I thought I was totally losing it the week after I did my reiki level 1 and 2 training until I reached out to my network of fellow shamanic reiki practitioners who I traveled with to Guatemala in April.
I realized that my uncontrollable crying was actually healing – part of the attunement is that memories or emotions come back up to be processed and healed. One woman recommended that the book "Rise Sister Rise" might be a sweet treat for me at this time. I have a thing where I will get any book anyone recommends to me because part of how Spirit works through me is through book recommendations (yes, I am that much of a bookworm).
The book was refreshing but what I've found even more potent is the Spotify playlist called Rise Sister Rise compiled by the author Rebecca Campbell. Recently I've taken to long walks around San Francisco listening to podcasts and this playlist on repeat. The strong women – Rising Appalachia, oh death -- have given me hope. Not feeling alone, in it together... When I time when I have felt like I was going through death...Destiny's Child. So beautiful...
I don't know what it is about San Francisco, but this city has been home to much of my existential angst. When I moved home from two years of living and working in Vietnam, I landed in San Francisco at my parents' house without a job or any clue how to be a working adult in America. I would walk around and look at stores and cafes with "We're Hiring!" signs and wonder if I should apply. I would watch people go to work in the Financial District with such a sense of purpose and wonder if I would ever feel that.
I landed back here again after leaving New York City at the age of 27. I had an MFA and lots more awesome experience but also no idea what to do with myself. I thought I was moving back to California with a boyfriend who I lived with in Brooklyn but that relationship was not meant to last.
And now I'm back again. At the age of 30. I told myself I would never have to live with my parents again but alas it's better to live with your parents than live in a beautiful home with a partner in an unhealthy relationship. I'm back to my long walks around the city, wondering what it is that I'm meant to be doing but also grateful to have this time. So many people are so afraid to feel this that they keep themselves artificially busy. Aimless wandering is as much a spiritual practice of walking silently through the forest. It's urban forest bathing.
I knew the relationship wasn't right from the very beginning. But it looked good from the outside. Right on paper. He loved me so. He made me feel safe in a mysterious world. He has a powerful way with words that spoke to my sense of spirituality but ultimately goes to show that spirituality can be dangerously manipulative and you have to be so tuned in to how you feel internally. The mind can be tricked but the body doesn't lie.
The hardest thing to leave was the cottage I clearly manifested (and he paid for) and the love and energy I put into decorating it. He made me believe that if only we set it up perfectly, I could see the dream coming true and not be able to leave. So I spent months and thousands of dollars to make it perfect – culminating in hosting a dinner party of my dreams and having people I admire tell me how beautiful it all was. Beautiful, yes. But it was hiding my inner turmoil. I was lying to myself and everyone around me and only my body kept the true count.
And when my body cleary told me it was time to leave, I managed to pack up most of my clothes. Well actually my mom came and packed my clothes while I lay on the bed sobbing in invisible pain. The rest of my stuff is still there. I miss my things. I miss my temple. But this is where the spiritual practice really comes in.
Nothing is permanent. Home is inside you. Speak your truth. Build your temple and then set it aflame and watch it burn down. I'm reminded of intricately created sand mandalas that are destroyed after they are created and the crazy/genius (always a thin line!) artist from Stinson Beach who rides a bike contraption with a rake attached around the beach at low tide creating beautiful works of art that wash away as the tide comes in.
In part of my confused quest to figure out what was next, I started researching kibbutzim in Israel. I found a kibbutz called Neot Semadar where they change homes every few years so they don't get too attached. The goal is to prevent people from getting into routines so deeply that they lose their opportunity to experience mindfulness in everyday life...if that's the case, then with so much movement I have endless opportunity to experience mindfulness! I have moved at least once a year since I went to college at the age of 17. That's insane.
With time, I've realized that I was living in a beautiful prison. And now I have nothing but I am free. Thank you Broods for the ballad.
Shake things up. Let them go. More than you know is out there...
At the moment I'm a little afraid to manifest anything. I manifested that cottage by being so clear on what I wanted: beautifully designed, bright and sunny, backyard with a garden, walking distance to a yoga studio and a town, a place to host dinner parties and clients, near trails and surfing.... But that's how it is with manifesting. The point is not to have everything you want, but to learn and grown and become a more full version of yourself. It's a process that continues.
So in divine time, I will get clear on where to live and it will show up. One thing is for sure — I want to feel free and authentic.