It’s been about 10 months since I moved here. I’ve moved around a lot, and I know the drill. About 6 months after relocating, it gets really hard. I start questioning why I did it. It’s a struggle to find a community and make friends. It takes time to build connections with people that are more than:
Here’s my number. I’d love to hear from you.
It seems like we have some things in common. I’d like to get to know you better.
Let’s do coffee sometime.
Would you mind if I get your number and call you sometime?
Occasionally I meet somebody that is interested in getting to know me. Sometimes they become friends… other times one of us doesn’t really feel a connection and moves on. Like my friend Jo Ann says, “Making new friends is sort of like dating.” It really is a lot like dating. Maybe that’s why the rejection of dating doesn’t get me down as much as it could. Rejection is a part of life when you’re new in town. And, let’s face it… I’m almost always new in town. So, the past 10 months has been filled with mostly rejection but also a dash of reciprocity and more than a few coffee dates with potential girlfriends. It’s fun. It’s exasperating. It’s interesting. It’s dull as hell. It’s all those things, but I know from experience that if I don’t do it quickly and with some serious intention, the adjustment process will drag on forever. My adjustment to Knoxville TN took about 3 years, and it was very lonely. I was newly married at the time and spent too little time laying the groundwork for community.
Saturday… Click on the pics for captions.
Memphis was one of the easiest places I’ve ever connected. They have strong healing communities in Memphis. The people were friendly… unbelievably warm and welcoming. I divorced in the first year I was there which was a huge transition for the first year in a new place. Some of the top stressors in life are death of a loved one, divorce, relocation, new job and marriage. I had two of them in one year with a seedling support network. But, I found a women’s circle that was really strong and a great recovery community. Eventually, I found my running group, and I was off and running … pun intended.
Except in the case of Knoxville and Seattle – where I traveled 90% of the time – I start to find my communities and engage around 10- 12 months of being there. I stop banging on doors that are non-productive, and doors start opening more frequently. There is a yoga studio in my neighborhood – Agame Yoga and Meditation Center – that has proved to be an oasis for me. I went there craving yoga classes, but, right there in the front door is a placard that says, “I am home.” The first time I saw it, I felt my body give a huge sigh of relief. It was only a possibility at that point, but I felt like it could be possible that I was home. Sometimes the possibility is all that matters.
I enjoyed the yoga classes, and I started to try new ones. I started to meet some people and buy some trinkets while I was there. I bought a great pair of earrings that I wear almost every day. I’ve had some laughs with the women in the front office. I’m taking an Ayurveda class with the owner, Phi. One of the yoga teachers there is now teaching at my office and has become my Reiki practitioner. This studio also has a focus on the Yoga Nidra which I’ve come to love in the last 10 years or so. It’s a 45 minute meditation that brings your body to a very deep level of relaxation. They say it is like having 3 hours of sleep on a neurological level. Over the years, I’ve used a Yoga Nidra tape to shift my anxiety and depression, relax and cure insomnia. It’s very powerful.
Last night, I went to my second Yoga Nidra practice at the studio. The teacher Katherine spent some time talking with us about the practice before we literally laid down to sleep. Thick, comfy blankets are laid on the floor, and I made myself a pillow and rolled one up under my knees. I covered up and let myself slip away on her quiet voice leading my mind on a journey inside myself. In Yoga Nidra, you set an intention for your practice, and it’s supposed to really connect with your spirit on a deep level. Katherine suggested the intention I seek the Truth. That really resonated with me as I’m on a search to shift some things in my life not only by moving here but by trying out a new career and moving forward in a new place with a clean slate. I love the feeling I had after it was done. I was energized but very peaceful and calm. What a way to begin the week!
I decided to buy a CD with a morning and evening Yoga Nidra practice to use at home. I need energy in the mornings since I’m no longer doing coffee, and Katherine said this practice would give me energy if that’s my intention. I chatted with a fellow practitioner outside for a few minutes. She’s working on her Masters in Sweden but has a home in Baton Rouge. We had a lot in common. She’s single by choice and happy with it. As the conversation went on, we discovered that we both grew up in Watson, live on the same short street now and are both runners. I gave her my card and said, “Here is my number. If you ever want to get together when you are in town, I’d love to.” I felt really connected as I walked away to go home for the evening.
This weekend I prayed to help me feel the love around me as I was feeling lonely toward the end of the week. I had a weekend full of connection with my nieces and nephews, brothers, parents and sister-in-laws. I had a great day with my friend Jean Ann yesterday in New Orleans with our dogs. I ran on the beach in Bay St. Louis with my nephew Sasha, and I shared some chocolate milk with Bryce and Aili at the Farmer’s Market in Baton Rouge. I took an unbelievably beautiful boat ride with my niece Mariya, my brother Terry and his wife, Laura, Saturday evening at sunset on Rotten Bayou. Some weekends have a magical quality to them, and this one had that. But, it wasn’t magic at all. It was the pure act of being present in the midst of connection… with others .. with myself … with nature .. with God … and with the pure essence of love.
Have a great Monday, y’all! We are all connected…