I didn’t start crying until I put mascara on.
The mascara, which before, I couldn’t imagine leaving the house without.
The mascara I hadn’t worn for days because I was laying on a small beach, on a big island, in the middle of the Pacific.
Days spent disconnected. Days spent buoyed by the salt and water that makes up my own body and also the body of the turquoise ocean.
Days spent in surrender. Days spent in alignment with the call to travel that I came into this world with.
Days spent feeling at home by being far from it.
Now back in California, I put mascara on because it’s what I do at home.
Grieving being back. Grateful for having been.
Whether it’s travel, trying something new, or pushing out of our comfort zone by creating something, trying something, being someone new, there’s a part of us that changes.
We open up important questions that deepen the connection to who we are. We expand our capacity for creativity, love and abundance.
Coming home, I’m full of clarity about questions I didn’t know I had. The questions about what changes I want to make in my life, the questions about how I get in my own way. The questions about what to keep and what to leave behind.
And isn’t that always the case when we trek out of our routine, even for a moment? We inevitably find something new about ourselves and our potential. And with this, we have to release and receive.
But importantly, when we trek, we trust.
“Keep trusting” is what came to mind as I floated on the ocean, gently holding a boogie board with wrinkled fingers. In one direction, all I could see was water: the unknown, the beautiful unconscious. In the other direction, all I could see was sand: the known, the beautiful comfort.
Trusting the relationship between these opposites doesn’t just come up when on the beach. It comes up with each creative impulse and each moment we are called to trek out of our regular lives.
We must trust to get in the water. Trust to follow where we are being guided. Trust to surrender into a new way of life for a while. Trust to not be able to touch the ground knowing we will get back out and stand on solid land once again.
Because, each time we stretch and come back, we return expanded. Each time we stretch, we are more comfortable with our own edges. Each time we stretch, we settle into a part of ourselves that didn’t feel like home before, but now does.
We are always floating back and forth, just as the waves do. And with each expansion and contraction, we become more ourselves.
Now back on the mainland, I hold my bathing suit, still damp with sea water, and heavy with sweat, salt, and sunscreen, over the washing machine, hesitating before dropping it in. The tears start to well up again as I hear the water make its way through the plumbing in the wall.
However, as my dog shimmies by my side, and my cat tries to bury himself into a speck of a crevice between my cheek and pillow, and as I wash in my own shower, sleep in my own bed, and cook with my well-loved red La Cruset, I’m glad to be home.
Because it’s in the return that we integrate. It’s in the return that I was caught off guard by my own tears. It was in the return that I realized the tears carrying mascara down my cheek weren’t about sadness at all. Rather they were a symptom of the alchemical process of change. Old thoughts, feelings, ways of being, dissolving.
Boulders becoming soft sand.
Water drying, firming and becoming new land.