photo ~ Leigha Hodnet Eat ~ Pray ~ Swim
Earlier this week when I got out of bed and checked my phone, there were nearly 25 messages glaring back at me. Before my morning coffee I began to scroll and read the frantic texts. So much drama of a big fire that had broken out earlier that morning.
Wow, here we go again, I thought.
Moments later, as I sipped my coffee I stared at my computer trying to get a read on what was going on. There were so many dramatic images of the fires with the LA Times talking about 80 mile per hour hurricane winds for the next few days. All this first thing in the morning started to unnerve me. Looking up, I heard the trees rustling in such a way that I realized that one tiny ember from the fire could be quite problematic. I live in the Santa Monica mountains and there were two fires not too far from me.
“Damn, this is getting intense,” I said to myself.
What a coincidence, earlier in the week, I had booked a room in desert hot springs, so I proceeded to pack for my two day adventure. I thought, maybe it’s best to be safe and grab some stuff just in case I can’t get back in. After all, the year before when we were evacuated we couldn’t get back into the canyon for a week.
It was stressful as I rushed around with the sheriff’s department calling on the phone to tell us to start evacuating. One group text was discussing where the fires were and which roads were open and which ones were closed. When someone said, ‘zero containment of the Getty Fire’ my nerves were completely on edge.
Just about then my mind flickered back to a conversation I had with a friend over a year ago, that lost her home due to a fire. I remembered asking if she grabbed all her personal documents when she was being evacuated. “No,” she said. “But why not?” I asked. “I didn’t think my house was going to burn down,” she said, in a solemn tone.
Moments later I was packing my car with valuables documents, clothes but the most important possession of them all, was my precious dog, Violet. It’s interesting when faced with evacuation how much stuff you have that is not relevant at all.
As I drove down the canyon my stomach was in knots and I realized I was hungry, so I stopped in the local café to order some toast and juice. The mountain community where I live always rallies together in times of stress, so I talked to the locals about which road was best to take out to avoid the extreme traffic.
Once back on the road, I drove, until finally I made it out of the canyon. I tried to relax by using my breath to move through my anxiety, but I found it almost impossible to calm my mind. The what-if this, or what if that happens consumed my thoughts all morning long. I realized it was hard to find that inner Zen when you’re swimming in a pool of stress. With so much fear in the air grounding yourself seems light years away. And as an empath, I found it impossible to find my own center.
While I’m driving on the freeway the only thing I had was this breathing technique, so I used all of my concentration to pull my mind back in. With complete focus, I pulled my thoughts, feelings and emotions back to the moment. As I did this, I felt my muscles begin to relax as my mind came back to my body. All of the sudden, a peace washed over me as this presence filled my entire being.
Then I had a realization, geez, this would actually be perfect content to write about in my blog. I mean, after all, isn’t it in these challenging times when people need support to navigate their uncertainty.
Thankfully, I arrived at the hot springs unscathed, and immediately submerged myself in the warm waters of the pool. As I let my body sink into this surrender, I was filled with a profound gratitude. The only real peace it seems comes when you are able to tap into the Inner Zen that lies within.
“Each session with Shari has shifted my life. Some more than others but always in some way I come out feeling weightless, recharged, and in love with the world. Suddenly I can see with total clarity the gifts and possibilities of my own life. No two sessions have ever been the same because Shari meets you where you are, and works to free you from your burdens and blocks. Best of all, if you study with her for as long as I have, she gives you the skills and insight to do this work on your own. Her healing is always with me, and I carry it as a ray of clean white light I can visit anytime deep in my spirit. She will change your life, if you’re ready to work alongside her.” ~ Margaret Wappler