I’d say a year ago, the vision I had in my mind for Jeff and I, was finding full-time housesitting gigs as an alternative form of accommodation. I was disturbed when I could only find one month covered before we were leaving for New Zealand and I had to (*GASP) pay for rent! It about killed my little deprivation-heart. Jeff and I are constantly fighting the part of us that says, ‘stretch this money out for as long as possible because its probably the only money you’ll ever get’. My friend Rebecca has helped me tremendously in changing my deprivation thinking. She has pointed this out to me enough times that I can just pull her voice up and have her say it to me: “Emily, look at how many windfalls you’ve had. There’s always more coming and each time feels like the last time you’ll ever get money. I don’t worry about you. You make things happen.”
And its true! She is right. And the more I have trusted in that process the more I get delivery of my dreams. That means that I do not hustle for money. I don’t compromise myself to make money. I like to feed positive thoughts like: All my dreams come true. Every thing I’ve set out to do, I do. Big and small.
And that’s true too! Nonetheless, it is something Jeff and I both struggle with.
But in between being choked to death by my deprivation thinking, I have long stretches of time where I am curious and learning about what Jeff and I are capable of. What I’ve seen so far is that we take between 3-5 days to settle into a new place. This is each time we move to a new location. Because each time we move, we’re moving our home. Because wherever we are is our home. There’s no other place. That in and of itself is challenging and disorienting. Just think about how much time and energy it has taken you to “move”. We do a version of that each time we “move”.
Our first month in New Zealand looked like this:
Jan 13th: land in Auckland, drive 3ish hours to the Coromandel Peninsula, Whitianga.
Jan 13-20: stay in Whitianga, one location
Jan 20: drive about 3 hours to Lake Taupo
Jan 20-26: stay in one location in Lake Taupo
Jan 26: drive about 2.5 hrs to Kotare Eco-village
Jan 26-28: Stay for hui (structured meeting of people and community), camping-like conditions, all meals prepared
Jan 28: Drive 1.5ish hours to Napier/Hastings
Jan 28-Feb 11: Stay in one location, finally start to catch our breath, start working again
Feb 11-12: Travel Waikanae, about 6 hours total driving and train
Feb 12-March 14: House and pet sit in Waikanae, one location (heaven)
March 14: 1 hour train, 40 min flight to Nelson, South Island, NZ
March 14-April 13: Airbnb, one location in tiny “suburb” of Nelson
Next Stop: THAILAND!
That gives you and idea of the breakneck speed we first had when we arrived. And that’s even with me a very organized planner. And also knowing that I always need ALOT of time. A lot of space to breathe and “come down” from activity. I quickly realized that a month was needed at each place we chose to visit. I knew from our travels in the trailer that expectations for how many things we could do in each place had to be lowered considerably. With an understanding between Jeff and I, “You can’t do it all, hell, you can probably do about 3 things”. We are always coming back to our priority: quality of life. Quality of life for us, and I’ll speak specifically for me here, means leading an uncompromised life. That I choose nothing over quality of life. The things that tend to threaten that for me are: scarcity mentality (ie fear of not having enough money usually) and people’s approval of me. Which I’m realizing is scarcity too. Not enough love to go around; not being enough. I work with those fears most days. And I’m 100% committed to not let them poison my thinking. I recognize they are a lie and poison so I’m doing everything in my power not to indulge them. But it is not easy.
What’s interesting about quality of life is that it’s very personal. It’s decided by me and its decided everyday. I have the general priorities in my life: spiritual practice, organic food, clean water, peacefulness, time (leisure time, space, do-nothing time), quality, relationships, and FREEDOM. Freedom could maybe trump all those, or rather sum up many of those. I want to be in control of my choices; my time, physical space, noise, food, etc. And I have probably given up things that others wouldn’t want to give up for those freedoms. But I almost couldn’t tell you what those are because they don’t register when measured up against freedom. Oh, I know one. Security. Or the illusion of security in work or a paycheck.
It’s something decided daily because I’m different each day depending on circumstances. I, as a person, don’t fundamentally change but my needs and wants fluctuate somewhat day to day. I LOVE being able to be flexible in my life to allow for that fluctuation or flow. I think it is actually more natural for us but in our desire for order (which I understand) we adhere strictly to time and schedules. Many of us also find ourselves in a capitalist society and workplace which doesn’t usually allow for that kind of humanness.
I remember before we had left the States, I would reflect in wonder about what our new life would look like. I learned from Debtor’s Anonymous (DA) that you can’t make a proper budget until you have enough data. And that takes time. So I knew that making up our new budget would take time; I’d have to experiment and I wouldn’t have it perfect right from the get go (insert pinch-faced emoji here). It requires enough time so that you can get good averages. That, of course, applies to the rest of our life out on the road. It takes time to read the patterns and be able to plan for the future.
So far: one-month minimum on home accommodations.
Oh yeah. Jeff and I need to not spend literally 24 hrs a day with each other. It’s strange when this comes up. The pressure to be able to be with each 24hrs feels real. From the movies or something. I’m someone who very openly likes to be alone but can slip into a habit of not taking that time. And in our lifestyle now, like in the trailer, I would have to take specific steps to make that happen. Like saying, “I want to go to a movie and you’re not invited”. Back in Denver, we had designated time away through work. That’s most people I think. But what if that wasn’t an institutionalized thing? So we’ve had to be strategic about it. We have Action Meetings every Sunday. This is a great tool we picked up from Underearner’s Anonymous (UA). In this meeting we schedule our week as well as make action goals. I’ve learned that when I don’t heed the little voice inside me that says, ‘you need to take a walk by yourself’ that it will eventually snowball into me getting distant and irritable with Jeff. And then this triggers a myriad of things for Jeff. It’s just much easier to go for the walk and schedule a movie by myself.
I thought I knew where we were going. I had my sights set on France, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. I thought we’d make our way through those countries the rest of the year. I was on TrustedHousesitter.com every day scouring the opportunities. I even applied to several that I didn’t get. Thank God! Because the plans have changed! Jeff and I have become very drawn to the countries with a low cost of living. This is nothing new. But its new to us! New Zealand is expensive. Even with the USD being worth more here, I’m not sure we caught a break on our expenses at all. But, of course, no data to compare to! We have no control group! But we have spent the same on food that we did in CA. That was the most expensive place to live and for food in the US (of the many states we traveled). Anyway, we had to have a stopover once we left NZ. All planes have to stop on the way to Europe to refuel. From the research I had done and the travelers we’ve talked to, Bangkok would be “easy”. They speak English (mostly, and is considered a second language there), the are very connected, all Western conveniences, cheap, and very easy to get around.
I was not drawn to Southeast Asian countries. I would guess because they frighten me for seeming so different. But the more I’ve talked to my friends that have traveled there and the more research I do the more I’m understanding the draw. And the more mentally, emotionally prepared I’m becoming. Now my intuition has shifted and I’ve had the notion that we may get very caught up in these countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia. I’ve also stumbled on to an interest in Central American countries and South American countries. Like: Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. Low cost of living and high quality of life! I feel like I’ve been brainwashed to believe that all these countries are dangerous, dirty, and undeveloped. Many people had suggested these countries but in my mind I saw sacrifice. That it would be hard, certain things would have to be given up. But with a little research it seems that I’ve been duped by my own country and its propaganda. These countries seem to be doing life better than the US (at least in ways that matter to me). In health care, work-life balance, food, price, cost of living, quality of life etc. One of these might be our new home! Or one of our home places. I can’t wait to go check them all out! But then I come back to the one month minimum: ‘How will I ever get to all of them immediately??’ I eventually burn myself out on that quest and come back to reality, focusing on the current country I’m in and a little bit of focus on what is the immediate, next country.
We need a queen size bed at a minimum, preferably a king
We need our own bathroom
We prefer our own residence and will definitely do this in cheaper countries
We have to filter the shower water, we just can’t handle chlorinated water
We have to have filtered drinking water
We need space to store our suitcases
We need a place besides our room for mediation, talking on the phone and work
We are, in fact, being divinely inspired and supported in our life
All our hosts have been fantastic, good people
Animals are necessary for our life
We have to be near the ocean, at the very least for most of the year
We love snorkeling, and need to be near those opportunities
We prefer tropical climate
We are looking for a country that has its roots in spirituality, not capitalism
Sometimes I don’t know how to end a post.
*The featured image at the top is our current month-long Airbnb*
I wish so badly that we’d taken a picture of our trailer driving away. Never had we seen that view of our trailer; with it being driven away by someone else. So I want you to just imagine it driving away from us, standing on a street in Sun City, AZ. We met the new owners on Jan 4th, they paid for it Jan 5th, the shipper drove it away shortly after. THEN we sold the truck that afternoon. I can’t believe it happened all on the same day. I had to check with Jeff, “Did we really do that all on the same day??” Saturday he flew to Ohio for the unexpected death of his dear aunt, Merrily. Tuesday (the 9th) I flew to Denver and back to get my braces off and get my temporary retainers. Jeff happened to fly in at the same time as me, small miracles. Continue reading “Leaving On A Jetplane”→
Here we are with only six weeks to blast off, and that feeling is hauntingly familiar. Gee, why would that be? It was just a year ago when we were getting ready to blast off into the life in which we currently occupy. That was huge, and so’s this latest effort. This is a considerably massive undertaking, but it isn’t. We make it so, as we make everything something in our mind’s eye. I’m once again finding, though now with a much clearer understanding, an identity crisis. Really, it’s an ego crisis. I’m fairly sure it’s not the ego that most of us talk about on a superficial level. It’s deeper than that.
We are about to start our World Tour, first stop New Zealand! But first we are selling our trailer!
We have it posted on RV Trader with all the details, you can find that HERE. This is a turn-key tiny home travel trailer. Every single thing you need to live comfortably; no more, no less. We will be selling it out of Phoenix but an interested buyer could have it shipped anywhere in the U.S. We bought it originally from New Jersey! Continue reading “Goodbye Trailer, Hello New Zealand!”→
It’s been a year and half-ago that I started writing on this blog. I wanted to document the process that Jeff and I had started. I knew that it was worth documenting; that it was going to be a huge shift in our life. I knew that other people (millions of people writing their own blogs and travel blogs. Really hurts my feelings. I like to think I’m extraordinarily unique.) had written travel blogs or whatever blogs. But I thought a lot about what I wanted this blog to be.
The same day that Kitty passed on, Jeff and I simultaneously and separately thought, ‘Oh. We don’t need the trailer anymore’. In large part we bought it for her. We had the notion to jump around place to place for caretaking, housesitting, and petsitting gigs. But to find a place that accepted cats? Highly unlikely in my mind. I look at it now and see that we likely weren’t ready for that kind of leap, or that kind of freedom. So it all fit perfectly. Continue reading “Keeping the Faith”→
March 9, 2001 a little kitten came into this world. She was wild, not quite feral, but almost. It appears that she had kitten-hood trauma from dogs, nothing violent, but unpleasant for her. Her first caretaker was Indy Roberts in Gunnison, CO. They were together for 5 years. Then she came to me. I don’t know what made me say yes, but I knew it was a yes. I had met Emerald and I really liked. And Indy had called to ask if I would take her. Emerald was very unhappy living with dogs, of which there were at least one at all times she’d been with Indy. Emerald would just army-crawl from room to room; slinking in and out. She would rip the shit out of a toilet paper roll, she would start crying early in the morning. Indy thought she could be happier, somewhere else, and with me. Continue reading ““Soar in Peace, Emerald””→
I’m beginning to think that our trailer is not just a trailer. And more of a rolling trauma treatment center. Where people go to leave what’s seen as the “regular” world behind and focus on what matters most. The two current inhabitants of this treatment center happen to be me and Jeff. What matters most for us, or for me I’ll just speak for myself going forward, is healing and focusing on our true purpose. I don’t know exactly what my true purpose is but I know what it is and isn’t, in a way. Or I could say, I know when I’m on the path and when I’ve veered off. I’ve been on this path, well probably my whole life. I think that’s our soul’s purpose and we all have varying degrees of success finding it in our time on earth. But I can mark it as intentionally starting when I was 27 and started Al-Anon. When I started my recovery, as they call it. Which is a word I still use because I like it and it fits. Continue reading “Discipline & Routines”→
I’ve gone round and round with myself to write this piece since I was in Orange County, let’s see…2 months ago. I had just had a session with Suzanne (a healer I work with) and one of my big takeaways from it was: I’ve got to be my own psychic. Now, by psychic I mean many things: healer, answer-giver, medium, touchstone. I will likely never be a person that doesn’t seek out discussion or learning; that’s not my problem. But valuing my own findings above all others is where I still have work to do. But I have come a loooooong way. And it’s funny to write that. Because I think I’m seen as an arrogant person and people would say, “Emily, you seem to care about your own opinion above all others. And are all to eager to tell everyone what that is.” Whether or not I’m still seen that way, I swing between confidence in my intuition and finding someone that can tell me about me. Or the world or whatever. So of course with Suzanne this was going to happen to some degree. I was fascinated with the tools she had that I didn’t and the information she had that I didn’t. But I can still shift into investing too much into the truth of others (Right Heather??). Again, come along way but the propensity is still there. So however long ago this session was, like 2-2 ½ months ago, it hit me harder than it ever has: I’m ready to be my own psychic. I’m ready to value what I can channel, find, pray for, invision as much as I do from others. And I was ready to do what it took to achieve that.
Again, it’s been quite a long time since I last posted anything of real depth (unless you count the s#!t about our toilet) . Much of it I can say has had to do with how busy we’ve been. How, you ask, could we be so busy? A valid question, for sure. I’ve asked it myself many times, and answer eludes me.
First question: composting toilet. Why did you choose this over whatever the normal RV option is? What are the costs? (initially and on-going), what is involved in the upkeep?(how often? where do you “dump”, etc)
What is it with me that I remember something so shameful and painful and then want to write about it? I just recently had a triggering event. That sounds so dumb, but I really talk like that. I think of one of my younger, previous clients. She would probably want to roll her eyes at me and I’d want to tell her: ‘I really talk and think like this!’ Triggering event: I call it getting zinged. Or you could say getting walloped. And then you spiral down inside yourself and want to disappear. It always hits on these primary wounds, the things that follow us around and we seem to overreact to all our lives. I have several. This last one was a combination of money = value (I don’t have enough, so I’m worth less) and … you know what? That pretty much covers it. All the other reactions came from some version of that this time. Continue reading “Sharing Secrets”→
Sorry all, it’s been busy…really busy! Jumpin’ right into it…
Emily and I had received a psychic reading many, many years ago now which in part indicated to us that we would find our true selves and elevate our relationship to a new level in California. Now, looking back just a few weeks when I realized we would be in California already, I had a real sense of shock and anxiety around it. Continue reading “Hello Again…It’s Jeff”→
Hmmm, yes, welcome to our new world. A world of faith. Not the typical world of comfort and fear. Somehow that world seems or seemed easier. One in which you don’t have to think as much. You don’t have to self-motivate. Clear cut rules are dealt out like a poker hand every day, and we play them in the best way we can. But we’re not the dealer, and we lack the power of the dealer to control the hand. When we agree to become the dealer, the rules change. Suddenly we have responsibilities we didn’t previously have including absolute responsibility as to how and what we do, as well as the direct effect on those within our personal space, within earshot, and within eyeshot, be it directly or indirectly. We are now causal beings, and no longer affected beings. Continue reading “Identity Crisis? – A Personal Reflection On Emily’s Prior Post, “Messy””→
*Those are Teddybear Cholla, a type of cactus. I stole the picture from Jeff. He’s turned into such a great photographer!
I’m feeling the need to check in on several different topics. Hopefully, it is interesting to you.
Awesome Support: Thank you to everyone who came to our aid this past week with replies to the post, emails, and texts. It effectively helped turned the whole thing in a new direction. To go from despair and lost to inspiration and connection, Wow! We have both felt so supported by you. Thank you. Continue reading “Checking In”→
I hate this. I am so uncomfortable. And I am annoyed by the discomfort. I should be past this. I shouldn’t struggle with this.
This latest joyride started with some direction I got in my meditation. I’d say 3 weeks ago I would settle into my meditation, and I felt some restriction around my heart. After I was pretty deep in there, I asked my heart what was wrong, or rather, ‘What do you need?’. It answered, ‘Stop working’ and then, ‘peace, peace, peace’. So I had known that I had a deep desire for a rest from work. A sabbatical. But I wasn’t exactly sure how. So I kept sitting with this. Last week, while we were in Prescott, I got the hit: Take a month off from work. June. This was a bite-size piece. This I could swallow. And it felt good! It felt right. And all be damned if all the pieces were in place to allow this to happen!
I really have quite a lot to say about the amazing little more than a month’s time since Buckeye Hills, but I’m instead keeping it brief and letting you all figure it out. It seems like at least double that amount of time has passed. I’m not sure if it’s because of our new pace or how many places we’ve been. Either way, it was really great! Continue reading “Last Five Weeks In Photos”→
“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths but a great fear of shallow living.”
~ Anais Nin
With the sale of our house in Denver, I remembered that I love getting self-care services…I love doing things for myself…no, that doesn’t sound right. That sounds so indulgent. Better said maybe as, “I need help!”. I want help. I like being nurtured. I like doing things or paying for things that are totally devoted to that. And after what feels like a lifetime of having to “be tough” and “get by” and being terrified and no one showed me how to do it but I’ll definitely figure it out and no one will see me sweat, type of thing, I don’t want to do things myself. I think of my sister. Most people would describe her as tight with money. She revels in being able to DIY. And I give her props for that. This allowed her to pay off her house (with a family of of 5, no less!) in 10 years. I have this $18 deodorant I buy on Amazon. It can pretty easily be made yourself. But I don’t want to. I want the feeling of getting it for myself. I want to feel nurtured and pampered. Which means that ever since I started keeping my numbers (Debtor’s Anonymous term. I record every penny of income and expense.) I have what most people see as an abundant amount to spend on self-care. Continue reading “Diving Deep”→
I mentioned in my last post something about discomfort, and decided to write about this one today. Does anyone use discomfort as a north arrow on their personal compass? It seems like it may be a viable option. If all we ever do is continually seek out what is comfortable, do we ever grow? Last week I got hung up for a moment over something most folks wouldn’t think twice about. I had driven 7 miles into a small town near our campsite to retrieve a package at the post office. Since we move every two weeks, a “home address” is not a possibility. Instead we have a mail delivery/opening service to which we have all our standard mail sent. Like everyone else these days, we also order things on-line and we need to ship them somewhere. The US Post Office will accept deliveries as “General Delivery-Hold For Customer Pick Up”, but evidently only when they are the primary shipper. Sounds very typical of a typical government protocol, right? Rules are rules. Customer comes first, but only if the rules are followed to the exact, meaningless level of detail. Further, if the USPS was cutting edge, we wouldn’t be propping them up like we are now, awaiting the hammer to drop. The day will likely come when FedEx, UPS, and all the other private carriers own it all. Continue reading ““Following Discomfort” – Divin’ A Bit Deeper”→
The title of this post is long enough (just like the post itself), but I would like to add to it: “…But Not Really That Bad, And Trending Toward The Good Nearly Every Day”.
1)Noise: So far in our boondocking experience we’ve had reasonable peace and quiet. First, at Buckeye Hills, understand we chose that location specifically because it was close to Phoenix, and therefore one would expect some noise. With that said, I’d be happy to say we scored in that location! There were three sources of regular noise and one rare case I experienced prior to Emily’s arrival. The three regular sources consisted of 1) fighter jets and other planes flying over the area at fairly consistent intervals. It wasn’t like we were in the flight path of LAX or anything, just the training grounds (or sky) for the nearby Air Force Base and a local airport with a couple of planes and a helicopter that I’m guessing were flying lessons. Big deal. 2) There was a typical Arizona fixture located at Buckeye Hills, a shooting range. In this case, again I didn’t feel like the noise was considerably excessive, especially when I hiked up part of a mountain nearby and looked down on the shooting range, or ranges, as I also found the local sheriff’s office had two of their own there as well. All three of them were quite large, in fact the public one had some 40 positions from which to shoot. When I saw that, I was happy with the little bit of noise coming from there. Last, 3) a fairly generous quantity of tractor trailer traffic running up and down Hwy 85, which was probably about 1-2 miles away. It was most noticeable in the morning, which is part of the reason for going behind some hills to meditate. It helped some. Emily and I later found what looked to be a Wal-Mart distribution center on Hwy 85, and it made sense for it to be located there because this thoroughfare connects two major freeways, I-10 and I-8 with a short uncongested connector. Oh, the one noise for which I was thankful ended early or that somehow wasn’t enough to affect my sleep was a rave that someone was having in the middle of the week somewhere at a campsite. The sound of the bass was cutting right through the thin walls of the trailer and polluting the somber quiet! Oh well, if I wasn’t an old curmudgeon I might have followed the sound and got my groove on! Seriously, beyond that, noise has not been a factor while boondocking. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever been anywhere so devoid of sound as where we last parked (Las Cienegas National Recreation Area. If it wasn’t for the wind, I think I could almost say I now know what total silence is! For example, the sounds of a bird’s wings are something I never even thought to listen for, but something we heard daily. Oh, I almost forgot about the sounds of Emily’s loud chewing while wearing her noise canceling headphones. I guess when you have those things on you think even your sounds are canceled out, right?! 😊Continue reading “Boondocking, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Continued…Part 2: The Bad:”→
(No, Kitty is not lost. I realized that could be misleading. I just wanted you to have something cute to look at.)
It started with our “Trip into Town”. These have become quite an event for us. I enjoy them and get excited when we go into town. So far, we’ve stayed in four spots and they’ve been about 30-50 mins from “town”. Which works great for me. I understand now these people that live in the country. This peace and quiet thing; it hit me early. I’m telling you, we are in our retirement years at 36 and 43. These are things I’ve seen old people value, thought it was an old person thing. Oh, how little I understood. I’m remembering a professor of mine at Western State University. She commented on seeing me running but she didn’t call after me because I had my headphones one. She said, “Oh, I just like the peace and quiet when I run”. I remember being shocked, ‘peace and quiet? There is no way I could run or work out without listening to music (i.e. just being with my own thoughts). So, hooray! I have some ability to be with my thoughts now! Continue reading “Lost”→
Preface: I am going to write this post as if no one has ever or will ever roll their eyes. Including me. I will set aside my self-deprecation (I’ll try) and let my most eager, earnest, innocent, and wide-eyed self come forward.
Introduction: Some of you may not know me or most certainly may not know my methods as a healer/therapist. I am clinically trained as a therapist. I began to transition away from that label in the last year but that is my background and has greatly influenced me. My main method of healing is to find the origin of the wound and work with the part of the self that is involved. That is often an Inner Child part. Meaning the younger self that had the experience. Sometimes what steps forward in our psyche isn’t exactly an Inner Child but something else; like a shrewd, critical voice or a bully, or a troll, or fairy creature. Anything! I’ve seen many different forms come forward, its pretty interesting actually. These are all parts of us; they make up who we are. They all have a part to play. They all have meaning and motivation. And they must be paid attention to or they will run amok. Continue reading “A Journey with My Inner Children”→
Well, I’m finally back from the depths for another long post. In truth, we’ve had such an amazing couple of weeks just west of Tucson next to Saguaro National Park, that posting has been kind of far from my mind. Sorry if in some cases I speak in past tense, and in others the present. In starting off with the “Good” of our very first boondocking, experience, I hope to have captured most of it below. In case you aren’t familiar with the term “boondocking”, no worries, I had no thought of it other than growing up “in the boondocks” and the name of one of my (earlier) favorite films called “The Boondock Saints”. Ok, it’s probably still high on my list! Continue reading ““Boondocking”: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly…Part 1: The Good”→
The beginning of this is going to be a little snarky but then it should get more enjoyable towards the end.
Let me explain. My friend, Heather, fully intends to have a carpenter custom build me a soapbox. But until that happens (which it can’t now, there’s no room in the trailer for it, even for that. Cutthroat.) we built one in our hearts and minds and I bring it out when necessary. This is one of those times. I am metaphorically climbing up it. Its like a cartoon soapbox about 2 stories high and the wooden stairs spiral around the outside. There’s probably a gavel. Continue reading ““I Worked Really Hard My Whole Life to Get Here”: And Other Myths”→
I fly into Phoenix, AZ on Feb 19, in the year of our Lord 2017. I have two huge bags at about 40 lbs and 46 lbs and a carry on with my meditation cushion in it, amongst other things. I shipped my keyboard to AZ the previous day in Muskogee, wrapped in my shitty, white robe. I also put my riding boots in there. I was going to keep them at my mom’s until I needed them but it sounded like I would soon be seeing horses in CA. Continue reading “Arizona”→
I am an official Okie from Muskogee. Don’t know what that means? Merle Haggard sang that song back in the 70s, I believe (see, I barely know what it means). “Proud to be an Okieeeee from Muskogeeeee” Number 1 on our list of 3 things to claim for fame. 2nd being the Azalea Festival, 3rd being the Garden of Lights. Yep! But it really is the only reason people recognize the name of the city I grew up in if they aren’t from Oklahoma. The Chamber of Commerce has built thing around “Okie from Muskogee”; t-shirts, belt buckles and such. Continue reading “Muskogee”→
Have you ever gotten to a sweet spot in your life and wonder how you got there, when only a week ago it felt like you were swimming in an ocean of chaos? Before, every movement sapped you of strength, every thought sent you on a downward spiral, all your dreams felt askew with nightmarish imposters, and, at least for me, irritability and anger had become a large snowball rolling downhill, growing, and increasing in momentum? Today was what I would say is my first “Saturday” since I’m not sure when, and I’d rather say Emily’s and my first Saturday maybe ever together. Continue reading “Saturday”→
I felt no emotion about leaving Denver and Colorado until I drove away on Jan 31, 2017. There was no space for it, for one thing. For about 5 days before I left it was full-time, all day working to get rid of and organize everything that was left. Like: the last remaining items we would take with us, the items that would be stored at Brian’s (Jeff’s brother in Castle Rock), the items going in my car to be stored at my parent’s, the items going to Goodwill/dump/recycling. Felt like a 5-day quick-paced marathon. AND. I tend to be done with a place when I’m leaving it. I was ready to leave Denver and Colorado and I didn’t have doubts about this. Continue reading “Traveling”→
I was just going to respond to Emily’s earlier post, but again there was so much…so here they are:
It was difficult, but it became rhythmic. We started letting go of things early enough that it wasn’t an urgent and stressful matter. In fact, I’m not sure how it could have been easier. Earlier I read a post by a single guy who went on his own little departure from the “American Dream”, and he said it very aptly…”My house was a revolving door of Craigslist buyers”. Early on it didn’t go as smoothly, as understanding the best way to manage the potential buyers would come only through experience. Emily may have held to the recommendation of another blogger to say “phone calls only”. I stuck to phone calls and texts, more because I didn’t want to count on being able to answer the phone and have it inconvenience me while I was working. Another thing I learned was never to hold anything for anyone, to sell to whomever gets to it first. And that’s one of another couple boundaries I set: “No meet ups or deliveries, pick up’s only”, and “Price is Firm”. I held onto a compressor for nearly a week at which point I had to take down the ad because I had so many calls for it, evidently as posting it too low will do. I had other similar matters later, but after maybe three, I finally got the hint. Oh, and when posting as “Free Stuff”, it’s best to say where you’re leaving it (like in the back alley) and check on it every hour or two to take the ad down once a vulture has descended. Continue reading “Some Comments On Purging”→
Hi all, I know I just posted a book last night, so please forgive me. It was just such an amazing day today, so I thought I would post some photos. Today was really the first day where I spent a considerable amount of time in nature. I mountain biked around the lake and decided to walk over to this peninsula close to the campsite during sunset. I hope you enjoy some of these amateur shots. Sorry, they turned a little crappy after dropping the resolution. Much love and peace…
So I’ve now loaded the trailer in haste because 1) I’m in a hurry to get the heck on the road, 2) Kitty is hanging out in the truck cab, and I’ve never traveled very far with her, and 3) because I’m so fried by now that I’m just putting things where I see space. Makes sense, right??? Apparently not. The problem is I am towing a large trailer with a medium-size pick-up. The bigger problem is the trailer is weighted wrong. This matters because, as I am about to find out, the trailer can and will have intentions of its own!
Just as I’m getting on the road, I realize I yet need another part (a small cotter pin) for the trailer’s “sway control”. For now, since I’m just driving it around town as I have been, it’s fine to tow without. So I Google Map an Ace Hardware, and there’s one right on my way. Pop in, pop out, I get a couple of them and also another “u-bolt” to better secure my bike rack. Now, with all parts installed, off and running! Continue reading “Finally, The Open Road!”→
Well, after all the pomp and circumstance, Emily and I are finally off and running! Emily several days ahead of me due to the my many delays on having the solar system installed on the RV…which by the way I haven’t yet fully verified the operation of and for which I have some minor (and hopefully unfounded) concern. This is only my second post ever on our site, and with good reason. I have simply been overwhelmed with the efforts required to get to the point of “getting out of Dodge”, much less the actual leaving part! For one, finishing up the remaining work with my two clients. I decided to stop all work with one prior to Christmas, as most of that work required travel, and the travel time I simply wouldn’t have. The other I allowed to linger into January mainly to pay the cost of the solar install. Since the weather in Denver isn’t conducive for the installation work, and due to liability reasons since there was nowhere we could find to park inside that would allow us to work on it, the only option left was to find someone to install it for us. More on that later.
Emily and I made the trip to Ohio over the Christmas holiday, and is likely the last time for the foreseeable future. The crazy high travel cost coupled with the stress of everyone’s holiday schedule makes it unrealistic for future trips. Add in the crappy weather, and it only makes sense to travel there during a different season. Well, the trip was great for us, but a day or two after getting back, a “super-bug” took over my life. What at first seemed like a typical cold for me, turned into a three or four week bout with everything from sneezing fits and head congestion to the most painful sore throat and coughing fits I’ve ever experienced. For the first time I can remember, I was down for the count entirely. I canceled work for two weeks and didn’t leave the house. I was relegated to the recliner mainly, even at night when I slept better partially upright and in a place I wouldn’t keep waking Emily with congestive snoring and coughing fits. Maybe the universe simply had a different plan for me, and it was all about getting rest for the huge efforts already made coupled with the efforts yet to come.
During the process of postponing some clients, two of them were not to be seen. They had schedules that conflicted with mine, or they just simply flaked for other reasons. Nevertheless, I was now freed up to attack the real priority, getting set for the trip, move, or whatever you want to call it! As you may have read in Emily’s last post about “purging”, well most of it was about that. As you can imagine, but I will now personally attest to, that purging everything except a handful of boxes and what’s going with us is a major undertaking to say the least! More on that from my perspective later in comments to Emily’s post. Now, as I sit here in Lake Pleasant, Arizona, a few days ago seems like another lifetime already. Those last couple of weeks and days are merely a blur of constant movement, constant contact (with multitudes of people buying, receiving as donations, and us buying…yes acquiring things, too!), running non-stop, but through it all (and most importantly), Emily and I kept our wits about us and intentionally accepted that all be handled, and it was. Continue reading “Still On The Diving Board Looking Down, But Bouncing Really High Now!”→
I realized there were at least 3 parts to our Purge Process.
The first one was the easiest. I started with my closet. I got rid of a lot of stuff! A lot of clothes and I’m even someone who purges my wardrobe once a season. In this sweep I also went through my my keepsakes boxes. I had two or three big plastic tupperware/storage containers that have come with me since college in OK. I calculated with my uncle yesterday (telling a story about something), and realized I was in college in Stillwater, OK SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO. I use to be 17. Driving the most dogged-slow-ass Chevy Blazer that I loved. With a dumbass Calvin & Hobbes pissing sticker on the back. I didn’t put it on there but I left it. Why did I leave it? I don’t know, I’m asking myself that right now.
So I was cleaning out the keepsake boxes, because Jeff and I were committed to not having a storage unit. But we knew we were going to keep some boxes at my parents (in OK) and at his brother’s (in Highland’s Ranch, CO). But we didn’t want to be mooches about it. So I was going to go through everything. Now, I can be ruthless about getting rid of things. So I was throwing away pictures, leases, home inspection reports, you know, things that you probably should keep and will regret getting rid of later. I got it down to two boxes. And in this first sweep I also went through most other rooms in the house purging things that were obvious. I look back now and think, ‘oh the easy days of no urgency, plenty of time’. Jeff also starting selling things. He was a champ with Craigslist and just was in the zone with it. He was moving things quickly and efficiently. I’d say this was around November. Continue reading “The Purge: Part II”→
Good news friends! There’s gonna be an update to this website; I bought a real one! I’ll be expanding whats offered and actually have updates and posts that won’t rip your heart out! I’ve attached the video above of the camper for all to see!
This is me establishing that I could do yoga inside, in a pinch.
I look like my niece, Hannah, here with my braces and cheesy smile.
There she is! We need a name for her! That’s what she looks like with the slide out. That’s the queen bed, our sleeping quarters.
Our soon to be only possessions: Our home and our vehicle.
How many times have I started with, “Oh boy”? It seems like a lot. Or at least once before. So, Oh, boy.
Many of you know I went to Sedona a few weeks ago. Jeff and I went to participate in an earth medicine ceremony (by this I mean ayahuasca and kambo). They are called earth medicines or plant medicine or the grandmother specifically for ayahuasca. This is out of reverance and respect for what they are. I was shocked, initially, at my willingness to partake in this. Up until very recently I was very judgmental (big surprise) of people participating in such events or ceremonies. It was just people trying to find a way to get high, not do their ‘work’, or find a short-cut that would never actually materialize. Well, as many of you know, I will absolutely not do something and that it is unacceptable until I have decided that it is not. So when it was proposed to me by my friend Jess (I’ve decide that for this story I will observe anonymity for those people I’ve included and change their names). First thought was, ‘no way’. But I took pretty seriously the things that J suggested to me. So I researched. What I found was that I had maybe become one of those people that would want to partake in a ceremony like this. But I thought of my spiritual teachers, Yogananda in particular. I had read his autobiography and I was pretty sure he hadn’t taken substances like this but I wasn’t absolutely sure. He got into some pretty out there stuff, but it seemed to come from just his meditation. But I didn’t want to get lost in my worship to someone and lose my own curiosity, my own need for experiences.
So I talked to Jeff about it. His response was similar to mine, “No way. That stuff shouldn’t be needed”. But it wasn’t very long until we seemed to be changing our mind in spite of ourselves. The clincher was when Jeff muscle-tested it. He called on our teachers (Yogananda and his teachers) and asked, “Should we go do this? Is this in our best interest?” His arm was rock-solid. Muscle testing is simple way to test if something weakens you or strengthens you. Jeff and I use it all the time for basic things and complex things. Although, Jeff will tell you he doesn’t always trust it, especially for complex things. But this support (whether you believe it or not) from our teachers was very unexpected. And it became something we were seriously considering, then turned into action.
That takes us to a few weeks ago. We had been on a mostly raw-food, vegan diet for the previous 7 days, in preparation. This would make our purge before the grandmother easier, we were told. We were flying into Phoenix and Jess would be picking us up. We would be staying at her house and her friend and working partner, Paul, would be taking us through the ceremony. Halfway through the flight I got a text from Jess saying she lost track of time and was so sorry but she would be late. I laughed to myself and showed Jeff. This was not a surprise. We were used to Jess being on another planet. Now it would just be a matter of how late would she be. Jeff and I were ready for an adventure and we weren’t too much bothered by this.
After we landed I texted to ask how late she would be. 25 mins away. Not too bad. We could waste that time easily. We went out to the passenger pick up zone outside. And we waited awhile. Then came the text that changed everything and let us know this was not going to be what we thought: “I’m almost there I had to stop and pee. I picked up an Indian boy”. And my stomach and my heart dropped through my ass. Oh my god. It wasn’t til later that Jeff and I were reviewing that we realized this was the turning point for us both. I went into almost complete shock right there in the moment. Jeff went into, ‘oh my god, she’s kidnapped some boy and we’re going to be implicated’. My thoughts were somewhere hovering around, ‘oh my god, I’m going to die’. And those weren’t even clear thoughts at the time. I was just sick with fear and it got worse when I saw her. She finally arrived after going to the wrong terminal or wrong side or something. Now, I was used to Jess being in touch with different dimensions but she had usually made some sort of sense to me. This was different. When she pulled up to get us I realized, ‘she is unhinged. She is in a delusional state’. But I couldn’t even fully recognize this to myself because a) I was in shock and b) it can’t be because I am at this woman’s mercy. So Jeff and I get in the back seat after we offer Jeff to drive. She declines, she’s okay to drive. And I was in the back seat just sick with dread. Also, seriously thinking I might die in this car, in Phoenix.
Jeff was staying pretty level. I could barely look at him. I couldn’t believe this was really happening. Jess took us to her friends house near Phoenix. I was able to step aside with Jess and try and talk to her. Me: “This feels really bad. You don’t sound right to me. This sounds crazy. I feel crazy”. I was desperately trying to find a link. I was PLUMMETING. And she had no anchor or any type of soothing to offer. I was reeling. She was calm, unperturbed by me. And I couldn’t grab at her. There was no link. We all (Jess, Jeff, me, Jess’s friend and the Indian boy. Yes, he was real. And 19 (?) and from a nearby reservation. Not kidnapped.) went to PF Chang’s. I was too sick to eat. I left the table many times trying to find myself. Anything that would bring me back to something I understood or believed in. I went outside. The sun was nice and hot. I just sat there on the curb. I texted Jeff, told him I was outside and could he come be with me. “I can’t be in there, please come outside”, I wrote. He was paying the check and then came out. He was still solid and nothing at all in the state I was in. We both were instinctually feeling that we needed to follow this through, that we weren’t intended to stop here. Which shocked me. I was thinking about Heather and how Jamison would have chartered a helicopter for her out of the PF Chang’s parking lot. But in a vast blackness where I felt abandoned by everything I knew and believed in, I had just the smallest little inkling of continuing forward. I don’t know if it was right then or later that I had the realization that turning back would be very damaging for me. It would have left me wounded. The fact that Jeff thought the same was confirmation. I didn’t trust myself.
Jeff told me later he realized that he was dealing with someone not in there right mind. “I had put her above me somehow and now I realized, ‘she doesn’t know what she’s doing, I should be in charge'”. And we did start to take charge. And Jess seemed happy to relinquish control. She admitted that she was at the mercy of divine forces and didn’t feel her body was her own. So Jeff and I sat in the front seat, with Jeff driving. This felt SO much better to. But the two hours from their to Sedona felt like fucking eternity. I just put on my classic rock on Pandora, helped to drown out the things that Jess was talking about. AND. I sent my first text to Heather. I realize now that this was me being ready to acknowledge out loud what was happening. Which meant that I was going to have to face myself. And I was terrified of that, I was bracing for the devastating humiliation that was to come. Not from Heather, of course. And all that bitch gave me was compassion and curiosity. What?! That through me off. It opened the door back up, I’m talking smidge small amount, for this to be a meaningful experience. That this could mean something to me. I didn’t have that inside myself yet, by any means. I just wanted to get out of that car.
We get to her house, Jess’s house, and go inside. It felt bad. It felt like the drug houses I used to go to when I was a teenager. The places you could drink. You know, the weird old guy that would buy beer for everyone? Somehow connected to the wrestling team? Or the girl’s dad who lives out in the country and secretly cooks meth? No? Not at your school? There weren’t any drugs or anything. It was more that feeling I associated with heavy and dark. Lost. I knew I couldn’t sleep there. Jeff wasn’t adamant about staying in a hotel at that time. I went outside to call Heather as the others got settled in the house (showers and such). Here’s my basics thoughts and words to Heather: “WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY? WHY??!! Why am I here? Why was I brought here? Am I to be humiliated? Is this the plan for me??” I was utterly devastated. I don’t remember a time being that lost…maybe right before starting on this path to recovery, like, 9 years ago. Time takes away some of the pain. Just left to squirm and die. From Heather: “There is a reason for this. This will all come full circle. This will make sense to you. I can feel it. Its not over.” Me: “Without you and Jeff, right now, I would be dead”. I couldn’t believe how she was responding. It was what I wanted to hear but didn’t expect it. I kept expecting humiliation. She also said something like, “please, god, get yourself a hotel room”.
I went back inside after a bit. Jess was wanting some shamanic snuff. Its referred to as rape’ or hape’. Its another plant-type medicine. Totally legal. But Jess is convinced that it is what is keeping her sane and she is out. WE’LL GO GET MORE. GET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE. We got to her friend Eric’s house. He’s a healer, medicine man, mad-scientist. We had heard about him and were eager for some help and some sanity and some answers. And we got some. There were normal faces there that made sense. I could look into their eyes. There were nice dogs there. And Eric could see what we’d been through by the look on our faces. AND he was real. After the shock at seeing Jess at the airport it felt like everything I believed or knew disintegrated. ‘Oh my god. Is it all a ruse? Am I a complete moron? Is anything real I believed in regards to J? Can I ever trust myself again?’ So he, Eric, was there and was real. And we saw that he appeared to be the things Jess told us. Yes, he has a house, he has medicine, he’s sought out for his knowledge and experience. Yes, Jess has had interaction with him. So we get the rape’. Eric calls Paul while we’re sitting there together. He has Paul on speakerphone. He’s basically mobilizing help for us. Paul says to come on over, he’ll help however he can. Another huge sigh of relief. People. Support. Answers. Real. Lifeline.
We dropped off the rape’ to Jess. She was very amenable to our plans. ‘Yes, take the car, I don’t need it. I’m good right here. I’ve got my boy’. So we booked it over to Paul’s house. He greeted us out front and gave us a big hug.
Hi. This is a long one.
And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, he’s real too. He has a house and a car. He has some ability to support himself’. Then we walk inside and its a very healing place. You can see its dedicated to that effort. Crystals and rocks and altars and everything you can imagine that weirdo people like us like. This is a retreat-type place. ‘Okay, another thing that’s real’. Paul brings us out to his back patio, its all zero-scaped and beautiful. Beautiful sculptures and installations. A mer-ka-ba (look it up, or don’t, doesn’t matter. It’s cool. Trust me.) On the way over Jeff and I had established that we felt waaaaay to fragile to do any ceremony. That we would have to have a complete change of heart for anything like that to happen. We talk with Paul and he is speaking out loud and validating ALL my internal fears and beliefs because he is going through the same thing. For example: “oh my god, what have I done? How did I tie myself to this person professionally? I will be completely humiliated. No one will trust me. No one should trust me. I don’t deserve to be trusted. I am a fool. What will people think? Will they see my shame?” He was having a very similar professional experience. And he validated that she was a gifted medium and channel. That many people there in Sedona were seeking out her services. Revered and respected people in the community (another huge sigh of relief, its wasn’t just me!) Paul was absolutely our fucking life raft that day/night. We were scooped up by the universe then. We broke through the surface of the water and took a big gasp, gulp of air. Paul was very steady, that night. He was gently suggesting that some of the ceremony could be very effective at clearing out the toxicity of the trauma we just experienced. I was just scared. Even of the rape’. I was a paranoid mess just on pot. I was afraid of losing control. But I was interested. I wanted to see. So I just relied on Jeff. “I think I should, what do you think?” He said yeah, I think that’s okay. Its blown into your nose, I had Jeff come and hold my hand. And then everything that Paul said would happen, happened. I felt the big sting, eyes watered, woozy, a little dizzy. And then a deep, deep settling. Deep subtle tremor/trembling of ‘you’re gonna be okay’. I told Jeff, “you gotta do it. Its good. Its the right thing for us right now”. We sat there and let the effects of that go through us.And we discussed doing the kambo ceremony (the frog venom, its a purging ceremony). While we were discussing this, Jeff pointed across the patio, “Is that a frog? Do you have frogs this time of year?” Paul said, “That’s very unusual. That’s unusual for frogs to be out now. Its not common”. We later read that this is common for people doing the kambo ceremony in the days or week leading up to it to see a frog. Paul said then, or maybe a little later, “So does it have to crawl up your ass for you guys to do this?” After Jeff and I both had the rape’, we looked at each other and said, yeah, let’s do this.
It took some preparation on Paul’s part and Jeff and I got changed and put on our game face. Oh, shit! Here we go! We sat around his dining room table, Jeff went first. We had the bucket right there in front. This is a purging ceremony. That means puking and shitting. Yes! Paul first makes 5 small burns (just to the top layer) to the skin so the frog can get in the blood stream, get under the skin. Then, with his half-glasses on, he applies the frog with a small knife. One circle. Then two. He sprays it with water (helps it keep circulating). Jeff turns WHITE. He’s starting to go. He says, “I think I’m gonna faint”. Paul is right there, we circle in closer. Jeff starts to pitch forward then gets on his knees. Paul helps him to the floor and he is OUT. Jello. Paul holds him up by the shoulders and I’ve got the bucket right in front of his face. He opens his eyes coming back from who knows where, he was GONE. “What happened?” he says. Me: “You fainted. Its all right. We’re here”. So Jeff starts his process and it gets moving pretty quick. He goes to the toilet first, going out that end. Then the other end gets going. Toilet and bucket. This is pretty common we’re told. We wait until Jeff has gotten over his first big wave. Paul: “we want to watch him close. Don’t want him fainting in the bathroom. Then we’ll start on you”. I feel very comfortable in his hands. Everything is happening just like he’s said it would.
So Jeff shuffles in after awhile and we start in on me. I sit in the chair and I get scared. And exhilarated. ‘Oh shit! Its go time!’ He burns the 5 little holes. And then applies the frog. I’m just doing deep loud breathing. And I start shaking like I’ve got my own inner earthquake going. Like, violent shaking. He puts on 5 circles of the frog. I eventually get a purge going. And Paul is back and forth between: forcing water and applying the rape’. Everything is to force the purge. But your body says, ‘don’t drink the fucking water or you’re going to throw up!!’. But I start getting into the flow of it. Realizing that I need to do some things I don’t want to do to allow this process to happen. Like chugging the water. And Jeff and I are in and out of each other’s bubble, offering support and encouragement. I was feeling very close to him. United. We were really a team.
My experience started to take a deeper turn. It became apparent to Paul that I should have more dots/circles applied of the frog. It seems there was a barrier to break through for me and we hadn’t reached it yet. I agreed, I could feel it. As I sat down in the chair again I asked, “Does this make me a bad ass that I’ll have 7 seven dots?” Paul: “More like a hard ass?” Yep! That landed! It’s true, he’d never put this many dots on anyone. Jeff went down after 2 and he bike to the top of Mt Evan’s from out house! So, yes, I could look at it that way. I am a tough mother fucking warrior. And. That is not all that is needed today, right now. Something else is needed. I started some puking purging after getting the rest of the dots. It felt good. It was coming more easily now. And then we transitioned inside. I laid on a heated crystal bed. Further pushing it all out of my system. Whatever it was that needed to come out. And here it comes. I was down on the floor now, all fours, with the bucket under my head. Jeff and Paul were both there supporting.
And it turned into an emotional purge. My inner child entered the picture. I didn’t think there were more pieces for me to do around the atrocities done to women by men. How many of these pieces do I need to do before I’m done with it?? How much more grief can there be?! Well. More. ‘So are you going to do it, or what, Emily?’ Grumbling to myself: ‘Yes! Yes, goddamnit,I’ll do it’. So I see that my little girl is there. She’s pretty young, about 4 or 5 and she’s about beat to shit by the oppression of women. She’s terrified of the world, well, of men. She’s never recovered. The healing has never reached her. What comes next is hard to describe. I basically went through some kind birth. And I labored on it for an hour or two. And I had recently read Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. I had a really good picture of what childbirth looked like (feel free to judge me, that I have no idea what goes on in childbirth. I’m fine with that. The comparison continues). Here’s what: I had to surrender. I didn’t know how to do this and I was completely at the mercy of Jeff and Paul. I was saying things like this outloud. “I’m at your mercy. Tell me what to do. Is this okay? Does this make sense?”And I literally felt my cervix, vagina, genitals, root chakra opening. And I had to let it open. That’s what was required. I had to birth out this energy and let it flow through. And I had to let the little girl know that this was true and right and we could trust these two men. And I, with the help of God and many, many different spirit guides, ferried that little girl and myself over to the other side. She had a new found confidence which she shows by having razor sharp teeth like a piranha. She flashes these where she used to cower. She showed her teeth and chomped them at Jeff and Paul’s genitals. Oops! She only mostly kidding. She was, she just liked the new power. And she had arrived and this vast peaceful place. Rolling hills and tall grass and she was free to play with other little girls and boys. To show them the way and that they don’t have to be scared.
Now the next piece. We went out to the fire pit for this. It was time to look at Jess and her influence in my life and why she came here. Paul kicked this off for me. Seeing that there was this last piece, hanging on, that wanted/needed to let go. It was time to answer my own questions of Why? and How? First layer: I’m afraid that people will think I’m crazy like Jess. Dig, dig, dig. Second layer: I’m afraid of going crazy. This was a shock to me. I’ve heard friends talk about this and I didn’t relate: the whole fear of losing my mind or going crazy. But during this ceremony I saw it very differently. I saw my shadow. And it was undeniable. It was the reason that Jess, that I presented Jess in my life. I had called her forth. And this was why her crazy was so disturbing to me. It was a deeply rejected part of myself. Because she, Jess, wasn’t violent, wasn’t threatening me or herself. So, why, would someone who is essentially just in some other consciousness, some other awareness, seeing things that I don’t, hold the power to make me so scared I am sick to my stomach? Because I am afraid of being anything like that.
But also, Jess allowed me to say and do things I’ve always wanted to say and do. I decided that there were things that I couldn’t say or do or think for fear of a) looking crazy b) looking arrogant, foolish, stupid, wrong. I realized that she walked this edge and I like that. I can appreciate reckless, brave, brazen, unpopular. Even if it ultimately proves “wrong” I’d like to just make some mistakes! Erring on the side of living and trying goddamnit instead of cowering! Anything but that. I thought, that because of Jess, this old, deep parts of me were allowed to surface. These dreams and visions and beliefs I had as a child. It was now, in this process of work staring into the fire (literally, not figuretively), that I realized I had brought my Jess forward to give me permission to say things that I would have never said outloud. And isn’t that interesting, folks.
This is the shadow side. The parts of ourselves that are disowned. Now, we can disown power too. The shadow side is not just about what we deem objectionable. But that which we admire or covet. People that embrace their own power. We will bring these people into our lives and idolize them and reject our own ability to do the same. I had both show up. For me, in this instance it was fears of rejection by society by looking “crazy” and deemed repulsive and without value. Therefore I made sure to divorce myself from all aspects that could get me in touch with “crazy”. I kept an extremely tight grip on control. Strongly and obsessively filtering to ensure that I stayed on top, one step ahead, anticipating anyone’s thoughts about my thoughts or actions. A funny thing happened as I stared into that fire: I found my crazy part. And I brought her in. And in that moment the fear disappeared and was replaced with this: ‘Maybe I am a little crazy (smiling to myself). Maybe people will think that. Maybe they’re right? It doesn’t seem to matter. And I did give my power away, again. I might even do it again in the future. I hope I won’t but if I do, no big deal. We keep doing so much better with it, don’t we? And look at everything we gained from this, wasn’t it remarkable and beautiful? It was truly in divine order. Wow. I see that I couldn’t have done it any different. I was on this trajectory to this moment, right here. I couldn’t or didn’t want to be stopped.’
There was so much freedom and peace in this truth for myself.
And this new truth settled all the way inside me. I realized that it would only be ego that could make this experience painful. I realized that a nice-sized piece of ego had just been dismantled and I felt a sort of terror at the thought of ever picking that piece up again. ‘God, please let me stay humble. Please let me keep this small piece of humility in my big sea of ego’.
I saw Jess the next day. Neutral. No fear. Just calm. Understanding. Clarity. Curiosity.
For those of you who know and have been following along: I struggle with a Hero/Savior Complex. Those words just now became more clear as I typed it. Helped along tremendously by Heather and her attending the Post Induction Therapy (PIT) training with Pia Mellody. What does Post Induction mean?? You definitely don’t catch it by reading those words. What she (Pia) means by induction is the lies that were, essentially, injected into you or were written on your clean, pure white slate. And what we do with them after the fact. The clean up! So Heather was immersed in this process this week; immersed in the language. Which is so awesome because it is the language of my heart. Pia put words to things that still resonate that still have remained relevant for me 7-8 years later. And relevant 30 years later! (When she introduced these ideas) Heather had it in my head about the role of hero. And the role of False Empowerment. Continue reading “The Ups & Downs”→
One of my favorite pictures of myself when I was little. I was very proud of my outfit and my crimped hair from my braid.
Why? Just because.
Oh boy, so much is happening.
I’m learning how to hold on to things for myself.
I’ve talked a lot about the weight that I have carried for humanity. That I cannot be free until every human soul has been liberated. And how that hasn’t been working so well for me anymore. Understatement.
I’ll go back a little. This blog is called Taking the Leap. I started it to document my and Jeff’s journey into our Big Adventure. I knew that after making this declaration, then planning to do it we would go through incredible change. Earlier this year, in May, I remember looking out in time and seeing that there was definitely a distance between our jump off point and where I then stood. And not just of time. I knew that there would be a great preparation of the mind, body and soul. What we were/are wanting to do is way out side of convention. And convention serves some purposes. It is seemingly safe and comfortable. Every one else is doing it. There is a clear path laid out (a lie, of course). For me, going against convention is not uncommon. I even get a kick out of it sometimes even doing it just do get rise out of people and then get a kick out of it. I say this to myself and clients often, “This is why people don’t change. This feeling, this fear, this is why people stay the same”. So it was not surprising when carrying out the very plans I intended to carry out and also have felt deeply inside me ‘yes I want this, really bad, I’m ready right now, let’s do this!’ I get kicked right in the nuts by panic and fear. The most recent of these was moving my office into my home. I knew when this day came it would be a big landmark for me in the transition.
I’m seeing how it is always my mind that comes in to ruin the party. And the further I go into this way of life the less I am relying on my mind. I’m seeing how undeveloped it is. And let me clarify (even though I don’t know how clear I’ll be able to be about this, many people have written what I’m about to write better than me), when I speak of the mind I mean more the ego or the human mind. Or a combination of both. I have such a keen sense of it inside myself but its hard to explain. In my meditation I’ve found that there are two different thinking parts: my higher self thinking and my lower self thinking. When I first drop into meditation – I have a whole routine. I start with breathing technique; just equal counts of breath in, hold, breath out. All with the same count. Its a nice transition from non-meditation to meditation. Then its like, ‘okay, I brought you in here gently, now let’s go a little deeper’. This is the time where I’ll let my mind work in a good way. I’ll solve problems, here, and get inspiration. None of the thinking brings up bad feelings, none of it brings restriction. But the mind (what I choose to call this part) is all fear. Its all about the past and the future and it is usually mired in details and how to accomplish things and also, the things that I might forget or do wrong or not anticipate.
What my meditation has allowed for me is to take control of the mind. I see this voice/part come in and it will take me on a ride if I let it. It takes me into a movie and I am gone from my body and anything right there in the moment. I’m realizing now that I let myself be taken. Its like any other discipline. It reminds me of my horseback riding lessons. When I first started I was SO FULL OF FEAR. It made it hard to notice all the subtleties. But just like people, if you’re calm and paying attention its all there. As I started to calm down I was able to join up with Cheyenne (my horse) and feel when his attention was going. I could feel when he was just about to do something. Usually something I didn’t want and I would correct before he would do it. A big part of horse riding is showing them your intention to be in control. Or that you are in control. And this will then allow them to follow you, willingly, when done correctly. They will happily follow a worthy leader. I find my mind to be the same. It starts with being disempowered. Sometimes with no recognition of power. Often starting from the place of ‘I have no power or control over this’. And this has been a years long process with me (although I do not think it has to take that long) to get to what I’m experiencing today. I can take command of mind and make it pay attention to what I want. I do this with varying degrees of commitment and success.
My office move went very smoothly. I experienced a decent amount of anxiety beforehand. Knowing that this was, again, my mind reacting to this huge change. Following my heart. The mind does not understand the heart. I think, never will. We can ask God about that one. Then the next day I was on Cloud 9. It felt so right. I was just high with it. I felt so comfortable. It felt so right to be welcoming these people into my home and letting them see who I am. It was very validating. And this brought me yet another step closer to the goal of location-independent work (mobile work).
The next day was a different story. I had a relapse. That’s what I just decided to call it. In to that old way: saving humanity/suffer endlessly. Its cool though, I am already dropping the shame of the experience and seeing that it provides me with more and more clarity about the mechanics of the behavior. The time of engaging like that with people is over. Everything in me makes that clear when I try to go backwards. When I try to convince or campaign, which is essentially me draining myself. Its like the divine has stepped in, my higher self, my body, my heart to intervene and say NO MORE. And as I type these words I am truly becoming grateful. That old way of relating is so unsustainable for me and I have begged for it to stop. I’m finally ready to let that happen. I’m finally ready to hold on to things inside myself. I’ve always given it all away. I thought it was my duty. It was my duty. Then. At that time. That was a job given to me that I know now to be false. It was incorrect. I can feel it now when its happening, at the back of my head and my neck. Intense and draining and tight. I can’t tell you how this had become the bodily experience of my life. Anxiety was my life. Drained of all energy at the end of the day was my life.
So I’m having this new bodily experience. Its still very new. Of holding things inside myself. Knowing something and not sharing it. Its so weird! But I see the effects in the immediate. It reserves energy. Go figure. I’ve joked with Heather and Anna about this: my insights are so lame. There like the insights of everyone through the ages. They’ve been written about by everybody. Yet, here I am! It doesn’t really dampen the wonder of it for me. Just effects my ego a little. Leading me to add this sarcastic footnote. I’m seeing, and I’ve seen this in my life before, that I get the cue when I’m supposed to share what I know. And if I don’t it’s okay to leave it where it is. Its better for everyone. I’m not actually leaving anyone behind in that moment. I’m seeing it now. Trying to shove something in at the wrong time and place doesn’t help me or the other person. And I can let myself off the hook. That way never actually worked. Except if the goal was to leave nothing for myself. And I think it was, the goal.
It’s hard for me to have perspective after writing this. It’s almost always, ‘shit, did that make any sense? Do I sound like one of those hippies who’ve smoked too much pot talking about sacred geometry? No connection to the ground?’ So if you have some thoughts I’d love to hear them.
This one has been cooking for awhile. I’d think about writing and wouldn’t, not sure I wanted to share what was going on inside me. Not sure I knew yet what it was and how I wanted to say it. I can tell you now where it has culminated. Here. Right now. Just look at me. But I need to to tell the rest of the story for it to make sense.
It all started by working with Jocelyn. She has become a mentor to me at this time (can you see how evolved and unattached I am by that statement?). I found her through Briana. Briana had a bunch of women, mostly clinicians or helpers, to her house. She briefly told me about Jocelyn, a friend of hers, “does readings”, no big deal. I said, “ummm, yes”. As you can imagine, the judging started before I got there. It was Briana who actually told me that when meeting her (and new people) I have a “guilty until proven innocent” kind of attitude. And then I meet Jocelyn and she’s a white girl about my age. Here eyes were wide and very watchful, somewhat penetrating. Once everyone arrived, we sat in the living room and Jocelyn started by explaining who she was and what we’d be doing. I, of course, was ready with my notebook, my questions written down, pen in hand. Some of the other women were timid. Doing that thing I see people do with an intuitive: testing if they’re real, holding back. ‘I won’t tell her anything and see if she can tell who I am’ kind of thing. I of course jump in, because I don’t fuck around. And I can tell when someone speaks truth. It was a strange experience for me. My mind was in revolt, here’s what it had to say, ‘who the fuck is this lady? Does she know more than me? Did she just say that? White girls can’t talk like this. Young white girls can’t talk like this. People on earth don’t talk like this. Is she some kind of flake?’. And my heart and body said this: “truth”. Then I started to realize, ‘this is what it can be like to meet someone who is standing in Source. This is what it looks like when the ego is stripped away. This is what we all have and desire to express but don’t’. And another crazy thought that is hard to release to all of you, ‘this is how we kill our prophets. We beg for the Divine to show itself. And then we dismiss, throw into mental institutions, or kill’. Its too much for the mind. But this is not a job for the mind. Where I am going is not to be led by my mind. This is for my heart and soul. And shit started getting exciting.
My lessons studies with Yogananda’s work was all coming together with this too. From the very beginning Yogananda starts to train you to harness your mind. Make it work for you. Instead of you for it. I’d heard this spoken in the world before, in seeming platitudes. But I was having access to it in a way that was so real. And Jocelyn introduces herself like that, “I’ve broken my body and I’ve broken my mind. I am in Source at all times”. That was one of the statements where my mind said, ‘you can’t fucking say that’. But then here comes the wisdom of my body and my heart responding with, ‘yes. This is real. You can feel it. You can tell when something is true’. So on that day, in Briana’s house, the distinction was more apparent than I had ever remembered. The dialogue inside looking like this:
Mind: You can’t just say that. Anyone that says that is always full of shit. To say that is arrogant. Just wait, you’ll see. She’s full of it. She’s gonna show her ass and we’ll catch her.
Heart/Body: Yep, there it is. That’s your mind. You see how it always doubts? That is always its position. It is always afraid, it will always sounds like that. What do we really think?
Higher Me: This is for real. That’s how I want to sound. That’s how I can sound. Isn’t that funny that her standing in her power is reverberating over to me and giving me permission and courage to do the very same thing.
I think it was the following Saturday I had a session with Jocelyn. And I was on fire. It lit something inside of me. I started telling my clients of my impending transition the following Monday and had my website re-written a week later. So much had become clear. I think most people would look at me and think, ‘she has no problem showing people who she is and speaking her truth clearly’. This is very true. And yet there is more. I realized and am continuing to realize that there is so much more of me to show the world, mainly in my work. (I’m fairly weird in my personal relationships. Rock person ;)) A small way, but was big for me, was to be even more direct with my clients. And I’m very direct! But I have my eye on a new format. And I could stand to speed it up! I wanted to speak truth in a way I saw Jocelyn do it. Something that could not be argued with or rather something that wasn’t opinion. Or a thoughtless remark, or a cowardly agreement. While still leaving room for disagreement or “not ready”. More to come on that.
About two weeks ago (?), I was on a long rage bender. I had finished The Divided Mind by Dr John Sarno. Whew. What a game changer. I didn’t think he could improve upon Healing Back Pain, boy did he ever. So I was really worked up with that, excited, angry, humbled. There were several chapters written by other doctors that work with Dr Sarno and have incorporated psychosomatic medicine in to their practice. This floored me. There was a rheumatologist, orthopedic surgeon, primary care physician, and they were all believers like I was. Out there doing noble work in their profession, which I thought was completely void of nobility and courage. By this I was truly humbled. And grateful to have a different perspective of western medicine. So rage was really on my mind because this is a focus of the recovery from psychosomatic illness/TMS. To acknowledge the conflict between the conscious and unconscious mind. Bring the repressed up to the surface, pay attention and maybe take some action. Sometimes the acknowledgement is enough. But my anger, my fury, was not abating. And the voice of it sounded like this: ‘I’m so mad at all of you. You have already failed me before I even tried. I have failed before I even tried. I am burdened with the task of saving humanity and it will never be done. Most of you will NEVER see’. I, intellectually, understood what this sounded like. And could hear many stupid voices that say, “Emily, you can’t save the world. That’s so narcissistic. That’s so codependent”. But that would mean they are missing the point. They wouldn’t understand that I have carried populations on my back. That I have fought for my people. That I’ve had experiences where many lives depended upon me. And I have copied that in this life, in a different way. With an unspoken agreement with myself, ‘I will never rest until we are all free’. It was at this time that I had another session with Jocelyn.
She said, after me telling her some of the above, “I don’t hear rage, I hear sadness. And that you feel all alone”. Boom. Nailed it. And this would be impossible to see with the naked eye. I don’t even let myself feel that sadness. When she said it I still couldn’t feel it but the Highest Part of Me knew it was the truth. And that I would eventually feel it. I had come into this world immediately feeling like no one got me. My family could never match my energy. Could not foster/steward the spirit I had inside me because it was beyond what they knew or were in contact with (funny story. this is basically all my clients.). And to top it all off I’ve probably come directly from some other planet and was super bummed that I showed up here. ‘You mean there’s violence? Women getting raped? I’m gonna get sexually abused? No one is safe? We can’t fly? There’s no magic? My Dad’s an alcoholic? I’m gonna do what? To who? Oh shit. This is gonna be a real bummer’. And instead of getting small (which I secretly did) I got righteous. I got angry. I said things like, “I don’t want to be in your stupid club anyways! You can’t be in MY club cause you’re too stupid!” or I would put a lot into showing people how much that didn’t hurt, whatever it was. And I’d meet people who identified as outsiders, sad, depressed, beaten down (Heather). And I didn’t get it. I was not in touch with this. My warrior was so so strong. It felt like that not until that day, how ever many days ago that was, I had not ever acknowledged to myself that I was sad to be the only one to see. Or the only one to think this way. Or say these things. Or see that thing. Or want more. And to remedy this, I set out on a, what’s that word? Crusade. I would refuse to be alone and I would convert anyone I could get, anyone who would listen. And I would make them see.
In that moment, when Jocelyn caught that, I stopped. I didn’t feel a wave of sadness, maybe a little registered, it just connected as truth. And asked myself, ‘what will it be like to let them all go?’. Well, it was instantly easier. And the thought was, ‘well, we made it’. Meaning, I had made it. We were here. And this was something to celebrate. WE HAD MADE IT. And there was no going off the path for us, no more being asleep. This we (meaning me and my selves) could control. What if I kept a steady gaze on that? So that’s where my focus has been, as much as I can. When I feel that familiar anger I stop and survey it and say to myself, ‘hey, we made it. That’s the first, most important thing’.
Streamlined. That’s the word. It started last year when I was getting my money life in order with DA (Debtor’s Anonymous). I had done so many rounds of the Steps, I did not expect to be so inspired or surprised by what I got out of the Steps with DA. That is a story for another time, in its entirety. That process really pushed out some of the last dregs of my “struggle story” and my deprivation addiction, as they call it. I realized I was taking great pride in a) how bad my eyesight was and b) how long and painful my journey was with TMJ. How bad you ask? Oh my god, so bad. I was the best at being the worst. I still want to tell that story. It was a part of my identity.
About six months into my financial recovery, I got a few windfalls. As Rebecca would call it, and what I now call it.Translation: I gotta bunch of money that I didn’t expect. Like, $32,000, I think? A major part of the recovery is going from vague to clear in all things money. So no money just lying around, unclaimed. Unaccounted for. I decided to fix my eyes and my teeth/jaw. I had this real sense that I would be so much more streamlined the day an apocalypse came. There’s no time for a bite guard or glasses or contacts when an apocalypse comes, I’ve read the books. The guy with the wheelchair decides to kill himself because there’s no way he can get around in the new Wild West world. And he doesn’t what to drag down his brother! You know what I’m saying, right? I think that one was Station Eleven. Man, I loved that book. So, I was ready to drop that badge of honor: look how hard I have it.
The first phase was a splint. Some of you were lucky enough to see this in person. That was to stabilize my jaw and get it out of distress (i.e. grinding the shit out of my teeth). The second stage was braces. This was to make my teeth fit together, which they don’t. Cause, you know, teeth need to do that. And once I knew we were setting off on the Big Adventure, I knew it needed to be taken care of quickly and now if I was going to do it. Well, I went through a lot making the decision. Like: ‘well, you got this windfall. You never expected that. You will NEVER get any money again. So don’t squander it. We have to stretch it for the rest of our lives’. That’s the kind of shit my old money thinking sounds like. There’s never enough. Never. Oh and to spend some of the last of it on braces?? ‘Emily, your teeth are straight. Why would you get braces? Are you making this up? Do you really need this? Are you just trying to create a struggle for yourself? Are you just trying to find a way to get rid of your money (because that’s some of the old behavior)’. There were two conversations with a trusted friend and my energy doctor, that gave me permission. And as I sit here writing this I’m thinking, ‘god, it doesn’t fucking matter. Whatever you do, its fine’.
I had them put on last week. WHEW! I can’t believe we have kids do this! I was completely overwhelmed with sensation and emotion maybe even a trauma memory that came up. Holy shit. 3.5 hours long. And the level of pain wasn’t that bad during but discomfort. All the way up to my edge and past. A couple moments when I had a vision of making a scene. You know, like EVERYBODY GET THE FUCK OFF ME! TAKE THIS SHIT OUTTA MY MOUTH! And tables and instruments going everywhere, everyone looking at me, silence. Like they do in the movies. We never really get to make scenes like that. Its kind of a bummer. It took about 5 days to recover. Get the calluses in my mouth and just adjust. Whew, that was painful. And it effects your eating, I got baby food to eat! And was happy!
One of the main effects was I felt like I regressed with my mindbody/TMS stuff. Just the day that I’m writing about how successful I feel and am with conquering my pain mentality, I do this. I was privately really devastated. Didn’t want to say it out loud for fear of shame and ridicule, disbelief. But most of all: I didn’t want my mind getting the upper-hand again. I realized through this braces process a lot about TMS and my mind. Before I read Dr Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain, I was my mind’s bitch. I was at the mercy of this pain body thing. I had heard most of my life about people triumphing over their mind, deconstructing it, whatever. But I thought that was for ascended masters. That regular people don’t achieve it. But I read that book and I fucking got it. I was on fire with it. I was towering over this thing that had been my Master for a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, this was not in all aspects of my life. But with this one particular, and very important part, I was in control. It was amazing. As I’ve shared with you guys. I could see and feel myself out on top of it. And I wasn’t afraid.
When I got the braces, it changed. I realize now, a few days later, that I didn’t lose all of it. I feel kinder to myself about it and understand what I went through. But I was so overwhelmed with pain, discomfort, and stimulation that I wasn’t maintaining control of it. I was distracted. It was so sad to get small again, and scared. And not lose control in a control-freak way but rather, like, true power. Like, Oh this is what we’re capable of?? Awesome!
Having the splint last year (which looks like a dentist-grade bite-guard) really helped clear out any humiliation for wearing braces. I was lisp-ing for christ’s sake. I don’t lisp with braces! Full tongue and teeth connection! I paid extra for clear brackets. That’s the most goddamn innovation we’ve come up with in 30 years. “They’re kind of clear?! Yay!” I’ve been gaining a lot of compassion for kids with braces and adults with braces. I thought they hid their smile because they’re embarrassed. We hide our smile because our fucking lips don’t go over our teeth anymore! You almost have to manually move your lips over your teeth and braces. Toothless smile is just easier. What a revelation! And those kids who eat so sloppy? Its almost impossible to chew with your mouth closed.
I told the people at the office that I want this done before I leave for the Adventure. My friend Jocelyn told me to tell them, “I’m not regular. I’m doing this at an accelerated rate”. They did not balk. We shall see.
I want to talk again about my body and TMS. Related to an earlier post found here (I really wanted to be able to that). TMS is just what Dr Sarno has kept as the name for this catch-all phenomenon of our brain diverting unwanted emotion into our body and is usually experienced as pain.
About a month ago I started applying this theory and method I read about in Dr Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain. I had done one yoga class without modifying. No pain. I have done the exact same thing in all my classes since then and: no pain. The only truly, structural wonky place I think I have (I say I think because I don’t trust any of my physical ailments anymore) is in my knees. But I don’t coddle them like I used to. And when there’s a pose or an action where I decide to push them and it feels iffy there has been no consequence. Here’s the new stuff that has happened in there: MY BACK IS GETTING STRONGER. My HEART is opening even more as well as my shoulders and chest. Which is all kind of the same thing. No more is it about what I can’t do because I’ll hurt myself or bring on pain. Now I just look for fatigue or, get this, I don’t want to. Because now yoga can only be for vitality, for fun/joy. For working my strong body. For moving energy. But not for preventing pain, which was a “have-to”. I saw my relationship with yoga change pretty quickly. I left for Kauai soon after my commitment to this new way of life. I did yoga (mainly stretching) like, once. I also would have BIG preparation for being on a plane and sitting in that seat for 5-6 hours. I would have been anticipating all the pain that comes with it. I had mild discomfort. Which is a world away from what it was before.
Very shortly after I wrote that first post, a month ago, I went running. I did competitive running; I would run 5K road races in middle school and high school. I gave up running maybe 13 years ago. I “had” to because it hurt so much. There was so much literature out there that confirmed it. I took it; hook, line, and sinker. That running is too high-contact. Women aren’t built for it. Too much pounding. Only with these shoes or barefoot shoes. And if you read that post you would know that I was running full tilt on an endless supply of rage. And potential energy that had been restricted in my body for so long. I was not in pain when I ran. I felt the pressure of running, the pounding on joints but that was it. As I got warmed up that all went away. And I didn’t run delicately, or stretch, or go slow. I ran hard. It felt awesome. I also realized I don’t like running that much. As a sport or hobby. I seem to like to use it when I want to use my strong body and move energy. Its also really convenient where I live. I’m not liking getting in my car. I don’t like venturing far from my village. I can’t prove this theory yet but I seem to have stopped doing some things that I thought I had to stop doing that I realize I also don’t like doing. Like lifting things. I HATE LIFTING THINGS! MOVING BOXES! I hate Warrior One (used to, hating it less now), I hate plank (again, less now that I’m getting my seemingly weaker parts working), I don’t really like running.
As for this old pain body that I’ve been leaving behind; I still have a few trouble spots. I have to stay on top of them. They are nothing like they used to be. Like this sciatic nerve on my left side going from butt cheek to left calf. My brain likes this spot. As well as my neck and low back. I have not yet conquered my neck, BUT I WILL. My low back is not so much pain but stiff and creaky-cracky. And my feet and calves are very different. I don’t really think about my feet much now. And they were always the first thing to be worked on in body work, always. And my calves used to be a big pain spot and now they seem to radiate energy. I’m focusing on them now and its like wave of energy coming off. My neck seems to be my main information center, it requires a lot of attention because so much is registering there. I rarely experience pain there its more like it would become tense and always for a reason. God, is this boring? I had trouble writing this one, thinking its trivial.
I’m not sure I can explain how much possibility has opened up in my mind and my life. Waaaaay past just my body, and that in its self has been huge. Its just leads to that question: What else is possible? As well as my newly enhanced belief in mind over matter. The next logical step is looking at my food restrictions. Yes, I can hear all of you saying, ‘No shit, Emily’. Fuck you. I started to experiment in Kauai with….CHOCOLATE. I have been lamenting my separation from chocolate ever since it happened. Whenever that was, a few years ago, I had a half a bar of dark chocolate sometime in the afternoon and my heart didn’t stop racing for hours, terrible time falling asleep that night. And chocolate was almost always paired with sugar. Another no-no. I was very moderate in my experimenting. I found a 40% chocolate, sugar free (sweetened with stevia and erythritol) and loved it and I was fine. And I had smoothies. Let me tell you; these are all things I had had to stop eating for the last three years or so because of my blood sugar. Even just fruit sugar would blow out my neck and I’d be a mess not to mention couldn’t sleep. So I see it like this: The me three years ago, or a year ago even, couldn’t receive this message. The step I was on: the hyper-awareness, the restriction, the discipline also lead to healing, awareness and a new-found sense of nurturing. Also, using my voice. Just being what I was: a fragile, no dairy, no egg, no gluten, no sugar, no caffeine-eating, not helping ANYBODY MOVE, yogi woman. I had to be that! Now I can start making some different choices because my MIND and my BODY and spirit are ready.
I have had two voice lessons so far. I had a moment in my first lesson, just a half second, where I had to choke back a big cry because I felt such joy and gratitude. (I choked it back because that does not need to be what happens in my first voice lesson with this nice young lady who just met me. Can you see it? “I’m just so overwhelmed by joy and my own humanity right now, you know?”) To be doing something that brings me such joy and to have finally arrived at doing it! I’m seeing that my mind/ego can go to incredible and complicated lengths to disrupt peace and joy.
Contentious. Or maybe conflicted is the word. Incongruent. Is the relationship I’ve had with the ocean. Which is so wrong for so many reasons. I’m a Pisces and the ocean calls to me. But ever sense I watched Jaws, I was maybe 10? I remember going upstairs after I watched it and jumped on my bed and was afraid to get off my bed. I was so delusional with fear I thought the shark could get me if I got off the bed. I wasn’t 3, mind you. 10 years old, or so. I was afraid in swimming pools if it was night time, the lake (at all times), and the ocean. Forget about the ocean. And I wanted to be in it so bad! And this continued until LAST YEAR. I very rarely got in the ocean and that was only through: shame from my family, alcohol, or accepting my impending death. For example: ‘okay, Emily, lets do this. We have to get in there. If we’re gonna die, we’re gonna die’.
My family has been going to Kauai for a long time, I think I went the first time when I was 13? And my parents fell in love with the place before we were all born, I believe. About 3 trips ago, my cousin Will (him and his family were with us this time) was trying to help me get in the water. My whole family knows about the shark thing. Finding Nemo was recently out and Nemo gets the nickname Sharkbait when he’s in the fish tank. So will was saying ‘Sharkbait, oo hah hah!’. And he told me we could go snorkeling and he would be my shark bait. And because I am crazy, I said, “ok”. I will put this child (he was like, 10 or 12?) between me and the ocean and me and any shark so the shark can get him and not me. Seriously. And I told him to stay between me and the ocean and he said, ‘ok’. Not because he’s crazy but because he knew I was crazy.
Cut to last year (2015). I knew Jeff and I were going to Kauai for our big Wedding Trip in 2016. And I had to get in the water. Had to. This had to end. I had Dr Hemerson, our energy doctor, work on it all year. Just clearing out the blocks. The information he got was that it was carried over from previous lives. I’d heard this from 3 different sources. I had him focus on the scuba diving. I would be completing my scuba diving certification in Kauai and I wanted the energy all clear. And it was. I would visualize the whole scene and I felt good. Very minimal fear. I could see the dives being successful. But when I visualized the beach and me going in to swim or snorkel, it was all death and destruction still. I texted Dr. Hemerson the weekend before we left, and I felt an almost immediate shift in my thinking. It was like some reasonable thought was allowed to enter my mind. And so many people had attempted to do this. To reason me out of my phobia. Or explain, or console. I trusted NO ONE. They were all just trying to get me killed. I can’t even remember what the reasonable thought was now.
The second day in Kauai my niece, my dad, my brother, and Jeff all went for our first dive. The instruction I was getting (this was my first open water dive, part of the training) was overwhelming me. Everything is so heavy, we had to walk to the shore and climb in. Face the shore, put on the fins, and swim out. Deeper than I had EVER been in the ocean. And my family is watching me. But there’s no instruction that caters to someone with a delusional phobia of sharks. So no words are spoken about them. We’re here to dive. And for three of us, for the first time. And the ocean is choppy. And I did it. It was fucking hard. And not because of the shark thing. Hard of its own accord. It took all of my concentration to do all the things I was supposed to do. The following Friday is our wedding and our second day of diving. Today we would do our last 2 of 4 dives that make up the Open Water training portion. By the 4th dive, its all about fun. Right when I went under, I could feel it. This would be our best dive. This was all about fun. And it was. I was now a certified diver, big bucket list item checked off.
And I swam in the ocean everyday after. I felt like a transformed person. I knew magical things would happen on our trip and this was the first. It was a major spiritual experience and opened up a world of possibilities to me. What else could I do?
Each time, before I would get in the water, I would feel a little trepidation. But I now had this amazing ability to talk reason to myself. One of which was what my scuba instructor had taught me: Sharks are not interested in you. He provided me with so much valuable information. Just by him being who he was and sharing his experiences. On one of his innumerable previous dives, there were sharks around and he cut his finger. He thought to himself, ‘well its been a good life’. He told us he watched the shark very closely, “No change in his behavior. And I had earlier seen a fish that was bleeding; the shark’s behavior was very different, changed immediately”. So I would tell myself, ‘they are not interested in you, thank god, and sharks are not put on this earth to track me’. Often the first dip into the ocean of the day I was less confident but then the second one was so much better.
Jeff was so inspired and impressed with me. It made me so proud. And he was so supportive. He acted as my shark bait for the first snorkel we did. I made him swim with me connected to him, arms linked. Once I got under water, and there was so much to look at, it helped tremendously. I would just keep my head down, focused on what was right in front of me.
Jeff even presented me with a gift because he was so proud of me, and he wanted to honor my accomplishment. I got my very own wetsuit!! And it is very special. High fashion wetsuit.
It feels so right to be connected to the ocean. Again. I truly thought I would never live to see the day.
We are saying it out loud. And it gets more real each time. And starting this blog. What if we don’t actually do it?! And all this lead up?? I’d probably go just to avoid embarrassment.
In two years we are packing up our conventional life and we will start our new life or our next life. This is not intended to be a long vacation. We are not saving up enough money to support ourselves for two years. We are going on an adventure. Yes money will be saved and we will use this two years to plan. I was taught in graduate school that any number bigger than ten can be written as 10. And anything lower has to be written out. But I like the look of 2 years much better. So, we want to live off the land but in a slightly different take. I want to rely on the Divine and live from that. That’s a hard sentence to write because of the voices I just heard: ‘oh god, she’s found Jesus’, ‘that’s totally irresponsible and flakey’, and my own voice ‘don’t write god, people will think you’re weird’.
I’ve longed to experience the magic in the world since I was a little girl. And for every year of my life on earth, it got farther away. I believe that I started off knowing who I was and what I was capable of. Snugged right up close to the Divine. Like a little fairy with wings and everything. I had to loose it all so that I could remember, apparently. Which is just stupid. Why would we choose that? Can’t I just remember?? And it wasn’t until age 27 that I actively started to restore/retrieve these parts of myself. It was at this age that I started to remember. There is more to this life than the mud I’d been mucking around in. Thank gawd. It was then and since then that I’d glimpse these magical parts of people and life and think, ‘I could do this. This life, I could do’. And like life does, I think its all been leading to this point.
This year has been about making our life easier. Where we live and where we work, and how we work. Jeff and I have been making these changes. And the heart and body don’t settle for good enough, it says, ‘More! More!’ Cue meltdown.