It's been a few weeks since my last entry. I was away at an amazing conference at Esalen, a retreat center on the edge of Big Sur overlooking the ocean. What a breath-taking sight, as well as the immersion with 140 other people who are passionate about Mind Body Medicine! Following the week-long conference, I met with my Shaman, a wise woman who has been instrumental in my continued healing process.
As I look back on this year since my move from Boston, it has been a journey that I could not have anticipated, yet all along I had a KNOWING that I am on my path. I feel settled here despite some of the environmental disasters a few months back and in fact, being here during the crisis and chaos deepened my sense of purpose, again KNOWING that I am here for a reason - or two - my healing and to offer healing to others.
On May 5, 2017, Tammie and I arrived in Ojai later in the evening, only to find no heat or electricity. I chuckled as I recalled that I paid careful attention to getting Ashley settled in Boulder - apartment, utilities, food, furnishings AND I forgot to have my utilities turned on. Oh well! Tammie laid in my suitcase, all cuddled up in my clothes and I wrapped up in my coat. I used a flashlight to do a sponge bath to clean up and waited for Monday to come for lights and heat.
I easily settled into town, making friends, going to new yoga spots, dancing for the first time with a group - shaking my booty which I could never imagine back home. There was a freedom, something I knew that I needed to embrace. And while I have so much gratitude for the lessons learned back east - discipline, good study habits and work ethic - I also knew that it was time to loosen up, to truly find a balance in life.
On July 4th, I danced in my first parade ever and it was so fun! And as the year continued, I found myself in Santa Barbara doing corporate seminars for a few companies. It was then that I realized that SB fit my personality, work opportunities and overall style a bit more and thus I began the search late in November only to find an apartment that suited me perfectly almost immediately.
I had not planned on moving until my year was up in Ojai, but decided to make the move. Fires started Dec 4 and we left Ojai for respite here in what was going to be my apartment. Tammie and I spent 4 days with a mattress only, listening for alerts on the phone. The air became really smokey as the fires persisted and we headed about 5 hours north to my cousins for a few extra days. Finally we were able to head back. I spent the week packing to prepare for our official move on Dec 15 and after 3 trips back and forth on that day, we settled in a bit after 9pm, tired and ready for a good sleep.
Upon awakening the next morning and looking out the window, there was a blazing fire in the mountains not far away. Then the alerts began on the phone again - evacuate! I decided to go to church first and stopped into Unity. Services had been cancelled, but the pastor, wife and few people were there so we prayed and sang a few songs. Immediately, I had the chills that I get when I am being given a message - it is my intuitive sense that tells me to pay attention. I found my spiritual home! After church, we left for San Luis Obispo, a city I had visited the prior year. I asked the motel owner if Tammie could stay with me under the circumstances since he remembered me from the prior year.
During our short stay, I enjoyed my first tourist attraction - the Hearst Castle. What a fun excursion and amazing story about how water was brought up the mountain and how the castle was built. Upon returning, ash covered most of my belongings. There had been no time to unpack before leaving town, thus the week was spent unpacking, washing everything that I owned. I remember hitting the wall - finally!
I felt like never before - blank, aimless, not knowing my purpose. It was a most uncomfortable feeling and yet, I still had the KNOWING that this was part of the journey, the process of transformation or what I often told my clients - living life in the messy!
After a few weeks of this seemingly endless feeling, things began to come together. I was part of the choir at Unity, I was making lovely friends and acquaintances and I found my new yoga home, barre studio, coffee places and favorite place to walk Tammie along Shoreline Drive. I've recently found a loving relationship like none in my past and while pangs of old stuff can bubble up clouding my vision with fear, in my heart, I know that this chapter of life is also ready to unfold.
Not a day goes by when I don't feel blessed and grateful. It is now dusk with sounds of the evening birds and a low sun getting ready to set. I am at peace - a place that did not exist just a year ago.
Trust and KNOW that all is well!