Newsletter (Miracles below)
The adventure I am experiencing in my life right now is Truly a blessed and awesome gift. The adventure which was just beginning a new, intense phase which I shared about in my June Update.
"What has unfolded in recent months, is that she is now living here in Cambria - and I am moving in with her in the next couple of weeks. I have not only been given the blessing of having the opportunity to share my life journey with a dynamic, exciting romantic partner - I have inherited a whole family in the process. The brood includes her 17 year old daughter, her daughters boyfriend and their 7 month old baby - soon perhaps to be joined by her 20 year old son. I am getting the Joyous and amazing opportunity to be a step grandfather to the amazing little baby - and am sooo grateful for the opportunity. The family also includes 2 dogs, 2 cats, a rat, and a chicken named Jack. (And now a 3 month old pygmy goat named Pixie.)" - Joy2MeU Update Newsletter June 2005The baby is now 11 months old - and just the most precious, beautiful, incredible little boy. Never had I imagined myself changing diapers and taking care of a baby - and Loving every moment of it. I have become Mr. Mom - doing the shopping and the laundry and taking care of the baby for periods of time - while my lady goes into work in San Luis Obispo every week day. Definitely not what I had imagined in my future only a few short months ago.
What is going to evolve in the coming months is a mystery right now - in the more will be revealed realm. There are numerous challenges, as there are with any new relationship - with such major changes in one's life. The pygmy goat had to go because of the noise it made - and that combined with a problem caused by one of the dogs has made it necessary for us to be looking for a new place. My mate is trying to establish herself in a new area in a business (mortgage loans) where contacts are vital - and the market is slow. I have been trying to generate more income to support this new family of mine (thus the new pay to view section of the site), and it has been a major challenge.
As I mentioned in the June Update, my significant other is a magnificent teacher for me. The payoffs for being in the relationship have been enormous - and have led to many, many of the snapshot type of moments of domestic bliss, of romantic Love, over the course of the last 4 months. It is Truly the ride of my life, as I shared in the last Update.
"What I saw was a woman with a beautiful heart and soul - with a huge capacity to Love - underneath the defenses that she had been forced to adapt to protect herself in her life journey. There was no doubt in my mind after that night, that no matter how many red flags I was seeing, I needed to surrender to experiencing whatever my Higher Power had brought her into my life to experience.My lady has Truly proven to be a amazing woman with an immense capacity to Love. Most of the time with her now, I Truly am able to experience the feeling that I spoke of in the first article of my True Nature of Love series - the Truth that I had gotten in touch with intuitively, but had not at that time actually experienced in any intimate relationship.
"That is the way the recovery process has worked for me. I have an insight that allows me to see an issue from a different perspective. Once my perspective has started changing, the paradigm has started shifting, then I can see what needs to be changed in my intellectual programming in order to start changing my emotional reactions. I see where I have been powerless - trapped by old attitudes and definitions - and then I have the power to change my relationship to that issue, which will change my emotional experience of life in relationship to that issue. . . . .It is Truly a testament to how much I have grown - to how much more I Love myself today than in the past - that I am in this relationship now. It Truly shows how much progress I have made in my Great Quest. I am so grateful and feel so blessed to have this amazing female being in my life - and to have her demonstrate in action over and over again that she Truly Loves me. It is a magnificent, amazing gift of my recovery.
Of course there is always more growth on the recovery road. There are still many challenges - including finding my place in the dynamics of the family situation I am now involved in. And adding financial stress to the challenges of a relationship is always very difficult. Going from living a simple solitary life in isolation to being the majority support of a family is a huge leap. As I said, my mate is establishing herself now - and will undoubtedly bring in more income as the months go by. It is the immediate future that is so challenging financially right now.
Two additional factors are going to make the situation even more daunting in the coming months. One of those factors is that my 15 year old son is going to be coming to live with me at the end of the year. Adding another person into this family dynamic is going to be very challenging on multiple levels - including, of course, financial. And the second factor is, as I mentioned above, that my supplies of my book are going to be running out shortly into the new year - so I need to find the financing to print more copies in order to keep the web site happening.
All of this is of course, a perfect part of my Spiritual Path. I am once again being forced to focus on my core issues. In the last Update I mentioned how someone e-mailing me to tell me the original author of one of the recovery handouts I have on several pages of my site, had caused me to rediscover a long excerpt from my Joy2MeU Journal that I had added to that page. That excerpt deals the Spiritual Growth process, the symbolic importance of the spiral, and the significance of the Unicorn in my logo - as well as talking about how energetically the growth process is governed by the octave principle. Here is a quote from another of my articles that I quote within that excerpt about The individual Growth / Recovery Process on the page Twisted Codependent Thinking + Growth Process/Spiral +
"In my first attempt at this article it spiraled off into the realm of Metaphysics - specifically an explanation of the vibrational dynamics of the growth process from an energetic perspective. An explanation of how our repeating patterns are in fact a reflection of the Octave Principle (do, re, me, fa, etc.) in energy interactions dynamics. In our disease we keep repeating the same octave over and over again - and sometimes even descending to lower octaves. In recovery we are spiraling upward to new levels - so that each "do" feels somewhat like the "do" before it, but in reality reflects a higher vibrational level - a Higher level of consciousness, a more enlightened perspective. . . . .The perfection of how my partner pushes my buttons - along with the financial situation that I now find myself in - have taken me to a new "do" where I am having to deal with my deepest core issues on a new higher level of consciousness. Those issues are ones I talked about in my October 2000 Update - the Update that sparked much of the writing I did over the next 4 years.
"All of my issues around abundance - of money, of success, of friendship, of health, of whatever - always come back to my fear of intimacy, my terror of being available for a Loving relationship. The bottom line is always that toxic shame at the core of my being that says that I am not lovable, that I am defective somehow." - Joy2MeU Update Newsletter October 2000 Part 2I am now more available than ever for a Loving relationship - but there is still some behavior that I need to change in order to become more fully available. I am struggling with those sabotaging behaviors caused by the core toxic shame, by my core terror of fully embracing life and Love - and that is why I am once again having to focus on those core issues.
That October 2000 Update was the first one that I wrote exclusively to be posted online instead of e-mailed out to people. It was a major catalyst in my recovery in the years following it. And in it I mention the Love Offering that made so much of my writing possible in the coming years.
"I have learned a great deal about opening to receive through the years. I would never have gotten my book published without the great progress I have made in this area. I wouldn't be alive if it weren't for the miracles of manifestation that have flowed into my path. The financial abundance that was needed came from a variety of sources. The major ones have been in the form of people who invested in my book and work, and people who have gifted me with money over the years as a way of thanking me for the impact my work has had on their lives.It was the gift of $5000 from someone who had been touched by my writing - and wanted to align herself Karmically with my message - that made it possible for me to move back Cambria in September 2000 and rent the apartment that I lived in until I moved in with my partner this past July. I did the majority of the writing on my site in that little one bedroom apartment here in Cambria - this place that I feel emotionally and Spiritually nurtured and inspired. The place that I recognized as "home" the first time I drove into it.
"One of the messages I had gotten consistently in the days before the trip, when I was considering the possibility of moving to someplace I didn't really want to live, was a line from a song that kept coming to mind. It was a line from a song by the Eagles - a group in whose songs I have found words of insight and inspiration over the years. This particular few words that kept coming up for me were "pick a place to make your stand . . and take it easy." I was real clear that the place I picked years ago to make my stand was right here on the Central Coast of California. The town of Cambria specifically. . . . . The reason that Cambria is so special to me however, is because it feels like a mountain town right on the ocean. I had discovered Cambria while driving up the coast looking for a place that the mountains and ocean come together - and had recognized it as the place I was looking for, as soon as I drove into it the first time.It is now possible that we will need to move out of Cambria. I am having to consider multiple options to deal with the financial issue - including getting another job to help support this wonderful brood of a family. When things are stressful, my significant other feels like maybe she needs to move back to San Diego where she has the contacts to bring in more income. We are considering moving back there together - and she at times, feels like she needs to leave the relationship and move back there herself. That would Truly break my heart. I am so hoping that this relationship ending is not part of the Divine Plan.
We are considering moving to other towns in this area - but at the present time do not even have the finances to accomplish that. Truly a time when more will be revealed. She Loves living here in Cambria, as I do - but the housing situation here is very restricted. When one is looking for a large house that also takes pets, the choices are very slim. We recently found a place that would work very well for us - a place we would Love living - but are $3000 to $4000 short on the move in costs. (Double the normal deposit for having pets in this place. Another one of those ironies. I, who have not had a pet since I was 8 years old because of a child hood trauma - Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy - am the one who takes care of the pets.;-)
It is a time when a lot of faith is required to be able to live one day at a time while also trying to create the abundance necessary to have choices. I updated my Donations page to see if it will once again be possible to keep the book in print and the web site going through donations from people whose lives have been changed by my work. The situation is quite different in many ways now than it was in 2003 when I last had to ask the Universe for help in keeping the book in print - but in some ways it is the same. If I don't have my book in print, it will be virtually impossible to keep the web site going - so what I wrote there in 2003 still applies to the financial situation. The huge difference is that I am now in a Loving relationship, and 2005 has been a magical year full of Joy and Love because of this relationship - no matter what the future holds.
Just as on that Donation page I recalled some of the miracles that have made my Journey possible, I want to again recall some miracles to help me have faith in the present situation. So, I am going to share a little of the story of how I came here to Cambria. This is an excerpt from a page I wrote for my Joy2MeU Journal in 1999 when - as I talk about on that Donation page - I was without a home to live in for 6 months.
I tell this story not only to share the miracles with you - and to remind me to have faith - but also because I need to be reminded of the tools and process I need to use to maintain some emotional balance when my buttons are being pushed. As I have mentioned, my partner has defensive reactions that push all those deepest buttons - so the reminder is very appropriate in my life right now. And the reminder to have faith in the future while enjoying the journey one day at a time, is very timely and appreciated. As I was saying to my Lover yesterday - as we took a walk through the magical forest behind the house we want to rent - it is important for us to remember to not give so much power to fear of the future, and instead to "take time to stop and enjoy the baby." This time of experiencing her Love for me growing, our Love for each other growing - and sharing with her the experience of watching him grow - is the most amazing, Joyous time I have ever experienced. I am so grateful for this last few months no matter what the outcome of the situation turns out to be. I hope this adventure between us can continue for the rest of my life. ~ Robert October 17, 2005
The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul
In this issue's installment of "the dance of one wounded soul" I am going to skip ahead to share some of the miracles that have blessed my path. I will be touching on some of the milestones that led to those miracles without going into great detail about the process at this time. In future issues, I will continue with the story of how my emotional healing process unfolded including the 30 day treatment program I entered in the Spring of 1988 and the events that followed it that summer. I will also be talking about some of the details of my healing path in the article on the Twelve Step process which will be published in this same issue of the Journal. (This series of articles has since been expanded and added to the regular web site The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process - a formula for integration and balance)
I am skipping ahead in order to tell the story of how I ended up on the Central Coast of California because that is a big issue in my life right now. . . . . . I am doing this skipping because I want to focus on some of the miracles right now - both to share some positive experience and hope with you readers who have been subjected to me talking about how difficult and painful my process has been in the last few months, and to remind me of how perfectly and magically the process has been unfolding for the past 15 years.
An important part of my healing has been learning how to intervene in my own process to do positive reality checks. That is, when my disease is hitting me with how it has always been painful and will never get better - I can say to it, "Hold on there. That is a lie. Just yesterday I felt lots of Joy while I was walking on the beach and watching the otter just off shore - so don't give me that always and never crap." It has been vital for me to learn how to balance my emotional process by telling myself the Truth when my disease is trying to focus on what my emotional truth feels like in the moment. Part of being a healthy parent to myself is to not allow the wounds from my childhood, which are being restimulated by present events, to dictate the quality of my experience of life today. A critical factor in achieving some emotional balance in the moment today is to not buy into the messages from the critical parent voice that is always ready to shame and judge me, that is always focusing on the part of the glass that is empty and predicting impending doom.
My disease always wants to beat me up and tell me that I am not good enough, not doing enough, not far enough along. It is very important for me to set a boundary with my disease by not buying into those shame messages. That is what I am doing when I do a reality check with myself about how far I have come. The message that I should be perfect by now is bull - the Truth is that recovery is a process where progress is what is important. Instead of focusing on how far it looks like I still have to go, it is very helpful - and an act of Love towards myself - to look back at how far I have come and how I have been guided out of the agony of hell that my life was, to a place where I have Joy, Love, happiness and serenity in my life most of the time. That is Truly a miracle. I am a miracle. You are miracles - remind yourself of that, it is a way of Loving yourself.
So, in order to set up the story of some of the miracles on my path I will go back to the start of my codependence recovery. Here are a few quotes from The Story of Joy to You & Me from the first issue of this Journal about the beginning of my conscious recovery from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is codependence. The breakthrough to a new level of consciousness that allowed me to start peeling away some of the layers of denial that being raised in an emotionally dishonest and repressive, shame based, fear driven, Spiritually castrated environment, surrounded by wounded adults, inflicted upon the Magnificent Spiritual Being that I Truly am.
"I date my codependence recovery as starting on June 3 1986. As with any milestone, there was recovery that occurred before that - I had been clean and sober for exactly 2 years and 5 months at the point (the story of my early recovery is for another issue) - but this particular day marked a breakthrough in consciousness to a whole new level that changed the direction and focus of my life."
"I went home to do some writing and was pretty amazed at what it revealed. I realized that I was still reacting to life out of the religious programming of my childhood - even though I had thrown out that belief system on a conscious, intellectual level in my late teens and early twenties. The writing that I did that night helped me to recognize that my emotional programming was dictating my relationship with life even though it was not what I consciously believed.
I realized that the belief that "life was about sin and punishment and I was a sinner who deserved to be punished" was running my life. When I felt "bad" or "bad" things happened to me - I tried to blame it on others to keep from realizing how much I was hating myself for being flawed and defective, a sinner. When I felt good or good things happened I was holding my breath because I knew it would be taken away because I didn't deserve it. Often when things got too good I would sabotage it because I couldn't stand the suspense of waiting for god to take it away - which "he" would because I didn't deserve it."
"I said to myself - this is no way to live life, I need to change this. So that night I started to focus on changing the subconscious programming from my childhood. I didn't know how I was going to do it - but I was determined to find out." - The Story of Joy to You & Me
The first thing I did to change the subconscious programming from my childhood was to become aware of it. There is an AA phrase: uncover, discover, recover. I had to start seeing the reality of my patterns before I could start changing them. I had to get willing to start looking at the attitudes, beliefs, and definitions which were setting me up for the dysfunctional behavior patterns, setting me up to live life in reaction to my childhood emotional wounds. By shining the Light into the darkness, by becoming willing to start looking at how I was setting myself up to be a victim, I had started the process of becoming empowered to be who I Truly am.
I could not stop sabotaging myself until I realized that I was sabotaging myself - and that my patterns weren't simply about "they" were doing it to me, or that it was happening because I was somehow inherently defective. I had to stop blaming others, and I had to stop blaming and shaming myself in order to start seeing the reality of my life. (This is of course a process. I could not simply stop the blame and shame - I had to start seeing life as cause and effect, instead of shame, sin and punishment - and then I could start to stop the old patterns.)
I realized very soon after I started seeing my patterns more clearly that I had Truly been sabotaging myself. That I was not allowing good things into my life because of my subconscious beliefs that I didn't deserve good things. I saw almost immediately that I was driving an old, unreliable car, avoiding doing any kind of rewarding work (both financially and otherwise), and living in very uncomfortable situations because I didn't believe I deserved any better - at the same time I was always complaining about those things.
So one of the first actions I started taking to change those patterns was to start doing a positive affirmation as many times a day as I remembered to do it. The affirmation that I started with isn't really a pure affirmation. The most powerful affirmations start out "I AM" because that is another name for the God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit. The affirmation that I started out with was "God wants me to be happy, healthy, loved, and successful." It was a very dramatic and revolutionary affirmation for me because the concept of god that I was taught growing up did not think I deserved any of those things let alone want them for me. I really had a hard time saying it at first. As I mention on my Positive Affirmation web page, if we really believed the affirmations we wouldn't need to say them - we need to say them because we don't believe them.
Within six months I had a rewarding job, a new (used) car, and a nice apartment. This was the result not only of the affirmation but also because of all the other work that I was doing to uncover, discover, and recover. And when I had those things, I stopped saying the affirmation. I realized later that I had been focusing on achieving some success in those 3 specific areas and that I wasn't ready yet to start believing that I deserved to be happy, healthy, or loved.
The job that I had taken was in recovery, working as an Assistant Counselor in a chemical dependence treatment center in Pasadena California. It was the first time in Los Angeles that I had taken a job with regular hours and some responsibility.
When I had gotten out of the treatment center in Lincoln Nebraska where I had gotten sober I worked for a few months as a volunteer in their family program and then had gotten a job as a Psych Tech at the state mental hospital (where I had the dubious pleasure and emotionally traumatic experience of getting to hold patients legs while they were getting electric shock treatment and having seizures.) For a short time in my second year of sobriety I had worked for the Alcoholism Council of The Sierra Nevada's in South Lake Tahoe while living up there for six months. But in LA I had always taken jobs in alignment with my suffering artist role - parking cars, waiting tables, driving a cab - because I "had" to be available for interviews when my "big break" as an actor came.
Taking the job in the treatment center was a big deal for me. It not only was an act of Love in terms of moving me into a position that was much more rewarding - financially and otherwise - but it was also the first big step in letting go of my acting career. I started that job in September of 1986 and by the following spring I had found that I liked the work enough to pursue a therapists position which I was qualified for because of my Masters Degree. That also meant that I was ready to let go of the acting.
So, I started to answer some ads and go on some interviews for therapist positions in treatment centers. I also started agitating to be promoted at the treatment center I was already working for. On May 11, 1987 I was promoted to a Primary Therapist's position at that hospital. (A lot of emotional stimulation occurred during this whole time period, which I will talk about in the article about my emotional recovery which will be called Falling Apart - Breaking Through.) By September of that year I was into my emotional healing, and was seeing very clearly how the treatment staff was a dysfunctional family in which my childhood issues were being put right in my face by the people I worked for (mom and dad were there for sure) and with - all my buttons were being pushed in a wonderful and very painful opportunity for mega growth.
One day when I was especially agitated by all of the issues coming up (I still knew nothing about the grief process and had only just dipped my toe into inner child work at that time) I went outside to hug a favorite tree of mine and cool off a little. While out there I got an intuitive hit to call a place I had interviewed at months earlier. When I called, the Program Director was shocked by the timing of my call because he had just found out that one of his therapist was resigning. That was how I got a job as a Primary and Family Therapist in a treatment center in Van Nuys California.
The Cosmic timing had just been accelerated to Light speed. The miracle of the timing of that phone call, that resulted from listening to my intuition, began a period of intense and furious growth that resulted within six months in me entering a 30 day treatment program in Arizona for treatment of my codependence. An important part of the miracle that occurred that day was that my new job not only paid $6,000 a year more but also had tremendous insurance coverage. It was that insurance coverage that allowed me to be able to go to treatment.
I went into that treatment program to save my life. I had no vision whatsoever of any future at that time - I was just desperate to learn how to deal with the feelings that were erupting like a volcano from within me. In that treatment program I learned how to deal with my emotional wounds. I begin learning about the grief process. I started to be capable of being Truly alive for the first time in my life. Thank God!!!!! I am so grateful to The Goddess for that incredible, transformational experience. It not only saved my life - it gave me life. The tears of Joy are pouring out as I write this, remembering where I was and what an incredible series of miracles it took to guide me out of that hell. Entering that treatment center was the single greatest gift I have ever given myself - and an incredibly powerful demonstration of the absolute Truth that I am Loved by the Universe. (I first wrote the most powerful demonstration - but I can't say that. There have been so many incredible miracles on my path that it is impossible to say that one of them was the most important.)
One of the serendipitous coincidences that occurred in that 30 days of treatment was that my primary therapist was very much like me. He denied that and was passive-aggressive towards me because it pissed him off to see himself mirrored in me (I was, by the way, far enough along in my process to confront him about this - including confronting him about being passive-aggressive in front of all the patients at my graduation ceremony.) Because he was burned out as a therapist, he thought he saw that in me and recommended that the MD order me to be on disability for a period of time. It was a good thing because my job had been given away while I was in treatment. So, I went on state disability when I got out of treatment.
One of the things I had seen clearly while in treatment was what a codependent relationship I had with the city of Los Angeles. I hated living there but "had" to be there because of my acting career. What a set up to be a victim. The first thing I did when I got back from treatment is to pack up and leave LA. I didn't have any place special in mind at that point that I wanted to go to, so I went back to Tucson Arizona where the treatment center I had been in was located.
Being in Tucson, led me to get involved with a healing group in Sedona - where I moved after about 2 months. . . . .
. . . . . . I said above, that I had gone to Tucson because I did not have any place special in mind to go to. That is not quite true. I had known for some time that I was going to be going to Taos New Mexico at some point. I had never been there, and didn't know why I was going, but I knew that at some point I would go to Taos.
When I was in treatment, a rare thing had occurred in that I had a roommate (small bungalows - 3 to a room) who was also in my primary treatment therapy group. He was from Connecticut but had a cabin above the ski resort outside of Taos. I had told him about my feeling that I was to go to Taos at some point and he had invited me to come and visit some time. At the time that I got out of treatment, I wasn't yet getting disability checks and had no income - so there was no possibility of moving to Taos at that time.
After the traumatic and terrifying experience that I had in Sedona, I called him. (He is my friend Robert that I wrote the column about on my Alcoholism web page. He died of alcoholism because of his codependence.) He told me that no one was using the cabin at that time and that I was welcome to stay there for free for a few months. A wonderful miracle! God sending me an Eskimo to rescue me from the cold.
The trouble was, I still had very little money. The state disability came to $900 something a month - which is not much money when you have a car payment of close to $300 a month. And the car - that was another story. The new used car that I bought as a result of my affirmations was a silver Ford Mustang. That car meant a lot to me. I called it the Silver Eagle, and was very grateful for it. Unfortunately, at some point in it's life prior to me, it had been wrecked - something the salesman hadn't bothered to mention. The front end was damaged. The damage to the left front end caused the right front tire to wear horribly. Which was, of course, perfect symbolically. The damage I had suffered to my feminine (left side) was killing my masculine (right side) for much of my life.
By the time I was driving back and forth from Tucson to Sedona, to attend the healing group I had gotten involved with, the right front tire was worn so unevenly that I had to drive the car under 45 or over 65. Between 45 and 65 the car wobbled so badly as to verge on uncontrollable. (Talk about some leaps of faith driving that car - prayer, prayer, and more prayer.) The fact that I couldn't afford a new tire - let alone get the structural damage fixed - was one of the reasons that I had moved to Sedona.
Now that I had a place to live in Taos, it was possible for me to get out of Sedona. The challenge was that I wanted to move my stuff to Taos right away but had to be in LA for a workman's comp hearing in 5 or 6 days and wasn't going to get another disability check until the following week. And I didn't have enough money to go to Taos, then back to LA, and then make it back to Sedona to pick up my check.
People often express to me how amazed they are at the level of faith I have in the process. I can tell you that the foundation was laid back in those days when I did not have any viable choice but to just go for it - praying all the way. So I just went for it.
I drove, me and the Silver Eagle with its crippled wing, to Taos and found the cabin. I unloaded my stuff and headed back towards LA. I stopped in Gallup New Mexico and pawned a boom box to get $20 for gas. I made it to Flagstaff where I took the last $20 out of my checking account.
Then I went to Laughlin Nevada where an old friend of mine was living at the time. He said that he could lend me $100 and let me stay the night - but that still wasn't enough money to make the rest of the trip - oh well.
As I was sleeping that night - in the guest bedroom where no one had slept in months - the alarm clock went off, exactly at midnight. I knew that it had happened for a reason and got up to go into the living room and figure out what was going on. (My friend and I never could figure out how that alarm clock got turned on.) Sitting in the living room I got an intuitive message that I should stop in Harrahs Casino on the way out of town and gamble.
"No way, Jose!" was my response. No way on earth was I going to take that measly $100 that I had and risk losing any of it when it wasn't enough already.
This is a pattern with me and the Universe - I get a message and I say "Are you crazy - no way!" But eventually, as a message keeps getting repeated over and over, eventually I surrender and say, "OK, but you'd better take care of me."
The gambling thing was especially terrifying as I had experienced a problem with gambling somewhat compulsively on two previous occasions when I had lived in South Lake Tahoe. I was terrified of gambling at this point and could not believe the Universe would really want me to do what I was hearing. (Years later, after doing a great deal of grief and rage work, I have found that I don't have a problem with gambling any more. It was the repressed, pressurized grief energy that was causing the compulsion - and it was a way of sabotaging myself. Now that I know that it is OK to gamble - I very rarely do. There is no compulsion any more. Funny how that works. I think one of the surest signs that someone is an alcoholic is when they decide they are not alcoholic and then have a drink to celebrate. People who aren't alcoholic very rarely wonder if they are - and if some reason they have wondered, they don't have a drink right away when they decide they are not. If something Truly isn't an addiction or compulsion, then it is not necessary to do it anymore.)
I was up for a couple hours that night watching TV and arguing with the Universe. I absolutely refused to go and gamble in the morning. When morning came, the message was still there. On my way out of town, I had to pass Harrahs. I was arguing all the way but the message kept coming, so I stopped.
I walked into the door of the casino absolutely terrified. I stood just inside the door trembling. It was a huge, cavernous place - and as I stood just inside the door something caught my attention from the far side of the casino. It had to have been at least 100 yards to the other side of the room, and what had caught my attention was a thin column of of smoke wafting towards the ceiling. Since that is what caught my attention I headed for it. It turned out that someone had not completely put out a cigarette in an ash tray sitting on top of a dollar poker slot machine.
When I had experienced my gambling problem it had been with poker and poker slot machines - but quarter slot machines. Even when I was at my most compulsive I wouldn't play dollar slot machines.
Well, here I was, and this is where the Universe had guided me - so I got $20 in silver dollars and started playing the slot machine the cigarette was on. I won $320 in 20 minutes and got the heck out of there.
I made it all the way across the Mojave Desert on my poor tire that was just getting worse and worse - and when it finally blew out I was in the city, in the fast lane at a place where there was an interior parking lane on the freeway. I now had the money to get a new tire, which I did. I did my business in LA and went back to Sedona to get my check. Then I headed to Taos to live.
I do not know of any way to accurately depict the terror that was involved just in driving that car on that tire. Let alone, driving it for well over a 2000 miles with almost no money, no credit cards, no travel club card. Had the tire blown in the Mojave, 50 miles from gas stations either way it would have been a perfect part of the plan somehow - but I am glad it wasn't. To say that I was grateful to get through that trip would be a bit of an understatement.
. . . . . . Even before I went to Taos, I had gotten the message that I would be in Taos for about a year and then I would go to somewhere that the mountains and ocean came together. I tried to find out where that was but the Universe operates - in it's relationship with me anyway - on a "need to know" basis, and the Universe very rarely agrees on my definition of need.
The first few months I was in Taos, I was staying at my friends ski cabin above Taos Ski Valley. I was at an elevation of about 11,000 feet and there was almost no one else around because in those days there were no tourists in the off-season between summer and ski season. It was there in that cabin that I began writing the Trilogy. It was there that I first started getting in touch with some of the basic principles which would form the foundation for some of my later work.
My poor car could barely make it up the steep dirt road that ran from the ski valley up to the cabin. And I knew that I did not want to be up there when the snow started falling. So in early November of 1988 I moved into a studio apartment near the Taos Plaza. I could not afford to rent an apartment and make my car payments - and the poor car was in pretty sad shape. After missing one car payment, I let the finance company know that I wasn't going to be able to make any more payments.
It is funny, but I have a very definite memory, when I signed the contract for that car, of looking at the box that if you checked it would provide that the contract would be paid off in the event of disability. I chose not to do that because it would have been a few more dollars a month - and looking back I can see that that choice was perfect.
Someone came to Taos to pick up the car. As I stood and watch it drive away, I grieved for the Silver Eagle because it had meant a lot to me - and we had been through a lot together. I wished it good-bye and cried a little. As it was disappearing down the road I got an intuitive message that the Spirit of that car would go with me to my next car.
It was actually quite wonderful not having a car that winter. It changed my whole relationship with snow. Having grown up on a farm where one goes out in the weather no matter how cold it is (the last time I was home on Christmas Eve - just prior to going into treatment to get sober - the windchill factor was -90. 30 below with a 50 mile an hour winds.) I did not have a fond relationship with snow at all. But that winter, with no car to deal with I had a great time. I could walk to anywhere I needed to be and if I couldn't walk there I didn't need to be there.
At some point during that winter, I was notified that unbeknownst to me, the treatment center where I had worked had income compensation insurance that I was entitled to when the state disability ran out. After 6 months worth of paperwork and haggling I receive almost $10,000 in June of 1989 and went on to collect $1600 a month for the next year. The Universe was taking care of me in fine style at that point. This all went back to the phone call I made that one day in September of 1987 after hugging my tree.
Although I had received the large sum of money and could afford to buy a new car, I didn't. I wasn't able to find any car that really spoke to me and I was doing quite well walking around. I kept looking kind of half heartedly but nothing presented itself.
By September, I was coming up on my 1 year anniversary in Taos and was imploring the Universe to tell me where this place where the ocean and mountains came together was located. Finally, one day walking back from the post office I got an answer. Santa Barbara. I stopped dead in my tracks. Santa Barbara? I asked. Santa Barbara came the answer. "Live in Santa Barbara?" I asked, somewhat distastefully as I had no inclination to move to a city after all the time I had spent in LA. I liked small town life just fine. "Start in Santa Barbara and go up the coast," was the message I got from the Universe then. "Oh, OK." I said, and started walking again.
Only a little while later though, my mind had jumped in and started telling me that I was making this up. My disease has a way of doing that - doubting my intuition. "How do I know this is what I am supposed to do?" I asked then, "Can I get some proof?" The message I got back was that there would be someone from Santa Barbara at the AA meeting that night. It was a Friday night in late September, at a time when there were no tourists around. It did not seem like there was much chance someone from California would be at the meeting that night.
Sure enough, I got to the meeting and there was only locals there. Until about 15 minutes into the meeting when a woman walked in late. Guess where she was from? Right! Santa Barbara.
Now I had a game plan. I start in Santa Barbara and drive up the coast until I find the place I am supposed to move next. I still couldn't find a car that I liked and the guidance was to buy one after I got there. I didn't know I could fly into Santa Barbara itself, so I bought a ticket to LAX and then caught a bus to Santa Barbara. The bus dropped me off at a hotel by the beach. I had no idea that I was miles from anywhere that there might be a used car lot - I just knew that I would be guided. I started walking toward what looked like some businesses down the street a ways - but after only a block my intuition told me to hang a right. I turned and walked into what looked like a residential district, wondering how I would find a car to buy among those houses.
I walked a couple of blocks and turned a corner - and there was a gas station. When I got closer I noticed a car parked in the corner of the lot with a for sale sign on it. Can you guess what kind of car? A silver mustang. Silver Eagle had landed again.
I bought the car and headed up the coast. When I turned off of Hiway 1 to go into Cambria I knew immediately that it was the place I was looking for. I checked it out. Got a post office box and headed back to Taos to pack my stuff. A few weeks later I moved to the Central Coast.
That is how I first came to live in this area. It was the first
time in my life that I ever felt like a place was home. Cool story,
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