On one of the first nights in my new home, I awoke from a restful sleep in the middle of the night. My house is in the woods surrounded by many tall evergreen trees. There no curtains on the windows; even the previous tenants liked it this way.
As I awoke, I could see a light shining through the window. Not a day light, but not complete darkness either. It was kind of like the first light of the morning breaking. But the house was quiet, and I knew it was still night. It must have been the moonlight.
I got up out of bed and started to walk to one of the high windows in my second story bedroom. The cathedral ceiling is about 15 feet high. Near the top is a semicircle window about 6 foot wide and three feet high. It is big and beautiful and it needs to be to be able to see above the towering 100 foot evergreens surrounding the house.
On this night, the moon was full or close to it and as I walked towards this moon glow coming in from the window I could finally see the moon sitting just above the tops of these tall trees. The glow was coming from it barely shining through a dense fog surrounding the trees and house.
It was stunning and beautiful. I knew I wasn’t in Austin anymore. It was as if the hidden beauty of the area had gently awakened me at this perfect time to welcome me with this enchanted magical beauty.
It was a personal hello.
Since being here, I have had some awakenings about being where you are supposed to be and where you are not.
As much as we loved the idea of Austin, we could never really connect there. Not just with people, but with the land, the environment. Some said we should get out there, do more, find things to do in Austin to make ourselves happy there. We needed to change in order to adapt to our surroundings.
I guess this could be done, but at what cost? For those of you who have lived in many places like I have, I am sure this will be something you recognize. For those who have been in one place most of your lives, I hope this can be something to stimulate your thinking a bit.
Since I have landed in Northern California — a place not unfamiliar to me — I have felt home from the very first day. My family and I had searched for this feeling of home for over 2 years in Austin, but we never found. Our 8 year old boy right away said how much he liked it here and felt at home. He’s focusing better and interacting without the fog of allergies affecting him. Our allergies are gone and we can breathe and think better. The water here is some of the purest in the world and our skin feels different, we are even sleeping better.
But I knew this. Every time I came to visit this place for the last 20 years, whether for a few days or a few weeks, I have been welcomed with open arms by both the people and the environment. I have traveled all over the United States and a lot of the world. Only two places that give me this feeling. Both are in California, and I now call one of them my home.
I delved deeper into the experience of what is happening for me here. I realized that when I am here, I don’t desire much of anything at all. I seem to have a general contentment with just being. The environment and this place supports most of my spiritual, mental, and physical needs. I have pure, clean water, I have a beautiful home, but there was something deeper within my soul that is supported in this place.
I don’t have the worries I had in Austin, or even the worries I had in New York before that. There is a general peace and trust in the knowing that I am supported here even though I have no other evidence for this than the feeling of being nourished in a profound and deep way.
This realization that I feel so different here makes me ask myself, “What things did I crave to make up for that loss when I wasn’t feeling that?”
In order for me to live in Austin, without this sense of nourishment I receive here, I had big needs. I needed a big house with an incredible view. I need to eat out at the best restaurants to feel good from the food, or at least a #7 with Coke from Wendy’s ( I am smiling). I needed a nice BMW 7 series to make me feel good while dealing with Austin traffic, and surely hanging out with my Buddy Joe Vitale in his Rolls Royce drinking 18-year old Macallan Scotch, smoking the finest Cuban Cigars, looking at the newest handmade guitar he just purchased. While these things were fun, and they did distract me from this deeper loss, when the night was over and I was driving the 30 minutes from Joe’s house to mine, this loss would begin to percolate through. It was as if I had a sense of something missing, a sense of being on the wrong track… a sense of needing certain things to keep me distracted.
It was like I was selling my soul in pieces. It was like I was negotiating for what I would need in the present moment to not feel what was missing. What shiny dangly thing would I sell my present attention for?
The question always seemed to be, “What would I need to have in order to stay where I am not supposed to be?”
And I was always up for the game. From the time I was a child, I have known this dynamic in me.
When I would go to Las Vegas, I would get stimulated by the lights and the new buildings, the glamour, the people smiling, the beautiful people all dressed nicely at their best. I was always hesitant to let go and enjoy this type of stimulation because a part of me knew that it was only sustainable for a short period of time. And even though I didn’t get into the scene completely, I would still come home and feel my body and mind get a little depressed after having the access to the constant top-of-the-line stimulation Las Vegas offers taken away.
I was aware of this. What was it like for those not aware of this? As soon as they got home and felt a biological depression of their central nervous system (similar to coming down off a drug like cocaine), they would be looking for their next fix, their next trip to Vegas.
Are you are doing what you don’t necessarily want to be doing? Are you living in a place that is not right for you? Are you with a person you shouldn’t be with? In a job you don’t like?
What are you giving up?
When I decided to go into the military years ago, I was promised all kinds of things to do it. Why?
Because there was risk involved. I might lose my life in the process and I was committed to peeling as many potatoes or cleaning as many bathrooms as they wanted me to during this contract. But if they gave me this shiny, dangly thing I could look forward to in the future, I guess I would give up my present life for their food and cot and the ability to do with me what they would.
How many contracts are you in like that? What do you tell yourself to make it okay?
As I continue fleshing this idea out, please write to me and let me know what you discover about where you are stuck and where you know you should be.
If you have any questions let me know. I will do my best to respond on the blog.
All in all, what I would like to explore with you is some territory I am pretty good at helping others navigate.
Let’s explore the depths of who you really are, what you should be doing, and where you might be living. Let’s discover how to get you pointed to your own true north, how to find your own personal home where you begin to feel supported naturally.
People asked me what I meant by teaching a different ho’oponopono than Joe teaches. Well it is not really that different. It is different in the approach and understanding.
I am going to be teaching how these spiritual practices can nourish you at a place beyond the temporary.
You go after a new car to get a certain feeling. However, that feeling is temporary. It wanes. It is only a fix: an agreement to put a band-aid on the real issue.
I say we explore and see about getting you nourished with flowing waters that don’t stop giving.
Are we supposed to trade the temporary for this? Are we supposed to settle for less? Should we negotiate in order to have it?
Should we suffer or be a martyr for lack of it? Should others tell us this and direct our lives for what they think it is? Should government control this, or even churches?
Or should you? My goal is not to tell you what it is that nourishes you or even who or where. My goal is to help you find the tools in you to discover it yourself.