Natural Cycles: Void Creation

Witchcraft in Salem

“On March 1, 1692, Salem, Massachusetts authorities interrogated Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and an Indian slave, Tituba, to determine if they indeed practiced witchcraft. So began the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Over the following months, more than 150 men and women in and around Salem were jailed on charges of exercising “Certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcrafts & Sorceryes.” Nineteen people, including five men, were eventually convicted and hanged on Gallows Hill; and an additional male suspect was pressed to death. Others died in prison. Today they are seen as victims of a tragic mistake.” {Source}

contemplative pain
I speak telepathy – Cosmic Cleopatra: Lifting the veil to find the force of unshakable protection. For a moment, I’m able to observe the encasing of my energetic body. “You can’t be reached.” They say. “We have you in a fortress. Lay down to rest – we are doing on your behalf.” I observe the forces that protect me experience an intense attack. “They don’t understand  – your strength is cosmic in nature.” I then observe myself in the middle of a room at the top of the fortress. I’m laying on a table surrounded by some of my most powerful ancestors.: Witches, Shamans, Shapeshifters. “Seer awaken!” They yell. My eyes open to their widest possibility. “Walk through the Earth as if you can see right through.” They say. “Millenia worth of strength flow through you. Prepare for a windfall. Don’t be afraid to be seen. Keep your words close to you and use them as needed. Don’t engage in energetic warfare unless it’s of the utmost necessity.  Your words are loaded with the forces of nature. We’ve protected you with the energy of the boomerang. Walk with the knowledge of the thousands in your lineage. They who come against you will only enter an energetic pocket of confusion. Let the ocean be your guide.”
ocean power
Bathing in Strength. Story to be continued…

“A witch is many things: the medicine woman, the slut, the one without children, the activist, the outcast; the witch has always lived and will always live. A witch is a healer, a woman in tune with her sexuality, someone who works with the Earth, anyone who abides by her own rules. Very often, witches were the protestors, the catalysts, the ones calling for justice and using all their tools, physical and otherwise, to create change. A witch has always been someone who refuses to abide by the societal constructs of the time. She is an outsider, rooted in her own decisiveness; the witch has always been a threat.” {Source}

Ancestral Direction

Home: Carlsbad, California

As the Taurean New Moon passes, the Muse violently demands my full attention, a deep commitment and dedication to a new direction. Adopting a true Taurean style, she’s stubborn and determined. As I deeply inhale, she makes her way in and travels through every crevice and corner of my being. For days at at time, all I can do is write, and write, and write some more. Though my hands ache, there’s no satiating her. As I sweat, she travels through my body at a faster pace.  She whispers, “You must write. You must tell. You must share these lines that have been carved into your bones. Give birth to the words that consume you.” Her whispers increasingly get louder as the time passes.

My Piscean moon has been delving into parts of the ocean I swore to never explore. I’m diving deeper, deeper, deeper without oxygen. As I allow my body to sink deeply, the ecstasy of sensory deprivation takes over. And there, in the depths of the ocean, a story, a cosmic memory, comes pouring into my mind. The Seagoat in me travels to its Neptunian nest and enters a world of dreams crafted from materials illusory in nature. It is there that I am greeted by an Ancestor of mine – the one who was a prolific and respected writer while he lived. I sit in a chair which appears to be made of iridescent scales and he finally looks to my direction. In Spanish, he says, “I have been watching over your journey since that bus driver Sam told you, you had a purpose to carry out. It was the very first time you also wished you were dead. Remember him? You were 10. It’s been me all along. I have watched you burn in the depths of hell and climb mountains made of quicksand. A dedicated goat with the outer shell of an innocent nurturer, the inner world of a cosmic Siren, and the soul of a Phoenix. I have seen you drown and miraculously re-revive yourself a thousand times over. All these experiences were here to help you understand our lineage, our suffering, and what you’re here to change and dissolve. You are here to continue the work in which I started.” He paces around the kaleidoscopically colored room. Seemingly troubled by a plague of thoughts. “The Ancestors have been watching you. For the past 28 years, you’ve been given no choice, but to rely on yourself. We’ve always been here, but in the physical plane, it’s been you. We’ve marveled at how you’ve made due. In the coming months, that’s going to change. Your next lesson will be one learning how to receive, on learning how to be part of a greater whole – something foreign to you, you’ve always been the lone wolf. It won’t be easy, but necessary for your next initiation. You won’t make it without a pack. We’ve left some guidance around you. Your new living space? There’s a key there. Don’t try to look for it, be open to letting it find you.” Suddenly, he vanishes. My sinking body comes to the realization that oxygen is needed and a drowning sensation replaces the ecstasy of deprivation. With full force, I kick my legs, and re-emerge: “The time is now.”

King of Wands – Reversed

The multitude of women within me are conflicted.

The Mary Magdalene in me feels deeply for his wounds, his trauma, his losses. 

The Athena in me tries to impart him with words of wisdom while understanding that change is not something external, but rather something that comes from within. 

The Ixchel in me tries to make him feel heard and loved, an offer of a temporary healing potion. 

The Sige within me observes. 

The Ishtar, Brigit, and Diana within me remind me to stay focused on the lesson at hand.

Maat and Kuan Yin remind me to stay out of my emotions in an act of service favoring fairness and compassion above all.

The Kali within me angers for all my fellow sisters, much like Hansel and Gretel, following the breadcrumb trail thinking it will lead them back home. 

The Eireen within me maintains the peace.

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…

Sunset, Oceanside, California

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.

I then ask myself, “If he’s having all of his cake and eating it, why is he not fulfilled?” I abandon the question as other matters take over my day. As the day finishes and I’m falling asleep, I remember a set of words that once changed my life…. ” Because purpose is rooted in focus. Purpose cannot be fueled with scattered energy.” 

I then, fall asleep.

*red fonts lead to links*

Rose Petals in the Sand

We can do anything if we put our minds to it/ Take your whole life then you put a line through it (Eastside, benny blanco, Halsey & Khalid)

Rose Petal at Cassidy Beach, Oceanside, California

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!

Beauty, Moonlight State Beach, Encinitas, California (Anyone know what kind of flower this is?!)

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.

Moonlight State Beach, Encinitas, California

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! 

PPS. Happy birthday, Cely!

Apoptosis and Shooting Stars

Sunset Hour in Austin, Texas

In light of recent events, particularly the passing of Anthony Bourdain, I’ve become deeply reflective of my own experience. On the day of his death, I wrote this little blurb:

In November 2009, I attempted death by suicide. I failed. After the fact, I was angry that I had to live. Eventually (with the help of a village), I came to realize that even if I physically died, I would remain alive metaphorically – in the memories and words of others. In due time, I found a “why” for living. My first why was travel. Naturally, I gravitated towards Anthony Bourdain and all that he stood for – he was charming, passionate, attractive, curious, an explorer, a pusher of boundaries, a novelty junkie. From No Reservations to Parts Unknown, I was present. He represented inspiration and possibility. In him I saw that by sticking around I’d at least get to see the world. While I’m not exactly sure what led Mr. Bourdain to that edge, I can speak of my own experience. I know what it’s like to feel trapped. I know what it’s like to stare at reality eye to eye and feel consumed by the weight of its meaninglessness, by the magnitude of its emptiness. I’m not writing this to deliver platitudes of positivity that bypass pain, but rather to acknowledge that pain is very real. There are qualified people out there willing to hold space for you and your discomfort without trying to change anything about you. Mr. Bourdain, I hope your soul finds rest and peace. In your honor, I’ll be trying an adventurous meal at a restaurant I’ve never been to.

Ever since my own suicide attempt, I’ve held a space of reverence and curiosity for death. If you look through my writing, you will often come across it in some form – literal or metaphoric. I’ve read about death, taken classes in the realms of thanatology, and have first hand experienced its presence in my life. Over the years, I’ve also learned that rarely is anything in life black or white. I believe that death is life’s greatest transformation agent. It is for that reason that in this piece of writing, I’m going to write about suicide.

Suicide. Often people hear about it and will do everything in their power to avoid the discomfort that it brings about. The Western developed world isn’t the most death positive of societies. In my opinion, it’s a society that actively avoids death in all its many forms. In the past few months, I’ve been philosophically exploring death  beyond our individual human experience of the the “self”. In my mental wanderings there were two mechanisms that surfaced that particularly caught my attention: apoptosis (“cell-suicide” or cell-programmed death) and “shooting starts”. Apoptosis comes from the Greek phrase “falling off”. This mechanism naturally occurs in our organism to quite literally keep us healthy. This programmed cell death is what allows us, as humans, to continue to grow and age. For example, the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body is called cancer. The body is so brilliant that it has developed a natural mechanism to keep homeostasis, balance. On the macro scale, there are shooting stars: meteoroids that fall into the Earth’s atmosphere  and burn. I’m sure that if I searched for more of these mechanisms, outside of the human individual experience of self, I would find more. A professor I had once said, “The universe destroys itself to recreate itself.” It’s a phrase that has captivated my curiosity throughout the years.

So, if these mechanisms are present in both the micro and macro scales, why do humans have a built-in aversion towards suicide? Of course, you can argue that from an evolutionary stand-point, we’re hard-wired to want our species to thrive, to continue. Yet from a more real human experience perspective, I’d like to present the theory that perhaps our discomfort with suicide is yet another manifestation of our obsession to avoid the d word: death. Death is necessary for life. One without the other would be catastrophic. As I mentioned above, I think death is a change agent that although often unwanted it ensures the continuation we fervently desire. In recent years, the conversation around death has been slowly shifting including that of suicide. The concept of death with dignity or physician assisted suicide has come forth as a potential option for the terminally ill. If we get to choose how we live, why can’t we choose how we die? I’m not at all implying that suicide is “the answer” nor encouraging it, but I think under certain circumstances it’s another option. Now that being said, I’d like to explore the concept of context.

Trail in Austin, Texas

Based on my own experiences and hearing the stories of others, I’ve often noticed that my reactions towards death by suicide vary depending on context. For example, in the case of Brittany Maynard, a woman with terminal brain cancer who chose death with dignity (physician-assisted suicide), I felt an outpouring of respect and compassion. It was a decision that seemed logical, thought-out, and well-planned. She reached out beyond her experience, consulted her loved ones as well as professionals, and made the decision that would best suit her. Her experience seemed to have a different tone than someone unexpectedly taking their life. From my own experience, I feel deep love, empathy, and sorrow for the second scenario – for an unplanned suicide. Why the difference? I recognize that I don’t know it all. I can’t see all perspectives, all truths. From my own failed attempt to the sudden and unexpected deaths by suicide of others, what makes me ache for the scenario, is the intensity of silent pain and suffering the individual may have been undergoing. Depression is real. Accumulated psychic, emotional, and mental pain is very real. Unprocessed trauma is real. Mental health awareness is vital. Yet in addition to a sensibility to mental illness, I think it’s important that we recognize that the culture that we’ve created isn’t conducive to well-being. In the past two-decades the incidence of mental illness has increased. Is it possible that the majority of a society is pathological? Or is it the case that the increased rate in incidence of mental illness is a symptom of a sick culture, of a deeper issue? 

In the case of Brittany Maynard, her pain, though not first-hand experienced by the people in her life, was made vocal. It was out in the open. This is not to say that her death wasn’t difficult for her loved ones. I can imagine that it was heart-wrenching as loss can be, but there was an understanding, a knowingness of the pain that was to come. Yet, there are a lot of people that suffer in silence. 

So, if you suspect that someone is in deep pain or going through a difficult situation, or even openly declare that they are feeling suicidal, what can you do? Before I begin, I’d like to state that I’m not a licensed mental health professional. What I’m going to write in the sentences to come is based on my experience while being on the edge as well as my listening to the experience of others. First, I’d like to bring up the gift of presence. To be present without trying to change another is in my opinion the ultimate gift of love. I know it can be tempting to try to steer a suffering person to look at the “positive” side of life, but from my experience and that of sitting with others, the power of seeing someone and acknowledging their current reality, regardless of what that may be, is powerful. There is potency in being seen, in being heard, in being held. Secondly, remember why you love them. Remember the beautiful qualities you see in that person and tell them why you care for them and their existence. If possible, try to make it organic and authentic. Try to not make it sound like a “this is why I don’t want to lose you” pre-rehearsed speech. Remind them that they have worth and value by just being. Thirdly, extend invitations. Even if your invitations are not accepted, invite them to hang out, to grab a meal, to grab coffee, to do something they enjoy. Lastly, if you feel at a loss, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from someone that might be able to support you. Having difficult conversations can be one of the most intimidating parts of the human experience. 

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Live band in Austin, Texas

I haven’t covered the complexity of suicide nor explored all the little nuances that have exploration potential in this think-piece. From living, I’ve gathered that the human experience is grey and in technicolor rather than black and white. Over the years, I’ve learned that even if you have the best of intentions and put forth an incredible amount of effort towards everything you do, sometimes you will lose. Failure is part of the human experience. I’ve also learned, that while you can hold space, love, and be there for another, you don’t get to control other people. We all have our own agency. We all have the right to make choices. And when the choices of another or others in general don’t seem to make sense to you, I invite you to try to make space for the possibility that there might be something to the situation that you can’t see. That there might be a bigger picture and hidden details that may never make their way to the surface. The human experience invites us to make space for mystery. Death, the unknown, is an invitation to reflect in the mysteries of being. Perhaps, there is more to this life than what the eyes can see. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say: in life, there are parts unknown.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S): 1-800-273-8255International Association for Suicide Prevention Befrienders Worldwide

Fire Headland: On Darkness and Light

Le’ahi (Diamond Head), Honolulu, O’ahu, Hawaii

Life should be lived to the point of tears.” – Albert Camus

It was 11:50PM and I had just landed at the San Francisco airport. Though plagued with ravenous hunger, the only available meal option was Burger King, so I opted out. Instead of feeding myself, I decided to find a place for the night as my flight was not set to board until the next morning 6:44 AM. After walking through different gates, I spotted a footrest that would allow me to get a few hours of sleep. I vividly remember laying down on a blanket I had acquired at the previous flight and using my small carry-on as a pillow. As I lay down, I was overwhelmed with tears of pure joy. This was the beginning of two months straight on the road and there aren’t enough words on this Earth to express the level of fulfillment I felt in that moment. I felt home. There I was, on the first leg of a travel bender. Four hours later, I was wide awake.

As soon as I landed in Honolulu, blood rushed through my body at fiery speeds. Even before leaving airport grounds, I was overcome by the warmth of home. That feeling of home, again. My heart was warm, though my body was freezing from extended amount of time indoors, with AC. I skipped through the airport on the way to my rental car. Once in my rental car, I let out of a shriek of joy.  “You will learn here.” Whispered my soul.

From the airport, I made my way to Le’ahi or what is commonly referred to as Diamond Head. Though time zone changes can affect our circadian rhythms, I was deeply grateful that in this case, it worked to my advantage; It was only 10AM! Running on adrenaline and joy, I made my way to the top and finally stopped to breathe. As I looked at my surroundings, tears began to stroll down my eyes.  The ten months prior to my arrival on the island had been less than favorable, but in that moment everything made sense. At its peak, I was able to gain perspective. I stayed at the top for a few moments, looking at the island,  the city, the Pacific Ocean, looking at those around me….one of my life cycles came to completion in a fire headland, in a head of diamonds {For a view of Honolulu from the top, click here and scroll down}.

After making my way down, I hopped in my car, drove around the island, windows down, music blasting, tears of joy decorating my cheeks, with nowhere to be, but here and now. “This is it.” I thought to myself,  This is it. Suddenly, I felt the need to turn on to a street, get out the car, and feel the power deeply rooted on Hawaiian soil. Like a child filled with wonder, I submerged in muddy patches, and eventually discovered a trail that led to a waterfall! Luckily, I hadn’t checked in at my hotel yet, so I was able to use a my flight blanket as a floor rag to not dirty my rental car. This was the beginning of a grand adventure.

Banyan tree in Nu’uanu Valley

At hotel check-in, I realized I hadn’t consumed a proper meal in what was nearly forty-eight hours. I quickly filled up my water bottle, dropped my stuff off in my room and made my way down to the infamous Waikiki beach. I found food, I found beautiful spirits; Nourishment for my soul. As I watched the sun set and the spirit of the night awaken, I looked out to the horizon and felt divinity wrap the entirety of my being in delight, as I’d never known before. The words from Cheryl Strayed’s Wild echoed in my head, “How wild it was, to let it be.”

Eventually, I made my way to my hotel where I had difficulty falling asleep. After a slow-flow yoga sequence on the ocean essence filled balcony in my room, I made my way downstairs and met a fellow East coaster. “Can’t sleep ?” he asks. I nod. We converse until the little coffee shop near us, opens. It turns out he was also on the island for work, but missing his family back home; Perspective. Though I couldn’t relate, because I felt so complete, there was a place in my heart filled with compassion. For some people, travel feels like a chore. I wished him success and wished him well. The rest of my time on the island was filled with similar serendipitous encounters; meeting the right people at the right time. Even the work I did while at my site on the island felt infused with purpose.

The Byodo-In Temple, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park
Kahaluu, O’ahu, Hawaii

“The dance between darkness and light will always remain— the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.”  C. JoyBell C.

Interactive exercise: If you have any social media platform, do a quick search of the travel hashtag  (#travel)

Chances are that you were greeted by overwhelming images of all the natural and man-made beauty this Earth holds space for; breathtaking ones. I particularly enjoy, looking at photographs of the same spaces through multiple lenses, through different perspectives. A photograph is nothing more than a subjective interpretation of reality. No two people will capture the exact same angle of a particular landscape.

However, chances are you won’t see the dark side of travel.  It can be exhausting. The wear and tear will inevitably show up in your body, where you will then have to take appropriate steps to bring your fleshy vessel back to equilibrium. There will be nights sleeping at airports and nights with no sleep. Food that may not align with your highest expectations (Although once you land you typically have a larger range of control as to what goes into your body). There will be unfair situations, airline snafus, lots of waiting time, last minutes changes, sprints across airports as if your life depended on it, flight delays, cancellations, and more interruptions than you can imagine. And if you’ve never encountered this  while traveling, travel long enough and it is bound to occur at least once. In the past I’ve been accused of being one who had a pact with darkness, someone committed to a dark path. I’m not sure that I interpret that as a negative accusation, as I think there’s some validity in the statement. As an individual, I am more than committed to bringing treasures from the darkness into the light. Yet in order to carry out this mission, I must be willing to sleep, reside, eat with, entertain, and be in relationship with darkness.

“I think he said that his fearlessness was that he always created room for fear. It was always allowed into the discourse. FEAR NEEDS GOOD COMPANY. It needs the company of courage. It needs the company of discernment. It needs to not stand alone. When any idea stands in isolation; when any emotion isn’t integrated into the greater matrix of relationships, it becomes a liability rather than an asset. Courage is a liability without fear because then it becomes impetuousness, recklessness.” From my brilliant teacher, Douglas Brooks

I love to travel. I’m passionate about travel. I deeply desire travel. Yet, I think it’s important that as I continue to share my stories, I share the process into which I arrive to my destinations. The process isn’t always as picturesque as the destination, but it’s in the process that I find the golden stories.  I’ve pushed and broken past comfort zones while traveling.  By traveling, I’ve learned details about my being that may have remained otherwise undiscovered. Via constant travel, I’ve been able to witness the different paths that multiple souls have chosen to make their time on Earth count. I am humbled that this is a part of my human experience. I feel privileged that in the act of travel, in process of discovering the other, be it souls or geographic spaces, I am pushed to my edge and faced with the darkest of my demons, which can be witnessed and transformed for the greater good.

The rest of my time in O’ahu was magical: Haleiwa, Pupukea, Turtle Bay Resort, Kawela Bay, La’ie Point State Wayside, Kualoa Ranch, Koko Head District Park, and the heart of Honolulu.  When living in a state of magic, time seems to slip away, to melt away, to disappear. From there, I hopped on a plane and made my way, way east to the island of Puerto Rico, where more sublime beauty and lessons awaited.  While making my way to JFK, I met Clayton, whom at the time was a recently divorced dad of two from Vancouver, whom had just returned from a fishing and surfing adventure in Cabo San Lucas – more about the story once I make my way to Cabo! For the two months that followed, I was on the road, from destination to destination in a state of bliss.

A very special thank you to Mike, who drove me around O’ahu. Mahalo Mike!

I’ll be returning to O’ahu this coming April/May and I’m excited to see what awaits.


The Wheel

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Travel is a practice and has become my sacred meditation. Is there an element of escapism woven into the thread? A romanticized notion of getting on a plane? Sure. But it’s not about avoidance, if anything it’s exploration or confrontation or coming to terms with people, places, and most difficult times yourself. Movement in our lives is good, we need to oil our joints, take care of our bodies and our minds and more importantly, each other. Travel is movement. There is no escaping that.” Marianna Jamadi

It’s been two weeks on the ground and I’m plagued by restlessness and an inexplicable sense of meaninglessness. An all consuming feeling of disconnection rattles my bones; When was the last time I spoke to anyone I label as ‘friend’? Perhaps a few weeks ago, with my Chicago friend – we’re all so scattered around the globe. Once you begin to travel often, family and friendships are found on the road. The friendly stranger who stroke up a conversation upon arrival at the airport, becomes your travel companion and so on and so forth.

Why is it that when I’m traveling I don’t obsessively dwell on finding the meaning of being alive? Why is it that when I’m traveling I’m not consumed by deep thoughts of death? Why is it that when I’m traveling, I don’t question the worth or value of my existence? These thoughts have become my companions during my moving meditations – runs, HIIT, yoga, boxing, the gym – I find it easeful to connect with the divine while moving. As I walked through the halls that I call ‘work’, I was stopped along the path.

“Any awesome places coming up?” He asks.

“Yes.” I respond. “I’ll be in Denver soon.”

He goes on, “Don’t you get sick of it?”

There are a million thoughts racing through my being. Suddenly, my depressive state seems momentarily lifted. “No. I would do it everyday for the rest of my life.

“I couln’t do it.” He says.

By the Water, Chicago, Illinois

I sit. My mind races. Though words normally grace my mind with ease, today they escape me. Today, I am consumed by sensation, an insatiable near destructive desire, and wondrous daydreams of the road. Kali roars at me: What you feel is my way of protecting your soul. Kali has been a constant presence in my life since I landed. Slaying and destroying all that which doesn’t serve me. She wants me to walk away. She wants me to hop on the next mechanical bird out of here to never return. My reason takes over and I resist. Not yet, Kali. Not yet. She’s not particularly known for her patience. Rather than seeking for understanding, I’ll dwell in my desire to be consumed by my lust to wander, like wildfire. I’m honoring my inner Kali, but using the wisdom of Athena until the next steps reveal themselves.

“No rash actions, Wanda.” Athena reminds me as I walk out the door.

Passionate souls need constant reminders to not jump off every bridge they encounter.

Here’s to my last full week of ass in chair time prior to heading to Denver.