Moments I’m Grateful for

November 19, 2020

Gratitude gets me looking back at my life and seeing threads I wasn’t able to see when I was younger. And I think that the ability to see those in such a positive light comes from how positive I’m feeling in my older years, about to be 76. And I’m having one of the best times of my life. And as I look back, I feel grateful for who I was born, the body, and mind, and the biochemistry I was born into. From the beginning, I was different than the world around me, which was a lower-class neighborhood in Berkeley. And then growing up in my teens in a suburb of the Bay Area called El Sobrante, which, well, I viewed it as the pit, and I still do somewhat, it’s not a pit socio-economically, but I mean, it was lower middle class.

But in terms of people who were interested in things beyond the small life, and I’ve always been interested in things in a bigger life, a bigger…I can’t call it…I couldn’t call it spirit then, because I really didn’t know what that was. But beyond the suburbs, I was interested in more things, perhaps intellectual art, and just believed there had to be something more than working every day and coming home and having dinner and watching TV while having dinner, which is what we did, they turned the table to face the TV.

So I got out of there as soon as I could. After high school, I went away to UC Santa Barbara, which was still a little staid. But then I got to go to France for my junior year abroad, I was drawn to languages, I was drawn to French. And that just opened up my world. Then I came back and went to Berkeley. But I see how that thread of exploring something beyond led me into the hippie world and experimenting with the drugs that were popular at the time. And then to travel and creating my own careers, starting off in dress designing, and then making clothes for the Renaissance Fair. And then into bodywork, which was where I found the ability to both develop myself emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and help others through the body.

I started off thinking of therapy. But I just was drawn into the body, and embodiment, and feeling feelings, and changing through the body. And that led me through different sorts of massage and bodywork till I found the one that really was me, called Trigger, which combined meditation, and touch, and movement, and discovering that led me to going to Esalen Institute in Big Sur, where I met my husband, and we were from completely different worlds.

But we met through a man, a famous philosopher, psychologist, and I knew his wife, she had studied with me, and my husband, who was a medical doctor. And we met from two different worlds and created a life together. And he passed away 15 years ago, after we were together almost 30 years, and I had a stroke when I was in my early 50s. And so the traveling I had done teaching this form of bodywork that I loved, I didn’t feel I could do that. And I was drawn back into clothes and design. Well, not design exactly, but image consulting and home staging. And a lot of these through meeting people that took me there, and then retiring, and finding out about this reimagined festival of love, life, and loss, and being so deeply involved, which is where I met Joanna.

And so throughout my life, the threads of spiritual growth, psychological growth, emotional growth, and getting in the body and changing through the body have created a very rich tapestry and brought me to a husband. It wasn’t all love and light, but there was also a lot of connection. So looking back, and meeting my husband, I mean, I never made much money, but meeting my husband, he was a doctor at UCSF, leaving me with enough to live a comfortable life in a beautiful place, and it’s been a really rich life, and I look forward to many more years to come.

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