Go Gently...

First day in our new home city...

Hello my fellow Pilgrims,

We have safely landed in Southern California; we are freeloading off Jeffrey's beautiful sister Susan and her equally loving husband Greg. They have two grown sons, couple of empty bedrooms, and were kind enough to allow us to stay with them while we get organized. We will be homeless until the 15th and then we will be officially settled in our rental home in Santa Barbara. For the next two weeks we will float between two cities as we get the kids registered for school, Jeff settled at his new job, and wait for the contents of our home to arrive.

My thoughts are a bit scattered. While I try and sort through them, I have a little nugget to share with you first. As everyone can imagine the goodbyes were bitter sweet, filled with love and gratitude. I need some time to reflect and offer a clear understanding of where we are and where I have been on this part of the journey. For now take this little post as a teaser of what's to come.

xo, Kathryn

I have had so many good-byes in the last few weeks filled with every single emotion. Each and every hug has been a gift. Have you ever noticed that so many neglect to say how they feel until it's often too late?

My stunningly beautiful Wisdom Figure has told me, "You Kathryn, love outside of the box."

Which may be the greatest compliment I have ever received. I do love outside of the box. I LOVE, which is my greatest strength, but also my Achilles heel.  LOVE is my superpower and it has taken me some time to learn how to love completely and not let it destroy me. I have teetered, and faltered in my humaneness, but just as we watched our little ones learning to walk; I get up and keep on keeping on.  I like to say that I love best in the messy; maybe that is why this move has been both easier and harder than expected.

The move is easier, in that I can effortlessly tell people how I feel; where I struggle, is understanding the depths to which I'm loved. That love is humbling, powerful, and deep. When we share our love, we share an honest part of ourselves, our underbelly so to speak. This part of us, is our most fragile, our most vulnerable. Our truth becomes part primal and intensely personal, and what's more, it is a soul-connecting sharing with each other. I believe that through these connections we meet the Divine. That Divinity for me is God at work. Foolishly, I wasn't prepared for the intensity of that LOVE. I have felt the depth of this love many times, but this was different. What made it different was that I felt it constantly, it was unceasing.  Everyone I touched shared the depth of their love for me and my family. The intensity of that kind of love is remarkable and not something we often share in our daily journey.

So to feel that constant amount of love is overwhelming, because we don't have the skills to process the intensity on a daily basis. I'm not really sure why, maybe it's because we are out of practice, we don't see that type of love enough? It is something with which I need to wrestle.

I tell people all the time that I love them; but to hear them return that love was unsettling. The ability to open yourself and feel that kind love offered so freely is well... astounding.  Welcoming that type of love; being open to and accepting that love can be messy.  I admit, at times in the last month, I have gotten into my car and had the ugly, snotty cry, that hyper-ventilating, shit I'm scaring myself cry. I kept asking myself, "where is this coming from?" I just didn't see it coming-and that was the problem. I love so easily; but to see its reflection, to feel that warmth, to be vulnerable, to receive and be open to the Divinity of another, to welcome another's sunshine on my own face was profound. Life giving. Giving oneself permission to be loved is not easy... It can be uncomfortable and humbling. I didn't see, and perhaps wasn't open to welcoming God's grace in this way.

Life lessons are always BIG, just when you think you have it all figured out; you learn anew and aren't they the best lessons?  God humbles me often and it's in these moments that I learn the most.

Have you ever gone to a funeral and were shocked by the stories and the outpouring of love exhibited by those who attend? Often we hear folks say, "I never really was able to tell this person how important they are in my life." Listen I have no plans to die anytime soon; but that is what the goodbyes have been for me, the chance to get a glimpse of what I mean to others. I thought the lesson was how I was going to love everyone, explain the space I was creating that no distance could ever keep me apart from them. But the true lesson, that many shared was the thought, "I just never thought you would move away from here... I just thought we would have more time."  And my answer was the same, "So did I."

I never really believed that I would move from the East Coast. I love being an East Coaster! I love the seasons and everything about living in the DC area. We were close to our dear friends and family alike. We have the best community, support network and love anyone could ask for...

Which is why this move has been so painfully difficult; I never saw it coming.

So maybe that has been the other lesson; don't wait to make that lunch date, or movie night or to go visit some place or person that is close to you. Because we never really know what is around the bend. We think we do... but we really don't have a clue.

So as I begin the new work of creating my place in the Cali world, I'm reminded that the Divine, works so beautifully where we need it most, where we miss the sunlight. So I will keep my head-up and do the work here that is required.

This move has allowed me to understand, that I'm loved so beautifully, so completely, that I need to drink it in a little bit more, accept it and own that love, too! I was able to understand what I offered to another person, how the little things I do makes a difference in someone else's day. I admit it surprised me; I'm not doing anything special, truly. I'm just trying to navigate this world just like you. So being present, listening, crying, sharing that you matter to someone in a very meaningful way... that is a gift. A gift to both the giver and receiver. And it's that love that surrounds me that will keep me grounded as I navigate this new West Coast world.

When I leave my Wisdom Figure's home she says the same thing... As I skip down her steps fumbling for me keys, I always hear her voice call after me... "Go gently, Kathryn..."  I wait for it, smile and know that I'm loved and protected out in this big world.

I always know that I'm carrying her wisdom and the wisdom of the ages with me, out on my new adventures.

It is with this knowledge that I walk with more love than can be imagined... I hope that you do too.

Go gently, Pilgrims.  Go gently...

Namaste, until we meet again on the West Coast...