Living in the Land of Enchantment
This morning, I am writing to you from Taos, New Mexico!
I’m sitting in my room, next to my adobe fireplace, with a mug of coffee.
Today, 15 women are on their way here to retreat with me for a week at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and I cannot believe this is my life.
I want to tell you how I got here.
Two years ago, I had a very strong sense that I was Supposed To offer a retreat in Northern New Mexico.
This did not feel like an idea, or a desire . . .
I was impelled. It felt like a calling.
It was strong enough that I booked a ticket to Albuquerque, without any preliminary research of retreat venues.
Of course, New Mexico is full of beautiful places to visit, and I found three places I felt had potential.
The first was fine.
The second was fine.
And the third was Mabel’s house.
I walked through the front door at Mabel’s, and my eyes filled with tears.
I was certain in my bones that this was the place.
I told my host, “I’d love to lead a retreat here next year - please tell me what’s available.”
She smiled and winced. It was November already. She explained that next year was around the corner, and completely booked.
I was disappointed, but undeterred. “Okay,” I said, “2018?"
She said she doubted that, but opened her calendar.
A small slip of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor.
Picking it up, she looked surprised.
“Huh. It seems that we had a cancellation next year. July 17-21.”
I was elated. “I’ll take it,” I said.
I did not do all the things I usually do.
I did not check into pricing.
I did not fret about the calendar, and wonder whether people would want to come to New Mexico in July.
I did not for a moment worry that the cross-country flight plus the 2.5 hour drive through the desert would deter people.
I did not weigh all the options, and try to maximize all the circumstances.
I simply said Yes.
And last year’s summer retreat was extraordinary.
It turned out that people - so many of them my nearest, dearest, beloveds - DID want to come to NM in July.
(Hello out there, my Mabels reading this!!)
This year’s fall retreat will be extraordinary, too.
I can feel it.
I have had these impulsions, these callings, a few other times in my life.
I don’t believe they’re something I can Make Happen.
I do, however, believe that they’re something I can .
I get these impulsions every time I more fully honor my whole self. Every time I find myself doing more of what I want to do, and opening more deeply to my desires and potential.
An impulsion chose my college for me.
An impulsion got me a fabulous job in Manhattan.
An impulsion signed me up for Martha Beck’s Life Coach Training.
When I have an impulsion, I don’t worry about money
Or whether or not something will work.
When I am impelled to do something, none of that matters, or even makes sense.
All that matters is my participation in what Walt Whitman names in Song of Myself as
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.
Reader, I wish these impulsions for you.
I believe when you open up to your whole self - loving all your parts, listening deeply to your heart, more fully trusting yourself - they will come.
Write, or take a walk without headphones, or sit and gaze out the window, and ask yourself:
What do I really want?
Allow all your answers.
Just let them - and you - be.
Trust that this is key to joining me, and Walt, in experiencing this:
Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well
entreatied, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.
It is why we are here.