Healing the Disconnect

Abstract Essays, Uncategorized

There are 7.5 billion inhabitants of Earth, and yet I believe it must be the loneliest planet in the Galaxy. As I sat alone examining my thoughts on a wintery night as I have most of my life, I found myself questioning my physical existence– and I am sure there are still many others out there pondering the same thing. I found myself questioning the authority of my feelings and my words- where they were going- as I was in a state of desperation and nobody would respond. If I could estimate the percentage of times my heartfelt messages of whatever form have been left unresponded to, I would estimate about 85%.

This reaction, or perhaps a lack of reaction, strung me into a state of being not only resistant– but utterly terrified to reach out to any of the connections I perceive as meaningful. So in this state, I begun searching for external signs to pave my path. I had not been following my heart out of fear, and for explainable reason: I didn’t know if my heart had authority to connect. I’d been searching for answers and meanings everywhere, and was tired of trying. There were times when I felt I’d been sent into a deathly coma in which my soul was dying. I was tired of dying. In this time, I had no other option than to quit. I could no longer manipulate the ways of the Universe to attract someone or something into my life; I could only surrender to the silence and loneliness and just be.

If you have ever been here, it is a lonely and sad place to be– and yet also a revolutionary place. It is one in which one’s heart finally breaks out of a state of numbness inside a cage and into one of recognition that you really are alone in this life, even though, “we are all one”. Finally, my heart broke lose into hard sobbing- something that hadn’t happened for awhile. I could feel the deprivation of chemicals and minerals in my body affecting my mind, with the knowing that simply being in physical contact with others would change this and I wouldn’t have to spend so much damn money on supplements and treatments if I could simply have more human contact, naturally. The word “depression” crossed my mind. But I don’t like being depressed and helpless because although sometimes I may not feel supported by others, I’m an optimist and I’m constantly in communication with the cosmos. I like to search for the answers, wherever they may be. Perhaps my tears ignited a more positive chemical reaction and caused me to draw information from the akashic records of the Earth. Maybe I was alone; but I was alone together with another body of beings who also perceive themselves to be alone.


The loneliness I was feeling was not all of myself. I knew I must have been feeling the loneliness of Earth. Mother Nature also longs for human touch. She longs to feel our caress. She longs to feel our feet upon her core. She longs to heal our wounds. The answer on that day was writing. As I found myself wishing I didn’t have to be in existence since all the people I care about most don’t have time for my words or my presence, I asked why I was still here. If I was still in existence, there must be a reason. And there must be somebody out there listening. Then I recalled a confrontation I had with a curandero in Albuquerque this fall. At the time, I couldn’t perceive any direct relevance to the words he told me, but I listened. The words that came to mind this day were, “We need you here. We need your words. You’re supposed to write about what we’re doing to each other.”

I have done nothing but perfect my physical being, taking the repeated advice from others that: “You need to learn to accept yourself, because if you don’t accept yourself, nobody else will.” Somehow I tried to turn this advice into something valid, and overtook years of spiritual growth practices with a goal to accept myself and become more confident. I was tired of trying so hard to be perfect, though. Nobody is, right? We don’t need to spend any more time worrying about what might be wrong with us. Nothing is wrong with us. We must see the sad truth about our disconnected society that we live in, and we must accept that as an answer. I physically didn’t know how to go on alone, and yet I was so terrified and anxious to reach out for help because of my past experiences

The writing revolutionary has changed my perspective on life, although I have postponed publishing this for too long. I hope my purpose is to become a person able to feel once more, and to receive and give and love like I haven’t been able to. I am worthy of unconditional love from myself and from others, and so is everyone else.

Why do I have the authority to speak to you and receive a response? The unresponse rate I receive is so high that it has sent me into a state of being not only resistant in all forms of communication, but absolute fright and extreme anxiety. I know we’re all busy, but we’re tearing each other apart. We’re clawing at the threads that bind us together, unintentionally. We’re creating an unsafe place for our fellow humans to be, one of fear and fright for simply expressing the simplest things on our minds. If there’s a reason you won’t ever be able to respond to somebody, whether they are close to your heart or not, you need to tell them precisely why that is. There needs not be fear involved; however, because some reaction and reciprocation is a better response than none, and will prove to be less detrimental to mental health.

Things we can do to heal the disconnect:

  1. Cut back on social media. Deactivate your Facebook or Instagram accounts for awhile. You can always get them back whenever you need them, if you do, because they never really disappear. These are not real forms of connection. Use the time you spare by reconnecting with your intuition and innate telepathy with other humans: who is it that’s calling and needs your support? Is there somebody that’s been crossing your mind that you’ve been ignoring? This is likely not a coincidence. Our minds are connected and this person is calling you from afar, but is afraid to reach out! You must reach out to this person in physical form.
  2. Take down your television. If I have ever rented a space containing a TV or a microwave, I have disconnected it from power for multiple reasons. Yes, electronic emissions are harmful to our health and disruptive to our sleep patterns. Furthermore, this is living in either a fictional world or a vamped-up negative version of our real world. What is real to you? Do you think you really have to take on the entire world’s problems and wars at once, single-handedly? Is this an excuse that you’re constantly busy? If you are taking action and consuming your time with changing multiple distant causes, this may be rewarding and bring about a multitude of positive karma. However, this may also activate more anxiety and worry for you which can consume your time, when there are others nearby who might be needing to talk.
  3. Cut back your work hours. Forty hours or more is really an extremely detrimental amount of time to spend indoors. So find another job outdoors. Seriously. You’ll figure it out; it won’t be the end of the world. We need more time to meditate and act out of a place of love rather than extreme fright that our words aren’t being received. We need one another. Mother Earth needs us. Volunteer at a garden center, or wherever it is in your particular environment that needs your attention.
  4. If this isn’t “possible” for you yet and you are unable to immediately break free of a long-term limited mindset, at least find the time to connect with nature once a day by taking a walk and contributing elements to the air, (especially walking barefoot when possible), visiting an art gallery reflective of nature and/or human spirit, and making it a priority to acknowledge and express compassion to every soul you encounter.
  5. Forget about “energy vampires”. !!! If you are one to push away those with “negative energy” (aka those who are depressed and in need of human interaction)– you are probably one yourself. You’re really not so different as you think. Instead, be kind and reciprocal. You never know. The one “energy vampire” I encountered since my move ended up being the one to clean up my new tattoo with care and give generous advice. If it’s truly becoming a problem, remember to ground yourself in every way and use healing protection in whatever form resonates most with you. Let your friends know that they are loved, and when you can’t reciprocate every word, suggest that they journal before speaking.
  6. Reconnect with long-lost friends and family. It was as though you’ve both completely thrown your memories into the void of potential nonexistence for as many years as you haven’t contacted each other OUT OF FEAR that you weren’t worth the time and the other was probably busy. Guess what? Love never dies, and you ARE worthy of friendship and time out of someone’s day– especially if your intention is only to make it brighter! Please explain to me, if you disagree, why you might be a burden in someone’s life if you dare to ask a question as simple as “How are you?” Or even better, to more deeply heal the wounds of disconnect, say exactly what’s on your mind. “I love you and miss you, and I’ve been thinking about you this week!”
  7. Just be real. Sometimes it doesn’t feel safe to express what’s in your heart because of fear that it won’t be reciprocated. Do it anyway, because this is a powerful way of healing the void and changing the world of communication we live in. Even if someone doesn’t know how to respond to something so heartfelt, perhaps this will send them on a journey to healing the numbness in their own heart in order to receive this kind of love. This is what my journey has been. We want to be real, we want to heal. “I want to live/ I want to give/ I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold… It’s these expressions I never give/ That keep me searching for a heart of gold/ And I’m getting old”/ (Neil Young)
  8. Invite a stranger to go out with you. For coffee, for dinner, to a rustic bar, to an exhibit of some sort. You can make it as weird as you want, so long as you’re serious about wanting to get to know this person, whomever they may be. Perhaps you’re sensing a serious connection for some reason you’re dying to figure out, and you should! You could have been related in a past life, be connected by several degrees of separation, share multiple passions, be living a parallel life… If this is the case, trust your intuition and speak what’s on your mind.

Life can be magical when we are open and reciprocal of our truthful words and passions. Life is magical when we are compassionate. Connecting with nature instead of technology can help us all with compassion and intuition, because this is what our world truly needs right now. I feel that the world is in a lonely state of desperation. Don’t ignore her… attune yourself and be attentive to her needs. Everything is a reflection, so in doing this, I would encourage you to notice all kinds of positive karma in exchange for caring and loving the Earth.

Namaste,

Willow

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Neediness: Plot Twist

Abstract Essays

You move to the mountains because you think you need to restore your energy. You go because you didn’t find what you were looking for in your hometown and you weren’t enough for anything or anyone there. You go to the mountains pleading for answers for your needy, desperate soul. Constantly you beg God and the Universe to send people to you so you’ll be satisfied. You search from town to town looking for people to heal you. You feel so deprived, so desperate for these people and landscapes and then so discouraged when, one day later, you can’t seem to find the answers written clearly in front of you.

You need an anchor. You need somebody to be there for you in your times of need (which is always). The need is so intense, so urgent that you conduct a private ceremony to manifest your solutions right here and now. Why wait patiently for the right timing in the future when you can just as easily control the outcome of your present? You feel confident stepping into your own power. The answer will come, you say, tomorrow morning if not NOW.

However, you’d almost forgotten how God, the Universe, and the Cosmos work in absurdly strange and mysteriously ironic ways.

You wake up in the morning prepared to go out in the world and manifest the solutions to all your needs and desires. You’re dressed to the nines with your newly inherited yoga suit- PLUS an extra dress to stroll the sidewalks of downtown after you’re finished with your yoga sesh in the ever-renowned studio a few miles south. This is it: the day you find exactly what you were looking for. The day you finally manifest your life partner and eternal sunshine and nine kittens, and an everlasting zest for art and creativity that cannot be killed off by anything- sickness, rodeos, or Donald Trump.

Plot twist.

You’re taken aback when, halfway out the door, you receive a text from your friend. A friend! You know, the one you met right here in your new mountain town. But you don’t necessarily know how to respond to texts in such a frenzy, so you call instead. Turns out, this friend has been throwing up consistently since 4am and tells you she’s desperately in need of someone. Living a little too high up the mountain and miles away from town, she needs someone to bring her electrolytes to restore her energy. She’s desperately in need of healing.

Of course, you want to help, so you run to the store and purchase all the essentials she needs to rehydrate. Beforehand, you followed your intuition and packed along the crystalized ginger and holy water that happened to fall off your shelf just as you were leaving. You thought you might as well utilize these in the healing session.  When you open the door to her cabin, you’re greeted by the most beautiful kitten that reminds you of the one you left with your parents back home. Your friend is so miserable she can’t even drink water. “There’s nothing anyone can do to help me!” she cries in desperation.

But you know this is not true, as you feel that the power of love energy can heal anything. You also know that you are certified in reiki, which can be very powerful, so you offer this assistance. After the reiki and Recharge and holy water, your friend feels much better and is no longer heaped in a fetal position on the floor.

While you’re here, simultaneously experiencing the power of love and its healing effects as well as angelic guidance, you receive a voicemail coming in later than it was recorded from another friend that you’re supposed to meet for lunch down the hill. At that moment. (The message popped up later than it was recorded because there is no service where you are currently located.) Now that your friend is doing better, you’re able to speed down the hill and arrive to your lunch appointment albeit forty minutes late.

The meal is more than satisfying to your physical hunger you’d forgotten about. It was exactly what you’d been craving all week, and finally on a Sunday you are able to fulfill this desire! And you’re sitting in a sheltered patio underneath the sunshine in January! Your conversation with this other new friend is spiritually satisfying. After lunch, you’re invited to her home where you are greeted by another precious cat- this one reminds you of the very first cat you ever had. Something in the conversation you have here catches your attention. You catch your friend saying, in comparison to another scenario, “…just like I needed someone to toss things back to, like we did at lunch today”. This new friend needed you there on this day, too.

At this point, you’re kind of getting the hint that everyone here’s in the same boat. And maybe you didn’t need the mountains after all, and maybe the mountains actually needed you.

This becomes even more evident when, upon your return from town after a refreshing solo hike around the lake at dusk, you receive yet another phone call. This time from a number you recognize but never saved as a contact.

“Hi, this is Sara,” the voice says as you frantically unplug your headphones so you’re able to talk. In the midst of this chaos, you both immediately begin the conversation with laughter.

Long story semi-short: you have a brief history with this name you’ve never met. Her sister called your work looking for her and you’re the one who answered. Apparently ‘Sara’ used to work there, too, but nobody knew her. A week later, you stumbled into a shop you had a dream about visiting. The owner, who for some unknown reason believes you need a new place to live even though you’re perfectly content where you are, asks if you know ‘Sara Parsons’. A familiar light flashes in your memory. This is the exact same name you heard a few days ago when her sister called your work looking for her!

Whoa! This wasn’t even the same town we’re talking about! And ‘Sara’ lived in a town forty minutes away from the shop– how is this conversation even logical? So you took this as some sort of sign. You’d been texting this lady about her potential room for rent even when you weren’t looking for a room, and now she was calling to figure out if you were actually interested. You confess the entire story from her sister to the shop and the town she lived in, figuring this story has to be 60 miles long but you sum it up in one sentence. You both agree it’s a little strange.

Yet the conversation flows so naturally that you immediately begin discussing the most personal issues in your lives, forgetting you’ve never before met in person. Turns out you’re both on the same path to self worth but you actually hold some important information to Sara’s blockages, and know exactly what words of wisdom to hand down to her. You’re completely confident at this point that you were the one who needed to give constructive criticism for the betterment of this stranger’s life. In 33 minutes, you discuss signs from the Universe, work history, future hopes, toxic home environments, unhealthy relationships, being stagnant in bad situations, flower essences you both should be taking, Kate’s Magick anointing oils, and the paint color of your rooms.

You plan on hanging out Tuesday.

Yes, you needed the mountains… but this is precisely for the reason that the mountains were desperately in need of you.

And when somebody or something needs you, you realize that your needs no longer matter and feel filled with purpose. Your desires are naturally fulfilled without having to conduct ceremonies to manifest them. (Did I mention Sara has seven cats? Count the number of cats mentioned in this post and it will equal nine, just as I subconsciously predetermined in my sarcastic list of needs in the earlier paragraphs.)

To be continued…

Piñon Pine

Abstract Essays, Cultured Narratives

My sense of time had been seriously distorted that week due to sleeping in a dark room and being an opener at a coffee shop at 4am, while also subconsciously aware mold must have been seeping through the walls of that apartment and into my sinuses. I was barely breathing, in a state of minimum consciousness when my alarm screeched unpleasantly, piercing my eardrums. I didn’t open my eyes. I was nauseous and dizzy, better prepared for death than I was a road trip to Utah.

The voice telling me this would be an instant life-changing trip was the only thing propelling me to roll out of bed two minutes after I was supposed to arrive at Emery’s house to depart to Utah. A painful rush of cold blood flooded my head as I did so, but I miraculously found myself capable of throwing my five luggage items into my car, throwing clothes on my body, and driving a mile and a half all within ten minutes.

I was headed there with my class of Fort Collins herbalists to visit House of Aromatics, a essential oil distiller lab. The concept of distilling essential oils from scratch intrigued me, but Utah was the last place I planned on travelling to within my lifespan. My imagination could never quite grasp what it would feel like to be there—to drive through flat-topped sandstone hills with red dirt mountains sprouting bushy bundles of Artemisia.

The descent winding down the western Colorado-Utah border was overcome with traffic but surrounded by beautiful scenery, including majestic mountains and equally mystical ghost towns blanketed with fog. Despite the beauty, two hours of riding in the backseat made me so cold and nauseated I could have passed out. Fortunately, I was in a car full of intuitive herbalists—one of which happened to possess a homemade ginger tincture. After consuming a few drops of that, stopping for coffee, and walking briskly through the cool, mountain morning air of Georgetown, Colorado; I witnessed the healing powers of nature already reviving my health and my spirit. We were walking along a full river in search of a coffee shop, which I spotted just in time.

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I savored the taste of comfort; a sweet, warm soy latte while walking back along the river lined with vivid green grass and medicinal plants that our Mother Herbalist pointed out to us. That crisp, cold and rainy air flowed through my veins, allowing me to breathe a little more clearly. Our next stop was also by a river that I walked downhill towards… and my soul shouted for joy at the view of yet another element I clearly didn’t visualize enough: water. Water, earth, fire, wood, air. It occurred to me indirectly along this journey that I hadn’t been surrounding myself with the essential life elements, so it was no wonder I was experiencing so many ailments such as respiratory issues, fatigue, and infections.

Now nearing our destination as we wound up the mountain, I was feeling the most enlivened of the entire group. I was transfixed by the pink reflection of the setting sun illuminating the valley with cirrostratus clouds overhead, casting contrasts of pink and indigo upon the plateaus. I had never seen a more expansive sky than this one. The expansiveness allowed me to breathe in the atmosphere, appreciating the journey. I almost choked on my water when I suddenly spotted a formation of white sandstones perfectly shaped like a guitar, right there on the hill! It was a large formation, obviously natural. I shouted at the other passengers my revelation, but we’d already passed the hill and they’d been oblivious.

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Though this caused me to double-take on dreams versus reality, I knew I was not mistaken. Guitars were engraved in these hills, playing music to the sky and the valley. I felt instantly at home. The trees were smiling at me.

We were there for the Wood and the Earth, but I was astounded to recognize that the wood and the earth were there for us, before anything. The entire time, we wore the scent of the trees upon our skin in the form of hydrosols derived from piñon pine’s essential oil. This way, we absorbed that aroma both internally and externally while emitting Piñon’s scent from our own pores so that we could better connect with all of nature. Especially the trees. After collecting pines from the forest, walking barefoot, and sniffing flowers, we stuffed the pines into a large barrel that would sit, generating heat, for days.

I believe it was the trees, out of all elements, which transmitted a wonderful idea to my soul whilst I was amongst them. They made me believe that all of my aspirations are beautiful and magical, surely possible to achieve. Don’t give up, they said. Everything is always okay. Nothing is a mistake; only part of the plan. They shed light upon the fact that not only had I been so out of touch with the elements- I was out of touch with the entire Universal cycle and it was making me crazy and forgetful and depressed. But spending time with a multitude of trees twenty-five times older than myself rooted some ancient wisdom within me. One being: we are part of them. We are part of a living, breathing organism and our personal health influences the entire body of the ecosystem.

Another forgotten “element” I rapidly remembered along this trip was space. Is it an element, or all the elements? Our existence is something else compared to space—something quite small and seemingly irrelevant to the entirety of the Universe and beyond… yet somehow, each one of Us is actually composed of all the elements that our Universe is composed of. Though we’re merely “atoms in the hind leg of a dog on some foreign galaxy”, according to Eryl, we are also God to one of our living cells.

 

So it’s no wonder the six of us found ourselves laughing nonstop in the oil distiller’s kitchen for four hours that night while everyone else sat outside drumming around the fire and searching for the spiritual truth. The spiritual truth sometimes means nothing more than laughter—the kind of laughter that is so relentless it hurts. The kind of laughter that ignites smiles to every one of the cells forming your body—all the atoms spinning around at the speed of light, holding you together in one piece. The kind of laughter that causes you to gasp for oxygen because your muscles are uncontrollable in the moment. The kind which causes you such shortness of breath you don’t take heed the very real possibility of death, because the overwhelming load of serotonin rushing to your brain makes you forget everything. It makes sense that laughter creates a higher vibration when your entire organ system vibrates with the untamable action.

Sometimes, stillness and silence may also lead to the most serendipitous moments. While I was lost in silent wonder, staring up at the sand hills basking in the golden evening sun, I met Jackie from Florida and Nora from Switzerland outside of a barn party in the small town of Boulder, Utah (population 150). How either of them ended up at this particular barn party was a mystery to me, until I wandered inside the barn and was confronted with the most passionate, lively energy I’d experienced… ever. A marble dancing stage sat at the south entrance, and hanging lights of all colors lighted the north stage. The sound coming from the stage was one that would instantly bring to life even the most lethargic of souls, such as myself at the time. I came to life, fully, as I became one with all the other colorful dancing spirits from all over the world in this middle-of-nowhere-Ute barn.

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I danced with the crazy locals to a cover of Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy”. My body flowed with the rhythm, inspired by the reckless, carefree dance moves of everybody in the front crowd including my Mother Herbalist and the owner of the field on which we were camping. Absorbed in the band’s sound, I was astonished when the reckless, dancing local woman with whom I was barely acquainted suddenly turned around to face me and placed her palms on mine, hands still in midair.

“You know what’s crazy?” she looked gravely into my eyes, staring straight into my soul. If I hadn’t learned anything about magic and synchronicity within that past year, I would have merely thought she was drunk. She was, but I knew she had turned towards me, specifically, to make an significant point worthy of permanent remembrance. “The world we live in, where we’re so afraid of being what we really are.” I agreed that it is a crazy world. “But now is the time to break through society and just be our crazy selves. Right? Just let go of everything. Be free. That’s what we really need in our world.” The guitarist kept rocking a riff while repeating “Crazy… crazy… crazy…” and the crowd roared under a hundred multi-colored lights. “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to just be you.” The woman with brown eyes squeezed my hands before letting go, then turned back around to dance facing the performers.

I lost myself in the music as the song transitioned into “Moonage Daydream” and two free-spirited young girls reenacted a 1980s David Bowie rage. I allowed my entire body to move freely, synchronized with the rest of the audience who felt as much. I let go of everything and just felt. (I did not get up on stage with the girls and rage.)

The sky was densely lit with mysteries clearly visible in the open field throughout those nights: beaming stars, galaxies, and the Milky Way. The sky was also looking at us during those Central Utah nights while we made music by the fire, danced carelessly in a barn, made friends from across the world, drank wine, and gossiped about the stars. The galaxies would undoubtedly remember us, the Herbalists, simply trying to shed light upon other living beings united in our system as a whole. And I believe it was a success, especially there in a land where we, the plants and the plant-lovers, could view what was happening up there on a tangible level.

On the last day, we gathered in a circle around the barrel of pines and lifted the cover off the top. A multitude of three whole trees– or more– had created a mere five ounces of essential oil. Steam emanated from the barrel and into my sinuses; it was lovely and sweet, but also powerful and healing. It was as though a blast of clarity hit me directly in the face. I could breathe. My heart was open. No one said a word; we were all suddenly still. Tears were shed around the circle. We had co-created this substance with the Earth, asking her permission, and now she was thanking us. This steam carried more with it than its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, and anti-viral properties… it carried the Spirit of Piñon Pine.

We gave the remains of Piñon Pine back to the Earth. I was feeling light, like weight had been lifted from my heart and mind. The golden sun paved the road home, shining past our sunglasses, igniting some kind of hidden light within our souls that evaporated any doubtful parts of us, replacing those parts with hope and wonder. I took with tools of healing and wholeness derived from a variety of sources, silently thanking each source.I experienced a newfound appreciation of the layered sandstone canyon walls surrounding us, and mountains freckled with sparse bright green trees contrasting with vividly red dirt.We drove under tunnels holding our breaths, and I was reminded of the ancient concept of emerging from underground caves with a new perspective of life. We emerged from the tunnels every time in bursts of laughter.

 

 

Susto

Abstract Essays

Susto is a common ailment in Mexican and southwestern United States traditional medicine or curanderismo, referring to the loss of one’s soul due to extreme fright.

I first became acquainted with this term three years ago when I apprenticed with a Mayan herbalist in Yucatán, Mexico for six weeks. There, it is more commonly referred to as nervios. Nervousness, loss of soul… same thing. Por ejemplo, he said, it is common to lose one’s soul if you become frightened by the appearance of a snake. I associated this idea with the instinctive thought of death—being so scared for a single moment that the soul leaps from one’s body so as not to be harmed.

Those who are diagnosed with susto experience symptoms such as loneliness, emptiness, nervousness, anxiety, and panic. In severe cases, they are unable to breathe due to feelings of constriction and heaviness in the chest. Some are unable to speak. The longer one’s condition remains untreated, the more physical ailments will progress such as serious ongoing infections, particularly in the sinuses. Long-term cases will inevitably lead to death.

Nervios, for a reason nobody in the village could fathom, was most commonly detected in infants. Various herbal and shamanic remedies could be prescribed to cure this, each one different depending on the chosen practitioner, and the baby or the client would be on their way to resume daily life. The thing that boggled my mind the most was how frequent this ailment, if you could call it something so minor, occurred amongst villagers here. Many Westerners would probably conclude that it was ‘a mental thing’.

 

It took me three years to unearth a few mysteries behind susto. Just because it isn’t typically spoken of in this culture doesn’t mean it doesn’t still exist in this culture, disguised behind masks of peculiar words in the English vocabulary. Unfortunately, western medical vocabulary doesn’t normally relay the root of any disease within the word itself, so we are often left without the simplest tools to detect the most obvious counteraction to the cause. Linguistic anthropology classes can tell you that, but so can common sense. (Though I do give us credit for keeping malaria– bad air.)

It took me even more time to finally accept that maybe there was a reason as to how one contracted this disease, and why babies were the regular victims. What IS shyness, and why was I shy as an infant? Why, when I’d never lived any experiences of my own, would I escape from the womb still acting like a prisoner of worry?

 

My father once revealed a hidden belief of his, in explanation of my strange déjà vu encounter with Colorado’s oldest town, San Luis. When I first passed through this town on a road trip with two of my aunts, years ago, I exclaimed, “I WROTE about this town in a segment of my novel!!!” My two aunts were a little wary of this sudden exclamation, more likely to assume I’d gone overboard with the definition of ‘fiction’ than to come up with any spiritual explanation. His response was unexpected and I could have perceived it as sarcastic, like many of his jokes, but I knew it was serious:

We have generational memories still engraved in our brains from all of our New Mexican ancestors. Maybe that’s why.

             We didn’t discuss generational diseases.

I’d been attending doctor’s offices for ten years, coming in with strange dilemmas nobody could diagnose. Hm, that’s an interesting one, they would say. I really can’t say why that is. Eventually, I gave up. There was no point of being prescribed birth control to counteract odd symptoms of anxiety. When a doctor inquires about your family’s history of disease, he or she isn’t normally referring to emotional distress passed down to the offspring from ancient ancestors, causing seemingly physical illnesses in the living generations. Doctors aren’t about to diagnose, say, generational fright as a chronic disease.

Were my ancestors really so terrified of following their heart’s passion that their souls left their bodies, only to come back in the form of me, still carrying all that fright? And why, of all things, did this have to include love? Life goals and love stories all have had two trending commonalties: hopelessness and failure. I could reveal ancient secrets I’ve exclusively been told, but I can’t do that here. All I need mention is that generational curses do exist, and it doesn’t help any to be indirectly discouraged since infant years from conquering the thing you’ve been trying to overcome throughout the course of generations and past lives. It doesn’t help to be told by any alternative medicine practitioner that if I don’t achieve what it is I’m trying to overcome, my body will continue to wither up and die.

 

At home amongst the Colorado-Wyoming border, I turned to such alternative healing methods—the closest we have to traditional herbalism and curanderismo– in search of possible root causes. I became certified in such professions myself, in hopes that doing so would cure me of all my issues. On the contrary, I ended these certification courses with even more confusion and anxiety, taking too long to integrate the true meaning of these practices within myself. I was experiencing life but not actually living it. I was living not from the heart but out of obligation to ensure the peace of mind for those who cared for my wellbeing.

I couldn’t have foreseen the true beginning of my transformative healing, if I had to pinpoint a day since birth, on July 28th when I decided I should attend the Indian Pow Wow. I dragged along the first familiar soul I randomly encountered that day to accompany me, whether he liked it or not. I was afraid to get out and dance freely with everyone at the event—of course I was; I was afraid of everything. But this compulsion was too strong, and I was tired of being afraid. I followed the lead of a young-spirited grandmother wearing a sunhat out to the “dance floor”, the grass stage, forcing my friend to trail along. We danced in a circle to the beat of a drum, the sound that signifies the heartbeat in Native American tradition.

They say the drum is nurturing to a broken heart; it should be able to beat life back into one’s body when played in rhythm. It is the first sound we hear in the womb, the sound that literally brings us to life. Tradition has it that this sound can heal any disease associated with lack of life. I didn’t realize at the time that it would also efficiently beat the life back into my soul.

The grand finale of my healing came crashing down on my birthday exactly a week later, as my downstairs neighbor’s antlers simultaneously came crashing down off the wall. My party of eight had been stomping too loud, he claimed—stomping to the beat of 50s music, stomping the fear out of our souls. We all do it. He wouldn’t be the one to complain, after all, when just hours ago my rooftop sunbathing session had been interrupted by his metal band blasting music through the roof. A hardcore metal band knows the importance of release. Their excuse for loudness is the loudest instrument: the drums.

This time, there were no rituals or herbal remedies involved– only drums, dancing, 50s hop, and wine. Since the drum, I have had hope to continue living life from the heart. Since dancing, I have had courage to pursue endeavors that spark fireworks in core of my being. So, there exist alternative remedies even to typical alternative medicine.

Whatever you must release, do so.

 

 

 

5/5: Big Magic

Abstract Essays, Numerology, Small Miracles, Soul heartedly

Two weeks ago, I bought a fairly expensive ticket to see my favorite author and one of my biggest inspirations, Elizabeth Gilbert, speak about her newest book Big Magic. I assumed I wouldn’t find anyone to go with me, because who else would be so ecstatic to drive 100 miles for a motivational speech on Creativity? I knew it wasn’t rational to spend so much money on such an event that would last a maximum of two hours– especially when I am in an insecure job situation, especially when I am risking the possibility of getting lost in a city 100 miles away and four times the size of my own… basically, I was “risking my life” [for the selfish purpose of creative motivation] as my mother warned.

As the event date drew closer to reality, I hadn’t been thinking too much about it. It wasn’t until a couple days before that I realized it the event occurred on May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, aka 5/5– a possibly dangerous day in numerology due to the superstition that multiple 5’s indicate a huge life changing event. Perhaps I’d already talked myself out of it, which is why I wasn’t too worried. No one would go with me, I didn’t have anywhere to stay the night in an area that would likely be dense with drunk drivers, my little car might not have been completely reliable (even though my car-expert of an uncle told me it was just fine last week), etc, etc.   I could  have simply canceled or sold my tickets, regaining my money to be that much more wealthy once again.

These fears came just an inch close of directing the course of how I spent my Thursday, May 5th, 2016. These fears almost cornered me in my room that night, almost spending it safely and soundly in the comfort of my own home… as well as in the regretful distress of my mind. They almost had their way with me… but fortunately, I had more voices telling me, “You’ll be fine” with consoling smiles than the voice that told me, “This is the most dangerous thing you could even THINK of doing– why would you do it?! And in rush hour traffic!”

As I read a few more pages of Big Magic the afternoon of the event, my heart grew full of possibility and wonder. Fireworks were sparking.  It was like Elizabeth Gilbert herself was smiling at me, saying, “You’ll be fine. Just do it! THIS is your life-changing event! This is BIG MAGIC!”

And so it was: my fear was outweighed by not only curiosity, but MAGIC. I was more driven by the very alive force of magic working amongst the Universe as I read those pages about overcoming fear.

I used my magical powers to divert traffic away from my car on the highway and into Denver city, creating a bubble of protection. There was fear, but I pushed it to the distance. When it came time to park in the parking garage, I had to circle around a few times in desperation before finally entering and finding a spot… and memorizing it. I have been known for getting lost in parking garages. Shaking as I walked downtown, I took some deep breaths of the polluted city air and tried to collect myself. What magic was possible here, Universe?

Well, as I was walking, I remembered it was one of my long-lost best friend’s birthday. I messaged her to wish her well and inquired about her plans. She had none! On this party girl’s 21st birthday, she had no plans! I almost didn’t even attempt to contact this friend since I never knew where she was living or how to contact her anymore, but she responded. She was living in a Denver suburb and gave me her address so I could stop by later to catch up… she only lived 9.3 miles away from downtown, according to my GPS. This was much safer than 97.3 miles… and how magical it would be to spend time with a best friend I hadn’t seen in a whole year!

Still, I had the entire hour to spare in downtown Denver before I needed to arrive at the theater. I meandered the sidewalks packed with a variety of people strolling down them, together. On the other side of the street, a music duo caught my ear. One was playing guitar and the other ukulele. I crossed the street to get a closer listen… they were playing folky Grateful Dead covers. The familiar-looking girl with red dreads took a break and talked to me. We instantly became friends when I told her I was also a singer-songwriter/ guitar player, and she went on further to explain her wanderlust journeys with her travel partner. Their van had broken down somewhere in New Mexico so they were planning on spending the summer in Manitou Springs.

“I was thinking about moving to Manitou Springs this fall because of a job opportunity!” I exclaimed. So we agreed to run into each other there. So now if I move to this foreign town, I will at least be acquainted with other musicians of exactly my style.

I found my way to the theater in plenty of time before Liz began, only to collect myself. I’d been hoping to make a connection with whomever sat next to me so I didn’t quite have to say I was “alone” at this event. 15 minutes later, my seat partner did arrive. I hung up a phone call and attempted to spark a conversation with her, hoping she would be somewhat responsive and not think I was a weirdo for my interest in meeting people. This woman also looked very familiar to me and I wondered if I’d crossed paths with her before.  We did have a connection; speaking easily about traffic and parking garages and where we lived… but nothing too colorful. We talked until the speech began.

Throughout the entirety of Liz Gilbert’s speech, I was smiling to my cheekbones while tears rained down my cheeks, mostly for the reason that every word she spoke about creativity and synchronicity was so true to my soul. The very first thing she said was the largest reason I was there. It would have been enough had I gone for the sole purpose of hearing her say, Your life will become a work of art in itself if you lead a life driven more by curiosity than fear.

I almost regretted that I didn’t write my question down for the Q&A session afterward… but I had a feeling whatever questions I had would be answered through her speech. And of course, they were. She asked a question that made me think deeply in a couple of different areas:

What is it that excites you the most? What ignites you enough to bring you to life each day?

This made me question all of my creative endeavors I’m currently trying to pursue and make a living out of: (1) singing/ writing songs (2) writing stories/ essays (3) practicing reiki  (4) making herbal remedies and (5) making vintage button jewelry. Which one brings me to life the most? This was probably the hardest question for me to answer. It seems that all of these passions coming together at once have been more destructive to me than igniting.

But then she said something else– that she wanted to fully meet people, everyone she encountered throughout her book tour, and ask them this question.

This concept is very parallel to an idea I once had about crossing paths with people persistently. I thought that perhaps I should actually meet these people and get to the bottom of WHY we happened to cross paths so often, and then write about these connections. But for what? Would the answer to meeting recurring people resolve the mysteries of the Universe? What would happen if they thought I was a stalker?

Well, she had an answer for that too. Because disaster really means ‘exploding star’. If your creative ambitions lead to a disaster, which is very possible, at least you participated in the way of the Universe: making something out of nothing. Besides, it’s not like I would be killing anybody by writing about them. Right? And if I didn’t write about these experiences, at least I would have satisfied my spell of curiosity. This applies to every single one of my creative aspirations listed above, but a thought came to me for a moment:

Is crossing paths with new people and making soul connections the thing that excites me the most?

Ridiculous. I don’t have time for that. Singing has always been the top of my list, so I really should go after that (after I resolve my sinus inflammation issue) . But is my favorite part of singing that act of singing… or meeting people afterward? I can think of plenty stories.

Little did I know that by the end of the most impactful speech to my personal life I came out to witness, my favorite author would be having us singing! Explaining that singing in groups (karaoke!) is her most important routine ritual, she asked us to sing a song no other than the one that has always been a form of unity in my Wyoming community: “Country Roads” by John Denver. The vibration of the theater raised a couple hundred kilohertz as the entire audience sang in unison to our hearts’ content. How could I ever have almost missed this magical occurrence of union and feeling at home in an unfamiliar city with my favorite author and my new friend, Jen?

My heart was sobbing with exuberance afterward. As I exited, walking with Jen, I decided to ask her an important question. “What is it that excites you the most?”

This question led to a conversation about the exhilaration of traveling alone, a mutual gluten sensitivity, and… of course, a mutual love for meeting new people. We stood on the corner of bustling 16th Street talking about our passions for awhile before we departed, and decided to keep in touch.

I am grateful to the big magic which paved my way to this event. To think that I almost missed forming some new friendships, having a spontaneous sleepover with a childhood friend, and singing “Country Roads” with my favorite author!

5/5 did turn out to be a completely life-changing date, as prophesied. I learned  to accept my fears without allowing them to overcome me on my solo adventure, all the while doing the thing that excites me most: making connections.

 

 

 

 

Fallen rain gutter

Abstract Essays

“What would you do if you were experiencing my unfortunate overload of ideas?” I asked Bill today while sitting at a table by the window of the rustic coffee shop, the sun still shedding a little gray light upon us as the day faded. When I came across this familiar coffee shop character sitting in my favorite spot, I was compelled to sit down and absorb any inspiration he might try to share with me. He’s always been a supporter of my slow-progressing novel. He says he’d never met a novelist before– I’m not sure I could title myself as a novelist quite yet, but perhaps if I did, my progression would accelerate.

He pulled out a hand-sized notebook out of his back pocket. “I always carry this on me, because this notebook is like a rain gutter. If ideas are rain, I have to have something to catch them as they fall, otherwise they’ll come flooding down all at once.”

It dawned on me: my rain gutter had mysteriously fallen to the ground about four feet aside from its so-called-secure placement underneath the roof a few weeks ago. I’d called my property management, and this had apparently seemed too daunting a tragedy to fix themselves. They needed a bigger ladder, and haven’t come back since. Not even after the record-breaking avalanche of snowfall– 14 inches in one day! Finally, I moved the fallen gutter to the other side of the pathway so that the campanula could spring up freely as the snow melts. This, however, has created a miniature flood on my beloved unborn campanula that also rains down on my head whenever I leave and come back to my apartment. Of course– it’s all tied into the symbolic and metaphoric Feng Shui concepts I read, religiously, months ago.

My ideas are not being contained to flow in a river-like fashion, gently to the ground. My ideas are flooding atop my head, raining down all at once. As hard as I’m trying to focus on one thing at once, as the symbolic 1234 recurring number keeps reminding me  to do, I simply can’t. What is focus anymore, anyway? 123, etc, is constantly nagging me to finish what I’ve started. Little does it know that my rain gutter has fallen and no one has a tall enough ladder to screw it back on! Not only that, but I’ve made so many different beginnings with all of my endeavors that I’ve become overwhelmed by options in such a wild maze.

I’m not just implying creative writing ideas. I have about ten writing ideas as it is, and as a result, have not made actions towards any of them . I’m pondering traveling to New Mexico for ten days and finishing my novel there. I’m considering starting a blog on either or all of the following topics: crossing paths with certain people persistently, numbers appearing persistently, traveling solo and being a freelance musician and artist, Cheyenne tourism, Downtown Arts, or the importance of herbalism in Western medicine. There’s more to it than that, still.

I am struggling with perfectionist issues such as the “right way” to record my album, how many songs should be on it, and how to do all of this by April 14th. Should I finish recording all my songs by myself, and be left to obsess with worry about the quality? Should I record with my unresponsive friends who say they have committed? What about the magical, sunny  recording studio on a ranch in the boondocks? Yet, how can I begin to decide on any of these options when , by this point, I’ve almost lost interest in my music altogether?

A few days ago, in spontaneous attempt to forget about deadlines for music and writing, I began my spring moon herbal creations. I finally began up-cycling old wine bottles into herbal hair rinses, which felt exhilarating to begin, knowing I’d finally be getting rid of some clutter I’ve kept in my cupboards. I poured my heart and soul into shaking the bottles filled with apple cider vinegar and different herbs, blessing them with the best… but the infusions won’t be totally ready until next month. When to keep up with making those products is another interesting question to worry about.

I did make a couple firm decisions, surprisingly, this past week. I decided I will not only finish my Reiki II training with my original teacher in Boulder on April 8th; I will also do another I and II training in late April from a Reiki master in town, followed by a Cacao ceremony led by a Guatemalan chocolate shaman’s apprentice. I will be doing lots of communing with trees this month, hopefully obtaining a sense how they manage to expand their heights and stay rooted deep into the Earth. And hopefully by this time next month, my rain gutter will be fixed.

 

1111: On Signs from HP

Abstract Essays, Small Miracles

Every year my family has a white elephant party. We exchange the lowest scale junk from the depths of our dark closets including old Barbies, kid’s toys, ugly sweaters, and comical party favors. Though these items are predictable, they are different in some way each year. In other words, I wouldn’t receive the same ugly sweater that someone else received last year. No—there is only one item that is allowed to recycle itself upon the same circle each year, and that is Sally’s Angel.

When the Angel was born unto this Earth, finished with a careless brush stroke atop a navy blue canvas, she was not blessed. Instead, the ear was dotted on her face just in time for her to be welcomed with a condescending chuckle and the cruel proclamation: “This is the ugliest angel I’ve ever seen.” And how can an insult like this be more any more condemning, coming from the mouth of no other than that of that her Creator? The Creator didn’t even have the wit to sign her own initials; instead, she forged a crooked “HP” near the Angel’s head.

If I hadn’t been there during the time of her creation, I would have been among those pondering the origin of this great mystery. Each year, the chosen one tears off the last of the wrapping paper to come face to face with the strange angel. The first reaction is always hysterical laughter, followed by a solemn gaze of pure confusion—and finally, the question. “What’s HP?” And it was always my grandmother—never the true creator—who would have to explain the story to the entire group. She confessed it was a mock painting, not the original. My grandmother’s friend, Sally the artist and the hoarder, had given her a painting of an “ugly” angel for Christmas one year. When my grandmother asked Sally what her inspiration was for this “lovely painting”, Sally poked her thumb up in the air a few times and whispered, “H.P.” with a divine force. What’s H.P.? Harry Potter? Grandma had asked. Sally only responded, “You know… higher power.”

I could have never foreseen myself becoming anything like Sally the artist, the hoarder, and angel-whisperer years later… but not long after the first year of her rotation, I began receiving signs. California license plates were everywhere. Everyone I met was from California. Some of them still are. Now, however, it’s changed to North Carolina. So what is it about North Carolina?  And what about the recurring numbers I see at least twenty-two times per day? This subject may deserve a separate post. The point is, it’s come to the point in which I cannot ignore these signs being thrown at me with such force everywhere I go.

I could only take an educated gander at the giver of these signs, and I’m not sure how to explain It any better than HP. You know. Higher Power. And now here I find myself in a tiny apartment hoarding blank canvases, waiting for signs from HP to tell me what needs to be painted. I’m hoarding blank notebooks, waiting for signs from HP to inspire my words. Then there are those instruments basking in the dark corners of my rooms, some of which go untouched, waiting for HP to dominate my fingertips and strum.

I’ve had some success so far. Ever since I’ve acknowledged that HP is in fact living in my hands and my heart, I have experienced floods of inspiration. It’s not so difficult to finish things anymore. Knowing that HP is the source of signs I receive, I’m more willing to trust the recurring signs… places, symbols, numbers, names, etc. It’s seeing how the order of my life can play out, placing the opportunities in front of my eyes and allowing me to put together various puzzle pieces that might just come together and form a beautiful picture.

7: Birth

Abstract Essays, Cultured Narratives

Everywhere I drove, I saw plates from Goshen County marked by the number 7. The number 7 always used to be my favorite number, my lucky number, before I began seeing number patterns repeatedly everywhere I looked fifteen years later. Seven became insignificant compared to the persistent 222s, 221s, 555s and other random number sequences—until a couple weeks ago when sevens kept flashing before my eyes no matter where I went. But it was the license plates that were leading me to dig deep into my roots, to search for something I didn’t know I had lost.

So here I find myself in a window seat of the newly opened bakery in a town out on the open prairie with a population of 5,000— Torrington, Wyoming. It’s a town with prominent aromas of cow manure and dried couchgrass. Almost nobody born here stays—but I imagine there are some that do. It’s a town of new beginnings, just like every other mildly progressive town in Wyoming. A new restaurant had sprouted at some point within the past fifteen years with my last name as a title. A western boutique with a few boho items stood within a tiny complex at the end of downtown. The furniture store was closing.

Driving eighty miles through such a scene the average person would consider “nothing to look at” was surprisingly a beautiful revelation for me. I drove down the dark road surrounded by an open area of buffalo grass below a subtle blue, cloudless sky. But if you scan see past that, looking with a deeper vision, you might see the Rocky Mountains glowing in a pink aura through the rearview mirror, and feel the wind rustling your hair as though you were among the horses on the sides of the road. You can see herds of free-range cows along the prairie drinking from a deep blue creek that is somehow still flowing in the middle of November.

And you thought you’d finished the straight path, you arise on top of the prairie and gasp in awe. Oh… so this is where I come from, I thought. The road was no longer black; it descended into hues of purple, nicely complimenting the hues of red sagebrush. Small rock formations sat piled in pyramidal stacks across the view, only to be noticed by those curious enough about this happy land. Really, it was a happy, lightweight feeling I was overcome with. No longer was my heart sinking into the same view I saw each day; instead, it was spread right out in front of me. There was the old faux chimney rock we called “Hitchhiker’s Thumb” with various roads open up to explore the top if I ever felt the urge to do so. There was Horse Creek, there was Hawk Springs. Places I’d forgotten existed. I’d forgotten where I came from…

Along the horizon, majestic purple plateaus were glowing magenta. Everywhere I looked along the roadsides, healthy bussels of astragalus were sprouting amongst couchgrass. I was breathtaken—breathing in the whole sky, the plains, the purple plateaus. I was now spiraling down this two-lane road, wondering what incentive everyone else travelling it had. Cars from Nebraska and others from upstate Wyoming were speeding towards me. What was triggering their travels? Was it the number 7? Was it any kind of number?

Finally, I came upon the Water Tower and the unnecessarily bold billboard exclaiming “WELCOME TO TORRINGTON, WYOMING”. My grin expanded outside my face and into my heart and crown chakras. I was home.

Preface

Abstract Essays

You can certainly give up on your novel. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time somebody did. What is the world without 200, 300, 400 pages? Probably not so different. You can give up because you’re too young and you don’t know anything. You don’t know what it’s like to be a mother, to be suffering from serious illnesses, to have an ex-husband, etc. You can give up and release a sigh of relief so you can finally get all those short stories together.

You can certainly just give up, like I almost did.

I almost gave up, until my own words starts following me around with an overbearing shadow. Last Saturday I walked into a café and saw my characters sitting at a table for lunch just like they do in a scene from Chapter One. I ran into a woman with the same name as my protagonist, Kathleen, twice the day before that and she heard me sing, telling me she didn’t know I sang and that it was beautiful, just like my she does in another scene I wrote. I went to view an apartment I was drawn to on a cloudy day yesterday, thinking it was on the upper level of the house. When I pulled up to the house, I was astonished to realize how similar it looked to the house I imagined Kathleen living in. In fact, it is the fictional house I wrote up, and the apartment was on the lower level, the exact location that I imagined. I was in shock to be standing on the deck of this house that is my opening scene, then walking into the same gloomy atmosphere inside.

My novel has come to life in the very city in which I was raised, the very city in which I presently reside. But my setting has also come to life in other parts of the world, specifically on the border of Colorado and New Mexico, where my protagonist’s trip takes place. I imagined and described these spaces vividly as if I had been there before. Two years ago on a road trip to New Mexico with my aunts and a family friend, we drove past certain places I knew all too well: Kathleen’s childhood best friend’s house on the side of the road between pueblos, and then the restaurant and bar in the fictional town of Anaranjado, NM, which turns out to be San Luis, Colorado, in actuality. I had clearly been to these places before either in my imagination or a different dimension.

It’s one thing for gravity to pull you towards your own words, taking you to places of your own imagination and to people you’ve described so descriptively. It’s another thing to have the Universe sing you songs that describe your words, sending shivers up your spine as you listen to particularly important scenes accompanied by a hauntingly fitting melody. For example, a song titled “Run” by none other than Kathleen Edwards describes my scene of Kathleen and her mother getting into an argument which leads Kathleen to run alongside the river until her legs went numb and her heart nearly beat out of her chest. “California Stars” by Wilco is reminiscent of one of her nostalgic flashbacks. I made a collage with both song names in it before I’d even heard both of them.

Because of all of these signals being thrown at me from all different directions, I can’t help but notice how the universe is begging me to channel a soul I never knew and mark her thoughts and expressions in written form. There are only rare voices called to do such things, and although I may sound crazy to the rest of the world and to myself, I must follow through with this journey I began five years ago on a school bus heading to a massive art show four hours away (speaking of which, I saw the art teacher who took us there, today by coincidence).

Now that I have recognized these encouraging pushes from the Universe, I have begun to gather resources and do research. I’m beginning to become immersed in my incomplete novel once again, in hopes that one day it will be completed and be read by others who somehow relate to it. Yes, those 200, 300, or 400 some pages may just be a significant part of history and a source of inspiration to all who read it.

What I’ve Found.

Abstract Essays, Soul heartedly

Let me tell you what I have found in the past three months.

I have found peace. I’ve found that I am so much happier with myself and the world. I have found that college education isn’t necessary, especially when it comes to being the person you’d like to be. I have found that I’m actually learning so much more by not being in college… and obtaining ALL of it. Because it’s important.

I have found the Sun. I have found the Sun easier to enjoy and more days to absorb it. I have found that the Sun is essential to my being. I have found my strength in absorbing its rays.

I have found friends. I have found that there are actually people on this planet who appreciate my being. I’ve found friends by accident when I wasn’t looking. I have found that I had forgotten that family are some of the best friends.

I have found creativity. I have found so many mystical books to read. I’ve found a hidden talent of singing bluesy covers of old rock n roll songs. I’ve found a green room full of magical paintings. I found a free novel writing class to attend over six weeks, and now I have co-founded a writing group.

I have found hope. I’ve found that I don’t always have to be a miserable, unhealthy soul. I have found that things happen for a reason always. I have found that my soul truly desires to become a yoga instructor and an herbalist. I’ve found that working two jobs– at a smoothie shop and a coffee shop–is not only fun and fulfilling, but it promises so many benefits for the present and future.

I have found time. I have found the time to play my guitar out in Sun during the morning. I have found time to walk my dog around the park. I have found time to read all of those mystical books that inspire my own novel creations. I have found that I don’t have to worry about much. I’ve found time to do yoga at least twice a week. I’ve found time to attend various writing workshops– for FREE. I have found that even when working ten hours in one day at two jobs, I actually feel even more energized at the end of the day.

I’ve found endless possibilities. I’ve already planned on opening a healing center with a friend, opening a coffee shop with another in our retirement years. I’ve found people who gave me generous tips on how to complete my novel. I’ve found friends I’ve had all along to exchange short stories with, and have found others to collaborate with on music and songwriting.

I have found adventure. I’ve have explored the limits of Cheyenne on my road bike. I drove to another city not knowing what I would find and ended up doing yoga in a studio loft surrounded by plants, as well as sitting in a coffee shop writing my novel. I’ve attended countless events with no one but myself and have met so many people by doing so. I have found that walking in the sun makes my spirit stir and become more alive. And so, I have also found health physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I have found freedom. I’ve found that riding a bike brings so much freedom to the mind. I’ve found how freeing yoga is to the body and the soul, and how freeing meditation is to the mind. I’ve freed myself from loneliness by associating myself with people with these like interests every day because I’ve found many meditation and yoga groups to become a part of.

I’ve found knowledge. I have found that books of traditional healing to be of spectacular importance. (And much cheaper than college textbooks, because I have also found many secondhand stores to buy from.) I’ve learned how to appreciate myself and how much more confident this makes me. I have learned how to trust my intuition and do things that make me happy. I’ve learned that I have to make myself present in any event that interests me, even if I have no energy, because one event has the power to change the course of my life. In fact, I’ve learned that EVERY ACTION changes my life dramatically. I’ve come to know the whole city and have learned that the majority the people I encounter are wise and accepting. I’ve learned how to make time and be productive, and how seriously important that is. I’ve learned that whenever there is nothing to do, there are always books to read. And I’ve learned that in order to fulfill all of my crazy dreams, I must work hard and be persistent. I’ve learned to make that the core of my intentions, along with assisting others in theirs.