I’ve learned in life, everything is a compromise. Sometimes we have to lose something to gain something. This balance of seeking what serves us in the moment isn’t always a easy path, but if we listen to our soul, the true calling within, we are guided in the right direction and never disappointed.
This week is my 5th week in beautiful Northern California. I’m slowly beginning to plant seeds and lay down roots that I pulled out from my life in Portland over the last 9 years. To be honest, and I’m sure this isn’t news to any one.. starting over is a lot of work! Lol.
It took me 2 years to reconcile my decision to move from Portland Oregon to a sunnier location, I began dancing with this move back in late 2016. And yes, the sunlight means that much to me.. I had grown up and lived in Portland Oregon for 23 years total. That’s 2/3 of my life thus far. And as I absolutely love Portland and the PAC NW, I struggled every year for about 6-8 months with SAD: seasonal affective disorder.
I wouldn’t have even known any better, but when I was 14 my family moved us to Phoenix Arizona for a decade as my father, and myself, unknowingly (cause I was 14, and what do 14 year olds know about SAD), was suffering greatly from the winter blues. My life changed when I expirenced close to 300+ days of sunlight a year, compared to 150 days in the Pacific NW.
The phenomenon of SAD is well known, studied and documented. And it doesn’t effect every body! Thank goodness, because it is not a fun thing to go through. In 2010, when I chose to move to Portland from Phoenix, I knew what I was getting into. But back then, at 28 years old there was something calling me to my hometown Portland. I told myself I was on “the 5 year plan” lol. Cuz about that time frame, SAD really kicks in for me, and it changes me in a way that I don’t care to describe, or I had to choose anti depressant medication which I do not like to take.
5 years, turned into 9. In Portland I went through a traumatic break up, addiction and recovery (currently 6.5 years sober), and stage 4 cancer. Let’s say I didn’t see any of this coming! From 28-36 I call my dark period. Not negative! Just personal darkness, in a gloomy city. In this darkness I grew a ton as a person, I learned a lot about God and life, I met amazing people whom supported my hard journey. Portland was good to me, regardless of my struggles there.
Aftet all that, I was exhausted. And in the midst of those larger struggles, I battled with seasonal depression every year from Dec-June. I would travel to sunny places: Hawaii, Costa Rica, Thailand, SoCal, and Mexico. I noticed I felt better in the sun light mentally, physically and spiritually.
Last February my partner and I knew what we had to do. And I still struggled with the decision to move away from a place where I had really built a life. I had a successful massage practice in Portland, excellent Yoga teaching jobs, friends, family and a community. Moving somewhere new meant I had to start over in my mid 30’s.. But I felt the call to live in the sunlight, and in life some times you have to let things go, to allow new things in.
With much research, and consideration we landed in Northern California. This is where my partner is from, and his family is here. I have good friends in the Bay Area only 2 hours away. We get over 270 days of sun a year. It’s mid January here and I am no where close to depressed like I would be in Portland around this time.
I open my practice self rEVOLution Wellness in beautiful Auburn Ca in early February. I’m currently not teaching Yoga anywhere, but I want to, I miss it. I am still looking for studios and gyms to do so. All the stuff takes time.
I’m starting completely over. But my inner self tells me all will be OK. I’ll get where I’m meant to go, and life is just a long journey anyway. There is no real destination. Moving from a dark period in my life to a period of light; literally and metaphorically feels like a rebirth. I feel like I have had many spiritual deaths and rebirths in this lifetime. This move to California breathed life back into my weary, worn soul.
I grateful for the opportunity, I am happy to be here.
Thank you Portland, and my time there was my greatest teacher. Wow. What an adventure of self discovery, suffering and profound growth and awakening. And not saying all will be sunshine and butterflies in california, lol. Life is still life wherever one land, everywhere we go, there we are : )
Through the dark times, I’ve learned to honor and embrace simple things in life. In that regard, I’ve become happy just being alive another day. The darkness was a gift, it gave me perspective, taught be about miracles and love. As I begin again, I bring the wisdom I’ve found in the darkness into my new life. I feel alive again.
In Love and Light,