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Looking Around Mid-Trip

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This morning I am on a sweetly abundant mountain in Northern California. We’ve had four days of rain and are expecting at least a couple more, which is an ideal invitation to connect with the pen. The challenge is boiling down these last three months of adventures and travels into a story of the lessons they taught me.

The memory that sticks out most in my mind today was on a morning in mid-November after I left my friends’ house deep in the woods of Washington. I had driven away from their green valley into fading daylight and continued until I reached Astoria, where I found the perfect spot to park my car and set up the little bed for Dinah and me in the back. After a bit of reading, we slept through the night and awoke to the sounds of rain dancing on the car roof.

When I wiped away the condensation on the window, I discovered that we had slept on a hill overlooking the beautiful Columbia River and Astoria-Megler Bridge. The wild sensation of waking up to a totally new and beautiful place swept over me. My inner world felt light and adventurous, unplugged from all the heavy things in life. It is the freedom of having no real plan for the day, save heading south into a mysterious future.

Mornings like these made up a large part of my trip so far, filling up the spaces between visits with friends and stops for work. A love and appreciation for this dynamic flow is blossoming within me. Far from being worn out after three months, I’m feeling like adventure is a part of my DNA. I can point to several life lessons that have come from this experience, both professionally and personally. Are you ready?

Looking Outward

Though I have always traveled to offer Tantric sessions, I pretty much only did so in the South East and didn’t usually incorporate my other offerings, like Tarot, Shamanic Healing, or Reiki. Traveling around the country with all of these offerings has been incredibly rewarding, interesting, and downright challenging at times. I’ve learned that no matter how the circumstances or environment changes, it is hugely important to maintain consistency in my practice.

Because I want to offer each client a unique and fulfilling experience, it can be easy to over accommodate, or try to change my sessions to fit what the client is looking for. Within my range of skills and comfort level, I love adjusting to meet a person where they’re at in order to have the richest session possible for both of us. However, my work is at its strongest when I stick to what I know best and to what carries the most integrity for me. I’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way and hope that new practitioners can read these thoughts and take them to heart. But as any healer knows, new or not, professional growth never stops.

[As a side note: I see my practice shifting in some new directions on this trip. Tantra will always be a big part of my sessions, but there is a distinct pull to start working more under an umbrella of shamanic/soul healing. For what it’s worth, I have a resistance to using the word shaman/shamanism, so I am always open to alternatives if you’ve got a good one! I’m also feeling called to step up my knowledge of astrology.]

A major thing I’ve noticed professionally is that this country has no shortage of truly inspiring and kind people who have a shared yearning for meaning and purpose in their lives. What exactly that meaning should look like changes from person to person, but ultimately, damn near everyone I meet is on some kind of inner journey. I’ve been honored to hold space for clients working through major spiritual shifts in their lives and each time a tried and tested energy technique shows its usefulness, I become more devoted to walking the walk of a soul healer.

Looking Inward

Having some form of personal daily practice is the underpinning of spiritual and emotional health. When it comes to walking my talk, this trip has put my practices to the test. Not surprisingly, mindfulness and subtle energy techniques have carried me through the most challenging days and allowed me to fully absorb the best days. I’ve learned over the years, but especially in the last few months, that when I am truly consistent with my inner work, I can overcome anything.

Each time I make a major decision, it is essential for me to be in the right energetic state of being. A choice made from a laid-back and clear mind is inevitably going to be better than one made from a nervous or scared mind. So anytime the pressure is on, I take a moment to breath into my belly and light up my energy body.

Daily practice is what strengthens my ability to move from an anxious state to a relaxed state with ease in the moments when it really matters. When my car blew a head gasket outside LaFayette, Indiana I did cry a little, but I felt a calm inner warrior kick in and through my breath, I stayed focused on each moment with a surprisingly optimistic realism. The optimism comes from knowing that no matter what happens in this life, I am (we all are) always safe. It comes from knowing that ‘this too shall pass’. And well, the realism comes from knowing that anything can happen!

Life has thrown me a lot of curve balls on this journey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having a little bit of chaos in a trip is essential so that Serendipity has a chance to work her magic. J If each moment is scheduled and planned, then there isn’t as much room for the unexpected opportunities and friends to show up!

In fact, all the people I’ve spent time with might even be the greatest gift of this experience. I’ve met new people who inspire me and help me grow in ways I thought were beyond me. And I’ve realized on this trip that friends are friends, no matter how far away they live or how long it has been since you’ve seen them.

Had I let the shadow of my shyness make decisions, I wouldn’t have connected with the friends who were more like acquaintances before this trip. I can safely say that those acquaintances are now lifelong buddies.

If I had let my self-defeating shadow make decisions, I never would have offered sessions and met amazing clients in Chicago, Seattle, and Portland. Some of those clients are among the most beautiful and transformative sessions I’ve had!

If I had let my cozy-introvert-self make decisions, I would never have even come on this trip and discovered so much strength and independence in myself. I wish the same for anyone who has a craving to get out and explore the world.

So many people told me to just forget about all the reasons not to travel, and just go! They were right. J All in all; the secret to adventuring with a smile on my face is to remember breath, presence, optimism, and realism.

So, what’s next? Well I’m hanging out in California for a while longer to sort out the car situation and wait for warmer weather. I miss my family, friends, and clients dearly and am always happy to take phone sessions and stay connected. Beyond that, I’m allowing the picture of my future to get clearer as I get closer to it. I know that it won’t be too, too long before I find myself in Asheville again, in one capacity or another!

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