Paranoid Delusional Panic Attacks, Self Love and Shamanism – My Week With a Healer of Healers.

During my Ayahuasca retreat a few months back, I bunked with a lovely young woman named Eliza.  She described herself as a Medicine Woman who ran a retreat in Colorado.   The entire weekend I stayed relatively close to her because I felt comforted by her presence, but I didn’t think much about her beyond that.

In the weeks that followed, as I integrated the Aya experience into my life, Eliza continued to visit me in my dreams.  I knew I needed to reach out.  Once we had the opportunity to chat about what she does “for a living”, I signed up for a week of one-on-one healing/training at her retreat in Nederland, Colorado.  As I understand it, she is a healer of healers, a plant medicine woman, a shaman, a psychic, and everything that falls in between.

Last week I spent a full week at her retreat, Rise & Shine, Love.  I am however, going to state that before I even left for Colorado, the energy around me was in chaos.  The day before leaving, someone swiped my favorite Ray Ban sunglasses while I was shopping and later that day, I was the object of some pretty bad road rage.   In my experience, this means that I had quite the resistance to whatever work was about to occur between myself and Eliza.

After spending my first night at a hostel downtown and roaming around the streets of Denver, I arrived on her property the following day.  I felt a little panic on the drive up, not being a huge fan of cliff-side driving as well as always being the driver of my family outings, but I shrugged this reaction off.   However, when I began to unpack my belongings and settle in, something came over me that I have never experienced  in my life.  My head and shoulders grew hot, my heart raced and my breathing increased.  I knew that something very very bad was about to happen, I was with someone who was trying to swindle money out of me and I needed to leave IMMEDIATELY.  This was the first genuine bout of delusional paranoid thinking, coupled with a panic attack, I have ever experienced.  I started texting my friends and my husband, seeking someone to rescue me and talk me off the ledge I was standing on.  I felt I needed to leave the property immediately or that I might die.  The whole event maybe happened in a window of 20 minutes.

Once I connected with my breath, spoke to my husband and slipped into a light meditation (and let’s face it, had a damn good cry), I realized that these thoughts were not real.  I was creating them to avoid the Work that I had come here to do.

This was only the first episode throughout the week – I had two more, but each one became less intense and easier to identify.  I have a new found curiosity and empathy for people who have these attacks regularly and hope that in the future it can be something I  help people work through.

Throughout the week, the theme was self-love.  This act of loving myself properly has forever changed my life.  Here are some things we worked with:

  • Rituals that I would practice before bed and upon waking.  This included things like breathing exercises, self massage, tongue scraping and herbal tea.
  • Eliza taught me how to move my body and encouraged dancing and play activities – a great way to connect to with my playful side or inner child, which I had long since repressed.
  • I spent several hours naked in the sun, hammock, pool and performing self massage.  I had shed a layer of shame that most of us harbor about our body and ourselves.   This work has since enhanced my sex life with the hubby – it’s unreal.
  • Eating only fresh organic foods and herbs.
  • Guided Meditation.
  • Energy Healing.
  • Watsu with Eliza and massage performed by Integrative Bodywork by Galadrial.    

Later in the week I experience my first mushroom ceremony.  I was so grateful to find that it was similar to a mild Ayahuasca journey, with a lot of emotional release and overwhelming sense of love and connected-ness.  I hope to work more professionally with this plant medicine in the future.

To wrap up the trip, I was given the opportunity to see Nahko and Medicine for the People for the first time in Vail, Colorado.  This show was absolutely amazing and exactly what I needed to conclude my trip.   I highly recommend going to see them if you haven’t already!

The biggest takeaway from this retreat for me was that, without doing the Work on myself, I will never be able to effectively help others or be the healer that I know I am to be.   I will have trouble moving forward on my life path.  Without clearing out the stuff you have inside you, it is hard to be open to what is right here and available to you.  It is hard to see situations and others clearly or at least to see them without looking through the shit-colored glasses of your own struggles.

I will continue to take this beautiful experience and apply it to my every day life.   I do also want to encourage others to let go of some of their fear and think about their own self-love state and practice.  Life is so much more full and joyous when you clear out the cobwebs for a better view.

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My journey with Ayahuasca – It was like being shown the secret handshake for a society I always knew I belonged with.

I recently had the pleasure of journeying with Ayahuasca, thanks to the wonderful people over at Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth in Orlando.  My experience was so profound that I decided it was time to rekindle the blog and share my story with the world – or at least with the internet.

As I arrived at the Soul Quest retreat center, I was thrown in the mix with people from all over the country (and a few from Europe!).  And I am not exaggerating when I say that many of these folks were the nicest people I have ever met.  There were lawyers, massage therapists, medicine men and women, bartenders and a pastor.   I even had the distinct suspicion that some of them would become lifelong friends of mine.   After having the chance to mingle for a few hours and ask the many burning questions I held in my mind, we had introductions and a group prayer before laying down on our individual mats and consuming the medicine known as Ayahuasca.  Before I go further I would like to add that if you don’t know anything about Ayahusca, please take a moment to look it up.  You can even click the above link to the church I attended and read about it there.  If you are aware of this plant medicine, please, I encourage you to read on.

The first night was the hardest.   I journeyed to the deepest points of my soul and tore out parts of myself I no longer needed.  As the medicine began to kick in I saw colors and movement every time my eyes fell closed.  When it felt like too much,  I was able to open my eyes and ground myself momentarily before carrying on.  I first felt anger and then terror as I descended into the depths of my soul.   This journey was the scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life – I would liken it to be the terror one may experience before a brutally painful death.   All I could think was “I can’t do this.  Why did I sign up for this? I want to go home!”  As I began to purge, with the assistance of the most amazing ceremony facilitators, that terror and anger was released into the small white trashcan placed in front of me.   If I didn’t have that supportive touch and a beautiful woman’s voice telling me “you can do this, you are strong enough”, I am not sure I would have ever made it through that part of the night (Thank you Colleen!).  After only an hour of that fear and release, I was able to move to a spot next to the bonfire, where I silently communed with other participants.  We gazed into the fire and up at the stars for several hours as the music continued and others around us pursued their own journey.  I was glad mine was over – I felt mellow and raw.

The next morning I was done.   I felt like I had looked death in the face and been shit on by him.  I was not sure I could ever face such horrific fear and pain again!  I did call my husband, cried a little and he attempted to encourage me to stay.  After talking with many other group members and facilitators, I decided  to try again.  After all, people kept telling me that no two journeys were ever the same and I liked those odds.  Instead of attending the next night ceremony, I signed up for the day ceremony instead.  It was in the middle of the woods and during daylight hours.  There was less music and I was permitted to gaze up into the trees as I journeyed.   I knew this environment would be better for me and I was not wrong!

This journey was different.  My intention for the day was to be more “connected”..  to others, myself, animals and nature.   I am a budding massage therapist and I was having trouble feeling that connection, as well as love in general.  Ayahuasca ensured that I experienced that connection and took me through both the good and the bad.  First, I saw how synchronicity works… and the connection between people (energetically and via what we know as quantum physics).  I was taken through the universe, a different dimension and even witnessed a far off planet that was inhabited completely by trees.  I felt and watched them communicate with one another via an underground network of roots.   I saw our own energy/universal field, which resembles a giant grid.  There is no time or spacial distance between anything in (and out) of our awareness.  Then there was the love.  I felt so much love – which I continue to feel here 7 days later.  It is nearly equal to the amount of love I felt when seeing my children for the first time – multiply that by one million.  Then, I experienced the other end of “connection”.  I went through the pain of a man lying near to me, felt him purge and then felt his relief – continually for nearly 4 hours.  This happened with three other participants as well – we were literally connected.  At the end of this journey, I let go of grief and guilt surrounding decisions I have made in the past concerning my husband.  I saw a universal and karmic connection that I have with him and all that guilt was uprooted and discarded instantaneously.  There was so much relief in that moment and tears of joy just kept flowing!

So here we are, 7 days later, and I am still reeling from last weekend.  I was in a complete state of bliss and love on Monday and Tuesday, unable to shake the grin that was glued to my face.  I danced and I sang around the house as I bathed in that intense love.   I also had this uncanny ability to make decisions left and right – decisions I hadn’t known I was sitting on!  My depression and anxiety has disappeared entirely, along with OCD symptoms that have been popping up over the last year.  Food tastes differently, music sounds differently, my emotions are stable and my head feels clear and grounded.  On Wednesday, I decided that my massage therapy business needed to morph into a full blown intuitive healing service.  This would mean I was to begin offering massage, Reiki, Intuitive Life Coaching and various forms of energy and talk therapy.  I also hope to work with plant medicine and Ayahuasca integration in the very near future, but I am trying to take this one step at a time!   This was a big deal, accepting yourself to be a healer is a great responsibility and it can also mean making a bit of a sacrifice as well.  I have been fighting it for several years, but  I am officially ready to accept that calling!

Additionally, my daughters have been telling me that they have been hearing spirits and seeing figures in the kitchen for the last two nights.   It is safe to say that something is going on in my energy field and it is affecting everybody.

So, that’s it for now!  After seeing the incredible changes in my own life, I hope to return for another retreat in the coming months.  I look forward to sharing that experience with you as well.

 

The best artistic depiction of a piece of my journey on day 2.

The “War on Drugs”

Let’s talk about a different side of this “war on drugs” we all hear about.  This is an excellent buzz word/phrase and it is easy for someone to assume that our country has this huge drug problem that needs to be addressed.  All those pot smokers, cocaine dealers, and heroin users are really plaguing our society, after all…

Truth is, we have a HUGE drug problem that needs to be addressed, only it isn’t the illegal type of drugs that I am speaking of.  Today, I would like to expose myself a little more than usual and tell you all about my completely legal prescription (and addiction) to Adderall, a common ADHD drug that was first prescribed to me when I was 23.

After seeing an array of therapists for 12 years, trying every medication under the sun to soothe my “depression”, I found a doctor who thought to prescribe me a medication for ADHD, which he claimed to be the source of my debilitating depression.  I won’t go into depth about the numerous self-destructive tendencies I pursued to lead me to that moment, but I will say that I felt lost to this lifetime – I really didn’t think I would even make it into my twenties.

When I started this medication, my appetite plummeted and my ability to spend long hours at work and in my school books had been amplified to an astounding level.  I partied nightly and worked full time with no real difficulty.   In hindsight, this was a perfect blend of cocaine and speed.  I took myself off the medication during my second pregnancy and had a difficult time when I resumed my dosage, approximately one year after having my daughter, Tessa.  I was disappointed to see the weight loss was more gradual and the mood swings were ten times worse this time around.  Still, I persisted in taking the drug because, compared to the depression, it was heaven.

Then, I started to notice the side effects.  I went from happy to pissed off to weepy – in a matter of hours.  Every. Day.  I slept less than 25 hours per week.  Worse still, I couldn’t paint because my hands shook like I was withdrawing.

Side Note: At all times during my relationship with Adderall, I was seeing a physician and was taking a prescribed dosage as well as having to physically see my doctor once a month to check-in.  I did not abuse this drug by any means.

I took myself off again after we moved to Hawaii because I made the determination that I wanted to live a more natural lifestyle.  My doctor had advised against it and told me that I may need medical help with the withdrawals.  Still, I insisted on handling it on my own.  At that point, I was living in a tent with my husband and two children.  My husband held me nightly after the kids fell asleep, as I shook with chills from the withdrawals.  I cried in private every day because I wanted nothing more than to die.  This went on for weeks.  Several months later, after relocating to Florida, I tried to re-acquaint myself with the medication for some time, only to find that my tolerance had exceeded the amount my doctor could prescribe.  To me, this was a sign that now was officially the time for me to give up Adderall for good.

As of today, it has been approximately six months since I touched this medication, and roughly 60 pounds of weight gain that I struggle with on a daily basis.  I am now able to see how the medication produced mood swings that destroyed my relationship with the people around me, as well as destroyed myself.  I have been forced to evaluate my lifestyle and diet, now that I have an appetite for the first time in nearly six years.  It urges me to look at my reasons for binge eating and a lifetime of avoiding all glances in a mirror.   I have also reached depths of depression that would surely top any moment experienced in my adolescence.  In truth, this has been the most difficult time of my life.

I am so grateful for this experience, despite the hardship that it has caused.  I am happy to report that this lifelong depression I have faced is not actually a depression, it’s a lack of connection to this world and to the people who surround me, as well as to my true self.  My ability to connect continues to improve as I discover more about myself and as I learn to love myself as I am – a very valuable life lesson.    I do not wish to invoke sympathy with this posting, nor judgment for my actions.  I simply wish for people to be aware of these “safe” prescription drugs that are provided to us and to our children.   I would also love to offer support to anyone that has lived a life through the haze of Adderall and who may need some help coping with the detachment from this drug.

Ultimately, I hope to shed some light on the real “war on drugs”, as I know it to be.

The Reality Creation “Time Delay”

I have a little trouble, as many people do, grasping the whole concept of “living in the now”.  The idea of creating your own reality, as I understand it, is living in the moment in every aspect and in every moment.  This concept also includes the notion that everything  we experience and encounter is of our own creation, something we bring (create) into our existence for one reason or another – at any given time.  Many writers and life-coaches that practice this will often discuss this thing I know as a Time Delay.  Basically, there is a delay in time between the people and circumstances we want to bring into our lives because, if there were no delay, we would all be living in chaos every minute of the day.  Think about it, if every desire (or undesired) came our way as soon as we thought of it – it would be pure chaos due to the swinging thoughts and emotions that drive many of these desires.  It is also a great reality check of what we really want and what we don’t really want, as well as which areas of ourselves harbor incredible resistances with regard to things we desire.

Example: You want a dream job doing _______.  You have a current job, you aren’t happy there, yet you are not making the effort or taking the necessary steps to find this dream job.  Perhaps this is because you don’t actually think you deserve it or you don’t think you can actually obtain it.  Without the belief that you CAN have this job, you will never get it.  However, if you don’t demonstrate your belief in having it (aka giving notice at your current job, preparing for the new job) you still won’t obtain it.  You must act and feel as if you already have it – and you will.  Now, imagine that you lost your job moments after dreaming about this ideal position you really want.  Are you ready for it?  Probably not…

About two months ago, I started a new job with an insurance defense law firm, which is my favorite area of the law!  After a few weeks in this position, I started to think “oh my god, I don’t want another desk job!  This is not what I am meant to be doing!”  I verbalized this a handful of times and my enthusiasm for the job quickly dwindled.  Two weeks into the position, I was let go for no apparent reason other than it just “wasn’t a good fit”.  When I left work, I was bawling and was in total disbelief.  I was the only provider for my two girls, the only one who paid the rent, and my source of income had just vanished.  I was scheduled to go pick up my brand new car that afternoon after work and I was totally mortified on all ends.  After about two hours of telling myself, “this is what you asked for, you want to work for yourself full time and you got it”, I felt collective and grateful for the opportunity to leave this job without having to quit.  I even went to my appointment with the car dealer that afternoon and discovered that the car I was about to buy wasn’t even what I *really* wanted.

I didn’t understand the meaning and importance of a time delay until this experience.  I did, however, walk away with knowing two important things.  1: I rock at manifesting what I want.  2: If I am prepared to receive what I truly want, I will be ready and waiting, not caught off-guard.  As of today, I am home full time and working for myself.  Most importantly, when I meet new people, I am happy when they ask me what I do for a living and I can respond  “I work for myself!”

Reality Creation & The Red Wolf

Admittedly, this is a pretty “outside of the box” sort of post.   Try to follow, if you can!

I recently read “The Map” by Boni Lonnsbury (www.livealifeyoulove.com) and it has been turning my world upside down.  This particular story is something I feel I must share!

Seriously though, this book has caused total chaos in my personal and professional life… in a GREAT way!

This is the first reality creation book that has really struck a cord for me, causing me to meditate more regularly (and enthusiastically!)  and really allowing me a better look at my views/perspectives on the world, as well as on myself.  Not only have I successfully identified some of my most complicated core beliefs and resistances, but I have learned how to change them!  That’s not all – I have been seeing immediate results all around me ever since I started.  I am currently in the most wonderful position at a new law firm, have made several new friends just in the last week, get complimented by total strangers at least twice a day, and even appear differently to my own eyes every time I look in the mirror.

Do I have your attention yet?  Just wait,  It gets better.

The other day, I was sitting in traffic and feeling a little down.  I turn off my audio book and I think to myself, “You need to figure out what is holding you back and what is holding you in such a negative place.  What resistance is causing this?  I think I know what it is … you don’t think you’re in control of your universe – you don’t actually believe in reality creation, even though you desperately want to”.

For the record, I didn’t actually talk to myself, just my thought process here.

And then it happened… I look to my right, where there is a field of farmland… and I see a wolf.  There is a wolf walking around these small sprouting trees and it turns in my direction just long enough for me to see the face.  My heart nearly jumped through my mouth and I said aloud, “holy shit is that a wolf?!”.  I watched it for a few moments and then traffic started to move, prompting me to continue on to work.

Thanks to Google, I did determine that I had just seen a red wolf.  So, just so you can fully grasp the magnitude of this experience, please know that there is an estimated 300 of these creatures on the entire planet and they are considered to be critically endangered at this time.  There are no known populated locations outside of those in captivity.

 

And there you have it, folks.  My mind has been blown.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.dreamingofwolves.com/images/adultredwolf-smaller.jpg

The Start of Lucid Dreams

As I continue to draft my conclusion to the life chapter of my trip across the country (to Maui), I wanted to keep with sharing my dreams… which seem to get more vivid as I resume meditation and acupuncture on a regular basis. As soon as I wake up, I take pen to paper and write without thinking about it. Sometimes I can recall more later and sometimes I don’t even remember writing in the first place! It is pretty interesting. Here is one from yesterday, and although somewhat dark, it is valuable insight into my subconscious:

I’m swimming with alligators. Watching the attacks with moderate indifference. I am painting them, but with no passion or direction. I’m in a compound or village. It is not my time frame and it feels very “mystical”. People talk and speak as if magic is involved.

I invite people to me birthday party. It is important to me and I am excited to have them come. So are my two friends. No one can come. We decide to throw one together for us. It’s a male and female friend. It is just the three of us in the end.

I am in an auditorium. I’m a spectator to what I think is a false show. I’ve just come from the top floor where there was a fire brewing. I recall taking the elevator. People are taking my cigs to smoke them. I’m annoyed. When the windows open (it feels like I’m in the back seat of a car in some way, even though I am in this giant auditorium). I fear that the ashes will burn me. I can feel them burning my face. We are watching a movie on a projector mounted to the stage. I’m controlling it. I know this movie is for me and it is not meant for the rest of them but I just keep letting it play and letting the whole audience remain entertained. We are evacuated but I’m worried about him. He stayed up there with her. I watch it as it plays out, like a movie unraveling. I watch him go, he goes for sex with her. He offers me to come. I decline. I feel and project indifference but I know I am very sad.

At a different time… We go back to the area where it started. It is a manhunt and a sift through devastation. The place is a mess. It is not familiar and feels like a flat or penthouse type apartment. There is no sign of them. No sign of life. I know they’ve left. We can’t find my dogs right away. They’re sleeping and/or hiding in the bathroom under a bunch of clutter.

I think about my last encounter with them. The woman he is now involved with was sloppy in appearance and says “ok who’s turn is it to get me pregnant?” He submits. I’m severely disgusted and I feel queasy. I back down and I let him go. I don’t feel good about it. Too much regret. Guilt. Heartbreak. Confusion. Abandoned. Deceived.

Went to bed late. Woke up feeling numb and empty.

Wait, I DID drive across the United States!

There has been no one life experience that compares to my drive from Connecticut to California… In the VW Golf… with my two 100 pound dogs.  I did not think it was possible, even for my crazy multi-personality self, to experience quite so many emotions in such a short period of time!

Realistically, it was not a good idea for me to plan on documenting that trip on a daily basis.  It was far too hectic between having to stop for a doggy pee break every two hours and scrambling to find safe hotels that allowed my fur children each night.  Plus seeing the sights along the way!  I crept in and out of different hotels late at night (usually through a back door) with my dogs, who barked at just about everyone lol.  It was both the most exhausting and the most exciting thing on earth.   I had never left Connecticut without the physical and emotional support of someone else and driving across the country was a huge deal for me.  So I will share a few things about it:

1.  New Mexico is the scariest place on earth.  The vibes were bad, the spontaneous storms were terrifying, I drove through what appeared to be the Manhattan Project,  and I am pretty sure I spent more than 90% of my time in that state on the phone with my best friend seeking comfort.

2.  I never want to see funnel clouds again.  Ever.

3.  Route 666 aka “the devils highway”  is no joke, just don’t drive it.   I witnessed a murder on the side of the road, blood everywhere, and get this- there was no car involved.  Holy. Crap.

4.  Don’t go to Vegas alone, it is a totally depressing experience.  I even stayed at the Bellagio and saw Kobe Bryant.  But.  I wished desperately to have someone to share it with.

5.  The same advice applies to Nevada heading to CA.  Just don’t drive it alone.  People were following me and asking odd and invasive questions every time I stopped off somewhere.  Nevada had similar dark vibes, just like NM.

6.  Death Valley is when things started getting shit-your-pants scary.  The dogs started snapping and snarling at each other, out of nowhere, and I had no cell service for nearly 4 hours.  The roads were similar to the “Heavenly Road to Hana”, but without the beauty or comfort of the jungle.  At least that is how I felt at 2 am when I drove through!

7.  Yosemite and the Sequoia National Park are probably the most beautiful places I have ever seen on the mainland.   When you think of giant redwood trees that you could drive a car through, you’re thinking of Sequoia.

8.  The grand canyon was breathtaking….  But it felt super creepy in every town that surrounded it.  I even drove through tribal lands that had cameras and gates everywhere- even though the road was a public highway.  I felt like I was being watched… think “The Hills Have Eyes” sort of watched.

9.  Graceland was not as glamorous as I thought it would be and I had no idea that it was quite inaccessible?

10.  I am totally ready to make that road trip again.

The total trip took about 10 days.  I went through 9 audio books, some of which I will have to share- because they were awesome.   George Orwell’s 1984; Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened; Tina Fey’s Bossypants; Michael Newton’s Destiny of Souls and Journey of Souls.  All were phenomenal books and Jenny Lawson was a perfect fit for my drive through Tennessee.

Putting my dogs on a plane was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.  I was a total wreck and wished for someone to tell me they would just be ok.  Well, in all fairness, the baggage claim guy hugged me several times and told me he would escort them to the plane himself.  He was really trying hard to comfort me and I was grateful for it.

Arriving in Honolulu was…well…an incredible mixture of relief, comfort, sadness, and grief.

When I walked out of the airport that day, it only conjured up thoughts of how we had spent the last summer in Hawaii and the happiness (and wholeness) that accompanied it.   I *knew* with a certainty that it was my home and I bawled upon arrival.

 

 

Wwoofing Our Way In

When I got back from Hawaii, I told my husband about my latest discovery- Wwoofing.  I learned, while staying in my first eco-cottage (which was way cool and seriously eye-opening), that there were people who traveled around the world using a work-trade program called wwoofing.  This is where you work on an organic farm in exchange for room and board.  I felt so confused as to why I was never informed about this program!

And then I remembered that I grew up in Connecticut and I was taught that the mere idea of an outhouse was deplorable- never mind one that turns your poo into fertilizer!  It still makes me laugh when I get a funny look from a friend or family member when I say share our plan to work on a farm.  I am actually a bit sad that people in my life are so surprised that I am interested in or capable of such an endeavor!

The circumstances, accommodations, workload, hours, and food provided to you can vary quite a bit.  We signed up “as a family” on wwoofhawaii.org and recently I have been sending emails to a number of farms/communities on both Maui and Oahu in search of a place that can accommodate our semi-complicated family.  This turns out to be so much harder than I bargained for.  Either the locations aren’t equipped for kids, or they aren’t prepared to take our dogs.

Back to the drawing board…. but keeping my fingers crossed in the meantime!

The start of today… And the end. :-). Next stop- San Antonio!

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Emptying the House and Related Chaos

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Here is one of the two dumpsters we had to rent just to throw out all of our accumulated crap.  That feels pretty disgusting to me as well- I assure you.

Moving to Maui : Day 1 of the cross country road trip

I will fill this in further when I arrive at my in-laws tomorrow (San Antonio!) but the last few days can be summed up using a series of pictures. I now lay on a comfy holiday inn bed with my two dogs, two days behind schedule, and in Knoxville, TN. Below is a summary of my feelings about my last day of work. My last day at work

Starting with Maui

So I had a realization last week about the blog, Hawaii, and my website. I came to the conclusion that I had not recapped on my vacation because I was too scared to do so. I knew that if I went back and replayed my time in Maui and on the Big Island, it would make me sad because my heart is very much still there. This hit me after I went out that night to see an old co-worker (and friend) of mine who had just left the law firm we worked for. He left his great paying job with benefits to start his own firm, with no clients, minimal savings, and just took on a part-time bartending job to make up the difference.  It was probably the most inspiring thing I have ever seen.  I saw him that night as a radiant and happy man I had never before met!  And then it hit me.

On my way home, I called my husband and said, “why are we waiting?  Why don’t we just go to Hawaii now?” Not only did he agree, but he then suggested cashing out his retirement in just picking up and going immediately. The next day I gave notice at my job.

I will post more about my upcoming adventure and cross-country drive to California, which I am taking alone with my two dogs, but right now I need to relive my time in Hawaii lol…

We were scheduled to fly out June 18th, the day after my birthday, and decided to spend that night in Manhattan so my best friend could celebrate with me.  We had some amazing Italian food and visited some of the coolest bars I have ever seen. I was having severe flight anxiety weeks before this trip and tiring myself out before the plane ride really helped to alleviate that.

I hate to leave out the details of Manhattan, but I am just too excited to dive into the best part of the story.

The airport and Honolulu was beyond words beautiful.  There were no windows anywhere and the entire terminal was open, with just a roof.  I immediately knew that I was in the right place. We hopped on a commuter flight to Maui, where we shared the cabin with just four other passengers. They were all middle-aged men who are professional golfers, and they had us cracking up the thirty minute flight.

Once we got to Maui we picked up our Jeep Wrangler, something that has always been a dream of mine.  Now we were ready to find our cottage rental!  [Side Note: For this trip I decided that I did not want stay at any hotels, so we went on this website and rented personal dwellings for the entire time on both islands.  By the way, I fully promote and endorse http://www.VRBO.com and suggest that everyone use it]  I will tell you more about our rental later, as it was so breathtaking that it truly deserves it’s own post.

We attempted to explore the island a little bit, but by that time it was dark and starting to rain.  Not to mention that many of the roads were unpaved and a little tricky in my first time driving a jeep!  With minimal energy to explore the unfamiliar roads, we surrendered for a nap and decided we were instead going to get up early to visit the summit of Mount Haleakala at 4 am.  Since our biological clocks were already turned around, it seems like the perfect time to do that!

It was on our way to the summit and roughly 4:30 in the morning when I encountered the most significant part of the trip, the true first synchronicity of my life. My best friend – who has a name, by the way, it is Dan-  was on his phone arguing with one of his employees after having something go wrong at the office.  I was trying to navigate unfamiliar roads in the dark, with no cell phone service, and trying to tune him out. lol.  I stopped at a small stand called Crater Coffee for my morning dose of caffeine and came across the most pleasant man I have ever met in my life.  I stood there and talked to him for about 20 minutes about the beauty of the island.  Several tourists drove by hastily or stopping to ask “how much further is it?”, but he didn’t seem to mind.  I bought a muffin and a souvenir mug of coffee, which I still keep on my desk at work, but felt compelled to ask him what HIS favorite places were in Maui.  I didn’t want tourist spots; I wanted to see the real beauty and heart of the island.  He took out one of his free souvenir maps and began circling, making notes, and crossing out locations around this cutesy map of Maui.  He even wrote in a few places that weren’t labeled!

I expressed my gratitude and we went on our way to find the most breathtaking sunrise of my life.

–See a picture here! This is the real deal, my friends, and taken with my iPhone camera lol– Image

Shortly after descending the mountain, we looked to this handwritten map provided to me by the man at Crater Coffee, which led to some of the most incredible and unmistakably magical experiences of my life.

 

 

Crater Coffee

Sedona. Whoa!

Sedona. Whoa!

I do have my next blog drafted, believe it or not, and do intend to finally begin my tale about Hawaii lol and my period of temporary enlightenment.. However, my spontaneous trip to Sedona this weekend with my husband yielded many pics worth sharing. Here’s just one! I mean, wow!

My path? Our road? Either way, the beauty lies in what’s there as well as what’s ahead. My latest painting!

My path? Our road? Either way, the beauty lies in what's there as well as what's ahead.

Not a verbal blog…

Not a verbal blog...

I have not forgotten about the blog, but merely got a little sidetracked as my creativity has been blossoming. My dining room has been transformed into an art studio (which I love) and I have been sharing my paintings with everyone I know and love. Now, if only I could start selling instead of giving them away! Hah!

Awesomeness!

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Have I mentioned that I met the Dave Matthews Band?

In the coming weeks, something urged me to read a book I had downloaded many months ago but “never got around to reading” – The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  I guess I had always felt like I had some kind of higher power, yet was never quite sure what it was or where some of my sixth sense sensations were coming from. I really could not have picked a more suitable book. 

On that note, if you do not own a copy of this book, go buy it immediately!

The second book I moved onto was The Intention Experiment By Lynne McTaggart.  It actually came up in my “suggested titles” list after I bought and rated the Secret.  After I read these two books, which somehow seemed to be the perfect combination to my produce my “aha” moment, I was given the confidence and scientific evidence to back by growing theory about myself.   I decided to try it out.  

I had tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band in June of this year. It was my first time sitting front row and they are the only group I have been following for over 10 years- I was stoked. The week of the concert, I had a difficult and emotionally charged Monday. It was raining, I was severely late for work, and I had just had another horrendous fight with husband. I sat in my car and cried as I called my best friend.   I told him that I was going to meet Dave Matthews Band. I wanted it more than anything.

The next day I was invited out to the bar with some friends.  Ok, not really friends, more like “my bartender and her friends”.  You have to remember, I was at a functioning-alcoholic level at this point and I considered my bartenders to be my friends.  Anyway, they brought someone I had never met before and we got to chatting while enjoying the bar scene at one of the local casinos.  At some point during the night, I had declared to them that I was going to meet DMB, proudly and confidently.  This person, who was a stranger to me, mentioned that knew someone who owned space in the hotel where the band was staying that upcoming weekend.  He gave me the name and number of this friend with the insider info, and I called my concert companion the next day to tell her.  Not only was she on-board with getting a hotel room, but she obtained it for free with her travel points!

So fast-forwarding a little here, the concert was beyond amazing.  Standing up at the stage was an out-of-body experience all of it’s own.  We back to the hotel that night and I went out for a drink when she went to bed, as I was too hyped up to sleep.   About an hour later, this guy sits down next to me at the bar.  I am still soaking wet from standing in the rain for so long, with running makeup and yoga pants with hiking shoes on!  I was definitely not looking to attract any positive attention and was surprised by his pleasantness toward me.   Turns out, for some reason, I did not recognize the trumpet player whom I had been watching all night!  By 11 o’clock, the entire band was in the bar, along with their two dozen groupies.  I manifested this unique and rare experience simply by deciding it to be so and putting my thoughts and intentions in the right place. Image

And that was the night that I met with Dave Matthews Band.  One week later, I left for Hawaii, where my experiences continued to evolve, thoughts began to manifest, and my perception/observations grew more bizarre (for lack of a better word) and synchronistic by the day.   

Creation of “The Blog”

I had never thought myself to be a “blogger”.  In fact, I did not enjoy the stigma attached to such a person!  My reasons for initially creating this page were quite ironically not in line with the current nature of my thoughts.  However, the story happens to be an excellent foundation and back-story to my recent self realization.

It was Christmas of 2012 and my husband was taking our two children to Texas for the holiday, where his parents reside.  At this point in our marriage, we had two beautiful little girls and a marriage that I had already prepared to end.   The stresses of our home going into foreclosure, completing my college degree while working and volunteering full time, and still fresh decision to put down our recently adopted dog had sent me into a downward spiral of devastation.  During the ten days he was gone, a series of my own terrible decisions regarding alcohol consumption and several “unforeseeable events”, including the demise of our brand new oil furnace, had sent my emotional state to an ultimate low.  I swung violently from missing him to wanting to replace him immediately.  In this miserable and cynical state, I created this blog- with the original purpose of exposing my disgust with the US legal system and government (this will probably never make sense).

By mid January, I felt myself to be in an “unsafe” position, or rather I had a strong feeling that I would take my own life in the coming weeks.  I have been in this position previously, mostly in my adolescent years, but it was difficult for me to admit those thoughts and reach out.  I was ready to end this 15 year struggle with depression, borderline personality, addiction, and all other ailments I had been diagnosed with by some doctor or professional throughout my life.

My husband, being the compassionate and caring man that he is, urged me to call my best friend who could always manage to pull me out of my funk.  I was even urged to fly down to see him in Florida for a weekend off from my life.  After several hours on the phone, contemplating the next flight to Orlando, my best friend tells me, “Nadia, you have always been the type of person who can walk into a room and change the energy of everyone in it.  When you are low, you are bringing down the world around you.  When you are in a positive place, everyone knows it because they can feel it radiating from you”. Or something along those lines….

I am hesitant to share this turning point, but mostly because there is a lot you must understand in order to grasp the significance here.  My best friend and I are very close, despite the physical distance.  He has always told me “how it is” and he never sugar-coats anything.  This is the same type of communicator I am and it is something I respect and find very useful in life.  Also, this observation of his had struck me in an odd way because he was never the type of person to consider energy or “vibes” of a person.

Anyway, he soothed me some more and I decided I could stay at home and suck it up a little while longer.  I was in my last semester of undergrad and was eager to wrap it up and take myself on vacation to Hawaii in celebration of my graduation.   I sat at home that night with a bottle of wine and a family I felt a strong distaste for… Only now, I was starting to change the way I viewed myself.

And so it began.