But tonight, my packing was finished, or as far as can be finished without the final shower, the last batch of laundry, the loading of the truck. Tonight, I celebrated the end of packing with a cold Scotch ale and my last sunset at Sunset Cliffs in OB. It was not a sad night, not a night where I was teary-eyed at all that I was leaving behind, oh no. Tonight was a celebration. As I watched the beautiful waves heave themselves against the cliffs, then draw back out toward the horizon again, a metaphor for my life right now, a deep seated feeling spread throughout me and took me by surprise. Tears came to my eyes. Because I was indescribably happy for the first time in so long.
More and more, I’m being called to “feel” my way through life — to make fewer decisions based on logic and intellect and more based on how they feel to me. As a very mundane example, the other day I had some time between appointments in Solana Beach, so I went to one of my favorite stores (The Leaping Lotus — don’t kid me, you know you could spend hours there). They have this fabulous scented oil I like, so I went and found it, then started looking around. I found a dress I liked and tried it on. For the next 20 minutes, I analyzed the pros and cons of buying the dress. Could I afford it? What bills did I have left to pay? Did I need it? Would I wear it in Seattle? After all the analyzing my mind was overwhelmed and I finally bought the darn thing, only to walk out of the store and have a huge sense of guilt plague me. So I did something I’ve never done before — I walked right back into the store and returned it, no apologies, just doing what I felt was right for me.
As a bigger example: people keep asking me why I’m moving to Seattle. The only answer that seems honest is, “It just feels right.” I feel good in Seattle. I don’t have huge opportunity awaiting me that I know of, although it feels that way. My family doesn’t live there, and I’ve only recently spent time there. But when I’m there, my body has this sense of settling and grounding that I haven’t felt in years. The air smells cool and crisp in the morning that lets me sense that fall is right around the corner. It feels more like home than any place I’ve lived in the past six years, so I’ve decided to move there. It feels right.
This morning I did yoga on the sea cliffs near my house, and then again tonight I watched the sunset from the same cliff. The swell has picked up, and the waves are bigger than they have been in a while. I used to surf a lot. I used to feel the energy of the water moving underneath me almost everyday, and everyday it was different. On a big swell day, I had to be more careful with my choices in waves or else I might get caught inside, taking the greatest impact from the waves. As any regular surfer knows, if you are caught off guard in big swell, the waves to with you what they will. However, if you do get caught in that unfortunate wave, it’s best to relax and let the water move you, rather than struggle against a force that is so much greater than you.
That’s how this year has been. When I went to India at the beginning of this year, I realize now that was me fully stepping on my spiritual path, like a surfer choosing her wave. And as those who enter onto a spiritual path know, once you step on, there’s no stepping off. Once you’ve chosen your wave, you’re on it for the entire ride, whether you fall off or ride strong. Sometimes, you might feel like you’re drowning, but if you learn to relax, chances are you’ll resurface, because you were smart enough to chose the right wave for you. Choosing to follow a spiritual path is similar — you might feel overwhelmed at times, but the key is to learn to relax, to trust that if spirit led you to this path, you’ll resurface again.
I’m resurfacing. In this moment, I’m resurfacing. I don’t know what the future brings. For all I know, I’ll resurface just in time to see another wave cover me. But I don’t think that will happen, and even if it does, it’s okay — I’m learning to relax.
I’ve been so blessed in San Diego — this place has taught me so much. The lessons weren’t always easy, and some days I wished to be other places, but I have grown more in the last four years than I might have my whole life. I’ve been given a wonderful group of people who I love and who support me, and I am forever grateful for them.
I’ve spent the past week letting go of my old identity. I’ve said goodbye to those I need to leave behind, and farewell for now to those I will see again soon. I’ve done my best to stay grounded while I’m still here — to each morning greet the day in nature and plant my feet firmly in the sand so that I stay present here. Tomorrow, I will load up and start the trek to Seattle. I am excited! My intention is to leave behind anything that kept me from realizing all of my hopes, dreams and wishes; to learn from my past but live in the present; and to be brave as I move into the next phase of my life. I’m ready to keep this happiness. I’m ready to be back on the surface.