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


Baffled by Bottle Brush


I was at the end of taking a group on a hike in Malibu.

It was a magical day as always. 

One of the hikers and I landed on a curb to do some stretching.  The tree that lined the curb was a gorgeous bottle brush tree.  I mentioned that they happen to be my favorite tree, she concurred–they were her favorite as well.

We simply began basking and appreciating this tree and everything about it and all the others we have seen.  She spoke of the bottle brush tree she has in her back yard.  We went on and on about this tree,  just loving it up!

We said our goodbyes and I was onto the next phase of my day.  A few hours later as I was driving to my next appointment, there was a bunch of traffic on the main street so I chose to take a side street.

As I drove block after block after block, all I saw on each side of the street was bottle brush trees.  I was literally immersed in bottle brush trees.  Every size and shape was represented on this street–some were groomed and some were wildly growing in every direction.

All I could do was gasp and tears began rolling down my face.  This was clearly the power of the universe/God/Source, whatever you want to call it, bringing me more of what I was so fervently appreciating earlier.  Oh, to be sure, Law of Attraction abounds and is at work in every part of our days.  This is just a simple example of how easy it can be to manifest.  Are you noticing?

All Cooperative Components


My life has been so magical lately that I just want to keep on getting out in it and see what happens next.

Today was a really long day…a 3.5 hour mountain bike ride in the heat of the day, 2 hours in the car to and from the trail head and I still found myself wanting to get out there and do something.  Yes, I wanted a nap but honestly, I have been experiencing so much synchronicity that I just pushed through nap time and looked for more life to live.

When life starts to get in the groove and it seems like all cooperative components come together for your good, who wouldn’t want to squeeze more of that out of life?   Here is a recent story:

One of my long time (16 year) training clients is taking a cholesterol lowering medication.  I am not a fan of prescription medicine and this type of drug has many side effects.

I had given him a 3 part article on these effects so that he’d be aware and able to choose for himself. 

I consider it my job to make sure he knows what I know and I try not to shove it down his throat but get him information which he can choose to do (or not do) something about.

On a Wednesday I had given him the articles to read then I saw him again on Saturday.

I had spontaneously sent him an email in the morning suggesting we take a hike instead of meeting at the gym as usual.  To my surprise, he accepted (he hasn’t wanted to hike for about a year).

As we were driving to our hiking location, he explained that he read all three articles and they scared him.  He looked into who wrote the articles and concluded that he wouldn’t trust their word.

He went to The Mayo Clinic site and got the information he wanted to hear…that they were safe and he didn’t need to supplement with CoQ10.   The articles I had given him explained why it was extremely important to take CoQ10 if you were on cholesterol lowering medications.

As he told me, I listened but accepted what he said.  I was just glad that I could do my part and I wasn’t attached to his decision to do (or not do) anything about it.

In the past, however, I would try to convince him every way I could.  This day, though, I just let go and released any attachment to his decision.

On our way back he needed to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for his wife.  I had never really talked to Raj,  the homeopathic pharmacist (and traditional pharmacist) that he always raved about,  so he was excited that I was along for the ride. 

As he approached the counter, I browsed the isles and the different supplements they carried.  I saw the CoQ10 supplement we had just been talking about and held it up for him and said, “look Arnold, here it is”.

The pharmacy technician at the counter commented on what a great supplement that is…especially for people who are on cholesterol lowering medications.  Arnold said, “oh really, why is that”.

She explained all the technical details and I remained quiet…this was working out perfectly.

Then Arnold asked the pharmacist what he thought of the CoQ10 supplement…Raj agreed, “anyone who is taking a statin should take this, it is so important”.  “Why didn’t Dr. Bateman tell me about this”, Arnold implored?

The pharmacist explained that some doctors stick to their medical training only and don’t look into any alternative options.  In the end, Arnold bought the supplement and I was thrilled.

What was so synchronistic about this was how perfectly all the information I had given him was validated by a brilliant pharmacist that he whole heartedly trusted.  Had I not suggested us taking a hike instead of going to the gym we wouldn’t have been together in the pharmacy and I wouldn’t have picked up the CoQ10 to be our topic of discussion.  It was so fun to witness. 

I didn’t have to be pushy at all…I simply supplied the information, was unattached to the outcome then all cooperative components came together for the good of all.

Another cool part of this story is how Arnold reacted.  Ordinarily, Arnold is such a skeptic regarding the premise of Law of Attraction and Synchronicity, he’s always rolling his eyes at me when I tell my stories.

On this day though,   as we left the pharmacy he said, “you know Tara, that was all very synchronistic…had you not suggested the hike, we wouldn’t have been together to visit the pharmacy”.  I was thrilled that he saw it right away!

I am just loving how this attraction based world of ours works.  Sometimes all ya gotta do is LET GO!!!

The Hike of Your Life


The hike of your life…

If you’ve ever gone on a long, hot, arduous hike, you know how closely it relates to life.  Life is like a hike at times.  Sometimes it’s really high and challenging and other times it is low, boring and mundane.EagleRock

One hike stands out in my mind. I was leading a hike for the residents of a drug and alcohol treatment facility. 

The residents are adjusting to a lot so, naturally, they aren’t always pleasant and cooperative.

One woman on the hike was almost always complaining.  She only wanted to go on hikes that started with a steep up hill. Anything that didn’t start hard wasn’t enough for her, she wanted to work hard and enjoyment was not part of the plan for her.

This hike was such a lesson for all involved.  We started out and the trail was muddy.  It had just rained for a week and the mud was cakey and clay like. 

As we walked, our shoes gathered enough mud after 10 steps to feel like we were wearing platform shoes!

It was not pleasant and we were kicking and flinging the mud off every minute.  We made the best of it and laughed every time we flung the mud off.  Karri was not happy, she was swearing loudly and wanted to turn back.

I’ve been on that trail enough to know that the dirt was going to change.  Not only was the mud thick and caking all over our shoes, but we were going DOWN hill!  That did not make Karri happy since she likes to work hard right out of the gates.

I urged the group forward, letting them know to hang in there…the trail would change as we got down into the canyon. 

Karri continued bitching and complaining, “where’s the hill–this mud is ridiculous, I’m going back to the car.”  “No, I promise you, this dirt is going to change and the mud will not be sticking to our shoes,”  I said, determined to keep her on course.

“Where’s the fucking hill,” she screamed.  I assured her the hill was coming.  As we got down into the canyon, the dirt did change and having no mud stick to our shoes was a relief.  Unfortunately, it didn’t make Karri happy because it was a flat valley with no hill in sight.  The moaning continued, “where is the fucking hill?”

Finally, we came to the trailhead that lead up and out of the canyon. 

Off she went, this was what she needed.  She explained that she always had incredible epiphanies when she climbed the hills. 

She was happy and the swearing stopped.

As the group continued climbing, Karri had already reached the peak and ran back down the hill to turn around again to get more of a workout.  Once at the top, we had some rolling hills that led to our descent back into the canyon. 

Unfortunately, the descent got really steep and once again, the swearing began. 

The steep descent is not pleasant, I agree, because you have to hold yourself back a bit and it’s hard! BackboneBuldge

It was just way too steep and she was pissed.  Her loud swearing echoed throughout the canyon and the whole group had to endure the negative energy even though they were enjoying themselves immensely. 

Finally, that stage subsided and we were ready to climb out of the canyon back to the car.   Karri and I talked about the hike.  I asked her to look at it like life. 

Sometimes life gets sticky and clingy and it’s hard to shake it off.  If we just keep moving forward, though, we get through the mucky stuff of life and find the calm again.

Then, sometimes life can feel a little boring and mundane, much like the valley we climbed down into.  If we keep moving forward and try to make the best of it, this too will pass and life will get exciting again.

Alas, the thrill of the hill arrives.  We feel energy, passion, and exhilaration! Life is exciting and we feel alive.  Ideas flood into our mind and we are inspired to take on anything that comes our way.  Life is good and we are living it fully.

Of course, it can’t always be such a high and we must expect times that aren’t so triumphant. 

Life can roll along giving us slight thrills mixed with rest…all is well.

When life moves down hill too fast, it’s too much…it’s uncomfortable. 

Again, we need to keep moving forward, otherwise we’d have to turn around and go all the way back through all the challenges we just endured.

That hike was such a mirror of life for all of us.  Karri really saw it.  She got it.  She shared what she got with the group therapy session that night and it was the highlight of her 30 day stay.

The key to life and hiking the trails is to enjoy wherever you are on your trail. 

Know you will make it to your destination, you just need to go through it to get to it…might as well make the best of it!