One minute, I'm minding my own business, getting on with things as per usual.
The next, I've made a decision to go to LA.
When an email introducing The Daily Love LIVE landed in my inbox, at first, like I do with most promotional emails, I skimmed it, but this time, I hesitated on pressing delete.
I was in the supermarket a few hours later, very ordinarily buying toilet paper (or something), with my phone pressed between my shoulder and the side of my face, when 'I think I'm going to LA in a few weeks' fell out of my mouth and into the ears of my husband.
And what felt like only a moment later, I was on the plane, filled with the feeling of possibility that can only come when you're certain something wonderful is going to happen.
I had a feeling about this trip. It was going to do something to me. Something was going to unfold in my heart. Miracles would abound. I just knew it, and so that was my prayer. Each morning I sat in meditation, I would say: 'I don't know what all this is about, but I'm listening. Give me experiences to remember. Pry my eyes open. Lift my heart. Rock my world. Elevate my faith.'
The people I met. The tears I cried. The synchonicities that brought me to my knees...
Here's a little story about the moments in space and time in Los Angeles that rendered me more that a little speechless and deepened my love for humanity, the Divine, and spiritual practice.
It's not what you know, it's who you know.
I owe so much of the beauty of my trip to my friend Katie; a screen-writing, wildly creative, astrological goddess who I was privileged to write alongside in Bali.
She was the most spectacular host and treated me to a few experiences I'll not forget.
The first day I arrived in Los Angeles – blazed by jetlag – she invited me to attend a movie premiere with her, at Fox Studios. Obviously I jumped at the chance, but also gave the skies a little wink, because it seemed as though my request for 'once in a lifetime-ish' memories had been noted. I'm not a 'jump on a tour bus' kind of girl, but this... This was unreal.
It was an intimate premiere of a what I can honestly say is one of the best movies I've seen – iOrigins – with industry experts gracing the limiting number of seats. When we arrived to have our names struck from the list, Katie giggled after glancing down at the sheet of paper and noticing that we were on the very same list as the director, Mike Cahill.
Man, I just felt so grateful. The film industry is the lifeblood of Los Angeles. It's the place that folks flock to when they have dreams of writing, of acting, of performing. What's more LA than getting a taste of that at a premiere? I had a smile on my face through the whole Q&A session with Mike. What an experience.
(See the movie, by the way. It's genius.)
LOVE, Kundalini, and the Planting Of Seeds at The Daily Love LIVE.
I was standing in line, waiting to check into the event, when I hear another Aussie accent pipe up with 'hey Tara!'
Her name is Michelle, and she follows my stuff. She's been through a buffet of tough experiences lately and she gushes that my writing and videos have inspired her. I give her a big cuddle, and roll my yoga mat out next to hers. I think this shocks her a little.
After more than a day of fan-girling, I had to interupt Michelle mid-conversation, and say 'Babe, it's just as much of an honour for me to be spending this time with YOU. I feel very blessed to have met you. We're no different.' From that moment, the pedestal dissolved and we became friends. I could see how meaningful this was to her and I just love that the Universe delivered her a friendship that she needed at the right time. :)
And then there was the yoga.
A little back story.
I love yogaglo.com for a myriad of reasons, not least of all because thanks to that platform, I can practice kundalini yoga whenever I like. The resident kundalini teacher on yogaglo is Kia Miller, and I adore her. She is radiant like the sun and so very serene, and since I've started practicing with her – albeit from the comfort of my own home – I've desired to meet her. Well...
Tommy Rosen was one of the speakers at the event, which again, was super cool. I've been familiar with his work for some time now and his energy is beautiful. He also wrote the foreword to Mastin's upcoming book which I was lucky enough to read before the trip, so it was groovy to see them in the same room together and to give Tommy a hug. I mentioned my book to him, and his ears perked. After all, his very own upcoming book is titled Recovery 2.0. He's spent the last two decades of his life devoted to unpacking addiction.
Every so often you become aware that you're in the energy – in the space – of things that mirror and reflect your vision, or the project you're building, or the message you're delivering. This did not go unnoticed in LA.
Anway, I had no idea that Tommy was freaking married to Kia!
There she was, at the front of the room; dewy like a Goddess. I flung my arms around her. 'Kia! I practice with you every week back home. Hi! I'm Tara!' Not my suavest of moments.
She was lovely.
And the kundalini that both Tommy and Sat Siri guided us through at the event was literally life-changing for me. I started to get a real sense that this is something I should lean into...
Tommy shows up on the third and final day wearing a t-shirt with this as it's logo: Be The Lighthouse.
Aykanna, the gorgeous band that's providing live tunes for our sessions of breath and sweat, break out into a song of the same title...
My Soul Essences. Another Little Back Story.
A significant journey that I went on while working with my mentor, Belinda Davidson, was the Soul Essence Journey; a process of activating Chakra 8, meeting my 12 Soul Essences, and 'downloading' my life purpose. Now, this is a sacred process, and I'm certainly not going to share all 12 with the world, but I will let you in on three of them:
The Lighthouse | The Archer | The Ladder
Also, because I can't leave this out, a few weeks before jumping on the plane, I revisited my Core Desired Feelings. They are now:
Grace | Held | Light | Lucid | Woman
Tears of recognition at Golden Bridge.
After feeling a real pull to explore the gravitation I had felt towards kunalini, I made my first trip to Golden Bridge Yoga in Hollywood, which was walking distance from my airbnb pad. As I approached the front desk to sign in, the girls manning the desk recognised me from Instagram. There was laughing and smiling and a fair bit of appreciative disbeflief on my part, before I entered the studio
It was so beautiful. So devotional. The stage was arranged as the most captivating altar I'd ever seen.
Normandie – our teacher – arrives, and she is luminous; dressed in white with glowing skin and sparkly eyes.
After warming up, my jaw hits the floor. 3 consecutive kriyas reference 3 of my Soul Essences.
A lighthouse meditation.
A visualisation paired with movement, in which we 'climbed the golden ladder.'
'Look into the future, draw your bow, and take your Archer's stance.'
I was literally choking on tears. Never have I felt so held and communicated with.
In closing our class, these words of Normadie's send one last rattle through me: 'Let the word 'grace' guide you.'
Suffice it to say that 'grace' was the latest edition to my core desired feelings.
I roll up my mat, order a smoothie, and head outside to the cafe to work on a few edits for my book. Once I open my laptop, I see Mastin sitting in the table opposite me, sending me a big smile. Of course you're here, I think to myself.
Caroline Myss, Barnes & Noble, and Feeding the Homeless.
Before I set off to LA, I started reading Invisible Acts of Power, written by one of my favourite authors, Caroline Myss. It's a beautiful book that basically highlights the good in humanity. And - get this - its subtitle is: Channeling grace in your everday life, and it's a collection of stories that feature generosity and compassion, which are seamlessly stirred into fundamental teachings of the chakras.
Anyway, reading the book made me hungry to be a better version of me, and since I was in LA, where the homeless population is really quite staggering for this sheltered Aussie creature, I had a hunch on what it is I had to do.
Before I leave, I'll feed someone.
You might be thinking: yeah okay Ta's, whatever, what's the big deal?
Meeting someone in their pain like that. Looking in their eyes. Trying to percieve the difference between the two of you, when really, what's being illuminated is your sameness.
It's fucking hard.
It makes you feel like a fucking princess (and not it a good way).
I was angry with myself.
Every morning, I woke up, and declared, Today's the day. I'm going to feed someone today.
And then I'd hit the pillow at night and scrutinise myself on why I just couldn't bring myself to extend my hand to someone so vulnerable.
Toward the tail-end of my trip, I open up Caroline's book and begin reading. Bam! Right there on those pages were three examples of how people have outstretched a hand to the homeless. I slammed the book shut. Right! I stormed into my cute little kitchen, flung open the pantry doors and grabbed a good kilogram of trail mix I'd bought at Wholefoods the day before. Cashews, gojis, mulberries, walnuts. The good stuff. This will keep someone going.
Today. Is. The. Day.
But not before a shopping trip to The Grove. (Resistance at it's finest)
I wrap up a few suprisingly delightful hours at The Grove (I normally detest shopping) by ducking into Barnes & Noble. I take the elevator up to level two and station myself in front of the personal growth section. Lately, I've made a habit of entering every book store I come across, so I can meditate on The Party Girls Guide to Peace sitting on its shelves. When I crack my eyes open from my stealthy, upright meditation, I see a middle aged man standing in front of me, running his hands over a few book spines.
Resting in his hand, pressing against his heart, is none other than Invisible Acts of Power.
A lump hardens in my throat.
'That's an incredible book,' I spit out at hime, with a smile.
'Is it? I'm not sure whether to get this one, or Sacred Contracts.' (Another outstanding Myss book)
'Well it depends what mood you're in,' I say. 'If you feel like being reminded that humans are generally good people that know how to look after each other, read Invisible Acts. Sacred Contracts is amazing, but you'll have to study it. It requires a lot of journalling and self-enquiry.'
'Invisible Acts it is,' he says with a smile. We chat for a good ten minutes, and I suggest he reads another of my favourite spiritual texts, The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer.
As he walks away, I reach into my handbag and feel for the brick of trail mix.
Traffic that day, was bad.
Man, it was so, so bad.
The Grove is only 3 miles from my apartment, but friends, it took me an hour and a half to get home in a taxi. I spent the first half of the trip in a moody, itchy silence, before my cab driver had a genius idea to take a more-than scenic route which would essentially double our travel time, but at least we'd be moving. Sure, I said, a little ruffled.
And when he veered off towards the side street, I saw him.
A different shoe underneath each of his blistered feet.
A limp that looked uncomfortable.
He started digging in the trash can, before coming up with a few cigarette butts, which he lit, for a puff or two.
Our car crept towards him as we came to a red light, and without hesitating another moment, I wound my window down.
'Are you hungry?'
He glances up at me and the blue of his eyes pierce me right through to the soul.
'I have some food for you...'
He just nods.
With both hands, I extend him the trail mix, not breaking eye contact with him once.
As the cab starts to pull away, he says God bless you.
And I sob.
I Know What I Must Do.
So, sweet potatoes, I'm going to study kundalini with Golden Bridge in India, late January.
This is the direction, clarity and certainty I have been craving. I'm stepping into it with gusto and ripe antipication, and am excited to bring my energy to the teaching of this practice.
How does this apply to you?
We must pay attention to the areas in life where we feel easily guided. Cosmic support is kind of a big deal, guys, and what this trip has taught me, is that wrangling for things to happen is not only exhausted, but friction-inducing.
Both The Party Girls Guide to Peace and the journey to my yoga mat have been two of the most guided and divine processes I've ever been apart of. There has been support and Universal winks at every stage, and that ease is what reminds me that I'm the vessel for it! So please, notice when you get the thumbs up, notice the connections that effortlessly float into your life, and most importantly, notice when you feel as though your cutting against the grain. Those projects, relationships and dreams can be let go of with love –– they really can.
I think this life is shorter than we realise. I think we need to answer those calls a little more often; whether it's a call to take a huge leap, become a student, be a better friend, or feed someone.
I hope this post restored (or heightened) your faith. :)
I stayed in a gorgeous little airbnb studio apartment in Hollywood, which I adored. Location-wise, it was great (walking distance from yoga, Trader Joes and the sauna). Though next time I'm over there, I'll stay at Santa Monica. This girl loves the ocean).
Cafe Gratitude really is amazing. I went to both the Venice and Larchmont cafes.
Yoga: Golden Bridge and Yogaworks are both fantastic.
Wholefoods rocked my world.
The Sweat Shop LA for infrared saunas (it's also conveniently next door to a pressed juice shop).
I rode a cruiser bike from Venice to Santa Monica.
I'd so love you to share this post with your friends :)