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California–Letting The Dream Go

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I remember my second visit to California, I was 18 years old and loving this place!  Near the end of my trip, I read some graffiti on a freeway overpass, “Tourists GO HOME”! 

I remember feeling really bad when I read it, almost like I had been personally attacked.

I couldn’t understand how someone would want me to go home.  I thought to myself, “gosh if I lived here, I would want to meet all the people that came from all over the world to visit”.  That’s just how I am, I love finding out about people.MeetupPhoto

I’m still the same way all these years later, if I meet somebody new I want to know all about them.  I’ve lived in this state for 21 years now and I feel as if I was born here.  I wasn’t born here, but I did live here when I was a baby and I feel as if California is in my bones.  I love this place, it is so magnificent!

Where else can you go to the beach then take a 2 to 5 hour drive and be in the mountains with snow?  Everywhere I go here, I feel at home.

California!  I’ve been up and down the coast and everywhere I go is total bliss.  It really is no wonder that people want to visit here, let alone move here.  If you knew what we had to endure in Michigan, you would have a heart and be okay with us being here.  While it is true, there are lots of people and cars, how can you blame them all?  This a a gorgeous place!

I remember one of the women at the gym complaining about all the cars flooding from the valley to go to the beach.  She said, “vals, go home, we don’t want you here”. 

It’s funny, I thought to myself, she moved here from Ontario Canada–who is she to talk?  Vals are the people who live in the San Fernando Valley.  It is a good 15-25 degrees hotter than on the beach.  Gosh, they deserve to enjoy the beach.  I can see it from both sides, though.  When I spend most of my time up and down the coast because I work in Malibu and live in Brentwood, there can be a huge amount of traffic in the summer months because of everyone flooding to the beach.  It’s all good though, we’re just enjoying where we get to live and play!taraonpaseo

I enjoy where I live and play every day.  Today, as I drove the stretch of PCH that takes me to my long time place of work, The Malibu Gym, I marveled at the beauty of Point Dume’ in the distance.

Honestly, I don’t think there has been one day in the 21 years I’ve been driving that coast that I haven’t been in awe of the sight of it when I see it. IMG_0785

I do wonder, how is it possible to love a place so much?

The month of June, 2013 marks 22 years of living in California.  From the age of 10, I spent 20 years dreaming of living in California.

Some might say it became everything I focused upon.

The DJ in the college cafeteria only had to see me and know that it was time to play my song, “California Dreamin”.  Class after class of teaching, I always ended in the relaxed visualizing mode and saw myself here, happy and vibrant!  Then, after years of postponing my move either because of school or a job or a boyfriend,  I made it happen.  I had dreamed and visualized and listened and dreamed some more and then I moved to California.

I had no car, no job, no place to live–I just had to be here once and for all.

So many dreams came true for me.  I lived on a private horse ranch and attended horse clinics to learn how to be confident in riding and dealing with horses–my childhood dream come true!

Today, I am surrounded by health food stores, healthy restaurants,  nature abounding everywhere I turn, near perfect weather, people I adore and so much more!

I love the life I’ve created.  I ride my bike, I hike the trails, practice yoga at my choice of a plethora of studios.  I live in a neighborhood that simply must be one of the prettiest in the country.  fuscia flowersAbundance surrounds me in every direction I turn.  I am worthy of it all because I brought it to life with my visions and my strong desire.

Now, after 22 years of fully embracing and loving this place, I had the thought of letting it go.

Let it go and move onto something different.  I am open to that.  Montana seems to be pulsing in my radar these days.  Colorado is another place calling to me although the thought of the Winter months don’t really appeal to me.   Hawaii could work for me.  Wyoming is a mystery to me still. Or, I could stay here and just keep living it in the blissful fashion I’ve carved out for myself.

The feeling I had, though, when I let go of the need to be here and the need to stay here was so freeing.  pacific palisades hike

By letting go, we simply surrender to either something better or keeping that which we have.  It was obvious I had been clinging to being here.  I could feel such a total sense of freedom when I just let go.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? “I am open to everything and attached to nothing”.  That sounds like a good plan.  I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say it many years ago and until you experience it in one area of life, you won’t really know how good it feels.

I am feeling this way in several areas of life and it feels like a dream–as  good as the California dream I had all those years ago!purple passion point dume

STREET Smarts–Detroit Taught Me Well

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Today,  I am feeling very appreciative of my mom and the freedom she graced upon her kids.  She gave us so much space and exposed us to more than the average person, I’m sure of it now.

When I was a young girl, we would go and visit my Grandma and Grandpa in the Cass Corridor, Downtown Detroit area.   The Cass Corridor is where the riots broke out in the heart of Detroit in 1963.

It was a real raw city, indeed. 

My Grandpa would walk us to the park downtown where we would feed the pigeons.  He was in a very sick phase of his life, and there were many times that he would have to lay down on the side of the street and take a nap.

My sister, Valorie,  and I were about 8 and 10 years old.  We would just sort of linger there while grandpa napped.  We were harassed by all sorts of people.

We learned the subtle art of knowing when to speak and when not to pay any attention.  There is a huge difference. 

If you look someone in the eye that should not be looked in the eye, you learn quickly what you did wrong.  When you ignore someone that you should have spoken to, you learn quickly what you should have done.  Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Most of the people I know are afraid of going to areas that seem unsafe.  Quite frankly, most people just don’t go.  When I was  a teenager and driving, I would drive my friends to downtown Detroit.  There were some amazing ethnic festivals at The Hart Plaza down on the riverfront.   Talk about a place to party and meet people from all over the metropolitan area, this was it.

If my friend’s parents knew they were down there, they would have thrown a fit!

To me, being downtown was not a big deal and it was not dangerous.  My Mom worked downtown all of my young years, my Grandparents lived downtown, and it was part of my vibe.   

If you aren’t exposed to the diversity at a young age, when will you be?

That, I believe, is the problem with most people who are filled with fear about going to certain neighborhoods.  If they’ve never had any experience carrying themselves down a city street, you’d better believe they’re going to show it. 

Body language and posture is everything. 

If you have no confidence, it will show and you will be an easy victim if anyone were interested.

Just the other day, I was in an area in Los Angeles that I would not necessarily  choose to go to.  I had bought a Living Social deal and I wasn’t sure of the area it was in.  Sure enough, as I drove toward the address, things weren’t looking all that fabulous.

It was a run down neighborhood and the people were definitely diverse and,  in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

I had a voucher and it expired TODAY.  Since I was juice fasting, I was going to get my full supply for the day and take them to go–all juice.  As I handed the cashier my voucher to pay, he announced that it was dine in only.

Shoot, I had no choice so I decided to sit there and drink a couple hours away.  I needed my computer which was in my car.

I walked to my car, which incidently had my bicycle on top of it, and grabbed my laptop and walked back.

There were people of all sorts out there.  Some in their yard, some on the street, some lingering in the old garage business on the corner.

They were diverse and it did feel like I was on the streets of Detroit from my childhood. 

The beautiful thing, though, was that  they were not at all offended by my presence.  The tough chick walking by was one of those you just don’t engage.  The older woman, who seemed a bit out of sorts and maybe a little intoxicated,  was pleasant and a simple smile worked with her.

All I can say is, I am so appreciative of my upbringing and the example my mom set for me.

I appreciate her for exposing me to all the neighborhoods, not just the suburbs. 

Fear just wasn’t present in my body when I was out there.  All was well.

I guess if you are already an adult and you  weren’t prepared to navigate in such neighborhoods, you probably should stay out of bounds until you learn the art of posture.  Or, come with me and you’ll be fine.

All is well and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood–wherever it is!