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27 Years of Living and Learning in Los Angeles !

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June marks 27 years living in California.

Here are 27 things I have learned about living in Los Angeles after  27 years of living here:

1)  I really don’t have to fit in with the crowd here–NOR do I want to!

2)  In time, everyone talks like a “Californian.”  We say things like, “yeah, traffic was so great today–I took the 405 to the 101 then down Kanan to PCH into Malibu, then back up Malibu Canyon to the 101 to the 405 and home–I flew the whole time!” We actually don’t say this very often, it’s usually, “the 405 sucked today!”  I feel sorry for anyone who has to get on it every day. 

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3)  There  are so many natural places to play, it’s not just a cement jungle!  There are the San Gabriel’s, the Santa Susana’s and my stomping grounds, the Santa Monica Mountains.  Hike, Bike, PLAY! 

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4)  When I go to Beverly Hills, I feel like a fish out of water!  There are oversized lips and boobs and the gaudiest cars and stores and everyone WANTS you to see them.  It just feels odd.

5)  My environment caters to my healthy lifestyle–everywhere I go! Health food stores, restaurants, markets, healthy pharmacies, juice bars, and yoga studios abound!
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6)  Meetup.com inspires me in more ways than just meeting people.  Meeting people is easy because there are a lot of people and there are a lot of people wanting to meet people! 

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7)  Riding my bike along the 22 mile ocean bike path from Pacific Palisades to Palos Verdes has been a dream of mine since I was 10- pure joy and exhilarating beauty!
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8)  Yes, you CAN find lots of places to ride horses and yes your childhood dreams can come true and yes you could live on a private horse ranch and learn more than you could ever imagine about horses–I did!
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9)  Yes, you can go to the beach in the morning and be on the ski slopes by afternoon!  Road trips up North are my favorite–the whole of this state thrills me!  The hike/climb up to Half Dome in Yosemite is a major highlight!

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10)  Rainy days are embraced and cherished, they provide a much-needed break from all the sunshine!

11)  Malibu really does feel like a small town.  It is as beautiful as you might imagine.  Malibu is where my soul resides, it is my Shangri-La! 
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12)  I love the endless choice of yoga studios in Santa Monica–The Mecca of Yoga.  I’ve learned from many teachers and they’ve all been in Santa Monica.  I know how fortunate I am to live HERE.   I can’t imagine my life without my yoga practice!

13)  People who live in affluence are not as you imagine–most I have met, anyway, are the real deal– lovely and generous and some of the nicest people in my sphere.  To judge anyone for any reason is the most limiting activity there is!

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Classy Cat!

14)  Even though this is a big city with lots of people, sometimes a person can feel very alone.  Other times, it is so small and I run into people I know all over the place!

15)  Driving in traffic can be beautiful, honestly!  I see massive amounts of beauty from high atop the freeway overpasses.  And no, traffic doesn’t only happen in Los Angeles, traffic happens in every city!  I love my electric car,  it actually gains miles on the battery while in traffic instead of sucking up gas!
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16) I love being by the beach and feeling the cool of the ocean air.  Just as much, I love being over the hill in the Valley at night, the breeze is warm and balmy and there is no need for sweaters or jackets!

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17)  Not driving my car and riding my bike to work is freedom!

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18)  Yes, you can enjoy going to museums–my favorite is  just across the canyon–The J. Paul Getty museum off the busiest freeway–the 405!  I have a confession to make though, once I took a friend there and we didn’t even go inside and look at the art.  We stayed outside looking at the gardens and the views of the city!  The art IS amazing though, so hard to comprehend the precision and talent that exists in all of us.

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19)  I have made more friends here than anywhere I’ve ever lived. 

20)  The free concerts on the Santa Monica Pier in the summertime FEEL really good.  To be out in the night-time ocean air listening to music and meeting new people is my kind of night!

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21)   There are farmers markets everyday of the week all year round in my town and surrounding towns.  That is such a gift!

22)  In all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve not taken one day for granted.  I love where I live and have lived and I’m so glad I made the bold move out here those 27 years ago.

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23)  Again, I say, “fitting in”  is not an option for me here.  Authenticity does exist and only we can choose it for ourselves.  The alternative is working really hard to look good to all the people around you.  Ugh,  as Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, “envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide!”

24) Take time to play, it is the secret to perpetual youth!
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25) Maintain a high energetic vibration and if for some reason it feels weak and vulnerable, get the negative people out of your life.  Your vibration needs to be the dominant one.

26)  When life beats you up a bit, remember, you are growing and expanding because of it!
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27)  Cutting people OUT of our lives is a necessity.  You don’t have to be NICE to everyone, make your boundaries strong!

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California Dreams–Letting 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 23 years now.  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!IMG_0920

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 23 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, 2014 marks 23 years of living in California.  From the age of 10, I spent 20 years dreaming of living in California.onewiththetrailtara

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 live the lifestyle I lived when I lived in Michigan.  I lived it in my own little world there because my environment didn’t really support it.

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 23 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