The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received: “Be the Light”

Lately my spiritual journey has involved a lot of “Why am I here?”-ness.

Not the classic question of “Why am I here?” like, on the planet, though. Mine has been the other classic question of “Why am I here, ‘stuck’ in this place in life when I feel like I have a higher purpose and no matter how much action I take to try and fulfill that purpose NOTHING SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING, AND SO WHAT THE FUCK, UNIVERSE?

And then last week two of my awesome #SpiritJunkie friends and I had the honor of meeting the wonderful author/spiritual teacher/sassy guru Gabrielle Bernstein, whose new book Miracles Now is (a) like a big ol’ cup of chai tea for your soul, and (b) available here.

The energy in the theater during Gabby’s lecture was, in and of itself, a miracle. It was loving and open and just good and yes, I’m being sappy and trite right now because I can.

When the topic of feeling stuck in one’s current place in life came up, Gabby’s advice changed the game for me. She simply said, “Your job is not to be a [fill in the blank with your professional title]. Your job is to be the light.”

Be. The. Light.

gab1

Girlfriend is walking the walk.

I didn’t realize it until that moment, but this has been my mission statement in my writing (where I ultimately feel a higher calling) since day one. Whether it’s by sharing a funny story, opening up about something that really sucked for me, or simply making a weird/corny pun – the goal is always to inspire/heal/entertain/make someone’s day a little less shitty. In other words, the goal is to be the light.

While Gabby spoke, I realized that I’ve been saving so much of my light for some future moment that involves the title of “Published Author” that I’ve been missing out on opportunities to be the light in the present moment of my day-to-day professional life – because at some point I had declared the corporate/media world I work in to be totally void of meaning (which it kind of is, but that’s a whole other Oprah) and therefore decided that I didn’t need to show up with my best self every day.

But the problem there is that by sitting around thinking, Ugh. I’m destined for something greater than this, I was doing a few sabotage-y things to myself and those around me:

  1. Getting lost in anxiety over the future rather than cultivating gratitude for the present moment.
  2. Focusing on where I’m not rather than accepting where I am.
  3. Forgetting that every second is an opportunity to spread love.

In fewer words, I was basically an asshole.

I’ve learned that being discontented with the present moment is a sure sign that the ego is in control. Rather than setting aside personal concerns and doing whatever you can to enhance the lives of those around you (in other words, creating ripples of good energy, in other words, being the light), you’re focused on your own self-importance (in other words, creating ripples of crappy energy, in other words, being the darkness… and not the good kind).

So. I’ve been putting this whole “be the light” thing into practice since I heard Gabby speak, and I have to say that the change in my energy since has indeed been a miracle. Yes, I’m still working toward my long-term writing goals, but I’m also not tripping over the future anymore.

Instead I’m doing whatever I can to be a source of love and positivity for those around me right now. If that means addressing a work situation that I find to be ultimately purposeless in the grand scheme of life, I do it anyway purely because (a) it’s my job, and (b) not doing it would really make someone else’s day shittier – and do I want to be involved with making someone else’s day shitty? No. That’s not very light-y.

(Side note: I feel like normal people probably just stop at (a), which is a valid enough reason to do one’s job, really, but I’m obviously not normal. And if you’re reading my blog, chances are you aren’t, either. Which is a fantastically wonderful thing.)

In conclusion: BE THE LIGHT, NIC. BE THE DAMN LIGHT.

gab2

Gab + Nic = #Light.

 

Yay! You Just Found This Blog by Googling Something Really Fucked Up

This isn’t an actual post. I just found myself sitting around the other day thinking, “Huh. If some weirdo once accidentally found my blog by searching for ‘how I became a mermaid sex toy,’ I wonder what other incredibly bizarre shit is being Googled that I’m not coming up in results for.”

And then I realized that I’ve likely been missing out on a lot of action.

And so here’s a short list I’ve compiled to ensure that I appear in as many freakish query results as possible. (Because people need to be guided here somehow, and so really I’m just helping the Universe do its job.)

  • Pounding headache after peeing on a cookbook
  • Key chains that say “PROSTATE!” on them
  • Is my vaginal discharge actually just weirdly-digested garlic mayo?
  • Who invented butter
  • Who invented buttermilk pancakes
  • Who invented the term “Butterface”
  • Am I a butterface?
  • Ducks in speedos
  • Condoms that make sex painful
  • Penises shaped like avocados
  • Avocados shaped like penises
  • Avocados shaped like avocados but that taste like penises
  • Cholula on babies

CholulaOnBaby

  • What if Jesus was actually just a really calculated drug peddler with a vivid imagination, great leadership skills, and a dream?
  • Gay people are all going to hell
  • Cheese but not the kind you eat
  • Martha Stewart told me she liked my boobs in prison but was she just being nice so I wouldn’t try to strangle her?
  • Giraffes that go too far
  • EVOLUTION IS A LIE
  • Miley Cyrus has three nipples or actually four if you count the weird thing on the side of her left butt cheek
  • Computers
  • How I became a mermaid sex toy (Just in case.)

Okay, so two things: One) Coming up with weird shit to Google is actually really, really hard, so I have to give it up to the people for whom it just comes naturally (like the mermaid sex toy guy); and Two) I’m pretty sure I just won at Search Engine Optimization.

 

If You’re as Sensitive as I Am, You Probably Just Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Watch TV

So I have this thing where I’m really empathetic all the time and I feel ALL the emotions. Even when I’m not trying to, I always find myself inadvertently mustering up at least some degree of empathy for everyone in every situation ever.

In real life this is usually a positive trait, as it allows me to have things like “compassion for others.” And understanding. And melodramatic bonding sessions with overemotional female friends who are going through ugly breakups with major douche bags who have no regard for women’s feelings but whose sides of the story I can also understand and relate to on some level, because again, empathy.

It’s a whole thing, and both my mom and new age wisdom tell me it means I might be an Earth Angel.

(OMG like Nicolas Cage in City of Angels? Which, I mean – his name is Nicolas. Without an H just like me. Holy shit. Someone find me a black trench coat and a cynical-yet-soft-on-the-inside doctor who looks like Meg Ryan.)

My high-strung emotional sensitivity can become a big problem, though, when I’m watching television. Because if the thing on the screen is all sad and desolate, then I cry and question the meaning of life. But if it’s super fun and hilarious, then you can probably bet your ass that I’m laughing out loud like the Whoopi Goldberg hyena from Disney’s The Lion King.

Basically I watch TV like a toddler on uppers.

(Side note: I’m not a parenting expert, but you probably shouldn’t give your toddler uppers. Or downers, for that matter. Or heroin. And definitely not Lucky Charms. Actually? Just don’t give them anything. Most toddlers are assholes anyways.)

(Maybe I am a parenting expert?)

So. The other night I was drinking red wine and watching some episodes of Modern Family I had saved on my DVR, and I got to one where the teenage girls Haley and Alex were lugging a mirror down into Haley’s bedroom in the basement and, out of the fucking blue, a possum (or is it opossum? this word is a dick) showed up on the steps behind them.

The reactions of the girls were really funny to me at first, and so I laughed, but then I got a closer look at the possum and my hypersensitivity arrived on cue and I was all, “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME YOU FILTHY EXCUSE FOR ONE OF GOD’S CREATURES.” And then Alex made a “playing possum” pun and Haley (the ultimate ditz) didn’t get it, but then I paused for a moment and realized that I didn’t get it either, and so I was like, “What the fuck, Alex? Thanks for making me feel stupid.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the episode, Cam’s daughter Lily had lice.

After struggling to keep her away from him by telling her that the carpet he was on was hot lava and then literally putting a cardboard box on her head (this is why I love this show), he eventually decided to travel to the Dunphy house to acquire some lice treatment he was told they had in their basement – at which point I yelled at the television screen, “DON’T DO IT, CAM. THERE’S A POSSUM LURKING!”

But he didn’t listen to me.

So then he went to the house, where Alex and Haley had lost track of the possum after hiding out in Haley’s bedroom for too long and were all like, “Huh. Where did it go? Maybe it went back outside?” and then Cam and Lily started walking down the stairs and then the fucking possum FELL FROM THE CEILING and then I legitimately screamed like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween and threw my arms up in the air in what can only be described as a really, really gay tizzy. Which also happens to be exactly what Cam did.

Except unlike Cam, I had that glass of red wine in my hand.

And, so, THIS:

img_20140306_140537

Amazingly, though, I managed to miss the couch and my rug entirely – which I’m incredibly grateful for, because that would have majorly sucked. So really, in the end, I was touched by an angel. AKA MYSELF.

 

Five Ways to Stay Zen When Life Seems to be a Total Dick

Lately, as a result of reading Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth, I’ve been really chill about everything in life.

My unprecedentedly Zen demeanor has the people around me kind of shocked.

“Wait,” they say after my bagel order is fucked up and I don’t shriek and/or fall out of my chair in a fit of hysterics, “you’re really not going to have a melodramatic breakdown over this?”

No, I will no longer unravel over bagels, because what are bagels anyways? They’re merely collections of molecules and energy – they’re form, and form never stays the same, and so trying to control or identify with form on any level (especially on the bagel level) is just silly.

But of course most of us are ruled by our egos (in other words, our thoughts), and it’s our egos that wholly identify with form – not just bagels, but our bodies, possessions, and even the thoughts themselves are a form (of energy) – and so THIS is why many of us are assholes. Because we’re trying to control circumstances and build our entire identities on shit that isn’t actually real or permanent.

So when we step back and become aware that the part of us that’s upset is often just a thought and isn’t truly who we are, we can watch as our egos go all “OMG this bagel was supposed to make all my problems go away and now it’s not even the right bagel!” and just laugh at the fact that our egos are big fucking babies.

This is the general approach I’ve been applying to all aspects of life lately, and it’s resulted in quite the shift.

And so here are five responses (all inspired by A New Earth) to common issues to help you remember that nothing in the material world is worth stressing out over. Ever.

(Note: If I sound like an asshole in any of these, it’s because I’m mostly talking to myself.)

1. Oh, that e-mail pissed you off? Well, how about the fact that if there was no electricity in the first place then your computer and/or smartphone would merely be a shitty piece of plastic and metal that takes up space, and so are you really going to allow a shitty piece of plastic and metal that takes up space to fuck with your energy like that? Plus, whoever it was who sent the annoying e-mail probably sent it from the same ego-based place in them that is now flaring up in you and getting all pissed off over a SHITTY PIECE OF PLASTIC AND METAL, so CHILL. (Love you.)

2. That guy doesn’t like you back. Hmmm… and what, exactly, is it about this guy’s perception of you that matters, like, at all? Are you going to be upset over the fact that someone else’s mental image of you isn’t one of total adoration and worship? I mean, even if this guy believed in his heart that you were gross and unlovable and Shrek-esque, what would that really mean? And if he believed that you were hot and brilliant and perfect, what would that really mean? Either way, you are who you are. The reality of the present moment is never going to be any different because of one fucking dude’s thought of who you are.

2a. Wow. Isn’t that shit freeing?

IMG_20140402_072402

3. Your train is late. Unless you plan on becoming a sorcerer of trains and personally controlling all the trains in all the land and putting an end to train delays for the rest of forever, getting angry over this could be a waste of energy. Maybe.

4. You’re 26 and haven’t yet reached any of your major life goals. Okay, so our society is all about ambition! And hard work! And life milestones! And accomplishments! And other shit. Great shit, sure. But there’s plenty of misery in identifying entirely with shit – even if it is great. And yet defining ourselves by our accomplishments is exactly what many of us are programmed to do – we compare ourselves to each other (#Facebook) relentlessly. We calculate our importance, worth, and lovability based on superficial things like job titles, homes, cars, clothes, lifestyles, whatever. But at the end of the day (when we’re all dead, for instance), what REALLY matters? Our external qualities (AKA form)? Or those parts of us that were never identified with form to begin with (AKA our simply Being and connecting and loving)?

5. They fucked up your bagel order. See: the beginning of this post.

 

26 Words to Live By for My 26th Birthday (AKA NicRiah Day)

Today is the anniversary of Mariah Carey’s and my respective births, and why this isn’t a federal holiday yet is beyond me.

But I mean, I’m sure it will be someday, because Catholic people are always in the midst of lent during this time and so they’re likely very irritable for having given something up that they love (unless they’re that guy who’s all “I give up Sprite!” when really his drink of choice is vodka and/or crack – can you drink crack? – but I digress) and so they kind of need a day off from work to help deal with all their Sprite vodka crack withdrawal fits, and so I’m sure a moment will eventually come when the Pope is all, “I have an idea! March 27th is the perfect day for a holiday and it shall be called NicRiah Day” (because why wouldn’t the Catholic church spontaneously create a new holiday in honor of a large-breasted pop diva who loves to be almost-naked on stage and a wacky tall dude from Connecticut who loves to be fully-naked…in beds with other dudes…?), and then before you know it the U.S. government will catch on to the trend and be like, “Well if all these damn Catholics are calling out of work for this new holiday anyways, then why the hell not just make it a thing?” (I think this is how Christmas happened.)

So basically when the future is here and it’s March 27, 2025 and your Jewish coworker is all, “Thanks for the freebie, Catholics!” I hope you’ll turn to the guy and say (in a stern voice), “Don’t thank the Catholics; thank Mariah Carey and Nicolas DiDomizio.”

You’re welcome.

NicRiahDay

That’s me perched upon Mariah Carey’s left ass-cheek. (Side note: That’s me perched upon Mariah Carey’s left ass-cheek — I think this is the sentence I was born to write.)

In totally unrelated and slightly more spiritual news, here’s an unabashedly redundant, cliché, and (seemingly) trite list of 26 words I plan to embody in my approach to life during my 26th year:

  1. Presence
  2. Awareness
  3. Gratitude
  4. Simplicity
  5. Peace
  6. Truth
  7. Stillness
  8. Serenity
  9. Laughter
  10. Ease
  11. Consciousness
  12. Meaning
  13. Energy
  14. Laughter again
  15. Healing
  16. Forgiveness
  17. Laughter again
  18. Absurdity
  19. Transparency
  20. Growth
  21. Trust
  22. Faith
  23. Love
  24. Sprite
  25. Vodka
  26. Crack

KIDDING ABOUT THE CRACK. I HAVE NEVER DONE CRACK.

(I don’t know why I felt the need to scream that. My apologies.)

…Okay, so this post is supposed to be over, but it felt weird to finish with a parenthetical just now. Especially a parenthetical that basically says, “I’m sorry for joking about crack and then screaming at you with caps lock afterward about how I was joking about crack.” That crack joke, really, was just a horrible idea. And now it seems to be holding me hostage. In my own blog. ON MY BIRTHDAY. WTF. Is this what they were warning me about in D.A.R.E. when I was too busy singing Mariah Carey songs in my head to pay attention? Ooh! Mariah. Full circle. Okay. Happy birthday to me. Byeee.

 

It’s Those Damn GED Commercials That Are Making America Fat

Lately I’ve been trying cut back on my bagel intake because summer is approaching, and because carbs.

Also, lately I’ve been having existential crises where I feel like I’m not trying hard enough to succeed in life.

And so now I do this thing where I’ll get all depressed and start watching TV, and then I’ll see one of those commercials for “GED pep talks,” where C-list celebrities like the mom from That ’70s Show are literally paid to motivate people (via telephone hotline) to get off their asses and work towards a GED.

And so then I ask myself, “How the fuck do I feel inadequate when there are these lazy-ass fucks out there who need to be pep-talked into getting a GED?” but then I realize what an elitist snob dickhead I must be for even having a thought like that in the first place, because “Those people couldn’t just casually graduate from high school and go to college and grad school like you did, Nic. Their circumstances were likely adverse growing up, and sometimes they probably couldn’t even eat proper meals,” and so then I just say, “Fine, fuck it,” and figure that I might as well practice gratitude and take advantage of my privilege and just eat a fucking bagel already.

And so basically I’m failing at that whole “cutting back on carbs” thing and my chances of having a six-pack (or really, an any-pack) in time for beach season are nonexistent, and IT’S ALL THE MOM FROM THAT ’70S SHOW’S FAULT.

What a bitch.*

Bagel

*Kidding! She’s delightful.

And Here’s the Douchiest OkCupid Profile EVER

In case you missed it, I recently wrote about how I advertise the fact that I’m a fast pedestrian on OkCupid because it seems like the least douche-y option for my “I’m Really Good At” section. But then just for ha-ha’s I went on this whole tangent about what I’d put in that section if I were a total douche canoe, and it was kind of the best thing ever.

I mean, this:

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 8.24.16 PMBecame this:Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 9.04.04 PM

I don’t know what this says about me as a person, but coming up with that second one was actually the most fun I’ve had in about a fortnight. And so with that in mind, I thought it’d be awesome and probably a little revelatory to sarcastically remake my entire profile in the voice of the Biggest Dick Ever* as part of an imaginary game show I just made up in my head called If I Were a Douche.

Douche

Shit. I just realized I got so carried away with all the O’s that I forgot the U in “Douche.” I’d fix it, but lately I’ve been trying to do this thing where I embrace my imperfections. (Thank you, ekgo.)

So here we go.

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 11.57.34 AMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 11.59.42 AM

Me: Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.00.54 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.03.08 PM

Shit. Did I just learn something new about myself?

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.03.44 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.04.00 PM

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.05.03 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.06.23 PM

Wow. I’m never starting a sentence with the word “also” in a dating profile ever again.

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.06.54 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.07.55 PM

Okay, Me as the Biggest Dick Ever* is getting kind of annoying – and also a little nonsensical. Chimneys? WTF?

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.08.47 PM

Me as the Biggest Dick Ever*:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.09.02 PM

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.09.28 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.09.48 PM

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.11.01 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.13.49 PMListen, Me as the Biggest Dick Ever,* you can stop filling out this profile at any time. No one is forcing you to carry this task out to completion. Also, did you just ridicule my entire career as a blogger?

Me:Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.16.54 PMMe as the Biggest Dick Ever*:

Screen shot 2014-03-16 at 12.18.46 PM

OMG but seriously, remember the AOL-butt?

*I realize that, if taken out of context, the name “Biggest Dick Ever” takes on a whole other meaning. So I thought that I should asterisk it every single time it came up in this post. Just so you know that I know.

 

“Clown-Related Crimes Soar in Parts of England” is a Real-Life Headline, but Here are Three Better Ones

Yesterday there was an actual article on New York Daily News with a headline of “Clown-Related Crimes Soar in Parts of England” and I was naturally like “WTF?” and then clicked it and learned that this is a legit problem. (But only in parts of England, because apparently clowns suck at mobilizing.)

The idea of It-like clowns wreaking havoc on small children overseas is mostly frightening but also a little hilarious (kind of like the idea of me having access to a Twitter account), but either way it’s not something I want to focus too much of my energy on.

So with that in mind, here are three headlines that are NOT real, but are similar. And a lot better.

1. Leprechaun-Related Beatings Skyrocket in Certain Rural Turkish Neighborhoods, Sources Believe Jennifer Aniston is Involved

Because let’s be honest, she was in that leprechaun movie many years ago where one of them almost killed her and so you know it’s feasible that girlfriend might hold a grudge. I mean, did you notice how she didn’t even tweet yesterday? BECAUSE IT WAS ST. PATRICK’S DAY AND SHE WAS TOO BUSY ORCHESTRATING A LEPRECHAUN-ABUSE SCHEME IN ONLY CERTAIN RURAL NEIGHBORHOODS IN TURKEY.

(Side note: I just checked Twitter and realized that my claim is ridiculous because Jennifer Aniston doesn’t even have a Twitter in the first place… or is her lack of a Twitter altogether because of leprechauns? Those fuckers do tweet like crazy, I hear. #PotOGold #TheRumorsArentTrueMyDickIsHuge #WhatElseWouldALeprechaunTweet?)

2. Weird Batch of Dunkin Donuts Munchkins in Central Connecticut Grows Wings, Violently Attacks Nuns and Strippers and Children with Gluten Allergies

I imagine these nefarious munchkins would also have really sharp, vicious-looking teeth. Kind of like Angry Birds, I guess, except munchkins?

(Side note: I just Googled Angry Birds and realized that, in spite of my mental image of them, they don’t even have teeth. Wow. I suck at offhand pop culture references today.)

Munchkins

Because these three types of humans are basically one and the same. (Side note: Did I just steal the concept for the children’s movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? I’ve never seen it, but I just realized that this looks a lot like certain advertisements I’ve seen.)

3. Croatian Mermaid Sparks Syphilis Outbreak in Adriatic Sea

Because we all know from last week that mermaids are sea-sluts.

 

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