Rancho la Home

It's funny how I'm more inclined to write while away from my San Diego base.  After several days at home after my friends and family trip to Minnetana I am back down south at my other home away from home.  Rancho la Puerta has turned into a most wonderful place for me to live and work.

When I was scrambling to get things done prior to coming here for a week, after being away for 2 weeks, I felt like I was running out of time.  I did my best to breathe through it and to stay calm and centered.  Doing my best, sometimes I actually felt calm... at times not at all. Driving here through the beautiful mountains, I realized that I was heading into the part of my life where I am most chill.

The warm smiles and happy hugs I give and receive here are indicative of the vibe I get to swirl in for a week.  Walking the grounds gives instant reconnection with the abundant nature, that is interrupted only minimally by brick pathways and tastefully designed buildings.  Our 6 acre organic garden/farm provides a bounty of amazing produce that our chefs and dining staff craft lovingly into incredible tasting and healthful meals.  Fresh seafood is picked up 45 minutes south in Ensenada.

Life is simple here... there are less demands on my time than in my 'life on the outside'.  My J.O.B. (Joy of Being- thank you Shaon Plache for that distinction!) here is to greet guests in our 96 degree warm water pool and float them.  Watsu is a relatively new offering here at the Rancho, and I love being able to be of service here.  Yesterday one of my clients shared with me upon completion of her session, "That was lovely.  I lost track of all time and space."

When not in the pool doing Watsu sessions I am free to enJoy all the Rancho has to offer.  Occasionally I will join one of the 6-8 fitness classes offered hourly.  I most often choose the Crystal Bowl Sound Healing or one of the many guest speakers' lectures/workshops.  Yesterday I got to sit at the pond and play guitar... then I joined other staff members for an evening hike up to Alex's Oak.

We gathered to send off Joe, who has been working here for 30 years!  Two different snakes greeted us on the trail... a Rosy Boa and a baby Rattler. Transformation, shedding skin.  Atop the mountain looking over the Rancho and Tecate with this group of souls randomly thrown together, I was once again struck with feeling blessed and in awe of life.  I don't know what it's like to be in one place for 30 years... but I do know what it's like to follow my heart.  Joe is following his heart and he departed with an air of confidence and contentment.

Until we meet again...

My Beautiful Office, Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico

Allergy Attacks and Cold Mountain Stream Water

Today the smoke came back to the Gallatin Valley.  As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I could tell because the light coming into the room was dark yellow, almost amber.  It wasn't very apparent until we went up into the mountains to wild harvest Chanterelle mushrooms.  It took me a moment to adjust to plunging into the forrest.  I quickly realized that what I had to adjust was my pace... rather than keep up with my friend who was bolting to the secret spot, I prefer to amble.

When we slowed down and kept our eyes open for the prize mushrooms I got to appreciate all the forrest has to offer.  With the stream rushing by to our left giving the perfect sound track I took in layer upon layer of beauty.  Something was in bloom that I'm allergic to and I began to sneeze uncontrollably.  Maybe it was to the peace of the situation, or possibly it was another growth marker... but I was OK with the process my body was in.  Sneezing, heaving, sweating, itching eyes, post nasal drip, rest, repeat.  Historically I've always hated allergy attacks and the way they made me feel.  Today I simply observed and felt what was happening just as I was taking in the incredible nature all around me.  Have I told you how much I love the sound of the wind singing throughout he pine forrest?

We found two little baby Chanterelles and then headed up to the lake.  I opted out of a quick dip at Hyalite Lake with the general public enjoying its offerings.  Instead I asked to pull over on the way down to go for a dip into the creek.  My knack for finding the perfect place was spot on today.  Access was easy, the scenery spectacular, and although it was just off the road it was out of sight and the sound of the rapids drowned out any road noise.  I jump on any chance I get to be naked in nature!  I got to scramble across beautiful granite boulders and find a little area to submerge myself without getting swept down stream.  

The frigid snow melt water rushing over the rocks became an amazing natural allergy relief medicine.  I kept cupping handfuls onto my face and visualizing my sinuses being cleaned out, allergens being washed down stream.  Breaks were necessary as my hands and face was getting numb.  I repeated the face splashing until it was time to go.  Trying to shout over the volume of the rapids I felt my throat closing and my voice getting strained.  It didn't feel like my typical allergy symptoms.  Then I remembered the smoke.  By the time I got to the car my allergy attack was back on.  So it was not a full cure, but it was a beautiful and fun way to get some real temporary relief.

Hyalite Creek Natural Allergy Relief

Green Smoothies and West Gallatin Reconnection

Fires have been ravaging the West and Northwest and smoke has been heavy here in Bozeman, MT.  The Gallatin Valley's big sky had been covered, the sun was deep red and the Bridger Mountains were barely visible before I arrived last night.  I landed after Bozeman's much needed lengthy downpour, and stayed up visiting until the wee hours listening to the rain and watching lightning.

First line of order this morning was a garden visit out back.  After harvesting beans, kale, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for our smoothies, I got to just sit.  Wow, what a novel concept!  I sat with my bare feet on the earth and my spine erect, breathing deeply and pulling energy in from above and below as I repeated a mantra.  I remembered how nice it was to have a regular meditation practice.  I'm always amazed at the clarity and perspective I get on my life from afar...  or is it from within?  

Summer gardens in BZMT are notoriously incredible, and today we were invited to a garden tour.  We opted to go out to the river with friends instead.  After stopping at the organic food co-op  (where I won the prize for the most polite customer of the day) we headed west.  It has been at least 8 years since I've been in the West Gallatin, and it was perfectly lovely.  The swimming hole was deep, currents strong, water clean and cool, and the sun was out full force.  We saw Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Bald Eagles, Killdeer, Trout, White Fish, Swallows and a few humans.

I've been hearing much recently about people feeling overwhelmed, stressed, uber busy, endlessly on the go, etc.  As I was laying on the small patch of sand today I realized that I have not really stopped in a long time.  I did my best to relax.  Although the scene was perfectly relaxing I found my muscles fighting to hold on and my mind relentlessly on the pursuit of the next series of thoughts.  Here's the growth: today I stopped twice... once to meditate, once to let the river's edge support me in my process.

In gratitude...

West Gallatin River, Bozeman, MT