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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Wise Mountains

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If you place yourself in the mountains during the rarest, most golden fall; you must not forget that the seasons change and that winter comes. And yet, nothing can defy the everlasting beauty. No matter the season, you must learn to appreciate the mountains for all they are: for the herds of baby elk crossing the highway, for the frozen lake, for the winter sports you see others participating in but you don’t, for the snowplow pileup that causes inconvenience to you when it happens to bury your car and you must dig it out.

I acknowledge that’s what I’ve been doing with much of my time here: digging myself out of polluted snow pileup that has built upon me since childhood. Here, I am referring to self worth and being worthy of stepping into my own power and my own truth safely. I am in a supported landscape if nothing else; being surrounded by mountains gives a slight cushion. It provides a feeling of disappearing into my personal winter and eternal change without anyone to interfere- though this does become a lonely stage.

I’ve allowed my fears and worries to evaporate and become absorbed by the pines. It’s reinventing myself while finally breathing air with ease. Though I’ve believed I deserve to achieve all my desires after less than three months of living here, I must also acknowledge that I’ve been overcoming things I could never have overcome living elsewhere- and I’ve done all of this myself without any consultation. I’ve managed to resolve my sinus inflammation and shallow breathing, which gives me much clearer direction and clarity into all aspects of my life. I’ve been able to control compulsive and irregular eating habits, simultaneously managing millions of food sensitivities and maintaining a vegan (with eggs) diet. I’ve overcome fatigue and exhaustion through diet and spiritual cleansing, giving me boundless energy no matter how long the day is.

The mountains are fearless, courageous, confident, and bold. Some of this energy has rubbed off on me, and I breathe to simply become part of my surroundings. It has changed the structure of my brain- waking up to pines nestled under golden sunlight every morning greatly affects all areas of the brain. It has changed the sound of the music I make, it has changed my name, it has changed my perspective of myself and it has changed my heart. Perhaps my heart is another organism I’ve been digging out of a snowplow pileup. I never did lose myself; it was only my heart that disappeared from my body for awhile and has now come to surface.

Things surface and you must confront them if it’s somehow meaningful to you. The Plains may not be a safe place to do this, but the mountains always are. And of my list of intentions I came up with when I pulled my destination out of a box, I have accomplished seven, all of which I didn’t have three months ago! I have established my intuitive community, become acquainted with Bear Creek and its endless magic, found reiki support, a few people to play music and sing with, freedom of expression through the throat chakra, controlling my health, and being surrounded by genuinely happy people.

I’ve been asking questions and searching for answers everywhere, only to come to the epiphany that something, somewhere, will always answer you back.. but sometimes, the answer doesn’t come in the shape or form you expect. However, when you’re really listening, you will always receive an answer– and you should always follow through with whatever you are currently being given, otherwise your life may remain stagnant in a similar state of suffering. I’m seeing now that my answers are coming to surface sooner than I would have even asked, and that it is fulfilling enough to know that I am being heard by someone as I am guided towards constant support.

The mountains are mysterious in this way; it is a feeling that you are closer to communion with spirits of any good kind. And although sometimes you may not love the answers you are seeking, you must love the mountains for their constant support and guidance and inner wisdom.

“A Place I Will Call Home”

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I tread two thousand miles over mesa valleys, vineyards, naked mountains, the River of Lost Souls, the rugged desert, and finally, mining towns– in hopes that one of these landscapes would pull me down from the star I float upon and into a more grounded state of being. I bypassed the forest canyon on my first stop without looking back or thinking twice about it, paying no heed to its personality or character. It was a place I’d driven through inside cars before, after all– nothing too foreign. It was only 130 miles from home. Why should it ever demand my full attention?

I should know better than to ignore a living landscape and judge its level of magic by proximity to my own homeland, which is in itself magic after all – albeit a magic I’ve become too accustomed to after a number of years. I should have known all along that of all the places I was attracted to, this land would be the one to call me back if only to defy my judgemental interpretation, my underestimation. If you return, I shall give you breath. I shall give you life.

The most profound contrast of this move is the quality of breath. Not the air, necessarily, but the breath. I believe it has to do with the aromatic properties emanating from the pines, which have many healing and magical properties that have significantly reduced the inflammation of my swollen tubercles and eliminated all my sinus congestion to such a state of clarity, that I can ACTUALLY BREATHE! I had attempted to resolve my sinus inflammation through a multitude of actions for three years. Doctors could not define the origin or explanation, and could never recommend anything that didn’t worsen the issue. Some kind of magic in the air.

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The difference between breathing clearly versus shallow breathing is that you may begin to see, hear, and interpret things to an even more extreme intensity than before. Your intuition may become even stronger, and your emotions may come even closer to surface. Memories may begin to flood your mind, and you may recognize in remorse how many experiences and opportunities were shattered by your former congestion and shallow breathing, unable to process or express their significance properly in the moment.

So this change of location is not about finding myself, as I’m sure many have interpreted. I am myself and will always be; it’s more about finding oxygen and from there, remembering myself. Remembering my passions, remembering how to define myself as a true artist and how to live the creative, crazy spiritual artist lifestyle in the healthiest, most balanced way possible. It’s about starting anew and trying to make sense of all the connections and opportunities I’ve lost because of my inability to be present and process. Before breathing clearly, I was only half (or less than half) alive.

Since my ability to integrate my travel experiences and live my daily experiences with full breath, I’ve felt the true magic in the air and have noticed odd patterns which make me wonder who is responsible for writing my life as though it is a mystical fairytale fiction novel– not quite the one I’m writing with my own hand. Then I quickly remember there are, in fact, a few suspects {wink}.

The fairytale is very clever and witty. The characters are truly authentic and eccentric, involving mysticism, wizards, fairies, angels, saints, witches, dwarfs, giants, potions, apples, mushrooms, numerology, astrology, and a play on names when it comes to town names and people names (including my own). The key theme is immortality, hence the town’s name “Evergreen”– it’s definition meaning forever young, or never-aging. I assume it an effect of the landscape and perhaps the timeless fairies floating amongst the pines here which cause the inhabitants to believe in such a thing as immortality. At times I have guessed that perhaps my middle-aged protagonist, whom I portray in first person, has thrown me into this mystical place to regain my own identity separate from hers in order to reverse my age. It is one thing being an old soul… another to completely take on physical aspects of old age which nobody seems to understand.

The metaphors are deeply defined and overwhelming in number. The plot is an everlasting comical twist that ascends in deeper, more complicated bends every day and every hour. However, the setting is a bit stereotypical, taking place in a mystical forest land where time is irrelevant and which nobody seems able to place in geography… and the author, whomever she may be, has apparently experienced a block in creativity when it comes to naming characters. I plead no offense to any of the multiple unique variations of Adrian’s, Adrienne’s, and Adrianne’s; Kathy’s, Cathy’s, and Katherine’s; Valerie’s or Victoria’s; Kevin’s or KevinAnn’s; Elizabeth’s and Beth’s; and Brooke’s– this greatly simplifies the process of remembering for which I am grateful and amused, but also confused.

Well, what more can you expect to find when you literally throw your fate to the winds of cosmic destiny?

There are people who were born with a clear motive on how to direct their life paths, hurdling effortlessly over any obstacles; those are the people who breathe clearly and have a strong mindset that won’t let judgements of others get in their way. This is not the way I was at the time I made a “decision” to move. At this time two months ago, I wasn’t even sure when I was making decisions or when I wasn’t. I was in such a miserable state of confusion in which all my former “career paths” had fallen through, and I was so accustomed to letting others make decisions for me that I couldn’t trust my own intuition although I had greatly defined it during the course of my solo travels. I wanted the best for myself, but had no idea how to go about that at this point. I heard Elizabeth Gilbert’s voice in my head, Not this. God, not this. Anything but this. I hadn’t a clue how Cheyenne was negatively affecting my physical, emotional, and spiritual health but I knew my time here was becoming less and less purposeful. It was taking too much effort to be in sync with the flow. I couldn’t find a flow there anymore.

In a mere state of amusement and curiosity, I found myself making a list of intentions under the header, A Place I Will Call Home. Among this list of 11 intentions were: (6) Genuinely happy people (7) People to play music with (8) Able to express myself freely… (10) Always healthy. I then proceeded to brainstorm places I thought might be potential candidates for such specific qualities of change I desired in my life. Just for the fun of it. This list of towns began with the places I dreamed of most, places I thought my soul obviously belonged like Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Durango, or Grand Junction. I even included Laramie and Fort Collins just to be fair to them because I could logically pinpoint potential, though I’d lived in both cities before and couldn’t find a reason to stay. Just as I was cutting up each of these places to set into a box, I heard a voice in my head that clearly whispered, “Evergreen”.

It was a word that had been showing up in my path for about a year, so nothing compared to all my four billion North Carolina or California signs.  My first impression of Evergreen’s significance in my path was that perhaps it was a parallel town to that of my fiction novel I’ve been attempting to write for over seven years now. I thought maybe I was supposed to retreat in a log cabin for awhile to gain more experience and write. It never occurred in my mind that I would live here in official residency and work on living my own life instead of writing fiction; I wasn’t necessarily a fan of snow or hidden tourist-y mountain towns where driving a car every day is mandatory. Regardless, I jotted Evergreen onto my paper and threw it in the box with all my other fantasy town options. Asking for guidance from the highest source, I called upon my intentions and highest guides as I pulled my answer.

Evergreen.

Alright, Universe. I’d already made my intentions clear, so was it possible this could actually be the answer? I didn’t doubt it. I decided to go with it instead of fighting against it. Evergreen, Colorado is a town of less than 10,000 people. All I knew was that I needed a new, fulfilling job and a place to live asap. I began looking right away, and found some possible opportunities in Golden, Colorado so I thought perhaps the Universe had been leading me towards a town a little more realistic to thrive in. Still, I couldn’t forget that voice in my head. Why would I hear such a specific answer, albeit random and unusual? I applied for some jobs in Golden, not anticipating much to happen. While I waited for a response or some kind of clearer answer towards my life direction, I spent the week applying for jobs in Cheyenne in case that really was my only option.

A week later, I still hadn’t heard anything from any of the places I’d applied at! (Except for one in Taos, but for some reason I couldn’t make myself call back). I began searching for jobs again, following any spark of inspiration that popped into my head. My fingers led me to click after click, guided by something other than my logical mind. I found myself searching all Natural Grocers positions in Colorado. I scrolled and found multiple different cities, but there was one that stood out to me. I began applying to the Evergreen Natural Grocers, somewhat peeved I had to go through the process of applying after I’d applied for the Cheyenne location so many times and my well-thought-out responses had seemingly been lost somewhere in cyberspace, unread. I shouldn’t have to try so hard, I thought. This was a phrase that had been in my subconscious mind quite frequently.

In the middle of filling out the application, my phone rang with the caller ID reading Denver, Colorado.  I answered, inquisitively. It was the manager of the Evergreen Natural Grocers..! I was bewildered. How was this possible, when I hadn’t even submitted my application? He wanted me to come in for an interview. Though it was two hours away, I agreed to coming in three days later because what else could I do with my time while I waited for the right opportunity?  It was as though we had a psychic connection somewhere in the cosmos as the mutual agreement happened to be on a Thursday. I remembered this was also the day a popular coffee shop in town held an open mic, and began to get excited.

The outcome? “Well, we’re definitely interested. It’s just going to be difficult finding a place to live here in the middle of October, so give us a call if you find a place to live!” Both managers and all the workers possessed such genuine, humorous and lighthearted qualities I hadn’t seen in any of my previous jobs situations. I had a feeling something would work out, I just didn’t see how. I did have a cousin who lived in the area, just not ideally close. After the interview, I stopped at a crystal/metaphysical shop where I had a thorough conversation about abundance and manifestation with an intuitive witch who wore a witch hat, along with two customers named Jeannie and Jeanine. I was persuaded into purchasing citrine for better luck with abundance. All three women encouraged me that I would find the perfect place to live; they were certain I was heading in the right direction already and everything would fall into place. I believed them, and was reminded of this every time I held the golden citrine.

After I left, I knew I should have gone to explore Evergreen more thoroughly if this was a potential place of residency. For some reason, I drove in the opposite direction. In the time I had before the open mic, I drove down Highway 73 in admiration of the foothills’ golden beauty. This specific drive along 73 was so familiar with ancient beauty, and though I’d travelled this highway before, I was always seeing something new and interesting. I didn’t know where I was going. Morrison? I didn’t really feel like traveling that far before the open mic. About 7 miles down, I had a spontaneous thought to stop at the nearest park to practice with my guitalele so I would be prepared. The weather was beautiful and the sun was still shining at around 5pm. I immediately spotted Lair O the Bear wildlife lookout and park, just as soon as I had this thought. I made a sharp fork downward into the canyon floor.

There were three different paths to take as I exited my car with my guitalele in hand. I followed my intuition straight into the forest of aspens and cottonwoods, much contrasting the forest of pines, conifers, and firs that made up Evergreen just a few miles away. I stumbled upon the lively creek (Bear Creek, another recurring name I’d encountered all throughout my travel journey) where I heard bluegrass music mingling with the rushing of the creek. Two older men stood at the bank with instruments in hand, while their wives and another couple sat listening on the man-made tiers of the bank. They all greeted me with warm, amused smiles as I encroached upon their setting.

“I guess I came to join the jam,” I said.

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They were overjoyed by my presence, as I was with theirs. We jammed together for about an hour, drinking wine by the creek. These were also humorous, light-hearted people whom I felt a sense of kinship with, as though I’d already known them all before we introduced ourselves. We took pictures and exchanged numbers. All of them lived in Denver, so I felt fortunate to have met them at such a strange time! I drove back into town feeling rejuvenated by the Bear Creek air. Already my breath and my mind were a little clearer; I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. I felt at home, like I’d found a rare treasure in this landscape.

The magical witch showed up at the open mic to see me, along with her Brazilian friend and another musician friend. I connected with this other friend right away, and again we spoke of the way crystals and positive affirmations manifest abundance. She said she was excited to play music with me. “Wait, you’re not going to Cheyenne tonight, are you?” She invited me over to her home to play music afterwards. So just like that, I had a new friend to play music with. This was the highlight of my Evergreen experience that day, and we spoke of a potential cabin which might be available for me to rent around December.

However, I came back to Cheyenne the next day carrying the weight of finding a living situation if I were serious about taking this new job. For a single day, I was in a frantic frenzy over it. Then, suddenly, I remembered my new friend Jennifer was from Idaho Springs and I acted on my spontaneity to ask her if she knew anyone who might be able to rent a room. I hadn’t expected anything significant in return, but it was an idea. Jennifer gladly posted this inquiry for me on an online Facebook site, and sent me back a response the next day. This had been the only response, posted by a woman named Cathy. I called Cathy the next day, who openly stated she enjoyed talking to me. By the time our conversation ended, she concluded that she was so excited for my move as though she’d already made the decision to have me live with her although we hadn’t met.

Exactly one week later, I was settled into the magical purple room in the forest and working happily at Natural Grocers– the place I’d associated with “home” in my south-most travels explained in Day 14: I-25 NM Decisions & Conclusions. Working in a health-focused environment in the Denver-metro forest would turn out to be the perfect place of retreat and rejuvenation for my mind, body, and spirit. At first, I was moving with the flow… the flow of Bear Creek. At times, however, there are certain stones we must swim around. I couldn’t simply toil upon a stone at the edge of the bank, growing mold forever. I was taking the path of least resistance, but there has been much expansive work to do here.

More details of the forest fairytale to be continued…

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‘We’ve all got holes to fill, and them holes are all that’s real. Some fall on you like a stone, sometimes you dig your own. The choice is yours to make, and time is yours to take. Some dive into the sea, some toil upon the stone.’ – To Live is to Fly

‘Now she stands on the forest floor, among the pines and towering firs. Rock still firm beneath her feet; bird perched high above her, singing songs of love’s betrayal. ‘I offered you my endless sky. You countered with hoods and chains. This song I sing will be the last I sing to be inspired by your memory.’ – “Rock and Bird”, Cowboy Junkies

® Camille M. Garcia, 2016

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Day 13: Hummingbird Trailhead

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September 28, 2016

While I was sifting through piles of meaningless paper and lost notes that had been previously stored in drawers that were now sold and absent after my garage sale on September 10th, I repeatedly came across Papyrus cards with a hummingbird symbol and saying on the back:

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.

So I knew the hummingbird’s presence was following me throughout my travels, but I’d forgotten of its presence until our hike to Hummingbird Trailhead.

Lora was waiting for me impatiently at 7am, knowing I did not come to life naturally as early as she. We hopped in the car and sped out of town so as not to miss the entire sunrise. We drove into the desert’s open land just in time. I stepped out of the car and into the purest air of the morning’s first rays. There was something grounding and special about this landscape I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Before we began the hike, Lora led a brief yoga session. Here, I felt myself coming to life again.

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“I’ll let you walk in front of me. If I were ahead, you’d be left behind in the dust.”

I walked ahead, inhaling the aroma of multiple desert plants and tall grasses. I swore I could smell the cool beauty of the mountains ahead. I pointed out desert plants that might be used as medicinal, comparing them to those I was familiar with in Colorado’s mountainous region. This slowed our hiking rate even more. It was gratifying to carefully observe the colors and shapes, slowing down to appreciate the desert essence.

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Near the peak of the trail where the Hummingbird petroglyph lie on top of rocks, I found myself overjoyed to spy at small pool of water, derived by a running waterfall. I couldn’t resist the urge to sit at the edge of the rocks and dip my feet into its liquid stillness. Even before I departed on my journey, I found that the stillness of water was always going to be an immediate soul-reviver for me.

After time spent with the water, I hiked to the top of the rocks where Lora was already meditating on the rock on which the hummingbird petroglyph was drawn. I joined her for a few minutes in this solitary spot overlooking a long line of rocks with petroglyph formations.

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On our way back, we encountered a familiar figure walking her dog along the trail. Lora called out to the woman and her dog, mistaking her for somebody else.

“Good morning! I’m not Madeline- my name’s Jamie,” the woman called out. As we stepped closer, I recognized her as the woman I’d spoke with at the herb shop the day before! So Lora, the Silver City socialite, didn’t know her… but I did! Jamie was a doula and an herbalist, and we’d carried a conversation about these things just the day before.

After passing time speaking with Jamie, who was a doppelgänger of two people we knew (one in Laramie and one in Silver City), we encountered a vividly majestic monarch outstretching her wings for us to gaze at in awe. Immediately after that, we ran into a group of women whom Lora actually did know. While I discussed the state with them, the most memorable quote I was given is, “New Mexico has a soul.”

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It was as though this monarch was encouraging me to outstretch my heart’s wings to all new possibilities. I’d never experienced a moment of such deep communication with a winged insect before, but through its silence and gentle motion, it conveyed to us a clear message.

I have always analyzed the color orange as representing the message: “don’t take yourself so seriously”. As I was talking through my life crisis and my future plans, this was something that slipped from my mouth unconsciously. I said, “And then, on the other hand, I wonder why I have to constantly be taking myself so seriously. Because there’s not only one right option for my life path.”

At this we both laughed. On the car ride back to Lora’s house with a brief detour of some scenes around town, she turned up the radio that happened to be playing Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield– a song of my youth- which I recalled had been playing in my head upon waking up that morning.

There’s a place where I go, where the rivers flow, and I call it home. And there’s no more lies; in the darkness there’s light and nobody cries- there’s only butterflies.

The sun is on my side, and takes me for a ride. I smile up to the sky; I know I’ll be alright.

“Wow, that’s a powerful message for you,” Lora stated later with a wink.

Was it the rivers calling me to them? What was their message? Go with the flow…  reminding me that I could no longer resist the fact that I was eternally part of the ebb and flow of life.

We ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Silver City where she referred to me as her “weekend daughter” to the waitress. She was smiling at every person in the restaurant so lovingly. “I love the faces of Silver City. Good, hard-working people. That’s how I describe the people of this city,” she responded to my question about the people culture. “But Silver City’s still fresh to me since I’m only here during the summer.” Lora prefers traveling solo to foreign countries throughout the remaining of the year.

It was this kind of fearlessness and open-mindedness that silently attached itself to my own thought process while I was around Lora and others in New Mexico.

I spent the rest of the day at a coffee shop applying to jobs in Taos, of all places. I couldn’t say why, not having visited Taos on this particular journey, I was drawn to apply for jobs there- other than because that was the closest location to the actual setting of my novel. I hadn’t given myself the time to work on my novel during this journey because I was too busy exploring and socializing. I was coming to know that this was what I needed more than writing- the reassurance that I would never be alone on my journeys. I realized I possessed the capability to form families anywhere I went, and the knowledge to recognize the realness of these relationships.

That night, I met Lora’s friend Kelley, who graced us with one of his original Silver City style songs. I played a few on the guitalele for them. Laura and Rob prepared dinner, unexpectedly, which we all joined. We discussed the definition of “synchronicity” at some point during the laughter-filled conversation and the contrast between that and “serendipity”.

We concluded that synchronicity implies truly being in the flow of life and the Universe consistently, whereas serendipity is a fleeting moment of blessed coincidence. If a magical coincidence, a sign, occurs within your daily life, you can choose your definition. You can choose to follow signs if you believe you are being divinely guided, or you can dismiss them. Gratitude of either occasion will amplify your experience then and in the future.

After we were finished eating, we toasted wine again. “To SYNCHRONICITY!”

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Day 12: Silver City

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The first thing you’ll notice about Silver City when you wake up in the morning is that the trees, the cacti, the birds, and residents are all reading your mind. Not in a threatening or demeaning way, but in the most kind and caring way. I felt scattered and just a little out of place in this city. I was getting lost more so than I had been in other towns. It’s not that I felt afraid; I was just feeling confused.

The air was drier and cooler than I’d imagined. I spent time in a coffee shop drinking hibiscus tea. The coffee shop, at least, was comfortable and familiar to me with its yellow walls and Tibetan decór. I pretended to write, while I was really eavesdropping on two other writers interviewing the café owner and sole barista about his shop, along with other customers.

“I’m going to say this is the best mocha I’ve ever had- and I drink a lot of mochas,” the woman told the owner. She and her partner explained to the customers they spoke with that their reviewing business was mainly a Facebook page. The elders were curious to read about their responses, but sadly they didn’t have a Facebook. While the man sat down with one elder to help him create an account, I took the opportunity to speak with Lori about her business. She was an upcycled artist, music photographer, and writer. I mentioned that I am a musician, and she listed the famous musicians she’d photographed.

The music life- and writing life- is hard, she said, but “the Universe opens up to those who come prepared.”

She questioned why, if I were a musician, I didn’t have my guitar on me while I was just sitting here in a coffee shop.

I talked with the owner, Ray, who was also a musician. He confirmed that Silver City contains a great amount of talent, and invited me to his band’s event that “might” have been happening the next day.

As soon as I stepped foot in a thrift shop a few doors down, the cashier made eye contact with me and asked, “How are you?”

I was feeling drained and uncomfortable with the mineral energies sifting and swirling around in the air, but I replied, “Good, how are you?”

She looked at me knowingly. She could tell I was lying, and she didn’t like it. “Are you having a good day?”

So I told her I was depressed because of the weather. She was curious about my visit, so we talked for awhile and I felt as though I’d made a new friend in the city. While I was browsing, I ran into Lori again. She was looking for glass for her upcycled art projects. Before I exited the store, she told me, “Don’t forget: the Universe offers great things to those who come prepared.”

That night, I ate soup with Lora and Tim while basking in the sun’s last rays overlooking the Gilas. I decided I would stay one extra night, just in case I’d missed something of Silver City’s magic. I wouldn’t have wanted to come this far without experiencing something spectacular, if that was still in store. Lora invited me to go hiking with her the next morning.

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The view from Lora’s back yard

Day 2 ~ Morrison/ Kittredge/ Golden

September Retreat, Uncategorized

On my second full day of solo exploration, I went for another bike ride along Bear Creek in Morrison. It was a vast, hilly desert– strenuous to propel upwards, but as I absorbed the atmosphere I felt renewed. Upon returning, I felt so proud I was able to stuff my bike in my car in just two pieces instead of three. I set my keys on the passenger seat as I finished buckling up my bike, and slammed both doors. However, I was thinking just a little too quickly…

I’d locked my keys inside my car, and no doors were open! What a wonderful way to start my Saturday- what I’d planned on spending as a day of leisurely shopping in my favorite town to shop in. Someone recommended I call the locksmith. There was only one locksmith number I could reach. I knew it would cost me an “arm and a leg” — but what other option did I have?

He said he would arrive in approximately 35 minutes, so I found a coffee shop to stall in. Luckily, I had my phone and my wallet on me. I ordered drip coffee and doused it with honey while I pretended to blog on my phone. Really, I was making up stories about the interesting couples who also entered the coffee shop.

What cost the man 35 minutes of driving and 35 seconds to unlock my car door, ended up costing me $178. Always think twice about whether your keys are in your hand or your car.Strolling Morrison, CO.

After Morrison, I was feeling a little frazzled. I didn’t want to stay inside, though, so I drive the opposite direction of the rocky canyon highway and made my way into Kittredge. I’d missed an Adobe Market sale by just seconds, but the owner of a local art gallery mentioned the Canyonfest taking place just down the road.

Canyonfest, Kittredge, CO

Nothing makes me feel more at home than encountering a group of hoopers dancing to live rock and roll.

I met the artist whose work I was initially intrigued by at the local gallery and purchased two pieces of wood art. Sherpa House, Golden, CO

I was elated when my cousin suggested Indian food for dinner. I ordered Chana Masala- the most satisfying salvation after any long September day, as the air begins to cool.

Meghan and Stephen- my first hosts of my solo journey.Woody’s wood-fired pizza.Walking along the river in Golden

 

 

Day 1- Idledale area

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I happened to remember bringing my road bike along with me, and found this magical trail in Morriosn to ride along. I had to stop in at the Cyclery, where Mark gave me lessons on putting my wheels back on after I had sabotaged my bicycle by de-wheeling it and stuffing it in a tiny car in three pieces.When I saw a sign which read “Mother Cabrini’s Shrine” on my way into Idledale, I knew it was a place I was destined to visit. I climbed 373 steps, a meditative walk, to reach the statue atop the hill. Here, the Golden area and Denver were visible.Basking in the sun in front of Jesus

Pre-Journey Revelations

September Retreat, Uncategorized

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods.” -Lord BryonI have no fear• I have only love ~Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy”“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo EmersonWalking barefoot is among the multitude of ancient arts. ~Camille M. GarciaPeering up inside a hollow tree…What all began with a journey in search of following my heart drew forth the necessity to follow my soul.Finding peace in my heart, I know that anything is possible.