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 ;-)