Erin Lanahan Method

Signature method to get fit from the inside out!

Small Town Girl From Vero Beach: Zero Or Hero Beach? July 14, 2011


When you look at the world, what do you see?

I have a been a big city girl, living in Hollywood, California for the last 7 years of my life. However, a big city girl is not how my story began. I grew up in Vero Beach, a small town on the East Coast of Florida.

Like anyone who’s been raised in a small town, the small town girl inside me is a piece of my heart that will live on forever.

There is something to be said about growing up in a place that revolves around family, high school football games, homecoming parades, the annual art show, the fireman’s fair, and St. Helen’s Harvest festival.

That’s right, think Varsity Blues, and you will get an idea of the way in which I grew up. Round here, the talk of the town was who’s running for sheriff, homecoming queen, and how the Vero Beach Fighting Indians did at their Friday night football game.

The small town girl inside me is the part of me that loves family, volunteering to be of service to others, getting involved in projects that make a difference, and team work.

However, once I moved out to Los Angeles, California 7 years ago, I had to shed many of the small town qualities that weren’t as cool as I once thought they were.

Here in Vero Beach, once the home of the Dodgers Spring training, we locals tend to find a sense of separation within ourselves and from each other. We are taught that money makes you more important, that those who win prom court and football games are more special, and that living on the beach side and going to private school, is worlds away from living on the main land and attending public school.

We all grow up judging ourselves, judging each other, and sadly, regardless of where we live or how much money we have, we all pretty much end up wondering if we will ever be good enough.  

The last 7 years of my life in Los Angeles, have been 7 of the most awakening years of my life. I came face to face with my demons, and thankfully have achieved resolution with them. Of course I am always a work in progress.

I learned that we can be a Zero, or a Hero, no matter where we are living in the world.

There are many different theories as to how my hometown got its name. However, the Latin to English translation of the word VERO, means: in truth, indeed, to be sure.

ZERO Beach is a bit of an inside joke between the locals here. It’s a common way in which the younger generation locals have referred to this little town. It comes from our experience of having nothing much else to do except socialize in orange groves! However, it’s a perception issue nonetheless.

I pretty much left this famous Indian River Citrus town, when I was 18 years old. I went off to Florida State University, in Tallahassee, FL, and basically never looked back. After I graduated college, I just kept moving west, on a mission to find this small town girl the key to unlock her big city dreams. I have encountered many ups and many downs along the way.

On my path to discovering and manifesting my dreams, I have realized the importance of  love, acceptance, and compassion for self and for others.

I have transformed from a mind and spirit that felt separate and thought in separation terms, to a mind and spirit that feels we are one and thinks in oneness terms. The comparing myself to others and the fears that I was falling behind and losing the game of life began to dissolve. Instead, I recognized that it’s not a competition. Everyone has their path, and journey, and purpose, and we have no idea what anyone else’s journey is about. The small town part of my consciousness, that felt it was US against THEM, vanished.

Now I know it’s just US, working together as ONE.

Over the years, I came home to visit Vero Beach about once a year. For many years I snubbed this town, resenting it for being so “small and boring, and full of small-minded people.” However, as I have evolved and grown up, and shed the judgments and separation I grew up with, I have been able to find so much beauty here this visit.

I have learned to laugh at the gossip and not get involved. I have learned to bite my tongue and smile at the rich old women who want to label me by where I live and where I come from.

I have learned to send love to the people who have hurt me, and to forgive myself and love myself no matter what.

I don’t think of this place as just VERO Beach anymore. I also am no longer comfortable with, or interested in, referring to it as ZERO Beach. In fact I prefer to find the HERO here instead.

We all can decide to be a Zero, or a Hero, no matter we are or where we go. What we see around us is a choice…a perception.  If we find the Hero in our hearts, we will not only find the Hero in our hometowns, but we will find the Hero in the World.

A Zero will sit upon the beach and complain about how noisy the ocean is. A Zero will find ways to be less than or better than everyone else. A Zero will look for what’s wrong, rather than what’s right about people, places, and things. A Zero will form cliques and make efforts to implement separation.

The Hero is not necessarily rich or famous. A Hero will find the love in his or her heart, and will carry that love everywhere he or she goes.

A Hero will seek out ways to help others, because the Hero’s journey is not about getting ahead, but about how to be of service and to contribute to making the world a better place.

A Hero’s heart does not buy into separation, but rather knows we are all equal, and need love, compassion, and acceptance to thrive. A Hero will risk looking a fool if it means it may save someone else.

You are the creator of your experience.

We all get to decide on a daily basis, regardless of where we’re going, where we live, or where we come from, how we want to show up in the world. We CAN shed our judgments  if we want to.

What are you going to be today? Are you going to be a Zero or a Hero?

I would love to here about your journeys, choices, and thoughts. Please leave your questions and comments for me here!

Here’s to your health, wellness, and vitality!

The Divine light within me, humbly bows to the Divine light within you 😉

xoxo Erin


6 Responses to “Small Town Girl From Vero Beach: Zero Or Hero Beach?”

  1. Courtnee Says:

    Beautifully Written Erin :). As a fellow Vero Beacher I do know what you mean about people being divided into cliques. I never felt that any were paticularly snobby to me, but I do believe all were affraid of what their friends would say.

    I always was told by alot in the popular crowds that I was so nice and sweet however if I passed a group of them that all told me this privately when we shared a class wouldn’t even acknowledge me as I passed their crowd.

    Unfortantly I think the berating that people do of other’s tends to be human nature not that it is right, but it’s what other’s do. You really don’t know what a person faces in their life. You once told me you had poor self image issues and it was hard for me to image because you really seemed to me out ward looking in as someone who was beautiful, carefree, and kind.

    I constantly try to prepair my son for other kids wanting to be bullies, how to handle it, to always ask for help and if he doesnt know where to get help at school to come to me at home and I will always be there to help him. I really worry with him starting middle school because that is where it really begins and with my son being autistic I can only imagine the cruel remarks as I faced quiet a few on my own.

    One thing I have realized since that torment I endured in school looking back was those girls that made fun of me they were no prettier than I, infact I firmly believe there torment of me had to do with their own insecurities.

    Funny part is I was able to stand up to other people’s tormentor’s better than I was able to stand up to my own. I have since forgiven some of the people who picked on me and realize it was an unpleseant phase in there life that they have since changed.

    People will always have a little cruelity in there nature but if they dont keep it in check sometimes it is up to us if they cross a line to check it for them.

    • Erin Lanahan Says:

      Hi Courtnee. Thank you so much for sharing. I think it sounds like you are teaching your son well 🙂

      I am sorry you had to experience the cruelty coming from others fear and pain. I believe we all really just want to love and be loved, but unfortunately some of us get off track and disconnected from who we really are, what we really want, and what is really important in life.

      Thank you for such sweet compliments as well, and yes, we don’t always know what’s going on inside of people just by looking at their appearance. For me, I always wanted to be a good person, but I became consumed with seeking outside validation to confirm that I was, until I learned that it was my own validation I was seeking. No amount of love or compliments from others could fill the hole inside me for very long. It was an inside job.

      I think small towns have so many wonderful qualities. However, they tend to get us thinking inside a box at the same time. This post was about my experience with busting out of the box I grew up in, so I can enjoy more love, beauty, compassion, and well-being no matter what, no matter where I am. This sense of freedom comes from a mere shift in one’s perception, from zero to hero:) When we find the hero within ourselves, we find the hero everywhere.

      Love to you and your family,

  2. Annie Says:

    SO.. Shakespeare now would say, to be a hero or be a zero, that is the question..??
    yes, life is a …(Vero) beach sometimes, a touch one.. and we get to choose if we will act as heroes or zeroes…
    However I firmly believe in the existence of the zeroes… without them, there wouldn’t be heroes.. and sometimes if we won’t act as zeroes, we won’t change and become is only the other side of the coin.. I don’t know if there is anyone who keeps the score but I also firmly believe that the world is alive because of these heroes, who are aware, spreading their light, helping, believe in this Oneness, including you ii<

    • Erin Lanahan Says:

      Hi Annie, I got your email with your completed post to me, so thank you 🙂 I totally agree with you. We find the light in the dark, or the hero in the zero. Thanks so much for sharing your insights and light with us here on E.L.M. 🙂 It is always an honor and a pleasure to hear from you!

      Love xoxoxo,

  3. i really enjoyed your article Erin. It especially resonates with me since my high school reunion is next month in Washington State. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Erin Lanahan Says:

    Thanks Sarah, for your comments. Sounds like we’ve traveled a similar path. Always great to connect with new people. Thanks for reaching out and for sharing with me, as well as sharing my articles with others 🙂

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