I am now in my own sanctuary at home in LA after having slept in 7 different beds while I was away. It was a magnificent and bitter-sweet journey and I am left with a feeling of deep love, gratitude and heartache.

The primary reason for this trip, set in motion over a year ago, was to be at my Goddaughter’s wedding. As other events in my life unfolded, I needed to add to this trip a time to continue to sort out my mother’s affairs.

My goddaughter, Carina was married on her family property called Mutmutbilli, in Breadalbane, and it was a true country Australian wedding! I arrived 3 days before ‘the big day’ to help with the set up and to be a support for my friend Sall, who I have known since I was 16. She and her husband Angus pulled out all the stops and it was the most beautifully thought out and orchestrated wedding, with a year’s worth of preparation, and I felt so blessed and honoured to be there.

The sad part for me was that I did not have Mum to share it all with, and she would have loved to have heard about it, seen the pictures, and enjoyed the stories I would have relayed about each day. I felt her absence deeply in all the joy.

What I am noticing is as my friend’s parents age or pass on that our friendships are becoming more important to us. I don’t know what I would do without my oldest friends, certainly now. They truly been there for me, and I saw most of them again this trip at various times, and what I am aware of is that what I receive from them is so much more than I could ever imagine!

There is no doubt to me the more I become present, real and express my feelings in a soft and truthful way, I get so much more in return in ways I cannot even imagine. If I had not allowed the experience of ‘the journey downward’ and travelled inward, I know I would not be able to receive and take in what is given to me on a daily basis. I find my life to be rich, exciting and full of heart, even with my pain and confusion right now.

This week I am posting an excerpt from Pema Chödrön, a women I admire and whose teachings I resonate with. I have also included a video interview with her and Bill that is worth the time to listen to.

THE JOURNEY DOWNWARD Excerpt from: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön, pages 91-92

Spiritual awakening is frequently described as a journey to the top of a mountain. In the process of discovering bodhichitta [the awakened heart], the journey goes down, not up. It’s as if the mountain pointed toward the center of the earth instead of reaching into the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward the turbulence and doubt. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, our companions in awakening from fear. At the bottom we discover water, the healing water of bodhichitta. Right down there in the thick of things, we discover the love that will not die.

If you would like more of Pema Chödrön watch this interview with Bill Moyer on Reason and Faith: VIDEO

Have a great week!