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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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Angel Activity

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I remember a time when if I were to read that title, “Angel Activity” I wouldn’t even bother reading the rest.

I never believed in angels. It sounds really sweet and spiritual but I never gave it much thought.
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Our beliefs are sometimes hard to bust through, but it’s pretty incredible when they BUST!

Recently, though, I have a very close friend that passed and I know she is swirling around me, watching over me, hovering closely. Does that sound whacked to you?!!AngelFalls

It would have sounded whacked to me not too long ago. The first time I KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT she was there was one of the most powerfully magical moments I’ve ever witnessed!


A very angry man who could not control his emotions or actions was enraged. He grabbed my jaw and began to squeeze–it felt like my jaw was in a vice grip.


In my mind I thought, “he’s going to break my jaw,” and THEN in a BURST of a moment, the energy went out of my jaw and burst through his hand and popped a metacarpal tendon on the back of his hand. IT WAS LOUD!

In an instant, he was writhing in pain on the floor and I couldn’t help but have this smile of utter disbelief and awe fixed upon my face.

At the time, I didn’t realize it was my friend Cil. I just thought it was God or the Universe or whatever force you want to call it, protecting me and he thought for sure he was being punished by God!angelhears

Then, 2 days later I was sitting quietly and going within when the thought occurred to me, “maybe that was Cil.” As soon as I thought it, a flood of goose bumps covered my body in ripples–it was palpable! I will call them angel bumps now!

They say, those who have passed use mostly energy and electricity to get through to us. I have found this to be true on more than one occasion.

Oh God yes, that was my friend Cil. She had known all about the drama between this on again off again boyfriend and I. I tried to end it over and over but his words of hope and the intense chemical attraction we both shared always drew me back in.

Over and over it became quite clear to me that this is truly what the word TOXIC means. I don’t need to tell you the whole saga but the point is, she knew every bit of it and she was surely there in that room hovering close.

She was so sick near the end of her time here on earth that I was her only friend left and the only person who spent any time talking to her. All of her other friends dumped her because they got tired of listening to all her pain and sickness stories.

I had compassion for her. I wanted her to feel like her life mattered so I listened to the meaningless stories and tried my best to be an ear of loving support for her.

In any case, the point is, she had a reason to be there in that room while the grip was getting tighter on my jaw. She had heard through our calls that his angry outbursts had the potential to escalate to physical outbursts and not just the ugly words that flew out of his mouth.
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Cil always assured me, the closer she came to passing, that she would ALWAYS BE WITH ME! She had experienced an on going relationship with both her mother and father after they passed. She was true to her word!

Just this evening on my drive home, when I got in my electric car the infotainment center was not lighting up and my phone was not connecting automatically.

I drove for about 10 minutes trying to turn it off and on and get it to snap on. I had a long drive ahead of me so I wanted to at least have some fun music to accompany me.

Finally, I thought of Cil and asked out loud, “Cil can you please turn this on now for me!” I kid you not, within 5 seconds it was lit up and my phone was connecting.

Yes indeed, it’s hard to deny and it’s hard to stay closed off to the possibility of Angel Activity when I have my very own with me whenever I need her. I feel so blessed and protected.

I can hear her sweet words encouraging me when I am too hard on myself, I can feel her comforting presence when I feel overwhelmed with all the different directions my life goes in.

Today is Cil’s birthday–here’s to you Cil. Your sweetness and enthusiasm were a powerful force when you were in physical form and now I must say, it is just as powerful in your loving Angelic form. I love you!

Love Hurts

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I remember my first date EVER–the song playing on the radio was “Love Hurts” by Nazareth (https://youtu.be/6pHNkOQCIzkLove Hurts)

Nick picked me up in his classic Oldsmobile, can’t remember the year but it was old.  When he backed out of the driveway,  his car wouldn’t go into forward drive!

It was quite a scene.

So, we drove in reverse down the street for a couple of blocks before it decided it would shift into drive.  All the while, “Love Hurts” was playing on the radio.

That is one of those moments etched in my mind.  My first date turned into my first love and Love did Hurt!   It went on and on with make ups and break ups and lies and betrayals and all kinds of HURT!HeartVibrating

“It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.”  Those are the words and feelings I tried to embody after that  first break up with my very first love in life.  They were simple words that did soothe the pain.

Now, 35 years later, I find comfort in the words again .  Yes, my heart has broken into a million pieces because what I thought was going to be a perfect partnership, turned out otherwise.  LOVE HURTS!

Yes, from the place I sit today, it feels like it would be much easier to just avoid the love offerings out there.  You know, just stay out of the game and sit on the sidelines so I don’t have to get bruised and burned again.

That, though, is the ultimate betrayal.

Being in a relationship that becomes deep and intimate is such a gift–a gift of learning  about ourselves through those other eyes.

I have learned so much about myself this time around and now it’s time to go back to work on healing my precious Tara within.  I will get back to loving myself completely before I can even attempt to love another.  He simply reflected to me, like a mirror, all the ways I need to love myself more.

 

I really did think I loved myself fully.  I guess I can say I was fortunate to go through this to see that I’ve got more work to do on ME!BlissfulFullness

So, even though LOVE HURTS, I am willing–willing to love myself fully and then and only then will I want to get back on the field and play the game!!!

 

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Safe and Secure? Not So Sure

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Security is an illusion. 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”  Helen Keller

These are the words that ring in my mind when I think things seem too daring for me, I remind myself that security does not really exist and that avoiding danger is no safer than exposure.

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When at the precipice of anything new, there is always the urge to turn back and go to where our lives are comfortable and “secure.”

I’m 7 months into a new relationship that has been full of love, miracles, connection and synchronicity.  I’m glad I reminded myself of Helen Keller’s sentiment because with anything in life, there are the balancing energies that cause a bit of fear and the desire to go back to when things SEEMED safe and secure.

Risk, vulnerability, and an overall letting go of concern for the future or the past, now that is a trick.  Love, new and developing love, is always unsure.  Why not think and feel in the direction of hope and trust?

If we stay focused in “back then,”  we miss being here.  If we worry about what’s going to happen, we miss being here and now.

Oh how we cling to our ways though, I had gotten so comfortable being on my own, when things became challenging in our relationship, I thought about running back to when it was all so much easier!

Trust, faith, and moving in the direction of the light are what I strive for.  If I listen to the concerns of society and some who spend most of their time in fear, I am bound to draw back in fear and doubt.  If I’m not careful, I’ll hear those concerns coming from my own mind chatter!

It reminds me of a piece I wrote, Pronoia.  Are we going to be paranoid and expect the worst to happen or are we going to turn paranoia upside down and expect the best!   https://naturegirltara.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/choose-pronoia/

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Yes, that’s what I choose.  I choose faith and I choose a daring adventure.

I choose the daring adventure, even when it gets scary and challenging because that’s just the illusion creeping in.

I told a friend, “I want to spend most of my time living in the realm of NOW, the space of being in the presence of God, the presence of Love, and the presence of what is possible.”   Amen!!!

Those times when I find myself wallowing in the “what is” consciousness, I wake up and fill myself with the knowing that there is no Security and that life really is a daring adventure that can start right now, if we allow it!

Goethe writes,   “Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it!”