I’m currently sitting at the San Diego airport waiting to board a flight. This week I’ll be in Nevada (Las Vegas), Montana (Helena), and Idaho (Idaho Falls). Then I’ll be back home in San Diego on Thursday night. I’m still feeling a sensation of deep serenity – life isn’t perfect, but it’s flowing beautifully, marvelously. Earlier today, when I went to get my full leaf tea, I met an older gentleman that was ridiculously fascinating. He was an opera singer for the San Diego Opera, an actor (has been featured in shows like Criminal Minds), and an Uber/Lyft driver. What most stood out about him was his cheery demeanor and the way his spirit uplifted the room. I then decided to take a lunch break at the beach given that I won’t get to see Mama Ocean until Friday again. At the beach, someone was playing my lucky song – Toploader’s rendition of Dancing in the Moonlight.
Life is unfolding in magical ways that I couldn’t have predicted. I’m simply following my intuitive hits as they appear on my path. My heart is healing and opening up to all life has to offer all over again. I feel good. I feel excited. Light. Passionate. Airy. The past is now making sense to me and it no longer has a hold on me. I feel free to choose a new path of pleasure without the shackles that once kept me bound me to the ground. I’ve taken flight and I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me.
On Saturday morning, I attended an early morning yoga class where the focus was the yama of satya, benevolent truthfulness. I think one of the hardest truths to accept in life is that we often are what we criticize. Suddenly, I found myself hot and heavy, ready, lost in passion – becoming the person whom I had chastised him for being. Through the experience, I got lost in pleasure. I compromised my integrity, my boundaries, and everything I had been building. Rather than regretting the experience and beating myself up for it, I decided to observe my reaction and as a result was provided with a new perspective.
As I reflected on my actions, I thought of him. The one that I had cut off for precisely the same behavior I was partaking in. Suddenly, I understood. It was fun, it was light, it was airy. The flow of the erotically charged experience was far less terrifying than the potential of true love. True love meant being seen – as a work in progress, as an imperfect human being, as someone that was just trying their best. As I dove deeper into my new found understanding, I felt a sense of compassion arise within my heart. The raging fires of anger that had been brewing were appeased by the waters of empathy and understanding. He, who was part of my life for most of my life, has unknowingly been one of my greatest teachers – even at a distance, without communication. Alex has been my greatest mirror up to date. It’s the real reason I ran way. It’s the real reason for the anger, for the rage. Truly looking in the mirror and owning what you see isn’t always the easiest of tasks.
As the day continued to evolve, I sat in silence forced to drink some of my own medicine. You can’t undo the past. You can only act differently moving forward. Integrity. Boundaries. Forgiveness. The longer I sat in silence, the longer I was able to peel layers back. Another realization made its way to the surface: a deep seated (false) belief that men are only interested in me for transient experiences. You’re exotic. You’re sexy. You ooze sexual energy. You have beautiful legs. You have amazing lips. I love your neck. I had subconsciously accepted that I was an object somewhere on my life path. It wasn’t an idea anyone in particular had enforced upon me, but rather a belief I took upon my own. This new awareness, allowed me to more deeply understand the repeating patterns of the past five years. While there had been trauma and life hadn’t externally been perfect, there was no longer a reason I needed to hold on to the mechanisms I adapted to survive some difficult times in earlier years.
Some days ago, I talked about the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. If there is someone in your life that you feel the need to “clear the air” with, but are hesitant to contact them due to fear of a trigger, shame, or some other reason, it’s best to talk to a therapist or trusted counsel to process the situation. As much as we’d like the human experience to be able to fit in neat little boxes, the truth is that life is messy. We get triggered. We overreact. We misinterpret and don’t communicate. We carry hard experiences in silence further cultivating shame and thus the cycles continue.
One of my spiritual teachers, had taught me of a forgiveness practice when reaching out to a particular individual was not the wisest path. She mentioned that with the assistance of divine guidance (or a therapist!), you could meditate on the situation for a fruitful release. A release that was for the highest good for everyone involved. I thought about Tony, the guy that was my initiator into the spiritual world. When I met Tony, he was deeply struggling with the external factors in his life. Yet amongst all his struggles the most difficult was letting his ex-girlfriend go – the one he thought was the love of his life. As he continued to learn and heal, he once shared with me, that as he was working on making amends with the people in his life, if it wasn’t possible to contact them, he’d pray for them. He’d pray for their healing, their well-being, and their happiness. To his day, I still look back to this practice of his to remind me of the meaning of true love.
I’m not perfect. None of us are. I sincerely believe that most of us have the best intentions at heart even if the execution is poor. Often times, execution of any particular situation is simply neural pathway memory or “this is always how I do this”. Some of our patterns are so deeply engrained within our subconscious mind that many times we really don’t know how to do better even if we want to. We becomes servants of our subconscious minds bound to unhealthy patterns – craving to be set free.
I read a Medium article about the authentic self and came across the following quote that really struck a deep chord: “Authenticity is not about discarding the parts of yourself you don’t like. It’s about embracing them and all the discomfort they bring.” So here’s your Sunday sermon reminding you that perhaps you don’t have to be perfect or even good. A reminder that being hard on yourself doesn’t accomplish more. An additional reminder that it is possible to set yourself free. Re-programming neural pathways takes work, takes time, and it’s not a path of instant gratification. It may involve therapy, meditation, yoga, giving up things that you once thought were the answer. It’s the path of the humble warrior, baddha Virabhadrasana. It’s the path to setting yourself free.
In 2017, I steered away from Bikram and started exploring other Asana practices. During my explorations, I encountered Vinyasa (including heated Vinyasa!), Yin, Ashtanga, and Kundalini. As I continued to show up to my curiosities, I started to realize that little by little there were major shifts occurring within: I started to be less afraid of looking in the mirror, less afraid of sitting in front row of the class, less afraid of more form fitting outfits. The truth is that all of that stuff that would often preoccupy my mind no longer mattered as much. What truly mattered was the joy that I felt every time I moved my body. Who knew that was possible?
Today, the moon is in it’s first quarter. My life feels both full and balanced. And for that I am beyond grateful. As the days pass by, little pieces are weaving themselves together and creating a beautiful greater whole. I’ve been feeling a lot more joy. A lot more hope. A lot more peace. I’m taking every second to truly live in – in the moment, in a non-hedonistic way. In a mindful way.
I’ve been softly reflective, too. On my walks to yoga, a lot of memories often cross my mind. As I move my body – in yoga, running, or workouts – little by little I am able to make sense of the past few years, particularly the past five. I’m grateful for the ability to slow down.
Next week I’ll be in Nevada, Montana, and Idaho. Believe it or not, I’m not dreading it because I’ll get to stick to the West Coast! If I can save myself 5 hours of flying and a couple of time zone hops – I’m a happy girl! I’m also particularly excited because Montana will be state #46/50 for me. After I visit Montana, all I will have left of the United States is Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If the 17 year old version of me, would get a glimpse of what she was about to become – she would not believe it. It’s both a miracle and a waking dream. Truly, truly, grateful to be here.
In yesterday’s random card draw, I selected the Goddess Radha.
RHADA – goddess of passionate love and longing
“Are you in love? You very well may be soon. Rhada is the goddess of euphoric bliss and deep surrender when you gaze into the eyes of your lover. She is the passionate lover of Krishna, who gave up everything to be in his arms. Radha represents the desire to merge with your beloved and lose yourself in the utter ecstasy that is love. If you aren’t already in love, it’s well on its way and already occurring all around you. Allow yourself to lose yourself in the divine dance of romance, for love is just you experiencing your soul in another body.”
“We are hard-wired to pause prior to changing directions”. The teacher said as we transitioned from down-dog and flowed through chaturanga, up-dog, back to down-dog. India Arie’s Ready for Love suddenly started playing through my head as we made our way through inversions, back-bends, and balancing poses. As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, my last relationship ended in 2016. I haven’t dated anyone since. I’ve certainly been involved in situation-ships and have met people that have shown me what I don’t want (contrast), but I haven’t met anyone that I felt safe to fall for. I don’t regret any of it – as we say in research, all data is useful data.
I stayed for a double class – the second being a Yinki & Soundscape prior to heading to a workout. Yinki is a yoga modality that combines both yin yoga and reiki. It was a nice slow down from the Vinyasa class I had just completed. During the class, the teacher came around to provide reiki to the students as she was guided to. When she arrived to me, she placed her hand in the back of my heart chakra. It’s okay to let it all go. As she walked away, a small tear strolled down my cheek. On my way to my post-yoga workout, I heard Bruno Mars’ Marry Me playing in a parked car I walked by and I chuckled. The song took me back to a pleasant romantic memory back in 2013 with this particular song at its core.
The past month of my life has probably been the most sublime month of my entire human existence. I’ve slowed down and have been granted the opportunity to focus just on work, beauty, and health (and the ocean – she’s everything :P). I feel healthy and strong. I have daily and nightly routines. I’m constantly reading books and writing. I’m happy with my skin, my hair texture, my body, my mind, and my spirit. My room is full of pleasant aromas, candles, essential oils, body oils, a himalayan lamp, the color white, a bamboo plant, a beautifully woven weighted blanket. It all feels so good, so right. Life can really change quickly as long as you set your heart and action towards your desired direction. And as long as you’re willing to let go of anything that doesn’t serve you – even if it hurts.
Ease. Peace. Balance. Harmony.
When I pulled the romance card out of my deck, I smiled. I didn’t cringe nor roll my eyes nor withdrew in panic. I felt tranquil. “It’s time.” I thought to myself as I went back to other matters.
Given all my experiences, my processing of trauma, and my years in therapy, I have developed a list of items on what I would want in a person. I’m not one of those “must be the CEO of 16 companies, look like a Greek God, and be in charge of the universe” type of people – that’s bizarre. But given my life history, I think it’s valuable for me to have a set of guidelines so I don’t run away and hide in a cave for the rest of my existence. In all honesty, I don’t even want to do that whole traditional dating thing (2019 translation: ain’t nobody got time for fuckboys and situation-ships). I want to find someone to commit to. I have met SO MANY people in this lifetime. And in my younger years, particularly, 19-21 I DATED. (Yes, it required a bold, underline, and italics effects so you, as a reader, could understand that those were my wonder years lol – good thing I got that out of my system super early!).
So, that list…
Must live in the same geographic region as me – In this case in San Diego, with a particular preference for North County San Diego. Ain’t nobody got time for planes and trains and cars.
Interdependence vs. Co-dependence: While I want to be adored by someone, I don’t want to be the center of their universe. I want someone that is strong enough to stand in their individuality (including finances), while also being willing to collaborate with others. Someone that has their own life and simply wants to share that with someone else. I can’t handle the expectations of being a nurse, a mother, a therapist, a <my everything>. While one person can mean the world to you, they should not be your everything.
Integrity: I honestly love Brené Brown’s definition of integrity – “You choose courage over comfort. You chose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you chose to practice your values rather than simply professing them.” This one is super important.
Respect: If there’s something that I’ve learned by being alive, is that we all define things differently. My best friend is a lawyer and prior to ever entering discourse with him, he ensures that we have clear definitions about the topic of discussion. This prevents simple misunderstandings in the long-run. For me, respect largely revolves around time. Don’t assume that I’ll alway be around and don’t assume that the time that I give is eternal. While time (philosophically) extends beyond the linear, in this 3D reality, time is of the essence – it’s all we have and we’re always running out of. Quality time is my first love language followed by words of affirmation. Also, respect extends beyond how someone treats me when they’re with me. If someone brings down the moon and hands it to me on a silver platter, it will render valueless if they follow that gesture by spending time with 16 prostitutes. Respect is a large, dense, endless topic – and it’s vital for me to even start having romantic feelings of any sort. To summarize my desire in one sentence – someone that respects themselves in the way that I respect me.
Communication: I’m a words person. I seek to understand. However, if I see someone become avoidant around topics that are less than harmonious I think red flag. Life, especially human connection, is not all fluffy, shallow, fun, and games. Shit gets real. People change. Life gets complicated. All of that can only be transformed for the better in the presence of open communication. And yes, omitting part of a truth is a lie.
Ease: Can I be myself around this person? I don’t believe that anyone should ever change for anyone else. Seriously. I think people are who they are. Therefore I observe and sense a situation out and show more of myself as time progresses to see if it’s safe or unsafe to show the full expression of my individuality. If I somehow feel constricted or judged, I will know that I don’t belong in that particular situation. If someone’s lifestyle is drastically different from my own – to the point that we rarely share time together, chances are that’s not a good fit. Whenever I find myself trying to fit into someone’s life – romantically or otherwise – I know it’s time to go.
Growth: I want someone to hold me to my highest standards and I’d do the same. And for clarification purposes, high standards and constant criticism are not one in the same. I’m not just looking for someone I have good chemistry with. Good chemistry is easy to find (and largely physical). I’m looking for someone that I have good chemistry with and can build with. It takes the hell of a lot more than love to be happy alongside someone else. There needs to be a foundation and a destination (<Insert something about having six planets in Capricorn here or simply just being human.>).
Adventure: I want someone that is adventurous – in the physical sense of the word (yeah, let’s go skydiving!), but also in the philosophical sense – let’s talk about the meaning of the universe in front of the ocean at 3AM. Adventure and exploration are huge parts of who I am and I can’t imagine partnering with someone that doesn’t value it as much as I do.
Emotional consistency and follow-through: I love routines. I’ve experienced a good amount of chaos, particularly in childhood, and routines ease my anxiety. Consistency doesn’t mean doing things daily, it means doing things with a predictable pattern. For example, my friend Nick and I don’t talk to each other everyday, but we (meaningfully aka more than meme exchange) talk once a a week! If Nick were to suddenly talk to me on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Then, stop talking to me for three weeks. Talk to me for a month. Stop talking to me for a year. Talk to me for thirty days in row. Then stop talking to me for five months. I would lose trust in that connection. Imagine if you worked out that way!
Equality: Don’t expect me to do it all – initiating, planning, action taking. I’ve got a career to keep growing, financial independence to continue cultivating, a body to keep maintaining, and friendships to keep watering. Ain’t nobody got time to do it all.
And in case you were wondering – yes. I must be attracted to them, there must be great sex, great conversation, etc. Refer to #7.
Trust: Saved the best for last. I don’t trust easily. I don’t fall easily. I don’t let go easily. A combination of all the qualities described above, slowly, but surely will birth trust within my heart. Once trust is there, there’s space for love to blossom. And oh my – when I fall, I fall! I become the embodiment of Bhakti, devotion. Is it empathy, support, compassion, passion, adventure, intensity, and pure love all wrapped into one. My heart is made of rare gold and last time I checked, rare gold wasn’t easy to come by.
I honestly just want to find the Alex Fine to my Cassie. They are seriously #relationshipgoals
Cue in the Weeknd, Prince Royce, and whatever other lovey music is out there (Mentioned those two in particular, because their name in red leads to song links!). Also, see below:
The Dana within me understands that I’m reaching the end of a cycle and I need to gather as much information as possible prior to the Wheel of Fortune turning right side up in my favor again. Here comes the World card…
He comes and goes as he pleases – at his leisure. A master bread-crumber and strategist that can quickly figure out the right amount of investment needed to hold on to a life line. Romantically, he treats people like disposable cameras that will be available for a photograph as he fancies. If the camera is no longer working, he simply tosses it.
While I respect him as a person, I find him to be romantically toxic. I’ve been playing along in this game under a cloak of innocence by biting every crumb of bread given to me. I’m curious. I want to understand. I want to know more. Like a true researcher, wearing a double-agent cape, I take notes, I observe, I listen, and I learn. The ability to observe emotional situations without forming deep attachment are skills I acquired in Anthropology classes.
He’s deeply wounded. You can see it in his eyes, in his body, in his environment. Yet he knows how to employ just enough charm to make newcomers think otherwise. I can sense the depression. I can feel the anxiety. And sometimes when he breathes or moves in particular patterns, you can see remnants of trauma. I say nothing. I stay silent and observe.
While I lie on the couch next to his, he FaceTimes that one, texts two others, Facebook messages another, Bumbles 4 of them, then replies a couples of hearts and fires on insta and snap to a couple more. Knowing exactly what techniques to employ to entertain each one. Though there is visual programming in the background (which he’s honestly running to keep me happy), he can’t seem to put his phone down. He’s constantly checking it. Picking it up. Opening it up. It’s a near compulsive action. After the film, he sits next to me and shows me a video. He caresses my legs. I barely respond as I’m feeling unwell. I walk outside and he follows.
Later that night, I lay next to him and manage to fall asleep – lightly. We share an intimate moment. I then fall asleep more permanently. Hours later, he’s awake, I’m awake – it’s the middle of the night. He heads over to his phone – and appears to go through a similar drill. He says, “I don’t want to drive to her right now. She’s 30 minutes away.” All of the women in his life are his friends.
The next morning he remembers that he had promised a friend to go to brunch. I use the announcement as a window of opportunity to escape for the day and make my way home.
Time goes by and there’s radio silence.
As pattern dictates, when he feels overwhelmed or in need of emotional solace, he’ll contact me again.
Nietzsche once wrote, “There is more wisdom in your body that in your deepest philosophy.” So it begins: my appetite drops, my vision becomes blurred, and my consciousness undergoes an out of body experience. The process is familiar – it’s my soul’s way of inviting me to shed the old: an old way of thinking, an old belief system, an old way of understanding reality – in exchange for a level up into the next stage of my life.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve graced this space with my words. The past six months that I have spent in California have been drastically changing me in the most subtle of ways. These grounds have helped me heal emotionally and have provided me with much needed clarity in regards to the direction I want my life to head in.
When I first started this blog, it was the intent to share stories that centered around travel (given how much it is a part of my life). I was enthralled by a process that constantly took me away from a reality that I was unhappy with. That’s not to say that I don’t love travel. It has certainly provided me with needed perspective, it has allowed me to meet incredible people, and overall provided me with experience that I will forever treasure as it shaped me into who I’ve become.
Now that I’ve a found a home base that I love, I’m craving to live life differently. I’m craving more time in my home base, more time with people that value me, more time with people that are walking a similar path. I’m craving to build a strong foundation. Moving forward, I’m going to use this space to share thoughts, emotions, opinions, curiosities, and overall happenings – travel related or not!
Getting lost in the lightness of being while communing with rose petals in the sand. Evidence of a life well lived: The beauty that the rose once held, now nearly faded. Change remains the only constant I’ve ever encountered. It’s been quite some time since I’ve poured pieces of my soul into cyberspace. Since I last wrote here, I’ve accepted and started a position in San Diego (county) California, I sublet my previous place, was hospitalized, found a place to live in Oceanside, flew across the country, and bought a car. Thankful for all the divine guidance throughout this process, as I don’t think it would have happened otherwise.
It’s been the hell of a journey to get here. The past nine months, I lost complete track of my beingness. I was working 70-80 hours/weeks, spending 90% of my time completely alone, and living in a constant state of panic and anxiety. Within a few months, I found my self in an extremely dark place I thought I would never get out of. Whenever, I had “down time”, I would furiously apply to jobs because my soul knew the time had arrived. Opportunities began coming through my door – there was the UK (both Wales and England), there was Boston, Farmington (CT), Austin, San Francisco, and San Diego. As I started walking away from my previous situation and began to navigate towards a new one, I only made one promise to myself: “Go where it feels right.” I wasn’t being led by the external (like, “Wouldn’t it be cool to say you’re moving to London?!”), but rather was committed to following the call of my spirit. And my spirit was ferociously pulling me towards Southern California. Finally, on the 29th of August (2018), I accepted an offer from the amazing new company I now work for. I’m still in shock that such a unicorn of a place actually exists!
As I transition into this new space, I’m startled. It feels as if I’ve always lived here. It feels like home. The transition has been smoother than the rest of my life combined. This entire move has made me believe in fate and purpose in ways I could have never imagined. I’ve been met with nothing but kindness, love, and grace. My life is overflowing with beauty, with adventure, with abundance, and most importantly peace. Towards late 2017, I began working with a coach, Katie Pelkey (check her out!). One of the exercises she had me do towards the beginning of our work together was to outline my values – beauty, adventure, abundance, and ease. It’s Sunday, October 14th and though part of me does wish I could see my sister on her birthday, I feel entirely calm and I’m living by my values. I don’t have an itch to leave or go or flee. Life is moving as it’s supposed to. And I’m trusting that amazing things are yet to be discovered and uncovered. This is the beginning of a marvelous life adventure. The beginning of a new chapter in my life. The culmination of years worth of work. The payout as Saturn returns. In gratitude, in awe, with love, Wanda.
P.S. If you live in Southern California and are reading this, let me know what your favorite neighborhood to live in is. Once June comes around, I’ll have to find a place to permanently settle. I’m currently living in Oceanside, head over heels in love with Encinitas, but I’m open to suggestions!