Staying in the Mountains
IEL NEWS: Wishing you and yours a joyful Thanksgiving and happiness as the holiday season begins…
Now I know… at least for now…
You may recall from my blog Embracing the Unknown, that a few months ago my husband and I had a strong sense that we should sell our home in California. We took a leap of faith, followed our intuition and put our home on the market. It sold in just two days! Guided by a vague, yet strong sense that we wanted to live differently, we found ourselves living in our recently purchased second home located in a small town in the mountains. We experienced a freedom and lightness as a result of this move—we were overwhelmingly grateful to be spending time in such a beautiful place and doing our best to remain in the present moment while listening closely for further guidance and next steps. My mantra borrowed from Marlena de Blasi was and continues to be “let life shape itself.”
At times we found ourselves anxious about what the future would hold or what we had left behind. Yet when we stayed present, we realized how exciting it can be to “not know.” Seemingly, a gift of living in the unknown is that you get to be surprised by life. When you live from a place of trusting that all is unfolding for your happiness- the feeling is a perpetual night-before-Christmas sensation.
At some point during the summer it became clear that we had already made our choice, we were going to stay in the mountains. It was one of those decisions that felt right until I started to think about it. Unlike other big-decision, turning points in my life, I did not plan and strategize this… it was happening and I simply allowed it to be. The train was already moving and I just hopped on. When I started to think about our choice, there were many things didn’t “make sense,” but when I sat quietly and tuned-in there was no question, staying felt right. When I turned within I felt a deep peace—it was a decision from the heart.
Here is what I have noticed about my new life and the experience of following my heart:
Being in the Flow: When you allow yourself to go with the flow, everything seems easy. Our new life has fallen into place with a great deal of grace and (relatively) little effort.
Making Choices from a Happy Place: I was very happy and grateful for my life in California. Sure, there were aspects of our lifestyle that did not seem in alignment with my soul or deepest values, but I was not looking for a new place to solve anything or change my life. I think that is why this new place has so profoundly changed my life and I am even happier, I wasn’t leaving behind something I didn’t like, I was simply moving onward…
Naturally More Patient: I have much more patience. In one week—filled with a multitude of moving logistics, goodbye get-togethers and play dates for the kids, camp and school tours, and doctor’s appointments—we somehow also managed to pack up and I did not once lose my patience. I am still not sure how I experienced the grace I did, but I do hope to experience it again!
Different Quality of Being: At the end of the day when my children are sleeping, I noticed I was not as exhausted as I usually was, but instead, energized and filled with gratitude.
Slowing Down: As my sister also recently noted in her blog about her recent vacation, there is no question things move at a different pace in the mountains than in Los Angeles. It is amazing how much more time (and peace) I have by simply not having to deal with traffic. Everything about my day-to-day life is easier, and more enjoyable, to accomplish.
More Time for What I Enjoy, Like Cooking More: Now that I have more time, I am making more meals for my family. The delicious, healthy, simple recipes on my friend’s blog, PamelaSalzman.com, are my go-to, and I also particularly enjoy making whole food smoothies and my own nut milks.
Nature, Space and Peace: Need I say more? It feels great to be in open spaces and surrounded by nature. The children are thriving in this setting—my little one spent the entire summer digging in the dirt. My older one hikes and bikes and both spend hours playing by, or in, the river. To see them interact with the earth in this way feels pure and natural.
Simplicity: Simplicity is something I yearn for and deeply value. I feel I have taken a step closer by letting go of so much. Our home is about a third the size of our previous one and we are living with less than half of our possessions. The children had no after-school activities for our first month here and now each only have one. My focus narrowed to helping the kids adjust to their new life and daily homemaking routines. There is more time for walks, hikes, lying in the hammock, sitting by fires, enjoying meals, and hanging out. I feel simpler and more peaceful on the inside, I think largely because I look at a beautiful view wherever I am in my house. A few people have noticed that my voice has changed. I think it goes along with this earthier experience.
Life is Life: Just to be clear, while I have had many moments of grace and epiphanies, I have had plenty of the mundane moments and lots of “I can’t believe how hard parenting is” thoughts as well. Stuff still happens wherever you are. For me, one or the other of my children has been sick every week since school started! And my husband and I have had the sleepless nights, and arguments, that go along with it. Just because we’re living in our version of paradise, doesn’t mean everything is always perfect.
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Similar to the above, I am still me—along with the good and the less good. All problems don’t disappear with a change of location, but you do often gain a different perspective.
Transformation: Of course we can transform ourselves and our lives wherever we are, but I do believe that different places and homes- just by the their inherent natures—bring out different energies and qualities. Change is good.
So these are the things I have experienced, by going with the flow, listening to my heart, and making a change. I do miss my friends as well as the incredible resources and support I had discovered in LA and at times even the energy of the city, but for now, I know that living here feels good. Beyond this moment, I intend to continue to let life shape itself…