The view out the windows is a field of grey with huge evergreens in the background and brilliant orange flowering bushes in the foreground. I am in the lodge at Esalen and the rains continue to show up almost every day with brief episodes of brilliant blue skies and sunlight as respite. I have the day “off” from co-teaching a group of 15 who are here for a month-long work scholar on “Presence and Touch” and as leader of a treatment table where staff can show up for a multi-hands session of CST in clusters of two or three sessions in succession. This is my eighth year here and I am now appreciating Esalen at the level one does when the scars and pimples are exposed and you love the deeper experience, not the pretty face. I know what to expect and like all places and experiences there are the clouds and the silver linings. E is an isolated retreat that attracts people who are seeking the truth of themselves and figuring out what their best next step is…an experiment in communal living that has suceeded for 50 years. No small accomplishment! I am grateful for my small place in this unique community.
While G and I were on our 2 week vacation (the G&C Freedom Road Trip celebrating his 64th b-day and retirement from the school district) just before I came to Esalen , I took a bad fall up some stairs with my hands in my pockets (never a good idea) and hit the bone between my nose and upper lip (right on my mustache!) I felt so lucky to not lose my nose or my teeth that I didn’t realize the inner damage that happened. As it turns out, my CST friends here at Esalen put hands on me yesterday and discovered brain trauma which explains my fogginess, fatigue and general malaise that came forward when I stopped moving long enough to feel what I was really feeling after I arrived here. Under their expert hands bone compressions in my spine and cranium were decompressed and flow was returned. As I got up from the table the first thing I noticed was my visual clarity was greatly improved and my head felt “clear.” After a good nights sleep I am feeling myself again and so grateful for the gifts I have received. It is not lost on me the timing of these events and I marvel at the magic of life.
After the holidays I will be working on several projects at home to get Mountain Valley Retreat ready for it’s opening in April. I am looking forward with great curiosity to meeting the people that will show up at our gates! The hikers on the PCT last year came from every state and @50 countries so we will have campers not unlike the international group at Esalen.
G and I are stepping into a new beginning. His retirement opens up his days to pursue flying and teaching others to pilot sailplanes. I am opening Mountain Valley Retreat to bring to life a dream I have had for decades. All I can say is, “It is Time!”
I hope you are stepping into the adventure of your own life with curiosity, gratitude and the loving support of family and friends which makes everything meaningful. “Connection” is the purpose of life as best I can tell and I am thankful everyday for all of the loving connections that support me.