Five years ago we moved to Denver for my husband’s job. It was that or eventual unemployment, so we sold the house, left our friends and families, and drove west to the driest place on earth. Old people like it because germs have a hard time incubating there. Water people like me hate it. My Lake Michigan heart was wrenched out of me by non-sensical corporate restructuring and offered up to the local pack of coyotes that loitered at the end of the street at night. Nothing could console me. I was now a wanderer on the Front Range, looking for a new life.
For many depressing reasons, Denver skews young and I was getting old. At my daughter’s elementary school I was known as “The Old Mom”, and was closer in age to the kids’ grandmothers than to their mothers, even though I was only 46. Efforts to find a job in my former field of youthful advertising proved futile as the economy spiraled down.
By 2007, things could not get worse, so I occupied myself with an ecommerce venture in baby clothes. It never made money, but taught me about the world of online business and the ins and outs of Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimization. It all makes me sound like I knew what I was doing, doesn’t it? But as I groped around the internet, I stumbled upon my eventual life-blood for the next five years: personal spiritual development seminars, authors and speakers. You know, the ones people make jokes about: the worlds of psychics, spirit and energy.
As it turns out, Denver (read Boulder) is one of the spiritual development capitals of the world. Amidst the eternal skiers, hikers and lunch-hour runners are scads of mental and emotional venture capitalists, looking for the mother lode of inner peace. And since my white Norwegian skin could not tolerate the intense mile-high sun and wind, I went looking inside too, exploring the depths of my own spirit.
My adventure started out with a trifecta of mind-blowing speakers: Bruce Lipton, Gregg Braden and Deepak. (I am on a first name basis since he signed my book.) The seminar even threw in a wild-card – Alberto Villaldo, the shaman to beat all shamans, I find out, because I had to look up the word shaman. It was one of my most favorite days since it combined science, astronomy, spirit, humor, and weirdness. No wonder these guys were on a world-wide tour. It was Boulder’s Wild West Woo-Woo Show.
After that, I started reading the biggies, like Deepak and Eckhart Tolle, which was a huge mistake because I had no clue what the hell those two were talking about. So I moved to the B-list, and that just got harder because it was all sciencey: Physics. The cosmos. Fractals, strings, and quantum everything. That’s when I realized that this stuff was not new, it was ancient. So ancient we have forgotten it all and have to learn it all over.
So I started again, this time with simpler books from Wayne Dyer, James Redfield, Gary Zukav, and M. Scott Peck. Then I went to podcasts with Caroline Myss, Candace Pert, and more Deepak and Wayne Dyer. Ideas were starting to make sense. Science informs spirit. Heart trumps mind. I could pull thoughts out of one and apply them to another. It was like reading a musical score for a symphony. Each idea is a song in itself, but combined with the others, creates an incredible performance.
Since we moved back to the Midwest, the weirdness factor has died down a bit. I have it on good authority that I am addicted to self-development. Maybe. The jury is still out on good authority these days. But since I have learned a thing or two, everything else makes more sense. The universe is not a stranger to me. I am not afraid of dying. I look forward to 12-21-12. In fact, on that day I may just pop a bottle or two of something bubbly, and count my blessings to be back in the land of humidity and water, from whence all human life began.