Re-Birth Day

March 19, 2013

It’s my birthday!

I’m 34.

I’m living my dream of living in Italy. I have a community of amazingly loving and supportive friends who are like an international family. I get to breathe fresh air and be in nature every day.

I’m healthy. I’m getting back in shape after the last two years of over-eating in an imperfect attempt to ground myself while leaping into the void, trying to figure out who I am and what I want, not to mention traveling and gorging on sugar and regional delicacies (medialunas, anyone??). I’m doing yoga every morning, meditating, journaling, visualizing, and affirming. 

I currently have 55€ cash, $19.23 in the bank, and about $50,000 in debt, mostly student loans, along with medical bills from the rabid bat attack of summer 2011, and the last of my credit cards, and as of right now no solid and apparent source of monetary income.

A week ago, during a life coaching session with my friend Lakshmi in Portugal, we determined that I should be a spiritual counselor, despite the terror that brings up for me. So I started the website The Divine Reminder-er. It’s under construction but I’d love your feedback.

I’m living at the Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness and I eat at Ananda in exchange for the work I do for the Academy – basically running it while the founder Dana’s away in the States, working on the website, organizing the calendar and communications.

Swami Kriyananda, the founder of the Ananda communities, flew in from India a few days ago, and I heard him speak for the first time on Sunday. He radiates love, joy and life. I cried through most of it. I also realized that this path, his path, Ananda’s path – with the gurus and Swami and Hong-Sau meditation and Kriya yoga – is not my path.

My path is to be as authentically me as I will allow myself to be. My path is to connect to the infinite divinity/my higher self within me, directly. My path is to follow my heart, my bliss, my excitement, my intuition. My path is to step into my own power, my own wisdom, my own divinity, and to share it with others. 

That’s why I cried when I saw Swami Kriyananda. I could feel the power of my own calling. It’s been getting louder over these past years, and it terrifies me. I’m afraid of being truly me. I’m afraid of standing up, standing out. I’m afraid of being rejected, abandoned, isolated. I’m afraid of being as weird as I know I am.

Weird.

Adjective: Suggesting something supernatural; uncanny; of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural: magical; of strange or extraordinary character; odd, fantastic.

Noun: fate, destiny, soothsayer.

Archaic: Of or relating to fate or the Fates.

Root: Middle English wird, werd, werde: fate, having power to control fate, from Old English wyrd, fate; akin to Old Norse urthr fate, Old English weorthan to become — word, worth.

“There is a weird power in a spoken word.” – Joseph Conrad

 

Today, I am the most authentic I have ever been – authentic, author, writer of my own story. I’m also physically authentic – no nail polish, no shaving or waxing my body (yes, I have hairy armpits and legs, for the first time since they began to grow in at puberty), and today I am cutting all of my dyed hair off – a practice I’ve kept up for the last 21 years, as I also started dying my hair blonde around puberty, when it went from white-blonde to ash blonde, and a brunette Jewish girlfriend introduced me to Sun-in. She ended up giving me her bottle as it only turned her hair orange.

I’m done with the violence against myself, done with the rejection and denial of who I am. I want complete and total love and acceptance for my weird, powerful, authentic self.

I feel like I’m coming to a zero point in my life, a complete destruction of the old in order to fully step into my … not my potential, as that word was used to punish me too many times when I was young, a ruler to make me feel guilty about the external expectations I wasn’t living up to. It’s in order to fully step into ME, who I truly am when in alignment with my heart/soul/authentic higher self.

 

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Photo by Michelle Perry 2013 Montemezzo, Italy

Photo by Michelle Perry 2013 Montemezzo, Italy

It’s snowing.

You know what I find amazing? That during the darkest months of the year, crystals fall from the sky, turning everything a bright, reflective white, filling the space and sky with refracted and diffused beams from the low sun.

Balance. It’s so perfectly balanced. Summer: direct sunlight, lots of it, hot, dry, colorful life. Winter: indirect sunlight, lots of water in crystalline form, diffracting and magnifying the little light there is WHILE storing water to saturate the earth in preparation for the dry, hot, lively summer.

It’s like a purification, everything frozen and cleansed and simplified, reduced back to its roots, killed even. And then from that cycle of purification and reduction and simplification and death, new life bursts forth in spring, fed by the death of the old.

Fuckin’ incredible.

Totally unrelated – A question came to me this morning:
Why aren’t there different species of humans?
Why is there only one species?

There are different species of everything else. Insects: millions of species. Birds: about 10,000 species. Monkeys: somewhere between 230-270. (More on the lack of exact numbers later).

So why only one type of humanoid living on this planet today?

It seems a little weird.

I believe a lot of weird shit. Spiritual shit, divinity, channeling, the Law of Attraction, the effects of energy and vibration. I’ve been reading more into the fringe lately – ie about the the Pleiadians. I’m not entirely sold on the story that alien/reptilian beings that are messing with the earth, though I suppose I do believe in other dimensions and it’s kind of silly to believe in that and not believe there are other beings that I might not be sensitive enough/capable of seeing mucking around in the affairs of this little, ignorant planet.

BUT, I’m not entirely sold yet. I believe the things that resonate with me as truth, and for now, that stuff doesn’t really resonate with me. That we’re all divine expressions of creative consciousness, yes, that resonates. But aliens and reptilians who have sinister plans… I wonder if that’s just not our fearful ego-based selves projecting and giving form to things our limited minds can’t yet comprehend in a way that makes sense in our mythology.

Anyways, one species of human. I consulted google. Obviously I’m not the first person who’s wondered about this. BBC wrote an article about it, explaining in a rather arrogant fashion that Homo ergaster, Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis all died out between 30,000 to 12,000 years ago.

One thing that gets me riled up is how scientific theory and hypothesis is presented as fact. We don’t actually KNOW. I think that scientific writing should be presented as such: THEORY. We believe, we imagine, we theorize, it seems possible that… statements of possibility and imagination, not fact. We don’t have facts. We have imaginings. We have stories. We have theories. The understandings of science is continually in flux; it is not a stable ground on which to construct our imaginings of reality and of ourselves.

Science is a story we tell ourselves, a way to understand the mystery of reality. Much like religion. It’s a set of beliefs, of assumptions, of theories. I don’t believe it should be treated as something different than religion.

Definition of Religion: an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.

Well, science is also an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the physical world and the Universe; but in an attempt to separate it from spirituality and moral values.

There’s a fascinating course from UCLA called “Science, Magic and Religion,” 21 lectures given over the course of a semester that discuss how and why science, magic and religion were separated in recent history, and the implications. I found it on the on OpenCulture.com (fantastic for curious seeker gluttons like us). You can download the course for free from iTunes.

I won’t even get into the politics and economics of our broken scientific system, and the paradigm-shifting multi-reality particle/wave/observer effect of the quantum path. Let’s ignore the placebo effect, and I’ll just touch briefly on the problem with the scientific method: the decline effect, discussed in this article in the New Yorker, which posits that “many [scientific] results that are rigorously proved and accepted start shrinking in later studies.”

“It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology. In the field of medicine, the phenomenon seems extremely widespread, affecting not only antipsychotics but also therapies ranging from cardiac stents to Vitamin E and antidepressants: Davis has a forthcoming analysis demonstrating that the efficacy of antidepressants has gone down as much as threefold in recent decades.

“For many scientists, the effect is especially troubling because of what it exposes about the scientific process. If replication is what separates the rigor of science from the squishiness of pseudoscience, where do we put all these rigorously validated findings that can no longer be proved? Which results should we believe? Francis Bacon, the early-modern philosopher and pioneer of the scientific method, once declared that experiments were essential, because they allowed us to “put nature to the question.” But it appears that nature often gives us different answers.”

Let’s go back to species. Seems simple, right? Like something science comprehends, something we understand, something there shouldn’t be any confusion or mystery about. Species.

How many species on the planet? “This number is very difficult to assess, but the discussed range varies from tens of thousands to billions.”

Tens of thousands to BILLIONS!?! That’s a pretty huge fucking gap.
As I touched on before, here are a few numbers of currently identified species (this number is given to change: 9,998 birds, 5,490 mammals, as many as 10–30 million insects.

We can’t even scientifically assess and comprehend the species currently alive, dying, and evolving on our planet, right now; and we think we can understand and explain a few million years of evolution of the modern man?

Or the Universe?

NASA has a daily photo website. Oddly, the image they posted on January 20th 2013 was of an ancient chunk of something man-made, dredged up from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean sea in 1901. It seems to be from the ancient Greeks. And it appears to be some form of an early computer.

Where the hell did this come from?! Thanks for giving me more questions, NASA!

According to our society’s currently commonly accepted scientific “truths” (assumptions) about the linear history and evolution of man, it’s impossible that this technology existed when it did.

From NASA’s site:

“Explanation: What is it? It was found at the bottom of the sea aboard an ancient Greek ship. Its seeming complexity has prompted decades of study, although some of its functions remained unknown. X-ray images of the device have confirmed the nature of the Antikythera mechanism, and discovered several surprising functions. The Antikythera mechanism has been discovered to be a mechanical computer of an accuracy thought impossible in 80 BC, when the ship that carried it sank. Such sophisticated technology was not thought to be developed by humanity for another 1,000 years. Its wheels and gears create a portable orrery of the sky that predicted star and planet locations as well as lunar and solar eclipses. The Antikythera mechanism, shown above, is 33 centimeters high and therefore similar in size to a large book.”

This thrills me, because it brings the mystery of it all into sharp, real, in-your-face focus.

What if everything we think we know is wrong? Everything we assume we know about history; everything we believe about ourselves? All the stories that we’ve been taught are reality… What if they’re wrong? What would it mean for each one of us, individually, in our lives? I love this because it calls in the power of our imaginations. It begins to break through the limitations and boundaries of what’s accepted. Maybe what we all knew to be true as children but were educated out of believing is what’s really real – Maybe magic is real, and science is telling the lies. Titillating.

This kind of blog is what happens when I wake up early and decide to spend the first half of a Sunday doing whatever I feel like doing, which also included: yogaing, meditating, dancing around to the remix of Ascension by Maxwell, making some collages in my Life Vision book using images of Greece, Bora Bora, and pretty paper, drinking some yerba mate, listening to the Life Visioning techniques of Michael Bernard Beckwith, as summarized by Brian Johnson, and periodically stepping outside onto my front porch to be dusted with damp snowflakes and take deep fresh lungfuls of frigid, snowy Italian countryside air.

Coincidence. Synchronicity. Manifesting. Magic.

Lucky shot – stuck the camera out the window and took a photo of Assisi behind us, without knowing there was a rainbow in the sky!

Whatever you want to call it, I love it. I love finding evidence of magical creation in my life.

We’ve been taught that we live in a logical world. But we’ve been lied to. We’ve been taught that logic will keep us safe. But the illusion of safety keeps us limited, trapped, unempowered, and fearful.

All children believe in magic. And as children we’re encouraged to believe in magical lies – Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny. Eventually the lies are revealed, and we’re taught that to be an adult means to accept the fact that magic is a lie, and to grow up we must relinquish our magical powers.

Well, I think that’s crap.
There have been more, but here are a few magical synchronicities that have occurred in the past few days:
#1
On October 5th, I wrote: “Maybe I should take an improv class.” I wanted more laughter in my life, and I wanted to be actively participating in comedy, rather than solely consuming it, as we do by watching funny videos online, movies, etc.

The next day, I found myself in a Clown Workshop. A famous clown, Moriss, from Milan had come to the Academy to give a one-day workshop, and though I don’t have much interest in Clowns or Clownery, I had to be at the Academy to open the doors, so I decided to join.

The Clown had a red nose, white and black face paint, and strip of long hair on the front of his head that he strung through a toilet paper roll, wrapped around and rubber banded, giving himself an absurd, blunt unicorn horn.

The Clown spoke of love. Loving everyone you meet, looking at them with love, feeling it in your heart, having an eternal smile on your face, smiling at everyone you meet because you are loving them, open, fearlessly. He spoke of using the power of Clowning to break out of the normal oppressive boundaries of daily life, the dead feelinglessness of the people in cities, trapped, joyless, in subways and on busses. He spoke of learning to stop thinking and of learning to just feel, and react. Feel and react, without planning or thinking or worrying about judgment. Like a child does.

We did an eye-gazing exercise, a hugging exercise. We learned a few clown secrets, we learned the foundations of juggling. We did improv performances for each other, our courage bolstered behind the red clown noses we wore. It was, of course, terrifying for me to get up in front of everyone and attempt to make them laugh. But I did it anyways.

(I also told the Clown about Burning Man, which he said sounds like his idea of heaven on earth. Yep.)

#2:
October 8th was a grey and foggy day here in Umbria. I wanted to stay at home and work on some personal projects, but I’d told a few people that I’d be available at the Academy. So around 10am I packed up my laptop and put on my boots. It was cold outside, and the walk from my house in the countryside to the Academy is about 20 minutes along a lovely dirt road.

I stepped out the front door, and it was raining. Hard. I don’t have an umbrella, and I didn’t want my computer getting wet on the walk to the Academy. So I figured I’d wait for a break in the rain. There is one guest staying at Villa Gioia (where I live) who has a car. Briefly I thought: maybe he’ll come by and give me a ride! But he didn’t appear.

About ten minutes later, one of my roommates came home. She’d walked home and gotten fairly wet, but she had an umbrella she’d left in her room, and offered it to me. I accepted, ans as I stepped out of the house to make the trek to the Academy, a car I’ve never seen before pulled up. Aside from the occasional guest who has a car, cars rarely pass by the Villa.

The car stopped in front of me and a good-looking italian man rolled down the window. “Vuoi un passaggio?” Would you like a ride?

Why yes, yes I do.

So my new friend Gianluca drove me through the rain to the Academy.

#3:
Yesterday I skyped with my friend Captain Dave in Marseille, France. He goes rock climbing on the weekends, and I expressed how much I wanted to go rock climbing. I have been telling various rock climbing friends around the world that I want to go rock climbing for the past few years, but it just hasn’t worked out.

Today at breakfast, out of the blue, a member of the community here at Ananda walked up to me, and asked: “Do you want to go rock climbing tomorrow?”

Why yes, yes I do.

I know he hadn’t heard my conversation Skype conversation – no one had.

Believers in logic say that it’s just coincidence, a result of me looking for meaning behind happenstance. But if you have the choice, why not choose magic? We create the meaning in our lives, our experience is a result of our beliefs. If I can choose to experience and enjoy a magical life, why wouldn’t I?

As I was typing this today, sitting in the after-rain sunshine in the rolling hills of Umbria, Italy, a big fat ladybug walked up to me, and sat on my arm for awhile.

Which reminded me of this post about Life and Ladybugs that I wrote back in January of this year.

“Though small in size the ladybug is fearless. As fear cannot exist amongst joy, the ladybug brings a message of promise, for they get us back in touch with the joy of living – we must let go of our fears and go back to our roots, to love. We are also taught to restore our trust and faith in the universe, we have to get over ourselves, our egos, and allow life to take its course going with the flow.”

Magical.

I asked for a sign, and I got it.

But the problem with asking for a sign is that when you get one, you still have to make the choice:

Do I follow it?

Do I base my life and future on magic and synchronicity and trust? Or do I follow reason and rationality and logic?

I almost gave in. I almost went the safe route and went home, back to the States and my family. But instead I chose to follow the signs.

(This is an extremely long post – probably the longest I’ve ever written – so if you don’t have the time or inclination to read the entire thing, scroll down to the end for the punchline!)*

BILL MOYERS: “Do you ever have the sense of… being helped by hidden hands?”
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: “All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time – namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

 

Nomad Adventure

I’ve been nomadic since June 2011, driving across the US and Canada before flying south to Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2011, and then heading even further south into Patagonia in April 2012.

“Don’t fall off,” my ex business partner warned me. “You’re running out of land.”

He said I was running away. Perhaps. But running away from one thing is running toward something else.

What am I running towards? Myself. I know that’s a silly thing to do when I’m right here with me all the time. But I see this journey I’ve been on as a process of lightening. Across the continents I’ve left a trail of fears, guilt, obligations, and ‘shoulds’, and who I am and what I want is coming into sharper focus.

Funemployment Ends

I’ve been lucky enough to have a little unemployment from California funding my journey. When I signed up after being “liberated” from my day job in March 2011, I was told I’d get 99 weeks, about two years of what my friends have termed “funemployment.”

Two weeks ago, about 53 weeks into the 99, the Federal Government announced they were cutting all extended unemployment benefits to Californians. Effective immediately. My cash flow stopped suddenly, eight months before I expected it to.

I’d known my unemployment could end at any minute – I could’ve been called in for an interview in California – so the news wasn’t a total shock. But it did change my plans for the rest of 2012.

Luckily, serendipitously, synchronistically, I have a few thousand in the bank.
I have never had a few thousand in the bank. I’ve always lived paycheck to paycheck, and I’ve had credit card debt since I began traveling to Italy once or twice a year during a long-distance relationship in college.

But I made the decision to be “financially free” (ie debt free) in 2010 and stopped using the credit cards. This year, I had a perfect opportunity to cut down more of the debt – I had the unemployment coming in, I got a good tax return, I received a few grand from my father’s death, and I chose to take a job in a remote town in Patagonia that covered all room/board expenses for a few months so I could focus on paying down bills. Nothing to spend money on out here, not even a restaurant.

Within my first month down in Patagonia, and just before unemployment ended, I’d paid off every card but one. For fixed expenses I’m down to one credit card, one hospital bill (from the rabid bat incident last summer) and my college loan.

So, synchronistically, the unemployment couldn’t have stopped at a better time. I had some money and low monthly expenses.

Now What Do I Do?

But what to do next?
I was at a crossroads.
I was being tested – what kind of life do I want to live?
Do I take a risk, or play it safe?
Do I go home, to the comfortable and secure, or do I take the leap of faith, the step into the unknown?

Fly back to Los Angeles and move in with my mom?
Fly to Oregon, a place I’ve wanted to live since I was eight, and move in with my aunt?
Fly straight to France, where a friend has a house I can stay at, and figure out a way to make money under the table in Europe?

I was torn. And a little scared. What if I ran out of money? Maybe I should go home and get a ‘real’ job. Going back to the States didn’t sound half bad, either – safer, more reasonable, more comfortable. I’d get to see my family and friends. I speak the language, it’s familiar, I know I can work legally, I don’t have to keep moving because of visa limitations. And I don’t even speak French. Of course going to France would be fun, but I’d only planned to go there because I had a free place to live, and it would be good to see my friend.

I realized that this indecision was the same old fight that’s existed throughout my life – the fight between the heart and the mind, fears and dreams. I’ve been trying to figure out and follow my dreams this past year, and it’s still a work in progress. I’m still sorting out what’s me and what’s other people, and I’m still working out the blocks that I sabotage myself with.

So now I had to decide – Do I give up on the adventure and go back to safety, comfort, the known, the secure? A 9-5 job in the States?

Or do I continue living outside of my comfort zone, pushing my limits, taking heart-based risks, living all this spiritual and inspirational stuff that so fascinates me?

And does it even matter? Any path can be an adventure an growth experience with the right attitude…

I know sounds like it’s all fun and games and first world problems, choosing what country you want to fly to next. But my uncertainty and all of the options, were making me anxious and uncomfortable. Freedom equals responsibility, and when you no longer have anyone or anything to blame for holding you back, it can be a scary and daunting thing.

I decided I would go home. I’d fly back to Los Angeles and spend the Fourth of July with my mother (something I don’t think I’ve ever done, since it was traditionally a holiday I spent with my father), and then after about a month I’d fly to Portland, and stay with my aunt while exploring Oregon.

The Universe Won’t Let Me

I had a return ticket on United Airlines from Buenos Aires to Washington DC that I’d pushed back from December to April. However, when I went online in April to change the return flight from April 18th to July 1st, thinking I’d spend the Fourth with my best friend in DC, I got an error message. I tried again and again, but it wouldn’t go through. Finally it showed that my reservation was changed, but I would have to make a call to United Argentina sometime before my departure to pay for the ticket change.

I later realized it was luck/synchronicity that I hadn’t been charged for that ticket change – turns out my friend wouldn’t be in DC for the Fourth of July anyways, so I had no reason to go there. So in May, when unemployment stopped and I decided to fly back to LA, I tried to change the ticket again. All I got on the website were error messages, so I started calling United.

I called, and I called, and I called. It was either busy, or when I would finally get through to an agent, the phone system it would immediately hang up on me. I ran out of money on my phone, so I bought another 40 pesos of credit, and then another 60 pesos. Busy, busy, hang up. I finally got through to a woman – “Please don’t hang up on me!!!!” – and she started the process of figuring out what fees I would have to pay. After about 4 minutes on the phone with her, click – disconnected. I’d run out of money again.

So I stopped. Why was this so hard? One of the lessons I’ve learned in the past few years is Don’t Push. Take action, then let go. Relax, allow. I’ve learned through experience that when I push something to happen, in the end it doesn’t work out anyways. This has been especially true, oddly enough, with technology. Technology tends to work in my favor – when something’s not working smoothly for me, I’m not supposed to do it. One of the best examples of this: last summer I was trying to buy an Amtrak train ticket online from Boston to Washington DC, but the website kept giving me error messages. I decided to stop pushing and wait til the next day to try again.

The next day I was on a whale watching cruise in Provincetown, MA. I met a friendly woman who was celebrating her birthday with her husband. Her husband, it turns out, was a train conductor for Amtrak. A few days later they picked me up, drove me to the train station, and I got on the train he conducted with him – the train from Boston to DC. For free. The cost of that train ticket I hadn’t been able to buy online? $160.

So, I stopped pushing for the United ticket to Los Angeles, and started wondering – maybe I’m meant to go somewhere else? Fly straight to Portland, Oregon? Fly straight to Marseille, France?

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama

 

Answer from the Goddesses

After a few anxiety-ridden days of ruminating over what to do, I sat down with Ginny in front of the crackling fireplace in her room for a maté and confessed my confusion and anxiety over where to go next. I was overwhelmed by choice. I described the frustration I’d been experiencing – my struggles with United Airlines trying to re-book my ticket, the 100 pesos (~$20USD) I’d wasted calling their Argentinian 1-800 number over and over, the repeated busy signals and hang-ups. So this left me asking:

Why? Why wasn’t this working?

And then I saw Ginny’s Medicine Bag. The Medicine Bag is full of cards, runes, and books with Native American teachings. She had a deck of Goddess cards that I particularly liked, so I decided I’d ask the Goddesses where to fly to next.

I pulled out the deck, shuffled the cards, and asked: Where do I go?
California, Oregon, France, or hell, why not Italy, my favorite country in the world?

I expected some generic message from the card that might push me on a certain direction – a card about home or mother might mean I should go to California, forest imagery might be Oregon, adventure might be France…

I pulled a card and flipped it over. And I burst out laughing.

The card said:

FORTUNA: The Roman goddess Fortuna was the same as an earlier Italian goddess who presided over the earth’s abundance and controlled the destiny of all human beings. Her name, derived from Vortumna, “she who turns the year about,” came to symbolize the capriciousness of life and luck, the vagaries of fate as the wheel of life turns around. Her festival was celebrated in October. Fortuna gives way to approach the ups and downs of life, a perspective that can offer us some equanimity as we proceed on our journey.”

 

I laughed until tears squeezed out the corners of my eyes.
W.T.F.
I later flipped through the deck, and that one was the only card that mentioned Italy.

Italy. The country I fell in love with on my first trip to Europe at age 18. The country I left my first boyfriend for, spending a semester there studying abroad (when I had to return to the States I was quite depressed that I hadn’t spent a year). The country I went back to after graduating from college, intending to stay there forever, but then coming back to the States because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay back the $40,000 student loan I had (at the time the currency was the lira, not the Euro). Italy, the country I returned to four times in as many years because I fell in love with an Italian (my second boyfriend, a relationship that ended because of the distance and the fact that he was kind of a mammoni that wouldn’t move out of the house, and I got tired of waiting for him to get his own place so I could move in). The country of the language I love to speak and the food I love to eat.

So, I got my sign, my answer. Loud and clear.

And I’ve decided to follow it.

More Syncronicities

When the Goddesses said to go to Italy, I started thinking of who I knew over there.
I emailed a friend of my best friend in DC who I’d forgotten had just been relocated to Rome for work, and asked if I could crash on her couch if I came to Rome.

She said she had a guest room ready for me.

I emailed another friend I’d met 11 years ago on the way to a Radiohead concert in Verona. I told him I might be heading to Italy this summer, and asked if there were any good shows coming up.

He told me Radiohead was playing in Florence on July 1st. All their other dates were sold out but there just happened to be a few tickets left for Florence.

Ok, ok, Goddesses, Fortuna, Universe, fate, I get it!!! I’m going, I’m going!

So before I even booked my flight to Italy, I bought a Radiohead ticket online. The purchase went through without a hitch.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
– William Hutchinson Murray from his 1951 book entitled The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.

 

The Universe Won’t Let Me Again

The next step – the hunt for flights. The cheapest flights I could find on Kayak.com from Buenos Aires to Italy was an Aerolineas flight into Rome on June 25th. I checked every other Italian airport, including Florence, but they were all $300 or more than flying into Rome.

So, I tried to book the ticket on the Aerolineas site.

It wouldn’t go through.

I tried a few more times. Error, error, error. But there was an 800 number to call! Oh god. So I called, and got through immediately. A helpful woman with a Peruvian accent suggested maybe I was entering a four-digit expiration rate for my credit card rather than a two-digit. So I tried online again. Error.

I stopped. Why wasn’t this working? AGAIN?? I thought I was doing what I’m supposed to do!

I couldn’t book that train ticket to DC because I would get a free one the next day.
I couldn’t change my return flight to DC because my friend wasn’t going to be there.
I couldn’t change my flight to LA because I was apparently meant to go to Italy instead.

So why was Rome giving me problems now??
Perhaps there was a cheaper flight available? So I dug deeper. I googled ‘cheap flights Italy,’ I checked old emails from my Italian days to see if there was some travel site I’d forgotten about. I tried searching different dates, for the entire month of June, for the end of May. I tried searching all the airports, again. Nothing cheaper than flying into Rome. So I called Aerolineas again, and shortly got through to a man who put me on hold while he tried to figure out my issue with booking online. As I sat on hold, I flipped through the 20 or so tabs I had open in my browser.

And then I saw it. Somehow I’d missed the search result, or misunderstood it since the flight had a layover in Rome: a flight from Buenos Aires to Florence, a few days earlier that I’d been looking for, on June 23rd. For the same price as flying into Rome.

I hung up the phone.

I booked the ticket to Florence.

It went through without problem.

Florence. The first place I ever fell in love with. My second home. I hadn’t been there in seven years.

I screamed.

I’m going to Florence.

‎”Life is a fatal adventure.
It can only have one end.
So why not make it as far-ranging
and free as possible.”
– Alexander Eliot

 

I’m still afraid. I’m afraid I’m being stupid, afraid I’m making the wrong choice, afraid I’m wasting my money and my time, afraid I’m wasting opportunities, putting my comfort and security in jeopardy.

But the day I finally booked the ticket to Florence, I saw this post by Kute Blackson, summarizing and affirming the truth that I know in my heart, the truth that my head hasn’t quite been programmed as default yet:

“The fulfillment of your dream is not simply a matter of resources. But about your resourcefulness. How resourceful are you willing to be? How committed are you to your vision?

There is always a way. Always. Perhaps not the way you have always been doing it. But the way it’s seeking to happen for your highest good, which may not be the way you thought. So get yourself out the way so the way it’s meant to be can unfold.

The obstacles you might face along the way are simply opportunities to expand yourself, innovate and tap into other dimensions of your creative power that has yet to be expressed.

The fulfillment of the dream you have cannot be fulfilled by being the same person you have always been. It will require you shed the limitations of your previous self so that you stand in the greatness that your dream is demanding of you now.”

It’s about playing full out and giving everything you have to each moment, leaving nothing left on the table. So, lick the plate of your life clean.

You might have no road map for where your dream is taking you. But this is the time to trust your ‘Souls GPS’ to navigate you home. It’s your vision that will bring light to the path you are to travel.

Your dreams are the way in which the Divine seeks to dance in physical form through you.

The universe will respond to you at the level of your commitment.

Your excuses will get you nowhere.

Your commitment is key.

Commit.

For real.

Love. Now.”

 

And that same day, my Note From the Universe:

There are no accidents, Michelle.

If it’s appeared on your life radar, this is why: to teach you that dreams come true; to reveal that you have the power to fix what’s broken and heal what hurts; to catapult you beyond seeing with just your physical senses; and to lift the veils that have kept you from seeing that you’re already the person you dreamed you’d become.

And believe me, that was one heck of a dream.

Tallyho,
The Universe

 

So, for now, I’m following dreams, allowing life to be magical, and going with the flow. Stay tuned!

*Afore-promised punchline promised to those who weren’t willing or able to read the whole thing: After my income flow stopped and I encountered a series of obstacles and website blocks, I didn’t know where in the world to go from Patagonia, so I asked the Goddesses: California, Oregon, France or Italy? And drew a card. The card told me to go to Italy. I arrive in Florence on June 24th.