Day 1: Open to Inspiration and the move to California.
On the road.
Things kept changing and it is four weeks later than the original plan to move to California. During those 4 weeks, I opened my eyes and saw the gifts that emerged from the “delay.” Christmas was spent with Kate and Molly, age 10, in Baltimore. This Christmas, Molly received a Barbie House and Barbie outfits for the next year. To see the delight of the child who still believes in the magic is marvelous. I believe in the magic and she re-filled my cup to the top.
We had great holiday celebrations that included a trip to Herr’s Potato Chip factory with warm potato chips off the assembly line; dinner at the Dizz in Hampden, where I met a waiter who is studying to be a chef; saw the lighting of the Mt. Vernon monument in Baltimore with fireworks; had an opportunity to see the Ace of Cakes filming outside; created two USTREAM shows in Kate’s kitchen with her encouragement and sound tips from the next room; celebrated New Year’s Eve with Kate and Karen and their kids; time to create dream and vision journals and went to NYC and Philadelphia to see NickJ (Jonas) and the Administration.
I discovered crumbs cupcakes, was in town for a snowstorm, officially started my book business- Live a Life Worth Celebrating. I watched 10 episodes of an old TV show called Quantum Leap and discovered how much they talked about combining spirituality and science in the show which was filmed in the early 90’s. I started the 40 day Oneness program with James Twyman and his co-author Anakha. Watched Ravens football with Molly and ate delicious shrimp and pigs in a blanket. Attended several ceremonies at the Center for Spiritual Peacemaking, including an emissary wheel ceremony and a burning bowl ceremony.
If we had pushed forward to complete a self-imposed deadline to get somewhere, we would have missed the opportunities that were right in front of us. We took a deep breath and released the need to control the timing.
And now we are on the road, headed to California. Here are a few of the details from that first day.
Hannah and I left around noon. In the last few days before leaving Baltimore, there was still more releasing of stuff. A good reminder that we can always release, release, release and release some more.
Something shifts every time I feel like I have figured this out, the inspiration of selling my home and moving to California. I am finally getting it. I am living the 8 step process that came to me during the summer of 2008. Open to Inspiration. I have 53 years of stories and examples of how I have lived this way and now another layer is being revealed. It is a new adventure and an even deeper way of being Open to Inspiration.
A few days ago, I was confused about traveling with the cats. I spent hours talking with Kate, my housemate for the last two months. We talked and brainstormed and I researched all of the options. I wanted the cats to travel in two crates inside of the car. I considered towing a small u-haul trailer or purchasing a roof top carrier to carry our suitcases, boxes of books, and sleeping bags. Finally, it came to me: one crate, re-prioritize the things we need and equip ourselves with harnesses and leashes for the cats. We would walk the cats at rest stops every few hours.
For two days, I packed the car and asked the same questions over and over. What is the most important stuff to have with us for the next few months? What are we going to be doing in California and what clothes, books, etc… do we need?
After 5 years of clearing it came down to more questions and another deeper evaluation. What would fit into all of the nooks and crannies of the car? I would look at the pile, pick 5 things and then find a place. Look at the pile again and decide what to leave. I had divided my big jug of powdered electrolyte drink, Performance, into 2 containers. Decided to take one and leave the other. A bag of books. Take 5 books, leave 3. I think you get the idea of the conscious choices in the last pile of stuff.
I call this course correcting. You think you have it all figured out and another element is added that changes your perspective. Needed more course correcting with the cats. Cooper pooped all over a blanket in the first five minutes of the trip. The smell permeated the entire car. The harness did not fit Playful. The weather was so cold! Were we really going to train the cats to go for a walk and poop in this 15 degree weather at our first stop in the mountains of West Virginia?
On our way out of town we made one last stop at Petsmart. New harness for Playful found in the medium dog section. Three disposable litter boxes with more kitty litter. Put one litter box in the crate. Cats had half the leg room but it eliminated walking in the cold.
Finally on the road and headed to Columbus, Ohio for the first night’s sleep, I reflected on all it took to get here. Thinking back to the beginning of this cycle. Five years ago, Hurley, my husband was dying from cancer. We both began a clearing of stuff then. Our identities were changing. The words I used to define myself were changing. He died six months later. Five years I have been releasing stuff, dreams, businesses, and a house.
As I drove away from Baltimore, it was hard to believe that we were finally on our way to California after a year of talking about this. It was hard to connect with the realness, the significance of this moment. There had been so many moments to get us to this place.
I told myself, Just drive. This is the spiritual practice of the week. Drive. Observe nature, the bumper stickers and vanity license plates. Let the thoughts wash over you and drive. No thinking or figuring anything out. Let the last five years and all of the moments it took to get here, just BE. Let everything settle. Listen to your heart. This is the first day of a new chapter. Hello World! I AM Andrea.
I marvel that each day is unfolding before you and that you just take it in and welcome it. I think back to when I relocated from Houston to DC in the late 80’s and drove with 2 cats in January in a 280 ZX by myself….lots of fun and adventure, too. :o)
May you continue to listen to your heart and share some of it with us….it’s the inspiration that we all need to remember that life is there waiting for us to choose it.
Much love, Andrea…. Ann Quasman
Gives me the image from Go Dog Go….fun and lively….DRIVE On Girl, DRIVE! (bye the way, do you like my hat?)