Maui, Sacred Travel

As many of you know, Brandon and I were recently blessed with the opportunity to embark on what I refer to as, sacred travel. The Hawaiian Islands were born from lava millions of years ago creating what I consider one of the most magical, ethereal places on Earth. Four years ago I set the intention to find myself on the Islands and as the stars aligned, I was able to take on the adventure with my best friend. 

We knew with anticipation that this trip was going to be life changing for both of us but within an hour of touching down in Maui we began to realize the extent of the power residing in the Islands. Hawaiian culture is filled with spiritual and mystical knowledge evolving from priesthoods and the kahuna, which were experts that may have served as shamans or sorcerers. Max Freedom Long studied this ancient mysticism for years, coining the term "Huna" meaning "secret" to encompass many of the Hawaiian beliefs and teachings. (Charlotte Berney, Fundamentals of Hawaiian Mysticism). 

We spent the first few days driving down the Road to Hana. We had done little research before starting the two day trek which only added to the adventure. We found ourselves driving through all sorts of terrain, mainly steep and winding roads with signs for falling rocks, only wide enough for oneway traffic. The landscapes were something out of a Jurassic Park film; picturesque waters crashing over jagged lava rocks fifty feet below, jungle vines and leaves the size of ones face hanging over the roads, and every shade of green imaginable. We spent a few mornings at the Red and Black Sand Beaches and continued making our way through jungle territory. Pure exhilaration, I don't think we stopped laughing that entire drive, asking ourselves, "Is this real?".

After a few days of driving the Road to Hana, our snack pile dwindling (being unprepared for the drive, we only had fruit from two stands we had passed by) we finally made it our favorite spot, Paia. We spent the majority of our time finding ourselves drawn back to this cozy little surf town. Conscious cafes, local surfer spots, and live reggae music on the beaches, we felt right at home. Halfway through our trip we were able to fulfill a longstanding dream for both of us, which was to travel out of an old VW camper van. We drove our temporary home on wheels all over the Island and back again, stopping to sleep at beaches and campgrounds. My favorite nights were spent watching shooting stars as we slept on top of the van. 

We spent two weeks driving around that island together - exploring and healing. We set aside time in the mornings to sit in meditation by the waters edge; offering and receiving blessings from the land, writing water prayers, and reconnecting to our guides. We laughed until we cried and we cried until we laughed. We sang our hearts out, danced under the new moon in a drum circle, and gathered every night with the community to watch the sunset. There is something special about a place where everyone greets you with a word that means peace, compassion, and love. And that is exactly what we found here.

Palm Trees and Mountain Tops

What whirlwind it was leaving our first love nest in Memphis, TN and beginning our trek to California. We drove almost twenty four hours through rain, hail, and flurries until finally we saw day break somewhere in New Mexico. While neither of us have had the opportunity to explore the plains of New Mexico our time there was short lived. When we pulled off the highway to refuel ourselves on weak gas station coffee we felt as though we were driving through a post apocalyptic scene. I believe our exhaustion and the dreary weather played a significant part in our eerie delirium but there was no denying that we were being exposed to a drastically different side of life. We drove past miles of broken down tin homes and trailers grouped together, small Native American shops advertising original Native made products, and abandoned cars without a single person in sight. We stopped for breakfast at the only building that appeared to have life and a neon orange sign flashing "OPEN". A small Mexican diner attached to the hotel next door. We were in and out of New Mexico fairly quickly leaving with a strange feeling similar to how Truman felt in The Truman Show. 

We made it to Arizona by noon that Friday. Driving down the mountain from Flagstaff, I found myself on a familiar road of nail biting, steep turns. We watched the temperature fluctuate as we went through heavy snow, rain, and then finally as we neared the bottom, sunshine. I felt blessed to show Brandon around my favorite point on the map, Sedona. We collected crystals and books at Crystal Magick, drove past "the Elders" while exploring the mirage-like canyons, and finally sat down to a much needed, nourishing meal at my favorite restaurant - Chocola Tree. Our afternoon spent in Sedona filled my being with a humbling sense of deja vu as I saw how this journey continues to spiral full circle. Just two moon cycles ago I was walking those same steps in Sedona after having just met Brandon.

After stocking up on coffee and Maca Cacao at Chocola Tree we set out for California. The drive seemed to fly by as I read aloud one our new books, Doreen Virtues, Earth Angels. We stopped right before we got on the Pacific Highway and were hit immediately with the sweet smell of warm, Summer air. I can't begin to explain the overwhelming notion of giddy, childlike awe as the realization set in that we were about to be in California. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, Green Goddess echoing out the radio, we caught the sunset at Malibu Beach. People on rollerblades, dog walkers, and palm trees - I felt the cliche Southern Cali vibe as everyone gathered to watch the sun go down. 

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Palm trees and mountaintops sum up my first impression of Southern California. We spent the next few days as desert dwellers and beach bums exploring giant skull shaped rocks in Joshua Tree Park and Mermaid-like caves on Crystal Cove Beach. Our time in California was spent with good food, old friends, and reggae vibes. One of my favorite mornings was spent enjoying coffee in Santa Monica as the debris of the past two weeks on the road began to settle. 

Our first two weeks on the road together were a turbulent masterpiece. We lived off a staple of coffee, smoothies, and water. We each played our typical roles of Sam and Brandon, leaving everything from braces to blankets strewn across the country (I can see our mothers nodding in agreement as they read this). Our journey continuously placed clear and validating signs directly in our path, enough to affirm that we are being divinely guided and protected. We have begun to find a rhythm to our madness, riding out each wave as we learn more about each other. Some would call what we are doing crazy and maybe it is. But the way I see it, life is in constant flux, changing and evolving. When you find someone you can ride the waves with and add more of a sense of balance to your reality, why not dive in? 

Chapter 2017

(Photo taken at Boynton Canyon Trail, Sedona, Arizona)

(Photo taken at Boynton Canyon Trail, Sedona, Arizona)

As I sit here and reflect upon the last year, I begin to feel a deep understanding settling into my bones. A deep understanding of the old saying, "what goes up, must come down". Looking back at the past two years, I realize how drastically my worlds have shifted. I spent the majority of 2015 with my backpack, my dear friend, and limited funds - leaving our barefoot prints across this country. While that year made for experiences fit for a Kerouac novel, it spit me out in a starry eyed state of exhaustion and delirium. The following year was spent reflecting and recuperating in the safe haven of my parents home where I spent many nights trying to calm the nerves of the temporarily forgotten chaos of "normalcy". I spent a good portion of my time resisting this return. As with many life experiences, I did not understand at the time just how important that year was. Little did I know, that as I sat there reminiscing over my adventures, I was actually setting the foundation for magick that I could not yet fathom. 

The first few cold months of 2016 were spent in hibernation mode. My bedroom, "the fairy nook", became a sacred space filled with candles burning, crystals, and my journal. That stormy winter was filled with attempts to grasp the previous year through writing. I was resentful and in slight denial that I was to live at home for the foreseeable future. On January 14th I wrote, 

"Buzzing wires suddenly replaced the still
mountains echo. Seems all the story lines remain
the same. I came home to a book I knew the
ending to, but chose to read it over and over again. 
Im a different woman now and you're still the same man. 
I wont have this dance, I don't think I can. 
This solid ground is too much and the certainty here
makes me uncertain.
I long for the mountains and their unsteady touch.
For all the reasons I am loved, I am also disdained.
For my spirit follows the wind
- disappearing wild and untamed. "

Needless to say, it took me some time to readjust to the "buzzing wires". But once I did, I spent the rest of the winter focusing on my passion - healing work. There is an Buddhist saying that "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Well, that they did and in droves it seemed. I began working with an old friend - a very talented medium on the South Shore who consequently lead me to an introduction class in Theta Healing (something I thought I had tapped into while in Boulder, Co - come to find later, I was working with something quite different). I wound up pursuing this healing modality and taking a three day workshop where I became a certified Basic DNA ThetaHealing Practitioner.  That weekend stood as another affirmation or marker point in my journey as a healer. I began the seriously uncomfortable yet unavoidable soul work that awaits us all - looking introspectively at just some of my subconscious belief systems. This was just the beginning of a life long endeavor, but almost one year later, I am humbled at what I have unearthed and healed within myself.

It was at this workshop that I was lead to my first venture to Sedona, Arizona. The teacher, my now dear friend, Beth, often spoke of her mentors throughout the weekend. One in particular seemed to strike a chord in many of us. I put my manifestation skills to the test and within two months I found myself on a flight to Sedona, Arizona for a week long retreat to study under Gene Ang, Ph.D. It was both a blessing and an honor to be learning alongside woman of all ages that I felt a striking notion of nostalgia with, as if we had all done this together many life times ago. The retreat was focussed on The Diamond Light Body. We did group meditations and hikes through the many vortexes of Sedona such as Cathedral Rock Trail, Bell Rock Canyon, and Boynton Canyon Trail. Vortices are certain places where the energy appears to come out of the Earth - leaving their mark on trees twisted and twined. The feeling I experienced from this energy was comparable to a dreamlike state of euphoria and deja vu. I learned about bio geometry, quantum spoon bending, and different meditation techniques. And alas, it would not be a voyage fit for a gypsy unless I skipped a day of the retreat to cruise down Route 89 with the top down just to explore the local biker town rich with haunted history. We danced, we drank, (we almost took a motorcycle ride) and we shopped until we dropped! And as the divinely guided beings that we are, we found ourselves ending the wildly adventurous day in the home of a well respected sound healer of Sedona. Sweet Mary Claire had opened her home to myself and my partner in crime where she offered what still stands as one of the most shifting, powerful, and perplexing healings I have yet to experience. 

My first trip to Sedona propelled me even further into understanding my journey. I came home with the flames in my heart reignited. I spent the Spring taking classes with yet another wonderful teacher who seemed to answer my call, or rather, maybe I answered theirs. Once a week I would gather with a small group of women to partake in an Advanced Mediumship Workshop. This is the time frame that the circuits really began to fire. I was beginning to gain confidence in my innate abilities as a medium and a healer. I began to see a bigger picture with a bit of clarity as pieces of the puzzle came full circle. 

Once Summer approached, I had finally come to peace with the fact that I was home. I began utilizing the resources and time I had with gratitude. I started the Summer working for at the time, an acquaintance, selling her herbal skincare products at farmers markets around Boston. My place in the story of Lightning Willow Farm had just begun. My Summer days were spent chasing baby goats, roasting in the kitchen as we made rosewater toner (the Rosemary Gladstar way), and making meaningful connections with customers at the farmers markets - all to the sound of Meaghan's childrens laughter. These Summer days turned into Fall nights all too quickly and our time spent making rosewater and skinny dipping in the cold tub shifted into sipping coffee, making lists by the fireplace, and dreaming up new intentions for the future of Lightning Willow Farm. Magickal, right? One day I aspire to write a childrens book about the happenings on Lightning Willow Farm. My experience there has been nothing short of whimsical, fairy folklore. My connection to this family, this business is solidified in pure, authentic love. Throughout my time spent at Lightning Willow Farm, Meaghan and I began co-facilitating Full Moon Gatherings for women each month. This was a project each of us had been feeling a strong urge to bring into fruition. It did not take long until these events took off, bringing women of all ages and walks of life together to create a safe, sacred place of celebration. I have developed a strong sense of the divine feminine just within this past year. To be able to express, explore, and celebrate that with other women has been incredibly eye opening and humbling. 

As winter returned yet again, I was lucky enough to take on a second adventure to Sedona. This retreat was lead by the woman who taught my Advanced Mediumship Workshop. This time around was quite different. I was able to travel to the Grand Canyon, the Buddhist Stuppah, the Petrified Forest, and different Native American Reserves. I was with about twenty-five women, each with their own unique niche in healing. I felt like a sponge, absorbing as much knowledge and wisdom as I could. I have never felt such a strong sense of community, a sense of tribal sistarhood in a sense. 

Looking back at this year, 2016 was all about setting the stage for whats to come in 2017. Whether I knew it at the time or not, I needed to take the time to quiet my mind, nourish my body, and develop my healing abilities. 2016 provided me with the tools I am going to need moving forward, for that I am sure. I have learned that if you put in the work, you will see the results - may it be physically, mentally, or spiritually. I came home in utter resistance at the start of 2016. But once I got out of my own way, I silenced my ego and trusted the Universe, then I was able to put in the work. I finished the last class of my undergraduate career, I pushed myself to understand and dismantle detrimental belief systems and patterns, and I began putting the puzzle pieces back together. In 2015 I learned unwavering trust in myself. In 2016 I learned unwavering trust in the Universe. With that being said, I have never felt more ready - open - and trusting for what this Chapter 2017 has in store.