Starting out this trip with a very loose travel plan on October 1st, only 2 things were certain in my mind: I - we would spend 2 full weeks with family in Santa Barbara, CA in December and 2 - we would spend the winter and Spring months in Central America. We didn’t make it to Santa Barbara because of the Thomas fire and we will no longer be heading to Nicaragua. So much for certainty ;)
In the process to letting go and going with the flow, I have realized that things work out just perfectly when I allow myself to let go of the original plan; living in the moment allows me to notice the beauty around me and marvel in the wonderful way things play out. Though it’s been a challenge, I have enjoyed aspects of unexpected events. We got to camp in paradise for way longer than anticipated and we got to know some family members that we only see for an annual Christmas / Hanukkah party every few (or 5?) years or so.
Rolling up to Woodland Hills, the gated community of the rich and famous of LA, all dirty and sun-kissed after 10 days of camping at San Elijo State Park beach I felt a little like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Feeling a little out of time and place, preparing to celebrate the holiday season without snow added to the newness. It was so awesome to be welcomed with open arms by family, spending a week with them and 3 tiny chihuahuas and a very talkative Congo African Grey. We welcomed the huge comfortable bed and some quiet time to catch up on work and nurse some nasty winter viruses as we greeted the Winter Solstice.
We went through a whirlwind of family gatherings and Christmas celebrations, starting with the Christmukkah party in LA on Dec 23rd, followed by another family gathering in Phoenix, AZ the next day; Zach and I hopped on an airplane before sunrise Christmas morning, flying home to Ottawa and a beautiful blizzard in time for a late Christmas dinner… then one more Christmas family gathering on Boxing day! The events and details of all four of these still fresh and spinning in my mind, I feel love and gratitude for all those that I have been blessed with connecting with in person or energetically this holiday season. It’s not over yet. I find myself reminding myself to soak it all in - bask in the love of the family and friends that I have been missing so much over the last few months and simply be in their presence, in the moment before flying out again on Sunday.
It’s time to reflect on the year that is almost done and behind me. Once again, letting go of expectations, intentions and forcing outcomes. Accept the beauty of the way things have played out and turn to the light within, in preparation for new possibilities ahead. May you all let your own internal warmth and light guide you to intuition and the best version of you in this moment and all of the moments that lie ahead as we move through the winter darkness and towards the external light and warmth of Spring <3
Happy new year.
“Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody's learning how” - The Beach Boys
On the road again. It's hard to believe that it's been almost 2 months since we left Canton, New York and this is the first writing that I have done about my experiences. I am kind of disappointed and yet, not at all surprised that I am so ready to go and move on to the next place ; Savannah, Georgia. For tonight...then off to Florida in the morning.
Myrtle Beach was a bit of a whirlwind. In some ways it flew by, and in other ways the second month really dragged on. Admittedly I have a hard time witnessing community need and feeling my own privilege, and if I'm completely honest, fear. I didn't fear those addicts, prostitutes and drug dealers... they genuinely meant us no harm. It just felt a little less holiday-y and a little more yucky when the summer heat and the tourists all disappeared the first week of November. Gone were the beach-walkers, ocean-selfie-takers, sunbathers and beach frolickers, leaving in their wake a deserted beach town and a large number of abovementioned humans. I found myself challenging myself to walk my talk and live my yoga off the mat. I smiled and said hello to people squatting in the corridors of the hotel we were living in daily, I never called hotel management to rat them out, although I did think about it once. I reserved that phone call for the time that Zach and I found a dirty T-shirt and some needles on the floor of the toddler playground. I question my loving kindness in retrospect to recognize that not once did I offer those people a meal, a blanket or a sweater. What did I fear? The inner reflections and emotions associated with them, I suppose. The learning opportunities and sitting with the big feelings that occur when faced with raw humanity and my connection to it.
On the brighter side, it was so lovely to spend a few days a week with 2 of my parents, as they were there for the month of October. That is the sole reason we went there to begin with. I missed them when they left a lot, even though I haven't lived in my hometown for almost five years.
Being beside the ocean every day was amazing and purifying. I belong beside the ocean. The sand, sun, salt and sea really make me feel better... more whole… more healthy… more me.
It was so great to teach 2 yoga classes each week at Yoga in Common yoga studio. They had such a wonderful community of yogis, staff and teachers that welcomed me with open arms and I look forward to returning to teach there October, 2018.
Farewell Myrtle Beach. Onward and Southward!