PARADIGM SHIFT, PURPOSE, CELEBRATION OF LIFE

We just shifted and are shifting into the age of Aquarius, but traditional schooling has not fully prepared us for this new era as these institutions are based on the past looking toward an unpredictable future.  I love learning, education, and school and spent much time studying in wonderful private institutions: science, math, history, business, art, English, accounting, athletics, more.

However, we must acknowledge a new form of learning: “schools” that teach self-knowledge and intuition.  Taking information for face value and blind belief do not withstand.

Some of these schools include, yoga studios (uniting body, mind, emotion, soul), aerial studios (flipping your relationship with gravity to gain perspective), nature (return to our roots.  Go outside and you will learn lots), study of invisible knowledge (22 Teachings at House of Intuition - learn how to develop/use your Intuition and much more), and individuals themselves.

Institutions, physical infrastructure, big business, duality - black/white, masculine/feminine, good/bad - and patriarchy, characterized the Age of Pisces.  However, in the age of Aquarius, roles shift/redefine, masculine/feminine qualities blend/harmonize, the divine feminine rises, and individuals reclaim their human power.  We move away from titles that define our occupations based on old institutions, and we move toward new labels or non-labeling. 

Traditional job titles such as CEO, manager, digital analyst, doctor, lawyer, advertising agent, homemaker, etc. are not all-encompassing.  In a sense, simpler more traditional titles such as craftsperson, teacher, healer, entertainer, artist, medicine man/woman are more fitting.  Since many of us are pioneers and road pavers, we need to think of our own titles.  I met someone last year that gave me his business card: title, “Communicator.”

As reincarnates of this time, many of us are here to help usher in the new age, raise consciousness, to connect, and build the bridge between Pisces and Aquarius.  

We all have our unique ways.  My friend Lauren “weaves consciousness in our material world.”  My friend Eileen holds space for people to release the old while nurturing the growth of their gifts and talents.  My mentor Saharah pierces to the core of issues blasting through the emotional body into our soul contracts.  I am a catalyst for change.  I help people define and SEE their current situations with clear lenses.  I spark change and growth by inspiring questioning, curiosity, and disruption of old habits.  What about you?  

I will share an example from today:

This afternoon atop my sunny rooftop, I read my friend Natallia Nemes’ book from start to finish.  Natallia is a beautiful, vibrant, vivacious and remarkable woman who embodies the celebration of life.  In her book, The Sh*t They Should Have Taught You in College, Natallia recounts her own life journey and valuable lessons learned along the way in a humorous, clear, easy-to-read style with fun cartoon illustrations.  

Natallia is 100% real and honest as she covers topics such as family addiction problems, financial struggles, personal eating disorders/addictions, and failed romantic relationships.  She integrates invaluable life lessons from these experiences such as how to celebrate yourself and take even better care when sh*t hits the fan, that the root of charity is compassion and the pure intention of giving, to take vacations, the more we give, the more we get, how to redirect the quality of courage from destructive outlets to creative ones, the value of meditation, yoga, dancing, going upside down and having fun, and the most important lesson: to love ourselves.

The book feels like a personal friend-to-friend conversation and conveys wisdom in an accessible and relatable way.  Thank you, Natallia, for sharing your journey and for inspiring.  You remind me to c’est la vie.  Your presence is forever reinvigorating and a beautiful reminder to celebrate life!  Thank you for sharing openheartedly and for embodying truth.  You create space for others to do the same.

Read Natallia's book on iBooks and Kindle | Connect with her on Facebook, IG, Twitter

More than ever, it is important for us to know and understand our purposes.  Many of us may be operating within an outdated model/institution irking for change but are unsure of how to proceed.  Start with baby steps, follow what feels good and stay away from what does not feel good.  Seeing ourselves for exactly who we are and why we are here, can set us free!

2016 Rebirth: Wind, Fire, Earth, Water

Bri, my good friend since 7th grade, started an annual tradition of camping on New Years Eve.

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Arriving early, I strolled to the beach with a bright constellation and small flashlight illuminating the way.  The rocky shore and dark, roaring ocean seemed infinite and slightly frightful.  Cutting the light and allowing my vision to adjust, I felt calm when suddenly a guy walked over to chat.  After a quick screen, I determined he was harmless and we began talking about the stunning Milky Way, gratitude for life in California, and what a good idea it was to camp on New Years Eve.  After a moment of silence and deep breath he said, "I figured out life a few days ago."  "Oh yeah, what did you conclude?" I replied.  "LOVE," he said and proceeded to tell me that he found the love of his life a few days prior.  Smiling I said, "Yes, love is the root.  Love is all."  I stayed a few minutes enjoying the mysterious night and friendly visitor, then excused myself to meet up with Bri and Bella, Bri's mom, at the campsite.

So excited like kids on a wildlife school retreat, the three of us built a fire and pitched a tent.  We chatted for hours over good whisky, homemade guac and tasty snacks, read tarot glimpsing at future possibilities, and burned wish paper in the roaring fire expelling anything unwanted on sheet #1 and anything desired for 2016 on sheet #2.  The experience was cathartic.

campfire

We toasted with delicious almond champagne at midnight, proceeded with our girl talk for a few more hours, then kissed Bella goodbye as she had to return home to take care of the dogs.  Bri and I dove headfirst into the tent and wrapped up tightly in layers, blankets and sleeping bags.  Inhaling crisp, fresh air and melting into cold, hard earth felt restorative and grounding.

The next morning, 1/1/16, a beautiful view, bright light, branches and leaves kissed the tent.  We danced in enlightening, profound conversations over freshly ground, bold coffee, s'mores and Fleetwood Mac tunes.  Our kind of day ;)

Good Morning Sunshines

Good Morning Sunshines

Tent with a view

Tent with a view

Drawing water goddess cards the night before, Bri Sedna and I Sulis, we ventured to the sea!  Though eager to find a good surf spot, there was no swell.  Instead, we captured our traditional jump in one shot at Leo Carrillo and settled on Point Dume for a swim.  The dip was ice cold but utterly invigorating and awakening.  Next we strolled the coast and scaled a rock formation overlooking a secret beach.  The view was nothing less than picturesque and ocean perfect.

First stop Leo Carrillo 

First stop Leo Carrillo 

Sauntering back, we bathed in feelings of happiness, fulfillment and calm keeping this serene lull for the drive home and rest of evening.

Noteworthy symbolism/highlights/thoughts:

  • Ending the year in dark with a fire
  • Starting a new year under sunrise and light
  • Vast, ominous experience of the ocean at night
  • Warm, friendly beach during the day
  • Biblical imagery laying then arising from cold, hard earth 
  • 3 birds, 3 ladies, 3 of cups (trinity)
  • The ability of an ice cold Pacific Ocean bath to shock and invigorate 
  • Craft an ideal experience
  • Extraordinary experiences and extraordinary friends all of the time
  • From nothing, everything is possible

Epiphany in Exile

“Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other.”

- Emerson (The Conduct of Life. Wealth) 

“The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

- Emerson (Series I Self-Reliance)

Solitude.

Solitude.

One weekend in Spring 2006, I escaped to the very same island of Napoleon’s exile, Elba.

Overall the weekend was peaceful and educational (learned more history on Napoleon from visiting his villas and interacting with the islanders), but Saturday’s event is a story in itself. 

My adventure that day resulted in a great sense of accomplishment and ended in epiphany.

Without a plan in mind and few options because tourist season hadn’t yet hit, I woke up and randomly ascended a long flight of marble stairs outside Alpe Albana, my hotel. It turns out that these stairs were just the beginning of an ascension. 

After visiting the smaller of Napoleon’s two main villas on Elba, I hopped on a Pullman to Marciana simply because I had seen that it was a mountainous region on the map. I asked the bus driver if it would be a good place for hiking and he wished me luck. Unaffected by his lack of response, I got off the bus and started walking towards the mountains with dark clouds overhead and thick mud beneath my feet from Friday’s storm. 

The path was open.

The path was open.

Suddenly I spotted a small sign for “Madonna of the Mountain,” which seemed appropriate for the nature of my trip, solitude.

After about an hour and a half of climbing, I encountered a series of Roman numeral labelled niches each with a phrase and fresco from Jesus’ life. I guessed there would be ten for the Ten Commandments, but there were seventeen. 

Stones lining the path.

Stones lining the path.

After a mysterious build up, I reached Madonna of the Mountain, later to discover was a well-known sanctuary on Elba. Water ran from only one of three lion head fountains and other than the drip, all else was silent. Flowers, cards, signatures, and paintings by people from all over the world cluttered the small room. Having not seen a single person since the bus driver, a large Madonna fresco whose eyes stared down and seemed to follow me sent a shiver down my spine.  Without fully defined religious beliefs at the time, I began to pray like I had at San Francesco’s tomb.

Madonna of the Mountain.

Madonna of the Mountain.

After a while I exited the church and followed a small wooden arrow pointing to Chiessi. I walked up and down mountains for a total of about five hours encountering wild boar, a thundering stampede of ram, breathtaking cliff views, brightly colored birds, a huge body of silvery reflecting water, and a variety of new plants and wildflowers. One of the best parts was starting out in cold, misty weather with dense vegetation in the middle of Elba and then ending in a drier climate with cacti, blossom trees, and sun.

Wooden signs.

Wooden signs.

 Followed the path of intuition.

 Followed the path of intuition.

Silvery seascape from Marciana.  Views were stunning.

Silvery seascape from Marciana.  Views were stunning.

At one point beginning to worry that the trail would not end before dark, I started formulating sleep plans (perhaps under a rock or tree). Luckily I spotted farmland and proceeded to make my way down to Pomonte. Upon setting foot on flat ground, an elderly woman hunched over tending to her garden and an old man with wrinkles so deep they resembled the cracks of desert earth appeared. Their visages and body language suggested years of toil. I envisioned them as young kids playing in the farmland.

The weather grew warmer.

The weather grew warmer.

Starving from the hike, I bought two apples (one red and one green) and a two liter bottle of water all for 1 euro. Passing through the center of the small town on my walk to the water, I established exactly where to catch the bus, which was coming in an hour. After a ten minute stroll, legs feeling like jello, I reached a gorgeous white pebbled beach with a few big rocks where the waves broke. I dipped my apples into the perfectly clear Mediterranean water and enjoyed the taste of sweet and salt. I then stayed for one of the most beautiful sunsets ever.  Our study abroad coordinator Giuditta later told me that she and her husband watched sunset for their honeymoon at Pomonte.

Pomonte where I washed the apples

Pomonte where I washed the apples

Sunset

Sunset

I took a Pullman back to my hotel enjoying the darkness and nice seat on the bus and then ate the most delicious meal of smoked swordfish, cabbage, and white wine. Since I had been “troppo gentile” the night before according to the waitress, she discounted my dinner. Her husband insisted on giving me his number for scuba diving should I happen to return that summer.

Dead tired, I stretched and passed out…

Upon waking the next morning, I felt noticeably different - spiritually, mentally and physically stronger, accomplished, independent, and confident. I felt more alive and had gained internal stability from the sanctuary and hike. Words cannot come close to describing the feeling, but I can say one thing about traveling.

Rather than worrying about seeing every sight, rushing to catch a bus and confusing oneself with maps, just go with the current like water flowing down a stream.