Lifecoach Mike James
Paris Hilton and I. The real story....
This is 2007 at a nightclub in West Hollywood.
I used to visit a friend out there each Spring, sometimes a couple of times a year. Long weeks of partying, hookups and thinking I was on top of a world that below me felt mundane and boring.
I had been restless my whole life, other than the really, really early parts. I had a small agitation that ate at me, chewed on me all of the time. In more peaceful moments it was little nibbles, and in more desperate moments, it was huge bites that I thought I felt in my soul. I didn't know what to do with myself so I thought that finding and hanging around "important" people who could get me somewhere was "the way" to something bigger, as I knew that I was meant to do....something other than the things that I was doing.
What I was doing at the time was making sure life looked fun on the outside. A never-ending tornado of "a blast." Parties, clubs, aggressive humor and travelling to make sure that it appeared that I was a badass who just didn't give a shit about anything. "Whatever man, who cares. Let's have fun."
What I didn't realize was that everything I was hoping for, praying for, filling up journals begging for, did not line up with the actions that I was taking in my life. I tried hard to find myself in so many things and in so many people outside of me. I begged for changes I didn't realize I was not willing to make for myself, or....if I did feel good and calm...it would only last a week. Maybe two. Then the feeling of mundace would surface again. Boring. Then back to the parties. Back to the clubs. More travelling. More moving fast. I didn't know how to access the big amazing "everything" that the universe is, so again, I pretended that I didn't give shit about anything. What a deep, careless, confusing, heart wrenching lie that my head was telling me. And my head was a lot louder than my heart. So loud I couldn't hear it and didn't know the difference. I was so oblivious to everything that I settled for anything that made me feel good and made me feel like I was getting somewhere.
I travelled so far away from myself, whoever that was. Little did I know, that a year after this picture was taken I would almost overdose in my bed after eating 15 Vicodin while drinking that night at a concert. Little did I know, that two years after this picture was taken, in the same city of West Hollywood, a whole night out would vanish completely when I woke up the next morning after eating 12 of my "friend's" Xanax. Little did I know how big of a mess I was and how I was never actually moving towards something or someone, but heavily and dangerously moving away from it by distracting myself from...myself.
This may be one of my many extreme experiences of distractions but...distractions are distractions. When I finally spent the years....many, many deep, dark and insightful years to finally dig myself out of myself, did I realize and fully see just how distracted us humans are. We are so busy. Scheduled. Moving around so much thinking we are getting somewhere when most of us aren't. We stay stuck in the routines of the patterns we create. Busy and then crash. Up, then down. Most of us haven't felt an "even plane of calm" for a long, long time. I see it almost everywhere. I was it.
This version of Mike...in this picture, thought he was someone he wasn't. Something he wasn't. All the famous people and chemicals ingested (especially this night....or....morning at 4am when this picture was taken) couldn't bring me any closer to what I really needed and desired. To feel comfortable in my own skin. Calm in the world. Even if I had those peppered, fleeting moments where I did feel a sense of calm, I didn't know how to make the changes I needed to make. I was unaware of my options. That I actually had choices. Choices that could lead me back to that feeling we are all looking for. Home. "Home." Whatever that meant, wherever I was. I hoped, prayed and begged for it. Then kept doing the same things I was doing with the same people to continue to claw for those moments.
When my actions finally lined up with what I had been asking for, I realized I had to get all I was looking for, from myself. Not Paris Hilton. Not any of the other celebrities I would meet out there in California. Not at the bottom of my tenth glass of something or in the pills that I swallowed. The powders I sniffed on that dance floor. It was in the hard, deep work of pulling myself out of myself and looking at the new choices and options I had, and then what to take action on, however terrifying and disorienting. Or what not to take action on if it was distracting me and killing me. And because I wasn't covered and all consumed in "Mike" what I was looking for could recognize and find me. The hard work pulled me away from the slllloooow, unintentional but intentional suicide mission I had been on for years.
When I finally got out of the tiny, tiny space that Mike filled in this world was I then able to see and then join the big beautiful picture of everything. When I was so filled up with "Mike", what I was doing and who I was pretending to be was actually the separation I was creating. And although that previous Mike might have been "fun", he was miserably mundane and boring, and without the depth he sought out in all of the places that just kept him distracted.
New options are everywhere. Fresh choices are always right in front of us. Your story or some incidents that you yourself have faced may not be as extreme as some of mine or maybe yours were even more, but stuck is stuck. Distracted is distracted. I now know how to access those options and choices.
I am living proof that we can find our way out of our circumstances by getting out of ourselves and joining that which is so much more big. And incredible beyond words. And a part of the great everything.
Man did I think I was a "cool guy" when I originally posted this picture back in the day. What an inaccurate commercial of myself. An exciting, false display. I was barely alive.
Now I am. I really, REALLY am. All because of "choice." Thank you for reading.
If you too feel busy, stuck or distracted from the big picture of life, check out the sample stories above from my “Secrets of a Life Coach” audio series. Inspirational stories that will empower you with fresh choices while on the go. It’s fun self-help!