I would eat kale chips and truffles every day of the week if I could, but I digress.
During meditation this morning in my hotel room in São Paulo, I prayed again, as I often do, to bring people and experiences into my life that inspire and assist me in moving along my journey as a fully conscious human being.
What does prayer mean to you? My agnostic and atheist friends would say it’s bunk. Speaking to an unseen, unproven entity while pinning all your desires onto this force is outright crazy-talk to them. Me? I see prayer as a simple case of semantics. Whether I’m praying to an individual that represents perfection of spirit or sending out a request to a universal Source of energy in the All That Is makes no difference to me as long as my intent for change and living my own truth is pure. That said, in all things, one must be careful not to always “wish” for something. As Universal Law of Attraction teaches: you will be given the perpetual experience of wishing something to come true, rather than living that desire. Verbiage is critical here and I can’t stress it enough. Everything happens for a reason.
So, days later, it occurred to me that because I called out for these people to come into my life, it’s no wonder I sat in the Portland airport one early Thursday morning, a nervous wreck, wondering whether I’d get on the flight as a standby passenger, only to feel that sigh of relief, like I won the lottery or something, when the agent called my name and gave me the middle seat to LAX… saving me from missing my next work trip that afternoon. One of the last two people to board the airplane, I found my place in 11E between two women, one of whom immediately greeted me with a friendly ‘Hello’.
“Oh, jeez,” I thought to myself. “This one’s a talker! I’d better tell her how I’m operating on only two hours of sleep and need to rest before I get to work…. Where are my ear buds?”
Fortunately, in this particular case, my instinct for kindness was stronger than my instinct for survival, because Gwen C. and I ended up talking from the time I sat down till the time we stepped off the aircraft in Los Angeles, and it was one of the greatest conversations I ever had in my life. Gwen is a lovely, vivacious 73 year-old with an amazing attitude and she’s totally dialed in to the collective universal consciousness. We covered everything from the state of our current educational system to the care of aging parents; from needing to grow our own vegetables to finding our life’s purpose. Currently, she lives in Mexico but imagines a life traveling and meeting people while exploring new cultures. She’s well-versed in current affairs, dabbles in real estate, exercises, and eats healthfully to maintain her endless energy. Heck! I want to be like Gwen when I grow up and she’s interested in reading my blog. (Hi, Gwen! And thank you.)
I left that flight feeling jazzed and ready to go about my day, a luxury I’ve been able to re-create every time I think of her. I asked for this, right?
My 2 hours and 20 minutes with Gwen capped off an excellent few days of long flights, driving through the most gorgeous, natural landscape in America, meeting up with the newly dubbed ‘French traveling hippie’, eating raw chocolates, and listening to some Beloved music.
Back in the day, I was known to travel for good music. If my favorite band was playing within 500 miles, I was in the car on the road to see them. Now as a flight attendant I can stretch that distance a bit further, so when my friend Brandy sent me a flyer of Elijah Ray playing in Ashland, Oregon, I couldn’t miss out on yet another opportunity to see him perform live and rearranged my schedule to fly over from France. Around the same time, a friend on vacation from Paris, Cécile, contacted me on Facebook to say that while traveling through Canada via the Trans-Canadian, she discovered she liked “hippie things”: yoga, meditation, nature and music, and that she would soon be trekking from Vancouver down to California on her way to see some giant trees. Wow! A girl after my own heart! Growing up in Detroit, I’d dreamed of taking the train across Canada and exploring the wilderness as Cécile was doing. And suddenly I felt ashamed to have lived so close to the redwood forest in San Francisco and never visited those majestic trees. Even though I’m a tree-hugger at heart, had I been that
lazy ambivalent? I was a different person then. Although I practiced yoga and liked to putter around in the garden, I was caught up in the vicious cycle of television and shopping, living a superficial life at best. Cécile was living it, and traveling alone in a country where they didn’t speak her native language… an achievement I wished I’d acquired many years earlier than I did. I was proud and happy for her. We hoped to find a place to convene and see a familiar face while away from home. Perfect timing! Enter Elijah and the Peace Village music festival.
An in-flight road trip was born.
After landing in Boston, then Portland, and then Eugene, I picked up my rental car and headed for a little motel to crash for the night. It was nearly 10:30 pm, and I had to ring the doorbell to get service. A disheveled, middle-aged Indian man eventually appeared behind the glass in a pair of plaid boxer shorts and flip flops, buttoning his short-sleeved shirt over his tank top. I felt bad for possibly having waken him. Maybe it was the jet lag and sleep deprivation, but I wanted to snicker, too. A long way from Paris, I felt completely out of my element at this roadside stop in the middle of logging country. This called for a sense of adventure and humor…. He gestured for me to hold on a moment as he disappeared back into his apartment behind the counter, then the innkeeper’s vivacious daughter came out and took over the transaction. I hefted my bags up the stairs and squirreled away for the night. In the morning, I’d see exactly where I was.
It was lovely.
Incredible groves of tall pines, as full as any picture-perfect Christmas tree, swayed in the wind along the road on the drive from Eugene to Ashland. I could see how the famous vampire and werewolf families would use them as thick cover to hide their secrets, but we’re not vampires and werewolves. We Are Human: a term used to describe this physical condition we’re in, as part of the great race walking the earth, connected and yet lost in the quest for self-discovery. We Are as invincible as we are vulnerable…. The opening set of music from the artist who calls himself Human was just that: touching on our vulnerability while embracing our aptitude for life experience. (Regrettably, I did not purchase one of his CDs while at the show and cannot find him on YouTube, so if you know how to get in touch with his music, please let me know.)
During intermission, Cécile and I wandered around the campsite venue in search of refreshments and found chocolates, instead. Kristina Pescatore is the delightful maker of Kilikina’s Chocolate, the lovingly created, silky smooth, raw bon bons in delicious flavors like hazelnut truffle, raspberry and lavender. (You can have them delivered!!) She is truly turning her creative passion into a living, where work is no longer a job and inner peace is the payoff. Cécile jokingly offered her to teach us how to make the chocolates so we can
eat sell them in Paris, but we may have to settle on a visit and more samples. Not a bad thing, as this girl rocks feminine laid-back cool and I’d be happy to call her “friend” any day.
Kristina is also the other half of flugelhorn specialist, Max Ribner, whom I recognized from Medicine and the People, but now plays with Elijah in the +Band of Light-. Munching on whole grain bread with avocado, Max declared our tribe “clean hippies” (❤️) and excitedly told us how he and Kristina would love to visit Paris; take his music there and live the dream, traveling. He was speaking my language! Music, clean living, chocolate, traveling… Max gifted me his latest CD, ‘Leap to Flame’ which is fun, upbeat and full of talent, just like the man, himself. It was an honor and a treasure to meet this couple, both living from the heart in service to their fellow brothers and sisters. At American Airlines, they form what we call TeAAm, with two As and an eagle in the middle. This beautiful pair will be a welcome addition to the City of Light.
If you’ve read my posts before, you may have noticed Elijah is my musical crush, and to be included in his +Band of Light- family is a blessing. The man exudes grace and Love, and I’ve thanked him in return by sharing his tunes whenever I can (and will continue that tradition today). Often, I refer to him as an Ascended Master, as I believe he is definitely one of the angels among us, with his lyrics encouraging us to ‘Give Thanks’ and honor what we have today while consciously creating the space for a brighter future. I think he’s deserving of a much bigger following, but those fans who know of him are wonderful and true; their contact with him genuine. Beginning the set with a sound healing meditation, we gathered round the stage and let the vibration carry us where it may. Once the official concert began with Elijah’s +Band-, Cécile found herself in Hippie Central, grinning from ear to eat as everyone rose to dance and gyrate around us in front of the stage. Much as their parents did, little children danced with joy and abandon, the atmosphere supercharged with L-O-V-E.
I would’ve taken more photos but I was too busy singing and dancing, figuring it was far better to be in the moment than to record it for all time, so you’ll just have to make it to one of the band’s shows, yourself. 😉
As all good things must come to an end, though, the concert was forced to wind down as the curfew hour arrived. Even our raucous applause was too loud to warrant another encore, so the event organizer encouraged us to give silent appreciation and we chose… wait for it… JAZZ HANDS!! In return, we were treated to the celestial voice of an angel: Tina Malia in her precious duets with Elijah.
Life is what you make of it, and our time in Ashland was short but sweet. After the show, Cécile and I make our way back to our motel, where we’d only get three hours sleep before heading out. Loaded up on provisions from the Ashland Food Coop (vegan “Heaven”, she called it), as I headed for a flight out to LA where that divine reroute would have me meet Gwen, Cécile rented the same car and drove on to see some really big trees. Seated on the plane in front me: the incredible dancer I’d seen at the concert the night before, Elijah’s girlfriend, Amber. Reminding me of a more peaceful warrior, I imagine her the goddess of the Amazons, it’s no wonder they make a perfect match. (Reminder #2 – Google ‘ecstatic birth Amber Hartnell)
So, prayer. The power of intent.
When I left the familiarity of San Francisco fourteen years ago for the complete unknown in Santa Monica, it was to surround myself with people who were where I wanted to be in life. At the time it meant learning how to be a better writer by being around those who worked on screenplays, so I took a course and became a script supervisor. It lead to some eye-opening, fun, stressful, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-anything-in-the-world adventures. Am I a better writer? Only the reader knows, but I met some amazing people that taught me a lot.
Later, I’d call in others who could provide with guidance when I strayed off the path. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much. Financially and spiritually broken, I physically broke bones when I repeatedly said I needed “a break.” Words, thoughts, deeds, and actions are powerful entities, each with its own capability to manifest into something life altering. Choose them as wisely as you’d choose your friends or lovers. Trust in the Universal Law of Attraction that you will be given all that you desire, as well as be provided the tools and people who can help get you there. Be very clear in your request! When you are ready to make that call, the Operator will provide what you need. If you seek inspiration, ask and look for the signs. Suddenly it will be all around you. With any luck, it will come with a smile, a bear hug, and wisdom, all wrapped up in a delicious raw chocolate maple truffle with some fabulous music playing in the background.
Now, what will this week bring?
A travel update from Cécile: I’M ADDICTED!
Live your dream, French Hippie! Live your dream.
À tout à l’heure