Lebanon~ you had me at hello. I miss you so much already… The very first human experience I had there was the sweetest taxi driver, who had the softest, kindest face. This first person who drove me into your world, who was such a beautiful gentleman but with a tired, sadness in his eyes. This is not an easy country to live in, at all… But I can easily say that this place is by far the biggest love affair I’ve ever had, of all the countries I’ve sauntered into.. This land has something so different. The people here are like no other. I have never felt sooo taken care of in all my life~ the tremendous generosity, humanness, & care showered over me was incalculable. AND one of the things that stands out amongst the rest is your humor. Through all the darkness & turmoil that is happening right now in this country~ the people have such a light disposition through it all. In my entire life, I have never smiled & laughed more than the last 3 months I spent with you…. One of my Lebanese friends joked to me that ‘the Humor is all we have left’… Lebanon is a country of vast contrasts. To me as an outsider, nothing made sense, the country seemingly in complete disarray, everyday something more confusing would pop up, & the tv would bring more terrible news. Compared to the world I grew up in, Lebanon felt like a jungle. But in a magnificent, tragically beautiful way.. A country, to me, that is brimming with disparities, contradictions, & immense wonder.. A place that is pristine, rugged, sun kissed, tropical, dirty, gorgeous, & full of laughter & sorrow all at the same time… Every day was something new, unpredictable, & left the most incredible impressions on my soul. But amidst it all, this country has such an unmistakable warm heart. I’ve never in my life made more friends so quickly, eaten so ravenously of the irresistible Mediterranean cuisine, and had so many magical moments as I did in such a short time span with you all. Your country is so beautiful~ the little beaches of Kfarabida, hiking in Al Ammouaa forest, the mountains & waterfalls of Tannourine, the views of Harissa, the cute cafes of Byblos, the cliffs near Lady of Nourieh, the tiny gorgeous town of Douma, & my favorite, Faraya. I wanted to thank my beautiful friend Shady for showing me the highest peak of Lebanon, Qurnat as Sawda’, & the mountains of Zaarour & Sannine. You were immensely genuine, kind & lovely to be with.. My friend Victor for driving me around in the golf cart everyday around the old Souk of Batroun & making me die laughing..You’re seriously wonderful.. For Khairallah for your endless sweetness, warmth, motorcycle rides, & taking us sailing. My friend Joe who invited me to his birthday pool party in the Saqi Rechmaiya hills & made me feel soooo welcome, with me knowing noone there… And of course, my dear Elie~ for taking care of me through everything. It wasn’t easy all the time for me to be in a country like this, the complete opposite of where I’m from .. Thank you Elie for all your love, patience, & togetherness…. There are SOO many people to thank, the list is endless, I can’t possibly name everyone.. 💜 Lebanon has my heart & always will. Your vast mountainous beauty, ice cold waterfalls, gorgeous coastline, & salty beaches will always be close in my memory… My life there was priceless. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have experienced this land. With magnificently built men, women with stars in their eyes, & children with delight on their faces. I love you. Thank you for everything ~ you were beyond my wildest dreams.
This was one of the most memorable of my sailing experiences this year, coupled with the most insane moments as well. What’s a sailing trip without a little bit of terror, right?
I’ve always known that life is supposed to be magical, but I had to fake-believe it the last few years~ Intentionally putting faith out into the Universe that there was indeed this fabric, this web-like structure to the empty space around us, that is always listening. This Universal Mind that is sentient, that we sometimes forget is there.. Since 2012, I’ve diligently put out my antennas to the world around me, sensing, testing, listening, speaking, waiting, & sitting in silence… I’ve gone to the ends of the earth in my international travels in order to experience shifts in my reality because I’ve known since I was very little that life is more than what society is selling us right now. Life is supposed to be a dream, that reveals new surreal surprises everyday..
Never in my life have I felt at home living in a house, a solid unmoving structure. Most girls grow up desiring a beautiful house, a successful career perhaps, a husband, white picket fence, a pet, and maybe those 2.5 children. I have never desired any of those things, but somewhere along the way into adulthood, I curiously started following that construct, that path that everyone seems to think they have to take, which for me personally I kind of view as a trap.
This week, I began to read “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn… The title alone has really been running through my mind. The title alone has become a reminder for me that there is nowhere to go, no ‘thing’ to attain, no destination that will sooth our uneasiness. There will always be struggle, discontent, unhappiness. There will always be those moments when we don’t want to be ‘here’. Sometimes out of ‘fear of missing out’, or thinking another lover will sooth our feelings of unworthiness or loneliness even, or that next vacation will dissolve all of my worries, or if I get that next degree I’ll have a job that will be satisfying, or that prettier wife or faster car will make me feel more youthful
I recently downloaded the audio book “Don’t Just Sit There” by the beautiful meditation teacher & author Biet Simkin. In Chapter 43, she says “just as a scientist enlarges the image of a tiny microbe under a microscope until it is all that the frame can fit, we too can blow up the image of our aims so wide, that we can’t even see all those other things we can’t change”.
As I look ahead to a new year, I wanted to share a little bit of how my own life goes along these days…. To be honest, I get tingles on my skin. I get rushes up my spine. I get excitement of the unknown. Truly the complete unknown. The year ahead looks like a downright blank piece of white paper, that I am about to splatter with the brightest colors I can find… This is what has been my experience for the last 3 years.. Almost near effortlessness. After leaving Corporate Management after 11 years, I leaped completely into a dark abyss. I had Zero plan. Zero anything. All I knew was that life is fleeting right before our eyes. Like sand falling right through our finger tips… And fast. Our time here on this planet is but a drop in the ocean. A small blip on the screen in the vast scheme of things.. Some of us grasp, plan, struggle, trudge & push on.. But I’d like to tell you a little bit about what happened to me~ what I learned over the last 3 years since leaving the ‘cage’. I learned quite quickly that the more we grasp, the more we ‘try harder’, the more we work ourselves to death, the faster our life escapes us. I’ve learned that time can actually be slowed down, time can be harnessed, AND that life can become nearly effortless.. If you think about it, our life is not our own anyway. We are here right now, having reincarnated to learn our life’s karmic lessons. We are here living out thousands of lives over the centuries, & we have to keep coming back… In all the myriad of vastly different colorful lives we get to live out, (even if you dont believe this), I have come to realize that the reigns on life can be completely eased.. We don’t have to struggle. You can if you want to, but I left that life behind. I knew that there is another realm, another dimension that can be lived within…. So I said ‘what the hell’, & took up sailing lessons. And that my friends, is when life completely took hold & I feel I haven’t stepped off the wild ride since.