🤛🏾 No More Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

IMG_20170709_170402I’ve been hiding for a long time.

I had to go with that opening line because I’d promised someone I would. I’m glad, though, because this friend suggested it as we talked about how things are going for me now, and it perfectly tells the story.

No, I’m not coming out of the closet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You might have noticed more of a mindful bent on Mondays around here. I can’t help it. Between meditation on Wednesday, yoga on Friday (something old and new), and prayers for world peace on Sundays …

Plus conversations with people I love, including myself …

Well, things are different. I’ve undergone a shift in mind and the messages I hear. In the weight, I place on kind words and unkind. It’s not just the meditation or the yoga, the disc golf and soccer training and incredible blogs I’ve read lately.

Art by Madison, pen, and watercolors on paper

Mindful isn’t enough

I’m trying to add more of the good to my life.

That doesn’t mean more rum and Coke Zero, and more tacos, although it could. It means mindful isn’t enough. Mindful in itself isn’t as good as meaningful. What good is mindfulness if I become a snob about my newfound peace?

Instead, it’s asking, what else can I do to show up?

It’s not just how I can show up for you, my friends, and help others, who want to feel more in control of life, or at least gain some peace of mind knowing where their next post will come from. It’s also how I can show up for myself.

I had to ask myself, what is leading your life?

The answer was sad. A transcript so toxic played on a constant loop, speaking up rudely even on the best of my days, even when I felt I’d turn that corner. Imagine for yourself those self-doubting, self-deprecating words you heap upon yourself.

Imagine hearing someone read them out loud, not to you, but to someone you love. A mate, a child, a parent. Wouldn’t you want to punch a f*cker in the mouth if you heard that out loud? Wouldn’t you stand up for a stranger if you heard it said to them?

How can you share it?

Monday posts need to be more than a loop of being kind to others … be kind to yourself … bloom where you’re planted … stay in the moment …

These things bring about an inner peace you can’t find otherwise. But it’s like a home-cooked meal set out at the table – with no one to share it with. How can you help more? What do you want in this life? A meaningful life is kind, but you know what it’s not?

It’s not enough. It’s not enough to keep it to yourself and head to the clubhouse.

I want optimum health. I want to keep commitments to myself and in intimate relationships. I don’t want to hang on to fringe connections that manipulate me. That releases those people to more meaningful connections elsewhere.

I want deep connections and light days.

It’s huge. It’s cosmic. It’s as simple as writing every commitment I have on note cards to index them, freeing my mind for greater ideas, more meaningful interaction with those I love, even deeper peace in moments I’m not thinking about what I’m not doing.

Or who I am not.

Tacos and … tacos?

As I said, I don’t want Monday to become Buddha’s corner. Let Elephant Journal and other blogs take care of that. My world is of tacos and writing and reading, of soccer teams and fatherhood and tacos (wait, did I say tacos twice?)

I’m seeing, though, peace extend way beyond love speak and meditative thoughts.

I’m finding it on disc golf courses and between games of a summer-league baseball doubleheader, in conversation about nostalgic ballparks, in the cool summer air with a cheeseburger in my hand, this time. I’m finding it by not looking, for John Lennon’s sake.

I’m finding it in your posts and sometimes not seeing it in your posts. That’s okay.

I’m still finding it as I fall in love with women in movies, and I’ll write about them, too. (Hey, Lake Bell!) I’m looking at old quotes and finding something new in them. Smartphone photos, too. And in #GirlsRock interviews and the questions my kids ask.

Me, though, that’s what’s different, y’all.

I’m sick of handing others a Louisville slugger and essentially letting them – practically begging them – to take swings at me, big, home run swings. Then, instead of picking up my teeth, I pick up the bat and take a few swings myself. I’m done with that shit.

I’m done hiding, done backstepping into my jester shoes. It’s me, in Hawaiian shirts on a Tuesday (hey, I got compliments on it!), engaged and irreverent as ever and for the first time, really for the first time, I’m doing it while I love who I am.

currie quote confidence



  1. Amen. And… tacos! ❤ Yes. It’s all about life and living. Sweet, messy, sparkly, muddy, life. All of it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Susan. Tacos forever! Even for breakfast. Life and living are so much more than existing – it’s like the comparison of a cold can of beanie weenies and a plate of tacos, really.

  2. Beautiful quote by Marie Currie, Eli. Yes, we must believe I’m gifted in something! Errr….is napping a gift? LOL! (≚ᄌ≚)ƶƵ

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love that Marie Currie quote, Pat! There are certainly gifts abundant, and think of the peace and quiet (and rested self you give yourself) when you nap! #naphard

  3. ksbeth says:

    i am so glad to read/hear this, eli. you do you.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      No one else is very good at being me, Beth. So I might as well!

  4. SickChristine says:


  5. Each of us is digging for our real self, to live a real life and to bring forth what is our offer to the collective. If you have love in your heart, peace of mind and compassion to offer, then how you choose to express those is yours and yours alone. It is different from someone who may seem to be the same. BE-YOU-TILL-FUL. Beautiful, Eli. Keep being you and offering your experiences and perspectives on them. We all enjoy and learn. Wishing you much love and peace in the ongoing process of being YOU. ❤️

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s all congruent journeys, right Carrie? It’s having faith in that process and who you are doing it that matters so much.

      Thanks for the kind words! I just want to write about the good stuff and discoveries and stories about my girls and teams through this lens now.

      1. And this you do very well, dear Eli. It is one of your gifts!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        You’re sweet to say it, Carrie! Thank you.

  6. Gilbert H. Cardenas says:

    Well said.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, my friend.

  7. stomperdad says:

    Like that famous Yoda quote says: You-er than you there no one is. If only we all had a Dagobah to go find ourselves… Nah.. I’d get lost and some alien monter would find me before I found myself and it would eat me even though I don’t taste like tacos.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Dude, if Yoda had a blog. Dagobah has that dreary, about-to-become-a-creature’s-lunch feel that kind of buzzkills the high, doesn’t it?

      1. stomperdad says:

        The swamp itself nearly ate the X-wing. I’d just be an horderve.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s moments like those, Eric, we realize our spot in the universe! (Or the value of having a Jedi at hand to rescue our transportation in such an instance.)

  8. Kathy G says:

    It took me longer than you to find my authenticity. Now I can’t imagine my life any other way. Congratulations.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      A challenge of all this is to not lament time lost, Kathy. Just to, as you have, enjoy the place you are now. Thank you!

  9. Beth says:

    I came to this type of realization about a year and a half ago and it was so freeing and peaceful. I hope you are feeling the same peace as you let yourself be you. And as Mr. Rogers said, I like you just the way you are.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      it frees our mind to focus on meaningful ways to live more fully, doesn’t it Beth? It’s not perfect, but it’s different, a new level achieved in a video game, and I’m shit at video games.

      I wish Mr. Rogers had a blog.

  10. I completely feel you on this one Eli. Finding time to connect to the universe and within yourself without having to explain yourself is the ultimate freedom. I have been working on my meditation lately, a task I used to see only as something I HAD To do. Like a check list on my life of things to do, right next to things like laundry and pay bills. Now I see it as a mandatory way to start my day. A way to make myself be the best person I can be. It is no longer a mundane task that hangs out with things like laundry. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I thought you might connect, Trish, knowing your journey. Now that I’ve said it, it’s all about doing it, and giving it, and writing about, but in real terms, not the details of my self discovery.

      When meditation’s place in your life evolves the way it has for you, that’s just the start. I remember running late for meditation once, and cursing the slow-walkers ahead of me on my way!

      Light-bulb moment.

      Corny as it sounds, the benefits from meditation carry over into laundry time, don’t they?

  11. I’m always amazed at how I find just the things I need to read on just the days when I need to read them. There’s a bit in here that feels just for me. So thanks.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wish the same thing were true about the right breakfast sandwich materializing on the right morning, Lisa.

      I love you found something personal in these words. Thanks for being here!

  12. Best Monday post ever. Something I needed to hear today.
    Thank you, friend 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Do you realize how many stellar Monday posts have included things like Provolone cheese and Hope Solo? That’s rare air.

      So glad you found something in here, Michelle. Lots of love to you.

  13. I’d say that any minute now, Eli, your ship is coming in, but that would be a lie: I think it’s already here.

    I, too, was hiding for a very long time. I thought it was safer if I stayed there where I was, out on the fringes of my life, not letting the right people in, not letting the right people help me get back to the core of who I was and who I wanted to become. For me, it was a slow burn until all of a sudden it was like stepping out into the sun on a lovely, sunny day after being cooped up in a windowless, basement office: blinding and beautiful and burning in all the best ways. I couldn’t look away.

    This post made me think of one of my all-time favorite passages from an Ann Lamott book I adore, Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Prayers: “If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying. You’re saying: Leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rathole. It’s warm and dry. Really, it’s fine.
    When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had this all figured out, and now we don’t. New is life.”

    So I’ll just be here now, forgetting the past along with you, moving forward, getting unstuck, letting the oxygen back in, and cleaning off all that mud. It helps us see, see for a very long way. I’ll take that view any day, and from the sound of it, I think you will, too.

    Thanks for being still, opening up your heart, and letting the light shine in — it’s a beautiful heart you have there and it deserves all the light it can hold.

    (I’m sure it also comes as no surprise to you that this is one of my all-time favorite songs.)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you, Corey. When we’re hiding, we don’t know necessarily how to come out of the shadows. And it feels safe.

      It changes us, to come out, and although we’ll still have unanswered questions and rough times, we start from a new, better perspective, better able to see.

      No one wants to live with poop up to our chins, do we? I love that passage from Ann Lamott. It’s new to me.

      Here’s to getting unstuck, feeling the sun on our faces and savoring our new air. It’s a beautiful new life, isn’t it?

  14. Cristina says:

    Love reading this Eli ! Good luck on your new journey…can’t wait to read your future posts 🙂 Have a happy week !

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you did, Christine! Thanks for being along for the ride.

  15. Sheryl says:

    Life is about living and not simply existing.. and it’s also about tacos!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think you’ve just unlocked the mysteries of the universe in a single comment, Sheryl!

  16. Charlotte says:

    Well, I just loved the ever-loving you-know-what out of this. It’s different from what I’m accustomed to seeing here and I want more of this from you. Real. Raw. Passionate. You always are, but this felt… I dunno. Maybe like you stepped away from the platform and put faith in the bungee. I dig it.

    As mentioned in the comments–you do YOU. And learn and grow and figure it out and take us all along for the ride, please. Because I look forward to seeing what’s next. And I struggle with this mindfulness stuff sometimes because as you said, what good is any of it if we are not being meaningful in the process?

    Sending much love and peace and good vibes and excited for all the latest chapters (and all the tacos) from you. Damn, I wish you lived closer! We’d totally wax poetic about life over cocktails and tacos 🙂 xoxo

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you liked it, Charlotte. I think you’ll see more, on Mondays, at least. it’s tough to be real, raw, and passionate always – but I hope it’s insightful, and real-life, because there are so many stories and examples I see and remember to convey the message.

      You guys are such a part of the process. I don’t know that any of our writing will remain for all posterity, but I know the impact we have on each other, through thoughts and experiences and support.

      We’d shut down the place with our tacos, cocktails and conversation, my friend. No doubt about it.

  17. 15andmeowing says:

    Excellent post. I agree that we need to share ourselves with those we love,but we don’t have to let everyone walk all over us. It is possible to be mindful and kind , but not get taken advantage of anyone. Now I want a taco 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Ellen. There’s a lot of strength in standing up for ourselves. I did that this week, and it wasn’t easy, but in the end, so worth it.

      yes, always, to tacos. Always.

  18. Lindsay says:

    Cheers to that! 🙂 xo

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Cheers to *you*, my friend.

  19. Mary Lou says:

    It’s an honor to know you, Eli! Your genuineness shines through in this writing. I play the song while I read! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The honor’s all mine, Mary Lou. Thank you for coming along for the ride. That song plays in my head a lot during the day.

  20. Mary Lou says:

    BTW …….. This is priceless!
    “I want optimum health. I want to keep commitments to myself and in intimate relationships. I don’t want to hang on to fringe connections that manipulate me. That releases those people to more meaningful connections elsewhere.”

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks so much, Mary Lou! That paragraph was straight from the heart. it’s part of the catalyst, I think, to a better life for me.

  21. Stole your Meme for Facebook! 😚

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      so long as you don’t steal my face for Memebook.

  22. I applaud you, Eli. If I was less tired and more coherent this morning, I’m sure I’d have more to say. But for now, I’ll just share how much this made me smile, because you’re finding peace and joy through sources and ways that are meaningful to you. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Sara. Also for reading me when you’re sleepy! Here’s to happiness for both of us.

  23. mimi says:

    One of our pastors likes to ask, “Do you think you’ve accomplished all that you were put on this earth to do?” If not, he suggests finding ways to start.

    It sounds like you are finding ways to start and continue.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I hope I never run out of stuff on this earth to accomplish, Mimi! I’d like to find ways to start every day.

      Every day feels like it’s complete and incomplete in its own way, and I’m fine with that, too.

  24. Well, Eli – I’m not sure I understand exactly what you’re saying in this post, but I’m feeling what you’re saying and am happy for your change in perspective. Finding our purpose in life AND being able to go for it is the toughest of intersections to cross.
    Love that Marie Curie quote … and the Seinfeld line, haha.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you feel it, Katherine. I think it’s an easy transition if we trust it. Where Marie Currie and Jerry Seinfeld intersect, there’s bound to be some … GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!

  25. I love so much of what you said here that I don’t even know what to say.

    But now I need tacos.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s totally okay to be rendered speechless, so long as I get to share that plate of tacos.

  26. Kisma says:

    Life without taco’s is would be very bland I fear! Life without your insight and infinite wisdom would just be boring so I am loving this!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      “Life without tacos,” in that instance, sounded exponentially worse than “life without parole,” Tiffany. It feels good to get this part of my mind out on the page.

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