“Hmm, I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque.”
                          – Bugs Bunny                                                                              

Is it wrong to cheat on the place you live?   

I’ll be honest, I have been less than devoted to my South Carolina experience as of late. I have found myself visiting New Mexico websites; reading up on the recent changes in Albuquerque; checking out houses online; and researching the unbelievable art scene in Santa Fe.   

Did you know there are two Whole Foods and two Trader Joes markets in Albuquerque and one of each in Santa Fe?  Did you know that the city of Albuquerque actually has a Sustainability Plan and it is outlined on the City’s website? Did you know that they have an outdoor Amphitheater with Blues and Jazz on Saturday nights? Oh there is so much more to go on about, but I won’t bore you. This is, of course, my own little dream.     

A funny thing happened to me on the way to New Mexico, I ended up in South Carolina.     

Now, let me be clear before anyone jumps to any conclusions – particularly negative ones.     

I have ALWAYS wanted to return to New Mexico, set down my little roots and live there. I have this weird affinity with Georgia O’Keeffe, Native American traditions, the Anasazi, fry bread, pueblos, pottery, petroglyphs (the 3-Ps, baby), the high desert, Virgin Mary wood-carved statues, Day of the Dead, Sandia Peak, etc, etc.     

Ever since I was a child, the clay color plateaus and pueblos have called to me. Even before I knew there was a place called New Mexico or could spell (or even articulate for that matter) the word Albuquerque, I have known that this was home.     

So, why I am not there writing a blog titled Just West of Zen?     

Good question.     

I suppose, because for now, I am here. You know, living in the South, spreading love and light and inspiring people to think outside of the box just by knowing me and my wacky non-conformist nature.     

I’ve actually thought that we could simply pack up and move to New Mexico. I mean, we packed up and moved here didn’t we and besides a few life altering experiences that would have happened even if we had stayed in Florida, none of us are worse for the wear. Right? Right?

Oh for heaven’s sake, somebody tell me that we are all right.     

Of course, we are. Living here is an amazing experience. Living here is so different from our previous experience in Florida. It has opened up opportunities for growth and to try new things, as well as pursue dreams that we have talked about.   

So what if the kid in the grocery store asks me about my hummus purchase every single time I buy it and asks me why I eat it if there is no meat in it. I believe it it is an opportunity for personal growth to smile and explain that it is a chick pea dip and not everything HAS TO HAVE MEAT IN IT. (No, I am not screaming, I am just using the Caps for emphasis).     

I called this blog Just South of Zen, because it is a play on words but sums up the experience of living here beautifully. We moved here for a simpler life, which after some careful examination and a few set-backs, we have achieved. We moved here to be closer to nature, which we are. We decided to teach yoga and  it has been well received (for the most part). We moved here for something different and honey, we definitely got that.     

But living in a place that is set in traditions and looks at outsiders in a less than friendly way sometimes can be challenging. Being different (read different as yoga teacher, vegetarian, spiritual rather than religious and outspoken when asked) can make it even more challenging.     

So Just “South” of Zen sums up the experience of living in the South and trying to achieve balance and peace.     

Those of us on any kind of spiritual path are always attempting to achieve balance and peace. Living in the South doesn’t necessarily make that more difficult. I suppose if I lived in a cave alone it would be quite easy. Or would it?     

Would there be challenges? Would I start arguing with myself? Would me, myself and I argue over who ate the last piece of fruit? Would I be annoyed when I meditated because my ego won’t pipe down? I would probably start arguing with the voices in my head and start drawing cave drawings or petroglyphs of New Mexico and  planning my escape from myself.   

But we really can’t run away from ourselves. And we really can’t run away from our dreams.They make up who we are.   

Wanting to live in New Mexico does not mean that I am discontent with living here. I see ultimately going to New Mexico as pursuing a dream, something that I have held sacred for as long as I can remember. It is not running away from something, it is more, ultimately, when the time is right, running towards something.

Do I wish I was there, right now?

Honestly, no.

It’s not quite time yet. I can feel that deep in my soul. I know the time is coming, I can feel it “real” more now than I have for many years. I feel that everything has its time and place. I know that it is there on the horizon. But for now, for whatever reason, we are here.

Does that make me unhappy?

Again, honestly, no.

I know inherently that I am here for some reason. I’m not a big believer of pre-determined paths and big holy beings determining my future. But I do believe that we sign up to accomplish a few things while we are here on planet Earth and there are certain “destinies” that we have to achieve (like life mini-milestones). If we get lost along the way, the Universe has a very clear and distinct way of getting us back on the path.

Am I being dishonest to my experience now because I am dreaming about new Mexico and researching my possibilities?

No, not at all.

Because ultimately, it is all connected. It becomes one long line of experiences that will go into the mixing pot of who I am. Each place I live, each person I meet, each sunset I watch and every martini I drink, each dream, each interchange and experience makes up who I am. My relationships, my dreams, my job, my creativity, my writing, my jewelry, and this blog all goes into the mixing pot. Your comments go into the mixing pot. The collective energy of everything goes into the pot. Until it turns into a great big pile of mush and there is nothing that defines this from that or you from me or negative from positive. Because in the end, it’s all the same and it’s all connected.

It’s all Good.

It’s all God/dess.

So a funny thing did happen on the way to New Mexico, I ended up in South Carolina, I ended up working in a new industry at a job that allows me to contribute, I ended up teaching yoga to amazing spirits, I ended up writing a blog, a book and making jewelry. I get to spend more time with my son and husband. I get to hear the bird sings, watch the stars twinkle and hear the Universe sigh.

A funny thing happened, I found a dream I didn’t even know I was looking for at the time.

And New Mexico is still there, waiting, for when we are both ready.