 months because I had gotten an acting job there. Well, I instantly fell in love with the country and its people. I know this might sound funny, but it felt as if I had lived there before.

    Again, thanks for stopping by. Nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. "It's like an old movie that replays over and over in our heads, containing the same negative inner dialogue and pictures, depleting our spirit of energy."

    Ron, this post is so timely because I've been contemplating a change in my life that pertains to my job. And instead of focusing on making a change, I've been consumed with thoughts and feelings about what I don't like about my current job, which has been draining me of energy to do something constructive about changing it. With me it's the fear of change, but knowing I need to do it.

    I know how much you want to move back to New York City, you've been planning this for a while now. Wow, I can't believe it's only 4 1/2 months away, the year is flying by.

    I can't thank enough for sharing this post because it's a great wake up call for me. Sometimes when we share our own experiences with other people, it helps those who might be going through the same things.

    Have a great rest of your week, Ron x

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this, and can certainly relate! I think I share your attitude about saying goodbye graciously, while Tara tends to focus on what she hates about Portland. Not to say her approach is wrong and mine (ours) is right; to each their own. I feel that looking at the negatives can be helpful, because it helps justify this big, life-changing decision that is pretty scary. It's that whole "thank god we're getting out while we can!" mentality. Having said that, I choose to celebrate the things I have enjoyed most about Portland, which is why we embarked upon this months-long Farewell Tour I have written about. In fact, tonight we are crossing one more item off that list. I have no doubt we will look back with fondness over the time spent enjoying our favorite activities one last time while still looking forward with excitement and anticipation to our move.

    BTW, it was pretty obvious you never belonged in Philly just based on the fact that you do not have that passion for their cheesesteaks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello there Elaine!

    "With me it's the fear of change, but knowing I need to do it."

    Yes, and I can totally understand your feeling because I felt the exact same way before I FINALLY made the choice to move back to NYC. I eventually got to the point where I was so sick and tired of living here that it PUSHED me to get off my ass and do something about it. However, since deciding to do this, I've been focusing on WHY I'm leave and all the reasons why I can't stand this city, which has been a waste of energy. I had to do a bit of soul searching lately to change my attitude, so that these next 4 1/2 months will be experienced with gratitude.

    OMG...yes, can you believe how fast time flew. I knew last August when I made the decision to wait until the following year that it would go by fast.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Happy to hear that this post helped you in some way. X

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey there Mark!

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing yours and Tara's experience because you so perfectly explained the two outlooks I've experienced since deciding to make this move. Like Tara, I was initially focusing on the negatives because in a way, it validated my reasons for leaving. But like you, I tend to always look at the lessons learned (the brighter side), and celebrate how I've grown FROM those lessons. Also, nothing is ever ALL bad. I've had many wonderful experiences here in Philly as well.

    "BTW, it was pretty obvious you never belonged in Philly just based on the fact that you do not have that passion for their cheesesteaks."

    Bwhahahahahahaha! OMG... that SLAYED me!!!! But, I sincerely think you're spot on about that!

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feelings, my friend. You added MUCH!

    X to you and Tara

    ReplyDelete
  18. You're welcome, Ron! I always thought that The City of Brotherly Love was such an odd label for a city that is anything but.

    I look forward to reading more about your moving. The best to you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks, Daniel!

    I'll be sharing more about move to NYC in the next several months.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Rob LenihanApril 19, 2018

    "It's like an old movie that replays over and over in our heads, containing the same negative inner dialogue and pictures, depleting our spirit of energy."

    Ron, what a brilliant observation! I have been guilty of this type of abusive thinking for years. I focus on how bad things are, how I can't stand my job,my home, my life, my whatever, instead of directing my thoughts and energy to what I really want.

    I'm so glad you're coming to New York because you've wanted to do this for so long. And I applaud the way you're bowing out of Philadelphia--with gratitude and an eye on the future!

    Great post, buddy, and I wish you all the best with this exciting new chapter of your life!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey there Rob!

    I think a lot of us do that at times. It's like our minds get trapped in rewind mode, focusing on all the reasons we don't like something, not realizing that these thoughts are keeping us in a place we really don't want anymore, because all our energy focused on what we don't want.

    Like me, rather than focusing all my energy in where I'm going, I was focusing my energy on WHY I'm leaving here; reliving the past.

    In a few month, I'll be taking several trips to NY to check out various locations I may want to live when I move there. I am sooooooo looking forward to living in my favorite city again!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a grrrrreat rest of your weekend!
    X

    ReplyDelete

I moderate all comments before publishing. Thank you for stopping by.