Apr 24, 2010

Eat. Pray. Love.

I am re-reading one of my favorite travel memoirs on my 2-week road trip through the Front Range. Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book is a cleverly constructed, and often times humorous, true story about a women, that when her life falls apart, sets off on a year long pilgrimage to find “worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence”. She travels to three different countries, spending four months in each.

She starts in Italy to Eat and experience the pleasure of yummy food. Then she spends 4 months in an ashram in India to Pray. It is here that she comes to more fully understand the Zen saying “You cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water." She concludes the year in Indonesia, where she lives in community to integrate Pleasure and God to experience and embrace balance and Love in her life.

The construct of this book serves as a perfect guidebook for my journey. I too am going to 3 destinations (Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs). I decide to read one section per place, and let the themes of her travels influence mine.

My first location is Denver. My intention is to explore the city as a possible new place to live. I hang out in different communities, go to coffee shops, city parks and public attractions to meet the people that live there and tap into the vibe of this town. I do have an intention to eat a lot as well. I need to make sure there is good Thai food and good Mexican food if I am going to live here (there is).

The second leg of my adventure takes me to Boulder, a smaller city deeper in the mountains. This is where Naropa University is located. I have a dream of going to this college to get my Masters Degree in Somatic Psychology. I meet the head of the department and sit in on a Movement Therapy class to experience the energy of the school. I take the contents of the class with me into the mountains were I pray for 3 days. And yes, I did buy prayer beads in Boulder, which are featured on the cover of this book.

My final destination is Colorado Springs. I have several friends in the area, one of which I have known for over 20 years. They are a great group of Harley Davidson Bike riders and avid Rocky Mountain campers. I stay with them for several days, sinking into the joyful experience of community and love created from friendship and camaraderie.

Eat. Pray. Love. is an amazing book. I highly recommend you read it. This was my third time reading it, and it still inspires me to expand more fully into the moment and into the magic of adventure. It is here, in the fullness of the now that I am able to open up to receive the pleasure of love and the continual embrace of God.

If you would like to see images from the first part of my trip, see YouTube Video Creations on the side bar.

Apr 1, 2010

The Front Range

The lease on my San Diego apartment expires in a couple months. I’ve been in this location for 7 years, and although it has served me well, I am ready for something new!!! I want a place where I can look out my window and see nature and wildlife. I want to move from apartment living into a house with a yard so I can grow a garden and have community gatherings around a fire pit.

As I get clarity on my Soul Needs, Colorado comes to mind as a possible new place to live. It would get me closer to nature, get me more in tune with the seasons of nature, and position me in an environment that will attune my spirit more fully with the grace of the divine.

I decide to go on a personal business trip of sorts to check things out and see if moving to Colorado is a possibility for me. I set off for a couple weeks to explore the Front Range, which consists of cities located on the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains, such as Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs.

The first thing I need to bring up about possibly moving to Colorado is that it snows...a lot. This would be a huge change for me, having lived in San Diego most of my life. I’ve talked to several people that live on the Front Range and they all seem to say the same thing...when it snows, it does so for short periods of time (like a day or two) and the sun shines most of the time so it makes it easier to deal with.

I can see how the sun shining would be a huge benefit, however, there is still the bundling up against the cold and the wind, and let's not forget the shoveling of snow. I found out that cities in this area even have laws requiring that you shovel the walkways in front of your house. That seems like a lot of work to me.

Even through the idea of living with snow is crazy to me, when I check in with my Soul Needs, I discover that I am aching to more fully experience the change of the seasons. In San Diego, the weather pretty much stays the same all year round, which is fabulous on many levels, however, living closer to the elements and experiencing the 4 seasons would enable me to go deeper with my personal evolution and connect me more fully to the forces that sustain and inspire me.

I’m excited about the Soul Journey I’m stepping into with my upcoming move. A lot of changes are on the horizon for me and I am honored to share my experiences and mindful musings with you along the way.