We ARE the Missing Threads

Soul heartedly

If anyone has ever told you, “In order to be loved, you must first love yourself…” and left it at that, I want you to recognize that this is a very dangerous and melancholy mindset to dwell within. What does it mean to love yourself fully, and how is it humanly possible to grow into a space of self love if you believe that you are unable to receive love from others if you don’t even know what it means to love yourself? I want you to know that it is extremely difficult to feel isolated in the world, cut off from support for fear that you are being judged for your imperfections, which represent proof that you don’t fully love yourself (right)?

Love is not something we can do alone. We are all the missing threads that complete one another, and if we become so absorbed within our own heads that we become blind to the outside beauty and numb to the outside energy that is yet a vital part to our being. So if anyone has ever told you this, they are probably not lonely only children and have never truly been in a place of extreme isolation and desolation. And yes, both of these things are only illusions… but they can become so real in the physical world if we truly believe we have to conceal our love within ourselves, solely.

Love has to be reflected, whether it is in the eyes, in energy, in clear lakes, in the stars. We have to realize that we’re part of all of that. I have learned that others’ perception of selfish love leads one down a desolate path plagued by ego. The egotistic mindset haunts you, whispering all your imperfections and insecurities to you through the gusty wind.

What we must learn to do is expand our minds to the external beauty and cultures and how this is a total reflection of us. What we see in the eyes of others: the anger, the beauty, the cosmic illumination, the ever-changing colors, sparkling blue oceans, intimidating red hues as real as the core of Planet Earth– these are all reflections of what we have within us. And we have to learn that these are all safe qualities. We have to learn that living life to the fullest means making mistakes and consciously not following rules staked down in our paths. That we cannot exist for ourselves, because without knowing others and without knowing the world and the outer worlds, we have no way of understanding ourselves in the least bit.

Because if we release the anxieties of our personal lives and expand our minds even further into the Universe, we might realize we are an essential part of all of it. That the Universe exists in all of us, and for us. And the we exist for the Universe, that we are the Universe. We are whatever we want to believe. We have more power than we think. And yet we think too much.

Most importantly, we must realize that there is a multitude of magical beings desperately hinting their love and attraction towards us, frustrated that we still don’t recognize that within ourselves despite our constant strides towards “self-love”, still blinded by the fog of guilt and not being perfect yet. We won’t ever be perfect as we perceive it, but in the eyes of many complimentary beings, we are so perfect as we are. Some are even blind to our self-perceived imperfections because they see us as their own beautiful reflection. Not only are external factors a reflections; it is two-sided. WE are a reflection of the Universal, Godly magic and beauty in everyone else if we can see ourselves this way.

Most importantly, love has to be reflected in words. You need to understand that you are so beautiful as you are even in your imperfect health, facial flaws, inconvenient setbacks, etc… and that so many people are already placed in your path, eager to love and accept you for all of that whenever you allow them to. Loving yourself is accepting yourself for all the beliefs you lock down deep within, accepting that everybody has insecurities that won’t be resolved no matter how hard we try until we surrender to acceptance. 

And accepting that nobody else we love will ever be perfect, so we must learn to love beyond the flawed perceptions and into Truth and wholeness of oneness.

®Camille M. Garcia (2017)

 

Advertisements

Day 7: Scenic Route to Durango

September Retreat

I would have had a hard time leaving Palisade if my journey hadn’t already been prolonged enough. I found myself leaving Poppy’s palace a little late, anyhow. I was sad to leave the new friends I made as well as the old ones I’d reconnected with. Originally the intention here was to experience the beauty of Colorado’s wine country, which I did… I just didn’t expect that in this place, I would obtain so many friends by magic.

I still found it mandatory to begin my day with yoga on the deck overlooking the vineyard; something I would never, ever grow tired of. How could I, when I’d never experienced so much energy in any other place before? I think that simply being surrounded by vineyards, orchards, and rivers were the things which caused Life to surge through me. I was completely restored and renewed.

Due to the wind, I decided to reroute my direction towards Utah instead of heading directly over the mountain. The day was a little shady and intense, but I found beauty along the side of the road. My destination was Durango, Colorado– a place I’d only recently felt pulled towards and booked an Air BNB last minute. I still had no place to stay the second night in Durango, but figured I’d decide soon enough.

I’d never been called, specifically, to the landscapes of Utah. But it was hard for me to deny my newfound taste for red rocks. I didn’t expect to find anything significant in Moab, but as I arrived I was astonished to encounter a plethora of kindred spirits and unique shops in downtown! I hadn’t even been expecting to visit this town, but I ended up purchasing my new favorite outfit at one of the shops. As I was driving away and sunlight fell in the windy valleys of golden grass and red mountains, I knew this was a place I would like to come back to eventually. More likely, on a real music tour than a solo road trip without sound equipment.

The drive towards Durango felt as though I was constantly in spiritual communication with the landscapes surrounding me. In what some would call “no man’s land”, I could sense the beautiful ancestral history of all that had occurred (all the while listening to historic country western radio). I wanted to be taking pictures while driving, but simply allowed the landscapes to become part of my spirit. The was a point in which traffic came to a halt, and I was grateful for this to admire the open land.

It was foreign, and I got lost only nearing the end of the drive, but I was still being pulled in the right direction.

img_3078

My temporary residence in Durango, CO

I hadn’t realized my Air BNB residency for my first night in Durango was 8 miles out of town. As I arrived, I was greeted by most host, chickens, dogs, and cats. Barbara and I immediately had ten thousand subjects to talk about. Her home was the warmest of all my travels so far; I had never felt so welcome in a stranger’s house before.

She happened to live less than a mile from Trimble Hot Springs– and I was craving a soak in a hot springs after my far drive into the beauty and mystery of southwest Colorado. When I arrived at the hot springs spa, it was dark. I was a little hesitant about being alone in a hot springs far out of town in the dark, but it felt more adventurous to me than frightening.

I met a new friend there, who was an amazing resource to my next destination: Albuquerque, New Mexico, as she had lived there for sixteen years prior to Durango. I left with a list of Albuquerque herb shops and Durango music festivals. I was also invited to a bluegrass festival out of town that Saturday, and I felt compelled to stay… However, I had already made plans for Albuquerque and didn’t want to cancel them…

Day 4~ Palisade/ Downtown Grand Junction

September Retreat

My host, Poppy, prepared a breakfast of Palisade peaches, coffee, and homemade muffins. I thoroughly enjoyed every portion of this meal along with the scenic view of the vineyard and the Mesa. I couldn’t get enough of it; the sunlight pouring through this large window seemed eternal. There was something so sacred about the mesas to me… Just being present in a valley surrounded by them was enough to fulfill my spiritual desires, whatever those may have been. 

I drove up the Grand Mesa as the sun was setting the first day I pulled into this area. Driving down The Mesa Canyon along the majestic Colorado river was reviving; the magnificence of it all silenced my thoughts so that I was able to simply expand my own presence into this canyon. 

I couldn’t resist the pull of gravity to walk towards the Mesa around sunset as it turned pink. I was breath taken… The pleasantly cool air was filled with some sort of magical essence which I could not decipher, but whatever it was- it was full. Perhaps this was enhanced by the full moon that night.

As I walked and ran around the vineyard, absorbing the Grand Mesa energy in the morning air, I perceived the air as humid. I felt like I could finally breathe! According to others along the road, it was not this way. But for whatever reason, I was filled with an energy I had never been able to harness before coming to this place. 


My second place of residency for 4 nights in Palisade, CO

Unfortunately, my phone claimed to be “out of storage space” on and off for the entire day, but I managed to spend my time wisely in downtown Grand Junction without photographic evidence. I met some lovely people and made a point to carry out the conversation longer than necessary in order to acquire an unbiased opinion of this whole area. Coincidentally, every person I became friends with that day was from Southern California. 

I stalled time at a juice bar I found along the way which also offered olive oil tastings. I spent more than half an hour tasting these delicious, fine, and organically sourced oils while talking to the new employee from Southern California. It became natural for me as the day went on to introduce myself to each person, and it was simple to begin with, since normally they introduced themselves to me first. 

I was enthralled to come across an apothecary, since my mission is to find an apothecary to work or intern at. I became fast friends with the enthusiastic woman working there. It wasn’t long before we casually discovered we were both singer-songwriters but hadn’t been playing out much, because we both would rather be playing along with others! The obvious solution to our mutual dilemma was to schedule a jam session the very next day.

Eavesdropping on her conversation with the next customer, I recognized the essential oils she was referring to that were right in front of us: House of Aromatics (from my post Piñon Pine)! I exclaimed this fact, that I had spent a week where these oils are derived from with the owner, actually making them in the process. She exclaimed that the owner is a good friend of hers- and what a small world! 

I was able to meet my friend Gabe, who had been part of our six week Maya Art and Culture study abroad course in Yucatan, Mexico three summers ago. It had been this long since I’d seen him! We ate dinner at a Nepali restaraunt, satisfying my everlasting craving for Indian food.

Indian food appears to be my stable during the course of this trip, which is not the worst case scenario.

Touch of Teal

Magic City (of the Plains)

Whenever I used to ponder getting streaks of gray or silver in my hair, I would always hear “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead playing on the radio. I took this as a sure sign that this was a right move for my life path, given the fact that my spirit is approximately thirty-five years older than my physical body. I would just feel more myself. There was only one dilemma: I’m a naturalist, and I’ve never stripped my hair of anything.

The day came, however, when I simply couldn’t wait another fifty years for natural silver to appear amongst my strands. I somehow mustered the courage to make an appointment at Teal House, not quite sure if I was really going to follow through with this year-long desire by the time I arrived the next day. Did stripping my hair of its natural color and then dousing it with some kind of metallic substance really resonate with my morals?

Oh well– sometimes, even if it is once per lifetime, a creative spirit must take a risk in the name of Creativity. At least I would be following my intuition.

IMG_2243

So as I was sitting on the edge of the salon chair while the owner and sole stylist proceeded to brush bleach into “small” strands of hair and folded them into foil strips, I didn’t realize what I was in for. I didn’t realize, initially, that I wasn’t there to obtain “slivers of silver” and interrogate Rebecca Caswell about the origins of her self-owned salon decorated with her remodeled furniture. I was there to address the origins of all my irrational fears that have prevented me from achieving my most outrageous dreams… because she’d already lived a parallel experience relating to her own dreams.

I found it impossible to prevent myself from ranting to her all my worries about the million different directions my paths were leading me (i.e. my aspiration careers in the singing/songwriting field, becoming a best-selling author, and other side art gigs. I ranted about my loneliness, my feelings of disconnection, my anxiety about it all.

It wasn’t long before she exclaimed, “Look! You already have some natural gray coming in! You worried yourself gray– good job.” Discussing long-term visions with Rebecca shed some light on some of my own obstacles.

I told her of my greatest passions, of my travel plans, and how my travel plans would pave the way towards accomplishing my greatest passions. She listened and told me to stop asking for advice. I knew what it was wanted to do; I was just taking on the worries of ten thousand people that weren’t my own. She was one of the few people who had ever been encouraging about this subject, while I’d let the rest talk me out of my own plans. When I accidentally blurted that my last resort was flipping a penny, I quickly realized how pathetic I held my own strength. I hadn’t been strong enough to see that I was lacking willpower in my own beliefs. I came to the epiphany, in that moment, that I was the only one who would stand up for any of my best ideas.

After opening my eyes to the horror of foil bundled up in my 28-inch-long hair, I was astonished to see I wasn’t in a typical hair salon anymore. I was in a life coach/psychology session!

IMG_2235

“It’s so hard to be a creative person because the average joes aren’t going to get it,” she said, “so you have to say, ‘It’s not going to make sense to you, but it makes sense to me’ and then go do it anyway.”

She explained that the rebellious process of opening her own salon seemed an impractical task to most of her family and friends. She learned early on not to reveal her destiny’s secrets, because they wouldn’t make sense to the less creative types. Before she became licensed, her hair master/teacher had told her this was impossible; nobody does that! How many successful salons have only one stylist? According to her teacher, being employed by an already-successful salon was the only direction to go.

She had the resilience to tell her, “Well, that’s not my dream” and did it anyway.

IMG_2267

Teal House (Beauty Lounge and Furniture Design) was conceived on an auspicious date: January 1st, 2014, and birthed on April 1st, 2014 (Rebecca’s birthday month; making this an extra auspicious date). It wasn’t easy locating an open studio space in which she would perform solo hair styling and furniture remodeling for the next two years… But her determination was never faltered. She always maintained faith of finding the right place for her dream business, and eventually, it came along.

“When it’s right, it just comes together. It’s hard to be patient, and it’s hard to be perfect.”

IMG_2259

She found the perfect place here in Cheyenne, located on the intersection of Logan and 11th Street, only one month after she began her search.

 

“I don’t like small talk,” was not her first response to the question Why did you dream of opening your own hair salon without employees? but it came up in the same conversation and so we’ll leave it at that. It’s true; don’t you hate going to a hair salon and forcing small talk with the hairdresser even though you really want to know the details? When there are no other people to distract the conversation, this isn’t an issue.

Her passion for styling hair arises from the satisfaction of seeing transformation and change– a way in which she can express her creativity, similar to remodeling furniture. Her dreams for her business continue to grow; she would like to relocate to downtown  where there is higher foot traffic. In addition to the salon and furniture design, she also dreams of combining these with a clothing boutique. Her vivid visions appear to be paving the way towards reality, as she is currently considering downtown storefronts that look exactly as she’d imagined.

Throughout this motivating four hour pep talk on creativity, I was inspired to prioritize my aspirations, beginning with the greatest ones first. I was advised to define my most important value in order to go about succeeding. At first I had no idea what I valued most.  Freedom is the utmost value Rebecca has lived by, and this has lifted her to great heights. After thinking through, I acknowledge that freedom has always been on the top of my list; I’d just forgotten I’ve had it with me all along. Some of the last words of advice I was left with were:

“What you’re looking for isn’t in New Mexico or California or North Carolina… It’s within you. You already have everything you need.”

After contemplating this, I have harnessed my long-lost sense of power that I’ve held within me all these years. Somehow, I believe stripping my hair of some pigment simultaneously stripped away some of my fears so that I can now see clearly what was there all along. With a lighter color and layers that lift some weight off my head, I do feel lighter and more confident. (Who knew so much power could be directly related to highlights, red glasses, and green eyeshadow?)


 Hair can be such a metaphor. However, I attribute my change in perspective mostly to the conversation and creative atmosphere of Teal House.

IMG_2250IMG_2229IMG_2231IMG_2245