• The Trade In

    20090929_Eagles_Nest_550.jpgA spring snowstorm hit the Rocky Mountains yesterday.  The ground is frosted in white again.  We are all deep in preparation for our departure to Europe for the April London and Czech Republic workshops.  I went to the mountains, knowing that it would most likely be my last ski day of the season.  After 4 solitary runs, I took the chairlift to one of the peaks, took my skis off and hiked out of bounds to the top of the tallest craggy peak I could find.  It overlooked a large, avalanche prone bowl on one side and miles of sparse towns and mountain ranges on the other.  I took off my helmet and let the frigid wind run through my hair.  I faced the sunlight in the lotus position, closed my eyes and found my closure with the mountains.  It was the snow-covered mountains that rehabilitated me after I escaped the horror of my youth.  I was revived by them.  They took me in.   They became my home.  I sat in meditation and connected with the consciousness of those mountains.  I expressed gratitude to it and then informed it that I would be leaving soon (to move away) and that I do not know when I’ll be returning.  Against the black of my eyelids, I saw words appear in an archaic cursive writing.  I watched them being spelled out… “It is another’s turn to be brought back to life by us now, and because you have come back to life, it is your turn to bring others back to life, so it is time now to go.  We will be here.  Never closed to you.  But it is your turn now to ‘rehabilitate’ others.”  The message came with a warm, heavy feeling, which consumed me.  It was as if the mountain had sent its essence up along my spine and over my head and arms and chest.  I sat there, in the bittersweet emotion that could only be described as nostalgia for half of an hour.  It was as if we were saying our farewell to each other.  When I felt a sense of closure, and a readiness to step away from the mountains and into the new chapter of my life, I hiked down the crest of the mountain.  I put my skis on and took one final ski run to the base of the mountain.  This time when I put my ski equipment away, I was overcome with a somewhat uncomfortable feeling that they would be packed away for quite a while this time.  I am moving now, into my new life away from these mountains and away from the snow.

    2007-land-rover-range-rover-hse_100032162_m.jpg When you live in the snowy mountains, 4-wheel drive is essential.  Without it, you could not get to the store and back home again.  Last year, I decided to practice self-love and so I bought myself my favorite car in existence.  It was a silver range rover.  I named her Lilly.  I bought it used from an angry entrepreneur, who was selling it so his wife couldn’t win custody over it during the divorce he was in the middle of.  He spent nearly the whole time I was viewing the car ranting about his x wife and what a 'money grubbing cunt' she was.  Then half way through the interaction as if he suddenly noticed he was attracted to me, he stopped and out of nowhere he asked me on a date.  My first sarcastic thought was "wow, the hour long rant about your x wife was a super turn on, sure I'd like to go on a date with you...not".  I told him that he was not ready yet for another relationship and that I did not want to be a “rebound”.  He said “I suppose you’re right, you must have gone to college or somethin”.  It was a hysterically funny interaction mostly because of what a character the man was.  Anyway, I could not have been more happy with Lilly.  I poured more money into the car than the car was worth in repairs.  It was one of the dumbest financial decisions I’ve ever made.  But it was worth it because I have never loved a car as much as I loved Lilly.  The one problem with Lilly, is that she liked to drink petroleum, and lots of it.  Filling her up with gas (which I had to do nearly every other day) filled me with guilt.  I felt like a hypocrite.  I teach oneness.  I am an environmental advocate.  And yet there I was with a “gas guzzler”, contributing to the harming of the planet.  When we pull petroleum from beneath the surface of the earth for our cars, it is like draining the blood of the earth to run our adult toys.

    2012-honda-insight_100367471_m.jpg   Now that I am moving to an area where there is no need to maneuver through feet of snow, I could no longer justify keeping Lilly.  And so, I drove her to a dealership and I traded her in for a used 2013 Honda Insight.  Being financially minded, I don’t believe in getting a loan on anything that depreciates (unless you have an asset, whose passive income is paying for the loan payment) so I always pay for my cars slightly used and outright.  The Honda Insight is a Hybrid, meaning that it runs on electricity unless the engine needs gas to do something like accelerate.  It gets over 45 miles to the gallon.  Electric hybrids are awesome!  But driving one takes some getting used to.  The engine shuts off completely when you stop at stoplights and re starts when you let your foot off of the brake petal.  I still haven’t gotten over the slight panic feeling that my car has stalled when it does that.  This purchase was a genius financial decision and an even better environmental decision.  But I nearly cried when I collected my things out of Lilly and said goodbye for the last time.  I had no idea I could get so attached to a car.  Everything has a consciousness, even things we do not identify as “living”.  They do not experience emotion though.  But for the sake of this blog, I’ll just say that I have the tendency to personify everything.  As I walked away from Lilly, I felt like I had betrayed her.  I felt so guilty.  I felt like a terrible person.  I projected the idea that she was feeling abandoned and unloved by me.  Driving away in a different car felt completely out of place.

    Transportation-Man_checking_minivan_BE.jpg I named this new hybrid car “Inny”.  Now I feel guilty because I feel like my new car doesn’t feel loved or valued.  I can’t get over Lilly and I’ve told everyone in the house that they don’t get to point out any range rovers to me anymore on the street.  Somehow, I feel like Inny knows I can’t get over Lilly and that Inny feels terrible because of it.  I really want to become attached to Inny and I suspect in time I will be.  Especially since my carbon footprint has been greatly reduced, which is why I bought the car in the first place.  But I have discovered just how hard it is to “get over” your dream car.  Suddenly I relate to those stereotypical men who have to replace their beloved sports cars with mini vans when the time for children has arrived.  Ouch!  Maybe if I get really lucky, Range Rover will decide to build an electric car.  Until then, how ironic is it that as a spiritual teacher, I now own a hybrid car named the ‘Insight’?  Could I get anymore stereotypical if I tried?

    I love the feeling of readiness to step into a new phase of life.  It feels so full of promise and so “right”.  I am going to say goodbye to cowboy country for good.  It has been a long time coming.  I am supremely excited to never have to write Utah on my return address ever again.  I wonder if in the coming years, I will even relate to the life I lived here.  I am not apprehensive at all about this move.  For whatever reason, the rightness of it has made it feel as easy as moving next-door.  I’ve never been so excited about the next phase of my life.  Remembering how miserable and suicidal I was at many points in my life, it feels alien to write that.  I never thought I’d be excited about the future.  But I guess that goes to show that anything is possible.

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