The Return to Now: How I Created Shifts Within - Part 2

My home. Spring 2016. Coming soon: red-stained deck!

This morning, I wrote: "Is it possible to love life more than I have lately? I wake up daily and instantly tell myself it's going to be a good day. I smile. I stretch. I walk gently and listen closely to the world in the hopes that I will learn something new. The precious morning hours are filled with everything you could ever need."

Last year, hell, most years, it was work to get out of bed. And what I just shared above is not to brag, it's to tell you that I worked hard to get here. I made it a priority to live in joy and practiced doing so. Will it always be like this? Maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to share how I did it.

I wrote an entire post on May 14th about the first nine days of my trip in California (making me realize I would have to have to do a "The Return to Now: How I Created Shifts Within Part 3") and never posted it because I started listening to an audio version of Money and The Law of Attraction (because it was a free download if you signed up for the Audible app and also because money matters are a theme in my life this year). Something that stood out to me was their advice on "telling it like it is" and the retelling of stories that inevitably end up aligning your spirit with those energies again and how detrimental that can be for ones health (if the stories harbor negativity, of course). Now, this is not about denial, this is about retelling the story based on what you want out of it. 

So, here is what I want out of my (first ever) solo trip to California: it challenged me and pushed me beyond my limits. It showed me the difference between loneliness and aloneness discovered only through tears, lucid dreams, letting go, illness, and knowing when enough is enough. It taught me to be vulnerable. It surprised and excited me in ways only new experiences can. It taught me deep forgiveness and gave me immense beauty. 

In a span of two weeks, I:

  • had a discussion about consuming things without respect for its spirit (or energy if that's what works in your brain). 
  • experienced cold sweats as I detoxed from sugar (yes, that's how much sugar I eat).
  • sat through a psychic reading in Ojai that touched on one or two deeply rooted fears/insecurities that I had never shared with anyone.
  • soaked in hot springs and bathed myself in the sulphury mud.

Hot springs in Ojai, CA

  • attended a sound bath that brought up nothing but darkness and ego.
  • enjoyed eleven hour sleeps.
  • journaled in an orange grove.

Orange grove of the Pepper Tree Retreat Center in Ojai, CA

  • practiced mindfulness and doing and saying things with the right intentions.
  • realized that I spend far too much time in other peoples' head spaces (by choice...I place no blame).
  • stayed in a guesthouse on someone's ranch in the middle of the desert (half hour drive on dirt roads) filled with vintage things and no heat on a 30 degree night while listening to Hawaiian melodies on vinyl and woke up to the rising sun through the sliding glass doors.

Desert sunrise in Joshua Tree, CA

  • purchased an olivewood mortar and pestle (my first) and squealed with joy when I found out the spiritual significance of olivewood: it's sacred, brings peace and light, and is from a tree of highest endurance.
  • drank mushroom tea on New Year's Eve in a space-themed airstream in the desert that brought no hallucinations, but a whole lot of life is beautiful thoughts.

Space-themed airstream in Joshua Tree, CA

  • hiked around Joshua Tree National Park on larger than life rocks under a bright sun with frigid wind temps, still pausing to do impromptu singing and chanting with my cousin. 
  • suffered a heavy bout of homesickness while simultaneously suffering from a terrible head cold that came on suddenly the day before our return to Culver City from the desert and resisting the urge to call Dale.
  • saw an amazing Cirque du Soleil performance that ignited passions and emotions of creativity and joy and reminded me how much I adore creating.
  • attended a few sound baths led by my cousin and received some craniosacral work that reset and recharged me.
  • marveled at the beauty of strangers.
  • bawled as ocean waves crashed against rocks
  •  

Listening to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean on the shore in Pacific Grove, CA

  • and fell in love with jellyfish.

Jellyfish exhibit in the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA

This trip taught me that setting intentions helps manifest both negative and positive outcomes. Simply put, I created shifts because I asked for them and remained open to all the joy and pain those shifts would bring. I learned through the trip and until this very moment, that

  • the power of our thoughts is so much greater than many of us realize
  • sitting with oneself through every kind of moment is the ONLY way you can hear your inner guide
  • "everything is figureoutable"
  • I MUST celebrate my Self, my friendships, my relationships, and my accomplishments more
  • it's okay to stop
  • now is all there is...ever
  • aligning yourself energetically with what you want can only help bring what you want into your life
  • reaching out to our spirit brothers and sisters is necessary 
  • it's okay to tune out so you can tune in, in other words, get the fuck off of social media briefly (or forever if you're so inclined!) so you can think only your own thoughts and not the thoughts of millions of others
  • being uncomfortable creates growth
  • I take advantage of my life and need to be so much more grateful of it and those in it
  • tarot cards or oracle decks are incredible INCREDIBLE tools for self-reflection, trust me. I'm pretty much in love with the Osho Zen Tarot deck.
  • vulnerability is vital to healthy relationships
  • it's SO important to ask for help

If you want to create major or minor shifts in your life, just do it. Pay attention to yourself. Reach out... to me, to that one friend who listens well, to your mom or dad or grandparent or godparent, to a therapist or life coach, because you're worth it. Seriously. 

Stay tuned for Part 3 with a list of books, websites, spiritual gurus, and health and wellness awesomeness that lifted me from the deep, both before and during my return to now, in case you feel inspired to light a fire under your butt.

See the entirety of my trip here. Much love to you all. 

Wood-carved heart on the trail to the hot springs of Ojai, CA